Archive for the ‘Players’ Category

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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Stormy Weather – making unpleasant conditions player-palatable

Following the publication last week of the rules on Windchill and other weather-based environmental effects, I was asked a very profound question by Rob, one of several GMs that I associate with on Twitter: Any tips on the drama side, Mike? My players have always felt a bit meh about weather – deadly but dull […]

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Touchstones Of Unification Pt 2 – Concepts

This entry is part 2 in the series Touchstones Of Unification

Part 2 of the article trilogy looks at concepts within an RPG, how they relate to the campaign themes, and throws in some free game content as a bonus.

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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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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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Growing Plot Seeds Into Mighty Oaks

You’ve picked an Adventure Seed – it doesn’t matter where it came from. The first step to transforming that seed into an adventure that is everything you want it to be…

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The Premise Of Falsehoods – Luck Vs Skill in RPGs

There’s a debate that has been fought ever since man invented games that have an element of chance has been, “Is it better to be lucky or skilled?” It’s a debate that has a number of unique resonances within the sphere of an RPG. How should a player or GM simulate a character who relies […]

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Swell And Lull – Emotional Pacing in RPGs Part 2

I didn’t want to split this article in two. You really need to have read part one before you can get full value from what’s below. So I’m going to assume that you’ve done just that, and don’t need a synopsis to refresh your memory, and just dive straight in… Transitions & Global Emotional Flow […]

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Swell And Lull – Emotional Pacing in RPGs Part 1

Swing Swing Dodge Swing Scurry Duck Scurry Scurry Dodge Kick Swing Leap Swing Parry Swing Duck Swing Scurry Dodge Swing… …it gets a bit dull and repetitive after a while, doesn’t it? Every adventure, every combat, heck, every campaign needs to have its highs and its lows, its frantic periods and its lulls of inactivity. […]

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Casual Opportunities For Priests: The Differential Encounters

This entry is part 5 in the series Casual Opportunities

This entry is part 5 in the series Casual OpportunitiesAt long last, it’s finished! It’s taken a long time to complete the final article in this set, mostly because I had to keep setting it aside to work on something that would meet the immediate deadline, but here (at last) it is… Introduction to part […]

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The Envelope Is Ticking: Insanity In RPGs

“Your shoelace is untied.” By the end of this article, you’ll understand the significance and meaning of that phrase. Mentioning Call Of Cthulhu in Monday’s article reminded me of a discussion that I once had with Dennis Ashelford, still probably the best CoC GM that I’ve ever seen in operation, about how best to convey […]

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