Archive for the ‘Rules & Mechanics’ Category

Engagement vs Involvement: The forgotten balance

Every player, and more importantly, every PC, who is participating in an RPG is a member of a team. That team can be constructed to form an idealized “machine” if the players collaborate on their character designs, but more normally, things are looser. At best, you have the GM constructing a team model in which […]

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All Wounds Are Not Alike IV – Accelerated Healing

This entry is part 5 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 5 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike When I first started gaming, one of the hot topics of conversation was always Clerical Healing and how to stop Clerics being nothing more than “holy drip bottles”. Over the next 30-odd years, not much changed. At the heart of the problem […]

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Use The Force, Fluke: Who’s On First This Time?

For the record, none of the PCs in the Star Wars campaign is named Fluke. But the pun was irresistible. When we started playing Star Wars: Edge Of The Empire, we got the initiative system all wrong. What’s supposed to happen is that each PC and NPC / NPC-Group rolls initiative to create a set […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 6: Challenges

This entry is part 6 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 6 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to answer that question – while throwing in some tips and reminders of the basics for more experienced GMs. This is […]

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A New ERA and other products to empty your wallet

Today I have two Kickstarters and some related and unrelated products to tell readers about, all well worth your hard-won cash. ERA: The Consortium The first of the products I’m featuring is “The Secret War”, which is part of The Consortium setting for the RPG engine, ERA. Shades of Vengeance were kind enough to send […]

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Pieces Of Creation: Maxima and Minima

This is the second-last article in the great character giveaway of 2016. Today I present a pair of more traditional supervillains whose main interest lies in the way the character’s abilities are structured to make them exceptionally effective. These won’t translate as well as some of the past offerings into other genres, I’m afraid, but […]

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Transferable Skills From Bottom to Top and back again

A collision of thoughts: the origins of this article The other day, I was searching through past articles looking for a particular reference for a cross-link when I found myself re-reading my article contrasting literary processes and writing for games (The Challenge Of Writing Adventures for RPGs), and – as happens to me from time […]

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Sequential Bus Theory and why it matters to GMs

I’m writing this article on the day that the idea occurred to me, but I’ve held it back until an opportune gap appeared in the publishing schedule. I was waiting for the bus today (well, on the day that I wrote this), and that got me to thinking. More on that a little later. If […]

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A Stack Of Surprises: Blog Carnival November 2015

Welcome to the Blog Carnival Host Page for November 2015! In the coming month it is once again Campaign Mastery’s turn to host the Blog Carnival (if you’re quick, you can still catch the tail end of the October Blog Carnival about creepy things coming to town over at Of Dice And Dragons). This time […]

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What Empowers A Curse and other dangerous questions

This month’s blog carnival is being hosted by Johnn over at Roleplaying Tips. The subject is Curses…. Curses are pretty weak and trivial things in D&D/Pathfinder, let’s be honest. This is especially the case in light of the spell level of Bestow Curse and Remove Curse – I mean Cleric 3, Sorcerer/Wizard 4, just for […]

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Tales From The Front Line: Critical Absences – an unresolved question

This entry is part 2 in the series Tales from the front line

This entry is part 2 in the series Tales from the front lineThe Context Saxon, one of my players and a fellow GM who has contributed guidance through ATGMs on a number of occasions was telling an anecdote the other week about what transpired in the D&D 5e campaign that he plays in. It seems […]

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Morgalad In Reflection

I was recently invited to review the Morgalad Starter Book by John McNabb, available through DrivethruRPG. Publication of Morgalad is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign which, like the result, is an interesting mixture of flawed ambition and success. The initial attempt at funding Morgalad sought to raise $20,000 and was a dismal failure; […]

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