Posts Tagged ‘Adventure-Prep’

Inversions Attract: Another Quick NPC Generator

You can never have too many quick NPC generators. Choice means that you can pull out the weapon most suited to the needs of the moment, achieving better solutions in less time and with less wasted effort. This article describes one that I often use when I need the NPC to have one specific character […]

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Ten Million Stories: Breathing life into an urban population

The sheer scale of a modern urban environment is something that we all tend to take for granted. It’s so hard to grasp it, because we only ever see the very tip of a very large iceberg – with far more than nine-tenths of it removed from our sight. In any city there are the […]

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I See It But I Don’t Believe It – Convincingly Unconvincing in RPGs

Verisimilitude is critical in a role playing game in order to facilitate the suspension of disbelief and players (and GMs) getting into character instead of viewing events from a meta-perspective. Believability is hard-won at the gaming table and subject to constant attack by game mechanics and real-world distractions like side-conversations. More difficult still is the […]

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Ask The GMs: The Passage Of Substantial Time

Last time around, James Senecal posed a double-question. Because it was the easier of the two, and I was flying solo, I chose the easier question for ATGMs #27. But now it’s time to bite the bullet… How can you have substantial time pass within a campaign? “If death is to have a consequence, if […]

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To Module Or Not?: A legacy article

This article grew out of discussions between Johnn and myself concerning the Q&A in issue #300 of Roleplaying Tips. Johnn happened to mention that he was currently running a campaign based on published modules, and I was interested in comparing the approaches to handling them to best effect in terms of the difference to a […]

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Ask The GMs: Fresh Meat In A Hurry

Ian Gray contributed to this article. Anniversaries have a way of reminding you of the promises on which you have yet to deliver, and so does the start of a New Year. “Ask The GMs” is one of the cornerstones of what got Campaign Mastery to it’s 5th anniversary. It’s now 2014 and for two […]

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Lessons from the Discworld of Terry Pratchett

There are a number of valuable lessons for any RPG that can be observed in the looking at how Terry Pratchett achieved the success of the Discworld series of novels. Introduce the Key Concepts Early In the first entry in the series, he introduced the Discworld itself, established its basic physical and conceptual parameters, and […]

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The compounded interruption of basic services

The West Wing said it very succinctly: “The costliest, most damaging, disruptions occur when something we take for granted stops working.” We depend on the mundane and everyday aspects of life to function seamlessly at least most of the time in order to be able to cope with the occasional extraordinary disruption or Act Of […]

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Leaving Things Out: Negative Space in RPGs

“Negative Space” sounds like the sort of thing that pretentious art critics fill the air with when they have nothing of substance to contribute. It’s not some antimatter or “mirror, mirror” universe, either – though it can be either or both those things if you want. It may come as some surprise to those with […]

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The Scariest Villain

Something got me thinking the other day about the villains trilogy that I wrote last year – Part 1 – The Mastermind, Part 2 – The Combat Monster, and Part 3 – the Character Villain and about something that wasn’t included. What makes the scariest villain? Beginning at the Beginning: What is Fear? Wikipedia has […]

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Fire Fighting, Systems Analysis, and RPG Problem Solving Part 3 of 3: Complexity and Nuance

This entry is part 3 in the series Problem-Solving

This entry is part 3 in the series Problem-Solving This is the third, final, and largest part of this series, which examines the lessons in problem-solving that I learned through training as a fire warden and as a systems analyst back in the early 90s, as applied to an RPG context. The goal is offer […]

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Fire Fighting, Systems Analysis, and RPG Problem Solving Part 2 of 3: Prioritization

This entry is part 2 in the series Problem-Solving

The second of three articles looking at lessons learned in the art of problem solving focuses on Prioritization, which is an essential skill for long-term success. Knowing which problem to tackle first can make the difference between achievement and disaster. The article considers a theoretical analysis and then uses it to offer two practical approaches to the problem.

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