Posts Tagged ‘House-Rules’

An Easter Surprise: Little Bubbles Of Nothing

You can never tell where inspiration is going to come from. The best you can do is remain alert to the world around you and leap in with both feet whenever you find it. That’s what I was thinking while enjoying a chocolate treat – A mint Aero bar – the other day. For some […]

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Choices in Tactical Representation Of Reality

Late last week, while I was taking a break from writing the “When Undead Go Stale” three-part article, Master John – better known as @beerwithdragons – asked on Twitter, There are a number of GMs on Twitter who ask such questions as conversation initiators. When I have something to say in response that no-one else […]

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Ask The GMs: When Undead Go Stale, Part 2

We’re part-way through a comprehensive answer to the question, both direct and implied, by Jesse Joseph. Last time out, I repeated the basic advice I would offer to anyone in his situation, and looked at ways to make low-level undead more respectable opponents so that GMs weren’t forced to use Undead Royalty just to have […]

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Ask The GMs: When Undead Go Stale, Part 1

There is something about “undead” that tantalize GMs and players. Maybe it’s because their very existence in a game world hints at fundamental questions about what life is. Every GM will, sooner or later, run an undead-dominant campaign or adventure arc. So it’s kind of a pain that so many of them suck in so […]

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Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

This is not the article that most people will have expected to see in this space. It’s supposed to be the fifteenth shelf of the Essential Reference Library, but that’s taking a lot longer to complete than expected – up to 3 hours per item just to gather and describe all the links, with 66 […]

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Ask The GMs: Your Latest Bling – Questions About Equipment

A trio of questions that take me out of my comfort zone, because I don’t know the game system, and they are – to some extent – heavily system-related issues. But I had the advantage of being able to consult my fellow GMs on this one, and also had the luxury of being able to […]

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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 14th Shelf

This entry is part 15 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others) The Fourteenth Shelf: Odds & Sods II – Practicalities – Introduction by Mike Practicality can mean many things when it comes to RPGs, and the contents of this shelf touch on many of them. Practicality can be utilizing […]

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The Thrill Of The Chase

I’d like, in this article, to take a closer look at something that I mentioned in passing on a previous occasion – specifically, the concept that sports simulations and similar games can get away with less engaging storylines because competition itself generates its own narrative. In a sporting contest, one side scores, taking the lead […]

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The Pentagon Of Encounter Design

There are five attributes to any encounter that define it, and any one of them can be the foundation of that encounter. In the old days of D&D, it used to be that there was relatively limited flexibility. You chose an encounter based on one of these five criteria and everything else was more-or-less dictated […]

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Risk Assessment For GMs

This article was started way back when I was submitting articles to Roleplaying Tips, in fact, more than ten years ago, but it was never finished – until now. So “recently” means “relative to 2006″… I recently read a book describing the calamities that befell Lloyds of London in the early 80s and 90s and […]

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Ask The GMs – Up Hill and Down Dale: RPG Travel Laid Bare

Once again I’m daring to tackle a topic without the counsel of my friends and fellow GMs, largely because I had a clear answer in mind. Today’s question comes courtesy of Jason B, who asked, “Hey, I was about to start up a campaign that would ultimately take characters to all ends of the world. […]

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The Bigger They Are, The Bigger The Headache: The Proxemics Of Scale

I’ve been thinking a lot about the size of creatures lately, because it seems to me that size poses unexpected problems for the GM. This is a subject that’s been at the back of my mind for years, ever since it was pointed out to me that Dragons are never as tough as they are […]

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