Posts Tagged ‘At-The-Table’

3 Feet In Someone Else’s Shoes: Getting in character quickly

It’s not easy being a GM. Not only do you have to create dozens or hundreds of characters for every one PC, but you have to create adventures and encounters that bring those characters to life in an entertaining way for the benefit of the players – all while refereeing a complex simulation of a […]

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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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The Envelope Is Ticking: Insanity In RPGs

“Your shoelace is untied.” By the end of this article, you’ll understand the significance and meaning of that phrase. Mentioning Call Of Cthulhu in Monday’s article reminded me of a discussion that I once had with Dennis Ashelford, still probably the best CoC GM that I’ve ever seen in operation, about how best to convey […]

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The Application Of Time and Motion to RPG Game Mechanics

How do you tell a good House Rule from a Bad? I know, I promised something short. As long-time readers will know, I don’t do “short” very well… “Time and motion studies” used to be the favorite tool of “efficiency” experts who optimized a process for speed. They quickly became the butts of a lot […]

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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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Fire Fighting, Systems Analysis, and RPG Problem Solving Part 1 of 3: General Advice

This entry is part 1 in the series Problem-Solving

This entry is part 1 in the series Problem-Solving In 1990 I was trained as a Safety Warden / OHAS representative for my then-employer. At the time, I was employed as a Computer Programmer and acting as a Systems Analyst for the commercial software systems for which my former department were responsible. Both aspects of […]

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The Bargain Arcane: Selling Magic Items

James Seals asked in the comments to Places to go and people to meet: The One Spot series from Moebius Adventures (responding to my comments about magic shops),   Mike, Can I ask – what do you do when your players want to sell magic weapons? In the past I have just allowed them to […]

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The Tactical Masterclass – Preparing a player to lead on the battlefield

In any modern-day team environment, there is usually one member of the team who focuses on the tactical situation. Characters that each go their own way tend, sooner or later to get in each other’s way, or make the mistake of two going for the same target while another target is left uncovered; the team […]

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The Arcane Implications of Seating at the Game Table

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Benoit, a regular reader and occasional commentator here at CM, who has translated a couple of my articles into French for a wider audience. He had noticed an unusual phenomenon during a recent game and was wondering if… well, why don’t I simply quote his email? Hi […]

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Ensemble or Star Vehicle – Which is Your RPG Campaign?

For some time now, I’ve been aware of a subtle difference between the advice being dispensed here at Campaign Mastery and what really happened in the games that I run. At first, I wasn’t entirely sure that my perception was accurate; I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what the differences were, indicating that it […]

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An Adventure Into Writing: The Co-GMing Difference

I thought that I’d talk a little today about the way Blair and I write adventures for the Adventurer’s Club campaign. Because we share the GMing responsibilities in that campaign – and I don’t mean alternating in the GM’s Chair, I mean we both GM at the same time – this process is necessarily somewhat […]

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