Archive for the ‘Planning & Preparation’ Category

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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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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Super-heroics as an FRP Combat Planning Tool

When you’re designing a battle for an FRP adventure, how do you make it different from every such battle that you’ve had in the past? How do you make it more interesting than a mere dice-rolling exercise? It’s even more difficult than it sounds. I have a novel solution to offer to these problems, but […]

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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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Race To The Moon – a lesson in story structure

I was catching up on a Documentary series recently aired on Australian TV over the weekend just passed, called “The Sixties”. Each episode attempts to encapsulate one aspect of the singular decade of my birth, whether it be the Civil Rights Movement, the War in Vietnam, or – in this case – the Space Race. […]

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Memorials To History – an ‘a good name’ extra

This entry is part 8 in the series A Good Name Is Hard To Find

This entry is part 8 in the series A Good Name Is Hard To Find There is a pub in Soho that still bears the name, “The John Snow”. It is named for the brave physician who proved that Cholera was spread through drinking water, ending an outbreak in the district. And that sparks a […]

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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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Thatch and Confusion – creating a village

Despite many articles in development, today I’m choosing to scratch a pure fantasy-gaming itch that’s been growing for a while. Specifically, I’m going to look at how I go about creating a village for an RPG. There are some aspects of the process I employ that I’ve never seen written up anywhere else – whether […]

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