Archive for the ‘Game Mastering’ Category

Abandoned Islands – Iconic Adventure Settings

I love a great location, and one of my favorite settings is an abandoned island. There are lots of reasons for this. Here’s just a few: They contain great visual elements, even when described in narrative. Decay and Ruin can be used symbolically to represent almost any situation in a game. And there’s always overgrowth […]

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The Wandering Spotlight Part Two of Two: Shared Stories

My co-GM in the Adventurer’s Club campaign and I work very hard to maintain player engagement even when the spotlight is not on that player’s character (which only makes it all the more obvious and painful when we fail in attempts to do so). While there is little that I regard as especially novel about […]

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The Wandering Spotlight Part One of Two: Plot Prologues

In the midst of all the angst on display in the last article, correspondent, friend, and involved party Ian M included this comment: …as GMs, Mike and Blair are very good at making sure even PCs that (by skillset, background or whatever) are more or less side-lined for a specific situation are still well-engaged. While […]

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An Experimental Failure – 10 lessons from a train-wreck Session

Tomorrow (as I write this), as usual on the final Friday of the month, I will be deep into prep for the next session of the Adventurer’s Club campaign. Unlike the usual situation, this won’t be final prep – we usually play that campaign on the first Saturday of the month. This article will look […]

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The Expert In Everything?

In January, I wrote an article called The Hierarchy Of Deceit: How and when to lie to your players. There’s one type of deception that was poorly covered in the original article, though it was hinted at in the subsequent article on deceptions that are meant to be penetrated, I See It But I Don’t […]

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The Keys to the Kingdom Of Literacy: Stylish Narrative Part 6

This entry is part 6 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 6 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative So here we are on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Spring (at least in my neck of the woods, YMMV). What on earth am I doing posting something on a day like this, when I am usually Gaming (or catching up on […]

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Pearls Of Spontaneous Prose: The Secrets of Stylish Narrative Pt 5

This entry is part 5 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 5 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative This series has been predicated on the belief that the real difference between game prep and a lack of game prep could be summarized as felicity of style: better-presented maps and illustrations, better thought-out plans, better characterization of NPCs, better depiction of […]

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The Impact Of Polished Text: The Secrets of Stylish Narrative Part 4

This entry is part 4 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 4 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative This series is predicated on the belief that the real difference between game prep and a lack of game prep could be summarized as felicity of style: better-presented maps and illustrations, better thought-out plans, better characterization of NPCs, better depiction of that […]

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Words, Like Raindrops, Fall: The Secrets of Stylish Narrative Part 3

This entry is part 3 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 3 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative At the start if this series, I argued that the real difference between game prep and a lack of game prep could be summarized as felicity of style: better-presented maps and illustrations, better thought-out plans, better characterization of NPCs, better depiction of […]

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Bullet To The Point: The Secrets of Stylish Narrative Part 2

This entry is part 2 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 2 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative The real difference between game prep and a lack of game prep, in a lot of ways, can be summarized as felicity of style: better-presented maps and illustrations, better thought-out plans, better characterization of NPCs, better depiction of that characterization, and more […]

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Polished Loquacity: The Secrets of Stylish Narrative Part 1

This entry is part 1 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 1 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative What’s the real difference between game prep and a lack of game prep? I think the most overt differences can all be summarized as felicity of style: better-presented maps and illustrations, better thought-out plans, better characterization of NPCs, better depiction of that […]

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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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