Archive for the ‘Rules & Mechanics’ Category

Goody and Project Roundup April 2017: Ten Goodies To Back or Buy

I always get far more invitations to support and review projects that I can possibly manage to satisfy. Every now and then, I bundle as many of them as I can into a goody roundup to inform those who might be interested in backing them of what’s going on. Today, I have 10 items to […]

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An Easter Surprise: Little Bubbles Of Nothing

You can never tell where inspiration is going to come from. The best you can do is remain alert to the world around you and leap in with both feet whenever you find it. That’s what I was thinking while enjoying a chocolate treat – A mint Aero bar – the other day. For some […]

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Narratives Of Skill: How To ‘Improv’ Outcome Descriptions In Advance

In many RPGs, skill results are a light switch – you either succeed or fail. At best, this is a missed opportunity for the GM; at worst, it can convey a false sense of capability to PCs because they have no idea of how close they may have come to failure, just that whatever they […]

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Ask The GMs: When Undead Go Stale, Part 1

There is something about “undead” that tantalize GMs and players. Maybe it’s because their very existence in a game world hints at fundamental questions about what life is. Every GM will, sooner or later, run an undead-dominant campaign or adventure arc. So it’s kind of a pain that so many of them suck in so […]

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Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

This is not the article that most people will have expected to see in this space. It’s supposed to be the fifteenth shelf of the Essential Reference Library, but that’s taking a lot longer to complete than expected – up to 3 hours per item just to gather and describe all the links, with 66 […]

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Ask The GMs: Your Latest Bling – Questions About Equipment

A trio of questions that take me out of my comfort zone, because I don’t know the game system, and they are – to some extent – heavily system-related issues. But I had the advantage of being able to consult my fellow GMs on this one, and also had the luxury of being able to […]

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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 14th Shelf

This entry is part 15 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others) The Fourteenth Shelf: Odds & Sods II – Practicalities – Introduction by Mike Practicality can mean many things when it comes to RPGs, and the contents of this shelf touch on many of them. Practicality can be utilizing […]

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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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Risk Assessment For GMs

This article was started way back when I was submitting articles to Roleplaying Tips, in fact, more than ten years ago, but it was never finished – until now. So “recently” means “relative to 2006″… I recently read a book describing the calamities that befell Lloyds of London in the early 80s and 90s and […]

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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 7th Shelf

This entry is part 8 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others) Another monster post (18,400 words), another late posting. I once swore that I would never be involved in anything this large and complicated on a weekly deadline again; but every two or three years, it seems, overconfidence or […]

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Blog Carnival Anchor – Ordinary Life (Nov 2016) plus, How Long Should Potions Last?

In addition to everything else I have going on here at Campaign Mastery, next month we are scheduled to host the Blog Carnival. The current carnival over at of Dice and Dragons is all about potions, and – despite having covered that subject in depth in the first part of the Spell Storage Solutions series […]

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The Bigger They Are, The Bigger The Headache: The Proxemics Of Scale

I’ve been thinking a lot about the size of creatures lately, because it seems to me that size poses unexpected problems for the GM. This is a subject that’s been at the back of my mind for years, ever since it was pointed out to me that Dragons are never as tough as they are […]

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