Archive for the ‘Writing & Authoring & The Games Industry’ Category

The Perils Of Players Knowing Too Much

The Backstory I was posting a reply to @RPGKitchen on Twitter last night (relative to commencing this article, now about 3 weeks ago) when a stray thought suggested itself. It was recently posited that starting a campaign or adventure off with the characters engaged in activities that are relatively familiar to the players, such as […]

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Pickin’ and Choosin’: Cherry-picking RPG Elements

To begin this article, I need to share a story and a recent insight relating to it. Bear with me, and it will all become relevant in the end… An excerpt from my musical history When I was growing up, the family lived first 38 miles (61 km) out of, and then within, a small […]

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Character Incapability: The distant side of the coin

Last week, I wrote about creating adventures based on what a character could do. This week I’m going to look at the far more difficult proposition of basing a mini-adventure on what a character can’t do. This task is much trickier; just because a character is incapable of the action that would resolve whatever problem […]

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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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Support Your Local Hero

Heroism is part and parcel of most fantasy campaigns and certainly central to Pulp and Superheroic Campaigns. In fact, most campaigns, driven by the need for drama, will incorporate heroism in some fashion, whether that be from greed/opportunity, enlightened self-interest, or the real deal. How can heroism stem from greed/opportunity? Heroism is doing the right […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Pt 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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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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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Pt 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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Ask The GMs: Iceberg Plotlines: Massive Plot Arcs in RPGs

This is the second of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Today’s question is asks about something I’ve described using a number of different terms over the years. My current euphemism is “Iceberg Plots”, because 9/10ths (or more) of the plot doesn’t show in any given adventure. The […]

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A New ERA and other products to empty your wallet

Today I have two Kickstarters and some related and unrelated products to tell readers about, all well worth your hard-won cash. ERA: The Consortium The first of the products I’m featuring is “The Secret War”, which is part of The Consortium setting for the RPG engine, ERA. Shades of Vengeance were kind enough to send […]

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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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A Campaign Mastery 750th-post Celebration

Welcome! It’s time for a really big party! This is officially the 750th post here at Campaign Mastery! But it’s more than that: It’s also, as close as makes confusion, our 7th birthday – you see, Johnn and I started pre-loading the Blog with content and getting into the necessary habits to keep things rolling […]

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