Archive for the ‘NPCs & Villains & Monsters’ Category

There’s Something About Undead – Blog Carnival Oct 2014

Halloween, things that go bump in the night, and all things spooky, creepy, scary, or just plain haunted. This month’s Blog Carnival, hosted by Scot Newbury at of Dice and Dragons is devoted to the subject… and this is Campaign Mastery’s contribution. BWAH-HA-HA-HAAA… I’ve got a problem with Undead, and I think it’s one that […]

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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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A Population Of Dinosaurs and the impact on RPG ecologies

How many types of dinosaurs were there? And how can a theoretical examination of the question be applied to RPG games? This is going to be one of the more unusual posts here at Campaign Mastery. For a start, it’s full of maths, and for another it’s about real science (at least at first). But […]

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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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Dr Who and the secrets of complex characterization

I’m going to do something a bit unusual for Campaign Mastery today, and talk about one character and one TV show in depth. Specifically, as you should be able to tell from the title, I’m going to talk about Doctor Who, the iconic British sci-fi series that has just celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary and which […]

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Shades Of Suspense Pt 2 – Fourteen Types of Cliffhanger Finishes

For those who came in late: Cliffhangers are a wonderful way to end a gaming session. Ending play at a moment of high drama leaves players anxious to get back to the gaming table, and makes a gaming session memorable. They serve as milestones within the adventure. In Part 1, I listed eight general tips […]

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Who Are You? – An original character naming approach

I was half-listening to the commentary from the Tour De France a few moments ago (as I write the first draft of this opening paragraph), and I misheard something. No great surprise there, that happens all the time when you’re only half-listening. But what I thought I heard gave me a great idea for a […]

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The Flunkie Equation – quick and easy Hors d’Combat

A few weeks ago, I described my processes for creating Partial NPCs, a methodology that determined how much NPC definition was needed for that NPCs role in an adventure, in Creating Partial NPCs To Speed Game Prep. This was described as essential know-how for the article that I was originally going to write and publish […]

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Touchstones Of Unification Pt 1 – Themes

This entry is part 1 in the series Touchstones Of Unification

This entry is part 1 in the series Touchstones Of UnificationI was watching an interview with Jim Keays from 1975 the other day, discussing what was then his latest album. He was explaining that he had started with three or four songs that all had similar subject matter, and realized that he could build the […]

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Creating Partial NPCs To Speed Game Prep

How much character do you need? Or, to phrase it another way, how much character construction do you have to undertake in advance when creating an NPC? You could simply have a random character generator throw up something to avoid any character construction, but the results never seem to mesh properly with the situation in […]

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3 Feet In Someone Else’s Shoes: Getting in character quickly

It’s not easy being a GM. Not only do you have to create dozens or hundreds of characters for every one PC, but you have to create adventures and encounters that bring those characters to life in an entertaining way for the benefit of the players – all while refereeing a complex simulation of a […]

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Ask The GMs: My table runneth over (too many players)

How do you GM when you have more players than you can handle?

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