Archive for the ‘Mike’ Category

Ask The GMs: Death Is Only The Beginning: Resurrection Penalties Examined

This is the fourth of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. The notion of resurrection penalties is almost as old as the notion of resurrection in RPGs. It’s fictional antecedents go back even further, into the inspiration sources used by the designers of the game in the first […]

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The Best Of 2014 Pt 2: July-December

This entry is part 7 in the series The Best

This entry is part 7 in the series The Best This is Campaign Mastery’s 800th post! But it didn’t feel right to make a big celebration out of that milestone after touting the 750th-post anniversary so prominently last year. Instead, it’s business as usual – except that this particular article is, of course, a celebration […]

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He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Servomech: User-friendly Encumbrance in RPGs

This article was inspired by a Facebook post by Toolmaster way back in July 2015 on Dungeons & Dragons Memes, a facebook community run by The d20 Collective who offer various gaming-related clothing (and some cups) for sale. This post was then shared by GM’s Day, which is another Facebook community, this one run by […]

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Ask The GMs: A Target With Warp Drive: Maps and Minis for Sci-Fi

This is the third of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Battlemats, maps, and tiles all have a valuable role to play in creating game atmosphere and letting people get on with play. The old adage states that a picture is worth a thousand words; an appropriate terrain […]

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If I Could Save Magic In A Bottle: Spell Storage Solutions Pt 1

This entry is part 1 in the series Spell Storage Solutions

This entry is part 1 in the series Spell Storage Solutions Sometimes it’s hard to think of topics for Campaign Mastery, mostly because I need to accommodate real-world deadlines and time windows as much as possible), and whatever article is scheduled to come up next looks like taking more time than I have up my […]

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A Palpable Difference: 14 Points of Adventure Distinctiveness

I spent most of the weekend working on the next adventure in the Zenith-3 campaign. While this adventure mines territory that will be familiar to my players, it should not feel at all repetitive to them except in the very broad conceptual strokes, and that’s because I make an effort to make each plot different […]

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Engagement vs Involvement: The forgotten balance

Every player, and more importantly, every PC, who is participating in an RPG is a member of a team. That team can be constructed to form an idealized “machine” if the players collaborate on their character designs, but more normally, things are looser. At best, you have the GM constructing a team model in which […]

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Fun in all the right places

This article was inspired by a question raised on twitter by Kevin Mason @jackmonkeygames, or more specifically, my response to the question: Q: What’s Your Best Tip for creating a memorable character? A: Enjoy the process of creating the character. That touched on a thought that’s been tickling around the back of my head for […]

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When Genres Collide: Using Non-Genre Sources

Some of the most fun that I’ve ever had as a GM was creating that down-elevator sensation in the stomach-pits of my players by taking an idea derived from one genre and importing it into another. It’s not easy to do well, but I’ve figured out at least some of the ground rules to success, […]

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Not Like My Tribe – Sophisticated Primitives, Part 2

In Part 1 (make sure you have read it before continuing) I made reference to a map of Australian Aboriginal Languages which contrasted so strongly with the media stereotyping of these peoples as a single collective population that it was revelatory and inspirational. I meant to provide a link to that map, but ran out […]

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Not Like My Tribe – Sophisticated Primitives, Part 1

A lot of people seem to have the opinion that Primitive is the same thing as Simple. While I would hope that most GMs are better educated than this, that knowledge doesn’t seem to translate into their depictions of primitive societies within their games. Most Orcs, for example, are treated as being cookie-cutter representatives of […]

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All Wounds Are Not Alike IV – Accelerated Healing

This entry is part 5 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 5 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike When I first started gaming, one of the hot topics of conversation was always Clerical Healing and how to stop Clerics being nothing more than “holy drip bottles”. Over the next 30-odd years, not much changed. At the heart of the problem […]

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