Posts Tagged ‘Play’

ATGMs42: The Hollow Echo Part 2 – Musical Traps

This is (still) the fifth of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Traps and puzzles are always a tricky problem for the GM. All too often they focus attention on one particular character and leave the rest sitting around doing nothing, possibly for what feels like an extraordinary […]

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The Hollow Echo Part 1 – Adding Music To Your Game

Music can provide an iconic trigger that instantly transports the listener into an associated memory. Soundtracks and scores for Film and TV have long recognized this effect and played on it. You might not know it, but every major character in a movie or TV show has their own “theme”, a handful of notes, usually […]

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Three Coins In The Luck Machine: a different take on game control

A guest article by Boris R. If you think that slot machines and RPG games are complete opposites, you’re wrong. You can enhance your game world by taking a lesson from slots and increasing the unpredictability of your game. Pure Luck Let’s talk about Slot machines, also known as fruit machines and poker machines. These […]

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Decisions Of Plot: Encounter Planning and Prep

A lot of coming up with subjects for Campaign Mastery is nothing more than paying attention to what you do and see at the gaming table. Things that you might do automatically without even thinking about it can make great topics, you just have to notice them – even while you are distracted by the […]

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The Final Advantage

While playing Edge Of The Empire last week, a topic of conversation briefly arose: should advantage mechanics grow more extreme in effect in the big finish to an adventure or campaign? Musing on Advantage Mechanics Advantage mechanics of various forms have become a popular game mechanic in recent years. You have something of the general […]

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Encampments and other In-Character Opportunities

When I was starting the original Fumanor (D&D 3.x) campaign, I tried to get the players to establish the sort of routines that would come naturally in real life. You see this sort of thing in Fantasy novels all the time and it’s a great way for personalities to manifest and a useful tool for […]

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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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In The Footsteps Of Footprints: how to document game events

As part of the “interview” by Tracey Snow back in Campaign Mastery’s 750th-post celebration (actually constructed from a series of emails back-and-forth), I was ‘asked’ the question, Is there an article where you discuss how you run a session and track information while you’re at the table? Do you use a computer at the table […]

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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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Use The Force, Fluke: Who’s On First This Time?

For the record, none of the PCs in the Star Wars campaign is named Fluke. But the pun was irresistible. When we started playing Star Wars: Edge Of The Empire, we got the initiative system all wrong. What’s supposed to happen is that each PC and NPC / NPC-Group rolls initiative to create a set […]

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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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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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