Archive for the ‘Planning & Preparation’ Category

A Singular Performance: Roleplay and General Principles in one-player games

This entry is part 2 in the series One Player Is Enough

This entry is part 2 in the series One Player Is Enough A brief recap: Quite some time back, in an Ask-The-GMs, I discussed singe-player campaigns in what seemed at the time like quite a lot of detail. After recently starting a Dr Who single-player campaign, I decided to review that article to see if […]

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New Beginnings: Introduction

This entry is part 1 in the series New Beginnings

This entry is part 1 in the series New BeginningsThere are times when we all have to make a fresh start. Creatively – and GMing is a creative aspect of the broader RPG hobby – a change of scene may be needed. Enthusiasm may have waned. The old campaign may have ended. One or more […]

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Random Encounter Tables – my old-school way

This was originally intended to be part of my recent article, Pieces Of Everyday Randomness, but it quickly grew to dominate everything else in that article. So I’ve extracted, edited, and enhanced it into this stand-alone piece. Some people are really opposed to the concept of Random Encounter Tables, aka Wilderness encounters, aka Wandering Monster […]

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Flavors Of Victory: Why do good GMs fail?

I’m blessed, or cursed, with a naturally analytic mindset. I can’t help but look for patterns and, having seen one, trying to understand what it means and why it is a pattern. Of course, the more frequently you can observe the circumstances that produce the pattern, the more easily those patterns are to detect. Local […]

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Let’s Twist Again – Eleven types of Plot Twist for RPGs pt 2

With A Twist 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 fair game. The Carnival started with an article on the rules interpretation of Surprise, and last week I posted the first part of this exploration of […]

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Ask The GMs: Buzz and Background

Excitement. Buzz. Anticipation. Enthusiasm. How best to create these for a new campaign? This question comes from BlueNinja, who wrote: “I have an idea for a campaign, that follows off the plot of a popular CRPG [Computer RPG — Mike] (set a few centuries later, of course, so that the PCs don’t have to compete […]

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Pretzel Thinking – 11 types of Plot Twist for RPGs, Part 1

With A Twist So it’s Blog Carnival time again, and (as I explained last week) this time around, Campaign Mastery is hosting. The Subject is “With A Twist” which means anything about Surprises, the Unexpected, Plot Twists, etc, is fair game. I kicked the month off with an article on Surprise, and this time around […]

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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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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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