Archive for the ‘Tools & Techniques’ Category

Patterns Of Distinction: Playing members of multiple factions

I don’t often get asked for help by another GM through the mailbox here at Campaign Mastery, mainly because the Ask-The-GMs service is suspended until I can get caught up. Nevertheless, I received just such a request the other day, and I thought the questions good ones, so here goes! Ronald wrote, How can I […]

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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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Practicalities Of Society

For today’s article, I’m reaching back into my memories of the mental processes that I employed to construct the Orcish Society in my Fumanor Campaign, and generalizing them, because it works for any society in any game – heck, I’ve just been applying the same basic principles to 27th-century Scotland for my Dr Who campaign. […]

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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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Choices in Tactical Representation Of Reality

Late last week, while I was taking a break from writing the “When Undead Go Stale” three-part article, Master John – better known as @beerwithdragons – asked on Twitter, There are a number of GMs on Twitter who ask such questions as conversation initiators. When I have something to say in response that no-one else […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 12: Relations

This entry is part 12 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 12 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 offering […]

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The Thrill Of The Chase

I’d like, in this article, to take a closer look at something that I mentioned in passing on a previous occasion – specifically, the concept that sports simulations and similar games can get away with less engaging storylines because competition itself generates its own narrative. In a sporting contest, one side scores, taking the lead […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 11: Campaigns

This entry is part 11 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

The fundamentals of what a campaign is and how to manage one.

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The Answers They Seek: Truth, Omission, Error, Distortion & Falsehood

There must be something in the air. Or maybe it’s a reaction to Alternative Facts. I had this week’s article scheduled and outlined before I even became aware of Updated: Elf or Scroll, Handling the Info dump by Phil over at Takes Of A GM on essentially the same subject. Since I agree with everything […]

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The Brute Force Inspiration Solution

I’m trying a new layout approach in this article. It sacrifices some screen real estate for indented subsections. Do readers like it? Let me know what you think of it! A lot of the advice here at Campaign Mastery sometimes gives the impression that there’s a shortcut to solving every problem, because offering alternative perspectives […]

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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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With A Polished Pen

During the week I thought up a design for an infographic that would have encapsulated last week’s post in a single, easy-to-digest/use diagram. But Infographics aren’t my strong suit and I have no experience at doing them, and it became clear that it was going to take longer to complete than it was worth – […]

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