Archive for the ‘Game Philosophy’ Category

Blog Carnival November 2016: Ordinary Lives In Paranormal Space and Time

This is the fourth of five articles scheduled to be part of the November 2016 Blog Carnival, which Campaign Mastery is hosting. The carnival subject is “ordinary life” – in this case, how I create and manage subplots based on the ordinary lives of the PCs in my Zenith-3 campaign, how they connect seamlessly to […]

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Blog Carnival November 2016: The Extraordinary Life of a Fantasy PC Pt 2

This is the second half of this article; the first dealt with character backstories during character generation, and this deals with making use of them once play has started. It is also the third of five articles scheduled to be part of the November 2016 Blog Carnival, which Campaign Mastery is hosting. The carnival subject […]

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ATGMs42: The Hollow Echo Part 2 – Musical Traps

This is (still) the fifth of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Traps and puzzles are always a tricky problem for the GM. All too often they focus attention on one particular character and leave the rest sitting around doing nothing, possibly for what feels like an extraordinary […]

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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 1st Shelf

This entry is part 2 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others)The First Shelf: Heroes & PCs Heroes are at the heart of a Pulp campaign, as much if not more than any other genre (with the possible exception of Superheroes – but you could draw a continuous line running […]

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The Other Side Of The Camera: Depth in RPGs

I was watching an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” (a show that has inspired other articles here at Campaign Mastery) in which a number of photographs featuring the grandmother of the central focus* of the episode were presented, with the observation that his grandfather appeared in none of them (* I watched […]

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What Is Magic? Six Answers

Magic features in a lot of different RPGs, but very few of them answer this simple, fundamental question – what is it, and how can it be used to achieve the many and various effects that are attributed to it within whatever game you happen to be playing? Work on the ATGMs question on spell […]

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Three Coins In The Luck Machine: a different take on game control

A guest article by Boris R. If you think that slot machines and RPG games are complete opposites, you’re wrong. You can enhance your game world by taking a lesson from slots and increasing the unpredictability of your game. Pure Luck Let’s talk about Slot machines, also known as fruit machines and poker machines. These […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 9: Rewards With Intent

This entry is part 9 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 9 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)This 15-part series is an attempt to answer the question, “what advice do you have for a beginning GM?”, three articles at a time – while throwing in tips and reminders of the basics for more experienced GMs. This is the last […]

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All Wounds Are Not Alike IV – Accelerated Healing

This entry is part 5 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 5 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike When I first started gaming, one of the hot topics of conversation was always Clerical Healing and how to stop Clerics being nothing more than “holy drip bottles”. Over the next 30-odd years, not much changed. At the heart of the problem […]

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Who Owns Your Campaign?

It’s always traumatic when you discover at the 11th hour that there’s absolutely no way you’re going to finish the article you’ve been working on and have barely enough time to throw together another to fill in. Fortunately, just yesterday, I came across a thought for just such a fill-in article… I came across an […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Pt 4: About Players

This entry is part 4 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 4 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to answer that question – while throwing in some tips and reminders of the basics for more experienced GMs. I plan […]

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Transferable Skills From Bottom to Top and back again

A collision of thoughts: the origins of this article The other day, I was searching through past articles looking for a particular reference for a cross-link when I found myself re-reading my article contrasting literary processes and writing for games (The Challenge Of Writing Adventures for RPGs), and – as happens to me from time […]

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