Posts Tagged ‘Cultures-&-Societies’

Throw Me A Life-line: A Character Background Planning Tool

When I was a child, I knew three of my grandparents well. My paternal grandfather and namesake, however, I have no memory of ever meeting; he died before I was born, he was only ever a photograph on the wall. I was thinking about that, and about how my experience of family was not adequately […]

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Ask The GMs: Death Is Only The Beginning: Resurrection Penalties Examined

This is the fourth of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. The notion of resurrection penalties is almost as old as the notion of resurrection in RPGs. It’s fictional antecedents go back even further, into the inspiration sources used by the designers of the game in the first […]

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A Palpable Difference: 14 Points of Adventure Distinctiveness

I spent most of the weekend working on the next adventure in the Zenith-3 campaign. While this adventure mines territory that will be familiar to my players, it should not feel at all repetitive to them except in the very broad conceptual strokes, and that’s because I make an effort to make each plot different […]

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Not Like My Tribe – Sophisticated Primitives, Part 2

In Part 1 (make sure you have read it before continuing) I made reference to a map of Australian Aboriginal Languages which contrasted so strongly with the media stereotyping of these peoples as a single collective population that it was revelatory and inspirational. I meant to provide a link to that map, but ran out […]

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Not Like My Tribe – Sophisticated Primitives, Part 1

A lot of people seem to have the opinion that Primitive is the same thing as Simple. While I would hope that most GMs are better educated than this, that knowledge doesn’t seem to translate into their depictions of primitive societies within their games. Most Orcs, for example, are treated as being cookie-cutter representatives of […]

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The Gilligan Tools for better characterization

I was reading an article the other week about a fan theory regarding Gilligan’s Island – well, actually, it’s more like two related theories, one of which is partially contingent on the other. As I was musing (and chuckling, I must admit), the thought occurred to me that with a little tweaking, one of those […]

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Choosing A Name: A “Good Names” Extra (Revised & Extended)

This entry is part 9 in the series A Good Name Is Hard To Find

This entry is part 9 in the series A Good Name Is Hard To Find Something unusual this week in that today’s article is a revised and expanded version of last week’s article on Names. There are two reasons for that: first, I didn’t have time last week to prepare all the examples and material […]

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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) 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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Pieces of Creation: Mictlan-tecuhtli

The last installment of The Great Character Giveaway features another villain from my Zenith-3 campaign, who could easily be adapted for Science Fiction or Cyberpunk use. It would take a bit more work to convert to a D&D/Pathfinder application, but the results – a living flesh Golem held together with healing potions – would be […]

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Ask The GMs: Building on opportunity

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get more of the ATGMs backlog dealt with – which has been the case for a few years now. Each year, I’ve done better at satisfying it, but not well enough. Things improved when I started asking the other GMs that I play with, but that also […]

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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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