Archive for the ‘Game Mastering’ Category

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 […]

Leave a Comment

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 […]

Comments (1)

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: […]

Leave a Comment

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 […]

Comments (1)

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 […]

Comments (1)

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 […]

Leave a Comment

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 […]

Comments (3)

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 […]

Comments (5)

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 […]

Comments (1)

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 […]

Comments (1)

Definitions and the Quest For Meaning in Structure

Back in Campaign Mastery’s special 750th post, I included some correspondence between myself and Tracey Snow which I reformatted into an interview format. Part of that “interview” went like this: Do you have a glossary for terms that you use in your articles? Your recent article where you try to define an adventure talks a […]

Comments (4)

TCCT and N: Excessive Wealth in D&D

There are certain topics that are classics, because you never seem to run out of questions being asked about them, or out of different answers with which to respond. For the most part, Campaign Mastery steers clear of those, simply because so many others have provided good advice on the subject. But every now and […]

Comments (4)