Archive for the ‘Game Mastering’ Category

Seven Circles Of Hell – Creating Politics for an RPG

Politics is one of those inevitable conditions, like death and taxes, that every GM has to master to some extent because it will make its presence felt in every campaign. There’s always something more to say on the subject. In this article, I’m going to look at the basics of political relations between similarly-scaled entities; […]

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Shades Of Suspense Pt 2 – Fourteen Types of Cliffhanger Finishes

For those who came in late: Cliffhangers are a wonderful way to end a gaming session. Ending play at a moment of high drama leaves players anxious to get back to the gaming table, and makes a gaming session memorable. They serve as milestones within the adventure. In Part 1, I listed eight general tips […]

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Stormy Weather – making unpleasant conditions player-palatable

Following the publication last week of the rules on Windchill and other weather-based environmental effects, I was asked a very profound question by Rob, one of several GMs that I associate with on Twitter: Any tips on the drama side, Mike? My players have always felt a bit meh about weather – deadly but dull […]

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Vampire’s Creep and other stories: Working With Places

What’s the first thing you think about when considering a location in an RPG? There’s no one right answer to that question. A lot depends on why I’m thinking about that location at all. Location: a place for things to happen A location is not a simple thing to pin down. Let’s say that we’re […]

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3 Feet In Someone Else’s Shoes: Getting in character quickly

It’s not easy being a GM. Not only do you have to create dozens or hundreds of characters for every one PC, but you have to create adventures and encounters that bring those characters to life in an entertaining way for the benefit of the players – all while refereeing a complex simulation of a […]

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Ask The GMs: My table runneth over (too many players)

How do you GM when you have more players than you can handle?

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Domino Theory: The Perils and Practicalities

I love a good domino theory, but they aren’t easy to do, never mind to do them well. This article holds the secrets to creating and implementing a string of dominoes that will keep players coming back for more.

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Prodigious Performances Provided In Due Course

Back in “Exceeding the Extraordinary: The Meaning Of Feats” (April 2012), I promised that a future article would discuss the approvals process for feats, prestige classes, etc, in my 3.x Fantasy campaigns…

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Stream Of Consciousness: Image-based narrative

It’s almost impossible to prepare descriptions of everywhere. This article offers a way to shortcut and streamline the process so that you need never get caught short again.

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If Then Else or Maybe: Witchmarsh and Plot Interactivity

A review of the promise of Witchmarsh, a promising new RPG videogame in development, and the lessons & value it holds for tabletop RPGs

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Growing Plot Seeds Into Mighty Oaks

You’ve picked an Adventure Seed – it doesn’t matter where it came from. The first step to transforming that seed into an adventure that is everything you want it to be…

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The Pattern Of Raindrops: A chessboard plotting technique

How to use a chessboard to sandbox parts of an adventure and move beyond simple linear plots.

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