Archive for the ‘Planning & Preparation’ Category

Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 11: Campaigns

This entry is part 11 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

The fundamentals of what a campaign is and how to manage one.

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The Answers They Seek: Truth, Omission, Error, Distortion & Falsehood

There must be something in the air. Or maybe it’s a reaction to Alternative Facts. I had this week’s article scheduled and outlined before I even became aware of Updated: Elf or Scroll, Handling the Info dump by Phil over at Takes Of A GM on essentially the same subject. Since I agree with everything […]

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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 13th Shelf

This entry is part 14 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others) The Thirteenth Shelf: Odds & Sods I – GMing, Tools, and Fiction – Introduction by Mike Being the GM can be isolating at the Game table, especially when a problem strikes. It’s usually too late when you’re in […]

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The Brute Force Inspiration Solution

I’m trying a new layout approach in this article. It sacrifices some screen real estate for indented subsections. Do readers like it? Let me know what you think of it! A lot of the advice here at Campaign Mastery sometimes gives the impression that there’s a shortcut to solving every problem, because offering alternative perspectives […]

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Ask The GMs: Shared Worlds and Co-GMs

There’s a whole spectrum of collaborative modes in existence these days, ranging from the cameo appearance or recurring pastiche all the way through cross-overs to the tightly-knit true shared creative spaces that are almost completely collaborative in nature. Although in literature, the Thieves’ World series is generally thought of as the first shared world that […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 10: Rhythms

This entry is part 10 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 10 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)(I’m sure some have been wondering when it would resume – Part 9 was published in September 2016, after all…) I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to […]

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With A Polished Pen

During the week I thought up a design for an infographic that would have encapsulated last week’s post in a single, easy-to-digest/use diagram. But Infographics aren’t my strong suit and I have no experience at doing them, and it became clear that it was going to take longer to complete than it was worth – […]

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The Pentagon Of Encounter Design

There are five attributes to any encounter that define it, and any one of them can be the foundation of that encounter. In the old days of D&D, it used to be that there was relatively limited flexibility. You chose an encounter based on one of these five criteria and everything else was more-or-less dictated […]

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A radical concept: The GM Task Experience Table

On twitter the other day, one of my regular contacts (Rising Stars Press) posted a meme that read something along the lines of “All right folks, give yourselves 500 xp for surviving 2016” and an image of Gary Jackson. And, as sometimes happens, one stray thought had a whirlwind romance with another, and before you […]

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Plotting The Phone Book: A How-To Of Adventure Inspiration

0. New Year, Old Business Welcome to 2017! I hope every reader has had a happy and safe Holiday period and is now ready to face the New Year with gusto and confidence, recharged and re-energized. For the first time in, I think, eight or nine years, I took the Christmas/New Period off, completely. No […]

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Paving Over Plot Holes: A Masterclass in Adventure Creation

I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last couple of weeks working on the next adventure in the Zenith-3 campaign, and the techniques employed have enabled me to illustrate some of the techniques that I’ve written about in the past. Normally, I would not post an article on the subject until after the […]

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The Perils Of Pre-Play

As part of the recent Blog Carnival, I shared a tool that I had developed for creating a character’s background (Blog Carnival November 2016: The Ordinary Life of a Fantasy PC). As part of that article, I originally had a section (entitled “An Alternative Route”) discussing playing a pre-game to enable players to develop the […]

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