Archive for the ‘NPCs & Villains & Monsters’ Category

Gifts In Gaming: Overlooked Seasonal Plot Hooks

Still Twisting… Campaign Mastery is hosting this month’s Blog Carnival. The subject I’ve chosen is “With A Twist” and anything about Surprises, the Unexpected, Plot Twists, etc, is right on topic. I started with an article on the rules interpretation of Surprise, and followed that with a two-part article looking at types of Plot Twist […]

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The Thinking Man’s Guide to Intelligence for Players and GMs

A Message from the Writer/Publisher: As I write, a hostage situation continues to unfold in Sydney, as it has for almost 15 hours, capturing world attention for all the worst reasons. For those who may be concerned, I am completely fine. But I must share my contempt for those who have attempted to politicize events […]

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Studs, Buttons, and Static Cling: Creating consistent non-human tech

The November blog carnival is hosted by Roleplaying tips, and is on the subject of Races and Species. For the second of the two articles I am submitting for the carnival, I thought I would step into left field and look at the question sideways for a bit, as you can tell from the title […]

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Alien In Innovation: Creating Original Non-human Species

This month’s Blog Carnival is hosted by my buddy (and ex-partner here at Campaign Mastery) over at Roleplaying tips. The subject is Races and Species and everything that goes with these concepts. This is the first of two articles I have planned and written for the Carnival. How do you create an original alien species? […]

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Ask The GM: Seasoning The Stew (making races feel distinctive)

Today’s question comes from all the way back in June 2010 – I’m sorry it’s taken so long to answer it! The question comes from Brett, who wrote: “I am an extremely new DM, but I have played for 7 years now. I am looking to put my players in conflict with Drow. At one […]

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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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