Archive for the ‘Game Mastering’ Category

Anatomy Of An Interruption – Endpoints

This entry is part 2 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing

This entry is part 2 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing Having established in part one of this series that a pause or interruption to play or to the primary plot being deployed within the game can be more than a necessary inconvenience, it can be a tool whose manipulation by a savvy GM […]

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Pacing and the value of the Pause

This entry is part 1 in the series Further thoughts on Pacing

This entry is part 1 in the series Further thoughts on PacingDiscovering The Principles This was originally envisaged as one small and relatively quick article. It didn’t work out that way. Instead, this is the first part of three… I was watching a repeat of an old TV show the other week – one that […]

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Taking advantage of the sensory heirarchy

As humans, we rely on our senses to connect us to the world around us. There is a hierarchy amongst those senses that GMs can take advantage of, the better to communicate with our players. The Associated Senses At the bottom end of the senses are the associated senses – the sense of balance, and […]

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Stealth Narrative – Imputed info in your game

I was incredibly tired after Co-GMing on Saturday – while the game session went well, this was only the second time that I have GM’d since undertaking a regime to control my blood sugar after the recent Diabetes diagnosis, and it took a lot more out of me than I expected. In fact, I ended […]

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Always Something There To Surprise You – Plots as Antagonists

The subject of today’s article emerged during a twitter discussion between John Kahane (@jkahane1), Joe Kushner (@JoeGKushner), and myself (@gamewriterMike) on Twitter last week. The conversation started when I mentioned to John that I had just started a mystery plotline in my Zenith-3 (superhero) campaign, and that special effort was going to be needed to make […]

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Rat On A Stick – In remembrance of Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett OBE (28 Apr 1948 – 12 Mar 2015) The world lost a giant of the fantasy genre on March 12th. Terry Pratchett brought farce to the elements of his novels while spinning straightforward fantasy stories out of those elements that built and built until reaching the point of melodramatic farce in their own […]

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New Beginnings: Phase 5: Surroundings & Environment

This entry is part 6 in the series New Beginnings

This entry is part 6 in the series New Beginnings It’s not easy making a completely fresh start. This series examines the process of creating a new campaign in detail. Last time, I went through the development process of taking ideas and some indications of direction and welding them together into a campaign plan. Now […]

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New Beginnings: Phase 4: Development

This entry is part 5 in the series New Beginnings

This entry is part 5 in the series New Beginnings There are times when we all have to make a fresh start. This series examines the process in detail. So you’ve got some general ideas, and you’ve vetted the legacies of the past to see what to keep and what to throw away (with a few […]

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The Gradated Diminishing Of Reality – Travel in FRPG

Another filler article, I’m afraid. I’ve made quite a lot of progress but – due to external factors – simply ran out of time. I’ve been saving this one for just such an eventuality… For the purposes of this article, “FRPG” is considered restricted to D&D / Pathfinder and similar systems. I know that’s unrealistic, […]

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Signs and Signatures: An essay on uniqueness of style

We all sign our names differently, and the association between an individual and his unique signature is a cornerstone of modern concepts of identity. So ubiquitous is this association that the term has made its way into the modern lexicon in all sorts of other ways; law-enforcement people talk about “bomb signatures”, hackers talk about […]

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The End Of The Adventure

This morning (as I write this) I was chasing down a vague notion about an emotional “color wheel” that wouldn’t quite come together. While pondering it, I realized that GMs sometimes think that they can end adventures on just about any emotional note that seems appropriate to the circumstances, and that I had never seen […]

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New Beginnings: Phase 3: Reinvigoration

This entry is part 4 in the series New Beginnings

This entry is part 4 in the series New Beginnings There are times when we all have to make a fresh start. This series is going to examine the process in detail. The table of contents was in the introduction (part 0). In Phase 2, short-term measures were used to buy time while doing some […]

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