Archive for the ‘Game Mastering’ Category

The Gilligan Tools for better characterization

I was reading an article the other week about a fan theory regarding Gilligan’s Island – well, actually, it’s more like two related theories, one of which is partially contingent on the other. As I was musing (and chuckling, I must admit), the thought occurred to me that with a little tweaking, one of those […]

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An Amazing Ancestry

I’m a regular viewer of the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?”. We in Australia are in the privileged position of seeing not only our own domestic series, but also the US and UK series of this show. For those who have never watched it, the show traces the ancestry of a celebrity […]

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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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The Incremental Art Of Escalation

There are all sorts of situations in which the GM wants a situation to escalate by a measured, finite quantity. There will usually be several such escalations that he intends to occur before the situation reaches its climax and resolution. It can be quite difficult to actually plan these escalations as a smooth progression, especially […]

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The Beginnings Of Plot

So you’ve got this great idea for a plot for your next RPG adventure. How do you go from that undeveloped idea to having a plan for the construction of that Adventure? Where do you begin? It’s not an easy choice to make, except in hindsight. There are all sorts of options to choose from: […]

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The Perils Of Players Knowing Too Much

The Backstory I was posting a reply to @RPGKitchen on Twitter last night (relative to commencing this article, now about 3 weeks ago) when a stray thought suggested itself. It was recently posited that starting a campaign or adventure off with the characters engaged in activities that are relatively familiar to the players, such as […]

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Pickin’ and Choosin’: Cherry-picking RPG Elements

To begin this article, I need to share a story and a recent insight relating to it. Bear with me, and it will all become relevant in the end… An excerpt from my musical history When I was growing up, the family lived first 38 miles (61 km) out of, and then within, a small […]

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Boogie to the tune of the hidden Mastermind in your ranks

You don’t have to read Campaign Mastery for very long to realize that I advocate careful planning, strategically targeted, in everything that I do. That can become a problem when you want to have a villain who is smarter than you are and whose primary objective is not to be noticeable over the background chaos […]

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Character Incapability: The distant side of the coin

Last week, I wrote about creating adventures based on what a character could do. This week I’m going to look at the far more difficult proposition of basing a mini-adventure on what a character can’t do. This task is much trickier; just because a character is incapable of the action that would resolve whatever problem […]

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Character Capabilities: An often-forgotten source of plots

Recently, for the Adventurer’s Club campaign, my co-GM and I had to construct a number of small plotlines – one for each character – simply to mark the passage of a period of time in which the PCs should be doing something. We employed an old technique of mine – but one that has never […]

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Support Your Local Hero

Heroism is part and parcel of most fantasy campaigns and certainly central to Pulp and Superheroic Campaigns. In fact, most campaigns, driven by the need for drama, will incorporate heroism in some fashion, whether that be from greed/opportunity, enlightened self-interest, or the real deal. How can heroism stem from greed/opportunity? Heroism is doing the right […]

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New-player Character Immersion Issues: Gambling To An Answer

A Guest Article by Jack Hank You’re a GM in charge of new campaign featuring a group of novices that aren’t quite sure how to assume the guise of a character. So what’s your next move? Ingratiating new players into a game in the hope of building a successful campaign is never easy and there […]

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