Archive for the ‘Zenith-3 (Original system based on Hero System 4th Ed)’ Category

Working The Other Side Of The Screen

Not too long back, an exchange on Twitter led me to the question – does continuing to play RPGs on a regular basis make you a better GM? I’m certainly in a position to judge, since I continue to run multiple campaigns and have, for most of the last year, been a player in a […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Pt 8: Depth In Plotting

This entry is part 8 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 8 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to answer that question, three articles at a time – while throwing in some tips and reminders of the basics […]

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All Wounds Are Not Alike V: Narcotic Healing (part 2)

This entry is part 7 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 7 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike It has often been suggested that players get addicted to the ease of healing that comes with “Holy Water Drip Bottle” syndrome. And that prompted me to ask what would result from making it really addictive, with all the associated problems that […]

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All Wounds Are Not Alike V: Narcotic Healing (part 1)

This entry is part 6 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 6 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike I wasn’t going to make this a two-part article, but – as happens all too often – there was simply too much to include in the one post. Part two of this article will appear next week. I’ve often seen it suggested […]

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Consequential Expertise: A Neglected Plot Opportunity

Do your PCs know what they are doing? Not the players (they have no idea half the time) but the characters that those players operate – are they competent? Do they have expertise – in anything? Because there’s a type of adventure intro that seems, in hindsight, to be horribly under-used: the expert witness. Why? […]

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Encampments and other In-Character Opportunities

When I was starting the original Fumanor (D&D 3.x) campaign, I tried to get the players to establish the sort of routines that would come naturally in real life. You see this sort of thing in Fantasy novels all the time and it’s a great way for personalities to manifest and a useful tool for […]

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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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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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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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In The Footsteps Of Footprints: how to document game events

As part of the “interview” by Tracey Snow back in Campaign Mastery’s 750th-post celebration (actually constructed from a series of emails back-and-forth), I was ‘asked’ the question, Is there an article where you discuss how you run a session and track information while you’re at the table? Do you use a computer at the table […]

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Review Roundup: Three products of interest

I get offered more product to review than I possibly have time to read, other than superficially. Sometimes that product is already commercially available, sometimes it’s the center of a fundraising campaign, sometimes it just comes out of the blue. While I would love to give every review it’s own post of prominence, reality dictates […]

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