Posts Tagged ‘Game-Mastery’

Location, Location, Location – How Do You Choose A Location?

How do you choose a location? Where do events transpire? What considerations should you take into account, and what is the process and the chain of logic that gives the best answers most rapidly? These are questions that Blair and I will have to tackle repeatedly tomorrow, as I write this, because our next pulp […]

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Top-Down Design, Domino Theory, and Iteration: The Magic Bullets of Creation

There are three tricks that I use all the time when designing adventures, characters, races, campaigns, cultures, NPCs and Villainous Plans for RPGs, and for rebooting tired old characters. I call them the magic bullets of design, and I’ve written about most of them several times before – but there is always something new to […]

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By The Seat Of Your Pants: Using Ad-hoc statistics

GMs are called apon to make decisions all the time. Sometimes we can make our choices off the top of our heads using common sense and our knowledge of the in-game environment/circumstances, sometimes we can be guided by the rules after identifying an analogous situation, and sometimes when both of these fail us, we can […]

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Cause And Inflect: Marketing your way to a better game

This is actually the article that was supposed to appear next Monday. I started making some notes for it, and before I knew it, the whole article was written – and I no longer had enough time to finish the article that I had intended to write for today’s post (I got about half-way through […]

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The Physics Of Uncertainty

A bit of a departure from the usual today, with an article that is only indirectly game-related. Every now and then, you have to let your imagination run wild or it gets soft and flabby… normal service will resume on Thursday, this was just something that I had to get out of my system. Hopefully, […]

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Exceeding the Extraordinary: The Meaning Of Feats

From time to time, I like to look behind the curtain – to see what makes the mechanics of the games that I play tick, and what the implications are. Sometimes this leads down unexpected byways, and at other times it yields a nugget or two of insight. And sometimes, it just goes nowhere. So: […]

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The Creation Of A Deity: The Origins Of Cyrene

Recalling the creation of a Divinity We’re continuing to build up to the big release of Assassin’s Amulet, and my excitement is reaching fever pitch (I can’t speak for Johnn & Michael). As part of that buildup, next week I’m going to present you with another excerpt from the book – but before I do, […]

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By The Seat Of Your Pants: Adventures On the Fly

There was a period, a year or two into my Champions campaign, where work was taking up almost all of my time, leaving virtually nothing for game prep. I usually got a lift into the facilities used by the games club that we were using at the time, located at the time in the suburb […]

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Directed Plots, Undirected Narrative, and Stuff That Just Happens

There’s been a lot of commentary over the years about different styles of campaign. Most distinguish between Episodic and Serialized campaigns, and many writers seem to assume that those are the only types of campaign there are. This is a position with which I don’t agree; there are more layers and levels within this classification […]

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Speed Up Combat By Building Your Own Combat GM Screen

What is the number one way to make combat go faster? For D&D type games, it is mastering the rules. When you can make decisions based on accurate rules knowledge, not only do you have more options available, but you play with more effectiveness and confidence. You also need to make fewer rules references on […]

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It’s Reality, Jim, but not As We Know It: St Barbara

Two of the most important skills that I added to the Hero System when I was writing my House Rules for my Champions campaign were Paranormal Physics and Paranormal Biology. The first explains how powers work using game physics – and therefore can also be used to determine potentials that the character had not thought […]

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The Nth Level Of Abstraction

During the last week, the RPG Bloggers Network brought an interesting post to my attention: “Discussion: Time Gaps” at Reality Refracted. This got me to thinking about the hierarchy of abstraction, and how often we (GMs) move from one level to another in the course of a typical game session, and how we can use […]

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