Archive for the ‘Tools & Techniques’ Category

Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 5: Characters

This entry is part 5 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 5 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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Bidding For Characters (and related metagame alternatives)

Inspiration can strike anytime, anywhere, sparked by some completely unexpected collision of thought and random sensory experience. There have been several articles here at campaign mastery with such origins; this is another, sparked by a random comment made during the pre-game conversation and socializing that normally takes place before a session of my Zenith-3 campaign. […]

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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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Creating A Building: A Metaphor and Illustration

This article started as an example and additional content for last week’s discussion of Visualization, but that article evolved in a different direction, and this material no longer seemed to fit. So I pulled it to give both the room they needed. Six Questions To Create A Building Everything happens somewhere. In order for any […]

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I see with my little mind’s eye: The power of Visualization

The Impossible Mission It doesn’t matter how skilled you are in your use of descriptive language and extraordinary narrative if you don’t know what it is that you are supposed to be describing. It follows that GMs need to construct and maintain a mental image of their world as it exists at any given moment […]

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Yrisa’s Nightmare and other goodies

There are some projects that excite because of their content. There are others that entice because of the track record of the creators. And some projects simply ooze style and content. Today, I’m going to write about a project that ticks all three boxes. It’s another product from Embers Design Studios, and its called Yrisa’s […]

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Ask The GMs: The Great Handouts Question

GMs sometimes ask more than one question. Where these directly relate to each other, or the context is important to the answers, they are generally lumped together. When they aren’t, which is far less frequent an event, they get split up and answered separately. Which brings me to today’s topic: Writing characters out when players […]

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All Over Bar The Shouting: Fantasy Tavern Generator Pt 6

This entry is part 6 in the series Mike's Fantasy Tavern/Inn Generator

This entry is part 6 in the series Mike’s Fantasy Tavern/Inn GeneratorPart one of this series used six tables to define the physical properties of a tavern (no guest accommodations) or inn (with guest accommodations), plus – because the modifiers needed were at hand – the meals provided by the kitchens. Part two used another […]

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Draw Another Pint: Mike’s Fantasy Tavern Generator Pt 5

This entry is part 5 in the series Mike's Fantasy Tavern/Inn Generator

This entry is part 5 in the series Mike’s Fantasy Tavern/Inn GeneratorPart one of this series used six tables to define the physical properties of a tavern (no guest accommodations) or inn (with guest accommodations), plus – because the modifiers needed were at hand – the meals provided by the kitchens. Part two used another […]

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The Backstory Boxes – Directed Creativity

Chatting with a fellow GM on twitter recently, I was reminded of a technique that I use from time to time to generate backstories, that I thought I would share, in somewhat fuller and more developed form than I was able to convey in a handful of 140-character tweets! There are two ways to use […]

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Going down to the pub: Mike’s Fantasy Tavern Generator Pt 4

This entry is part 4 in the series Mike's Fantasy Tavern/Inn Generator

This entry is part 4 in the series Mike’s Fantasy Tavern/Inn GeneratorPart one of this series used six tables to define the physical properties of a tavern (no guest accommodations) or inn (with guest accommodations), plus – because the modifiers needed were at hand – the meals provided by the kitchens. Part two used another […]

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The Robber’s End (and other establishments)

This entry is part 3 in the series Mike's Fantasy Tavern/Inn Generator

This entry is part 3 in the series Mike’s Fantasy Tavern/Inn GeneratorPart one of this series used six tables to define the physical properties of a tavern (no guest accommodations) or inn (with guest accommodations), plus – because the modifiers needed were at hand – the meals provided by the kitchens. Part two used another […]

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