Posts Tagged ‘DM-Advice’

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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Engagement vs Involvement: The forgotten balance

Every player, and more importantly, every PC, who is participating in an RPG is a member of a team. That team can be constructed to form an idealized “machine” if the players collaborate on their character designs, but more normally, things are looser. At best, you have the GM constructing a team model in which […]

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Fun in all the right places

This article was inspired by a question raised on twitter by Kevin Mason @jackmonkeygames, or more specifically, my response to the question: Q: What’s Your Best Tip for creating a memorable character? A: Enjoy the process of creating the character. That touched on a thought that’s been tickling around the back of my head for […]

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When Genres Collide: Using Non-Genre Sources

Some of the most fun that I’ve ever had as a GM was creating that down-elevator sensation in the stomach-pits of my players by taking an idea derived from one genre and importing it into another. It’s not easy to do well, but I’ve figured out at least some of the ground rules to success, […]

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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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An Amazing Ancestry

I’m a regular viewer of the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?”. We in Australia are in the privileged position of seeing not only our own domestic series, but also the US and UK series of this show. For those who have never watched it, the show traces the ancestry of a celebrity […]

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Who Owns Your Campaign?

It’s always traumatic when you discover at the 11th hour that there’s absolutely no way you’re going to finish the article you’ve been working on and have barely enough time to throw together another to fill in. Fortunately, just yesterday, I came across a thought for just such a fill-in article… I came across an […]

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The Beginnings Of Plot

So you’ve got this great idea for a plot for your next RPG adventure. How do you go from that undeveloped idea to having a plan for the construction of that Adventure? Where do you begin? It’s not an easy choice to make, except in hindsight. There are all sorts of options to choose from: […]

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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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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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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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Boogie to the tune of the hidden Mastermind in your ranks

You don’t have to read Campaign Mastery for very long to realize that I advocate careful planning, strategically targeted, in everything that I do. That can become a problem when you want to have a villain who is smarter than you are and whose primary objective is not to be noticeable over the background chaos […]

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