Archive for the ‘Tools & Techniques’ Category

Character Capabilities: An often-forgotten source of plots

Recently, for the Adventurer’s Club campaign, my co-GM and I had to construct a number of small plotlines – one for each character – simply to mark the passage of a period of time in which the PCs should be doing something. We employed an old technique of mine – but one that has never […]

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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 Hole In Your Past: Character Connections With Yesterday

I had a lot of trouble finishing this article – my laptop has started powering down of its own accord without warning, then immediately booting up again. Sometimes, it will run without a problem for hours, on other occasions it will function for only seconds. What it means is that the laptop rebooted multiple times […]

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Definitions and the Quest For Meaning in Structure

Back in Campaign Mastery’s special 750th post, I included some correspondence between myself and Tracey Snow which I reformatted into an interview format. Part of that “interview” went like this: Do you have a glossary for terms that you use in your articles? Your recent article where you try to define an adventure talks a […]

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TCCT and N: Excessive Wealth in D&D

There are certain topics that are classics, because you never seem to run out of questions being asked about them, or out of different answers with which to respond. For the most part, Campaign Mastery steers clear of those, simply because so many others have provided good advice on the subject. But every now and […]

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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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