Archive for the ‘Game Mastering’ Category

Ask The GMs: Shared Worlds and Co-GMs

There’s a whole spectrum of collaborative modes in existence these days, ranging from the cameo appearance or recurring pastiche all the way through cross-overs to the tightly-knit true shared creative spaces that are almost completely collaborative in nature. Although in literature, the Thieves’ World series is generally thought of as the first shared world that […]

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Why Are Stories So Important In Video Games? A lesson for RPG Campaigns

Modern video games are becoming more dynamic when looking at console capabilities, online functions and graphics. The diversity in game types is also increasing. It is never enough these days to have wonderful graphics; so many games with outstanding graphics end up failing, as they lack the story element. When we look at the very […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 10: Rhythms

This entry is part 10 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 10 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)(I’m sure some have been wondering when it would resume – Part 9 was published in September 2016, after all…) I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to […]

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With A Polished Pen

During the week I thought up a design for an infographic that would have encapsulated last week’s post in a single, easy-to-digest/use diagram. But Infographics aren’t my strong suit and I have no experience at doing them, and it became clear that it was going to take longer to complete than it was worth – […]

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The Pentagon Of Encounter Design

There are five attributes to any encounter that define it, and any one of them can be the foundation of that encounter. In the old days of D&D, it used to be that there was relatively limited flexibility. You chose an encounter based on one of these five criteria and everything else was more-or-less dictated […]

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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 11th Shelf

This entry is part 12 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others) The Eleventh Shelf: Beliefs II – Ghosts, Poltergeists, and Apparitions – Introduction by Mike Wouldn’t the world be dull if everything was predictable? That’s as true of the world in a pulp game as it is of the […]

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A radical concept: The GM Task Experience Table

On twitter the other day, one of my regular contacts (Rising Stars Press) posted a meme that read something along the lines of “All right folks, give yourselves 500 xp for surviving 2016” and an image of Gary Jackson. And, as sometimes happens, one stray thought had a whirlwind romance with another, and before you […]

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Plotting The Phone Book: A How-To Of Adventure Inspiration

0. New Year, Old Business Welcome to 2017! I hope every reader has had a happy and safe Holiday period and is now ready to face the New Year with gusto and confidence, recharged and re-energized. For the first time in, I think, eight or nine years, I took the Christmas/New Period off, completely. No […]

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Risk Assessment For GMs

This article was started way back when I was submitting articles to Roleplaying Tips, in fact, more than ten years ago, but it was never finished – until now. So “recently” means “relative to 2006″… I recently read a book describing the calamities that befell Lloyds of London in the early 80s and 90s and […]

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Paving Over Plot Holes: A Masterclass in Adventure Creation

I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last couple of weeks working on the next adventure in the Zenith-3 campaign, and the techniques employed have enabled me to illustrate some of the techniques that I’ve written about in the past. Normally, I would not post an article on the subject until after the […]

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The Perils Of Pre-Play

As part of the recent Blog Carnival, I shared a tool that I had developed for creating a character’s background (Blog Carnival November 2016: The Ordinary Life of a Fantasy PC). As part of that article, I originally had a section (entitled “An Alternative Route”) discussing playing a pre-game to enable players to develop the […]

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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 9th Shelf

This entry is part 10 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others) The Ninth Shelf: Life In The Pulp Era II – Non-Civilian Life [Crime, Policing, and Militaria] – Introduction by Mike It sometimes seems that the term “delicate balancing act’ is over-used, but when it comes to Pulp it […]

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