Archive for the ‘Tools & Techniques’ Category

Alien In Innovation: Creating Original Non-human Species

This month’s Blog Carnival is hosted by my buddy (and ex-partner here at Campaign Mastery) over at Roleplaying tips. The subject is Races and Species and everything that goes with these concepts. This is the first of two articles I have planned and written for the Carnival. How do you create an original alien species? […]

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“I know what’s happening!” – Confirmation Bias and RPGs

I was watching a documentary the other week. (I know, it seems like I watch a lot of TV. I actually watch less than it might seem, but I’ve gotten a number of articles out of what TV I do watch.) Anyway, the subject in this case was the investigation of the crash of a […]

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Tourism in Sleepland: Sleep management for GMs & other creative people

If you listen to the advice of the experts, you can spend a third of your life sleeping. If the average life expectancy is 78 years (a number chosen for convenience), and ignoring the first 15 as unproductive due to youth, that’s 21 full years down the spout. Even a 1% saving in sleep required […]

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The Keys to the Kingdom Of Literacy: Stylish Narrative Part 6

This entry is part 6 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 6 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative So here we are on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Spring (at least in my neck of the woods, YMMV). What on earth am I doing posting something on a day like this, when I am usually Gaming (or catching up on […]

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Pearls Of Spontaneous Prose: The Secrets of Stylish Narrative Pt 5

This entry is part 5 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative

This entry is part 5 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative This series has been predicated on the belief that the real difference between game prep and a lack of game prep could be summarized as felicity of style: better-presented maps and illustrations, better thought-out plans, better characterization of NPCs, better depiction of […]

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A Population Of Dinosaurs and the impact on RPG ecologies

How many types of dinosaurs were there? And how can a theoretical examination of the question be applied to RPG games? This is going to be one of the more unusual posts here at Campaign Mastery. For a start, it’s full of maths, and for another it’s about real science (at least at first). But […]

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Seven Circles Of Hell – Creating Politics for an RPG

Politics is one of those inevitable conditions, like death and taxes, that every GM has to master to some extent because it will make its presence felt in every campaign. There’s always something more to say on the subject. In this article, I’m going to look at the basics of political relations between similarly-scaled entities; […]

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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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Shades Of Suspense Pt 1 – Eight Tips for Cliffhanger Finishes

Cliffhangers are a wonderful way to end a gaming session because they end play at a moment of high drama that leaves the players anxious to get back to the gaming table, and that tend to be fairly memorable because of the drama. You can think of them as milestones within the adventure. The primary […]

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Things That Are Easy, Things That Are Hard

There are lots of things that are hard to do, or at least to do well. This article is about two of them, and a Kickstarter project that looks like a serious attempt to do both to a very high standard. Challenge The First The first is low-level adventures. Many GMs find these difficult to […]

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The Flunkie Equation – quick and easy Hors d’Combat

A few weeks ago, I described my processes for creating Partial NPCs, a methodology that determined how much NPC definition was needed for that NPCs role in an adventure, in Creating Partial NPCs To Speed Game Prep. This was described as essential know-how for the article that I was originally going to write and publish […]

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Vampire’s Creep and other stories: Working With Places

What’s the first thing you think about when considering a location in an RPG? There’s no one right answer to that question. A lot depends on why I’m thinking about that location at all. Location: a place for things to happen A location is not a simple thing to pin down. Let’s say that we’re […]

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