Posts Tagged ‘Tools & Techniques’

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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Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 11th Shelf

This entry is part 12 in the series The Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others) The Eleventh Shelf: Beliefs II – Ghosts, Poltergeists, and Apparitions – Introduction by Mike Wouldn’t the world be dull if everything was predictable? That’s as true of the world in a pulp game as it is of the […]

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A radical concept: The GM Task Experience Table

On twitter the other day, one of my regular contacts (Rising Stars Press) posted a meme that read something along the lines of “All right folks, give yourselves 500 xp for surviving 2016” and an image of Gary Jackson. And, as sometimes happens, one stray thought had a whirlwind romance with another, and before you […]

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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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The Perils Of Pre-Play

As part of the recent Blog Carnival, I shared a tool that I had developed for creating a character’s background (Blog Carnival November 2016: The Ordinary Life of a Fantasy PC). As part of that article, I originally had a section (entitled “An Alternative Route”) discussing playing a pre-game to enable players to develop the […]

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A life less ordinary: November 2016 Blog Carnival Wrap-up

I wasn’t going to write and publish this until later in the week, but a mis-remembered schedule means that there will otherwise be no article today, so this seemed the practical solution. After all, the odds of a late entry coming in grow vanishingly smaller with each passing day; the carnival itself has well-and-truly moved […]

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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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Blog Carnival November 2016: Ordinary Lives In Paranormal Space and Time

This is the fourth of five articles scheduled to be part of the November 2016 Blog Carnival, which Campaign Mastery is hosting. The carnival subject is “ordinary life” – in this case, how I create and manage subplots based on the ordinary lives of the PCs in my Zenith-3 campaign, how they connect seamlessly to […]

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Blog Carnival November 2016: The Extraordinary Life of a Fantasy PC Pt 2

This is the second half of this article; the first dealt with character backstories during character generation, and this deals with making use of them once play has started. It is also the third of five articles scheduled to be part of the November 2016 Blog Carnival, which Campaign Mastery is hosting. The carnival subject […]

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Blog Carnival November 2016: The Ordinary Life of a Fantasy PC

This is an article in two parts – the first dealing with character backstories during character generation, and the second dealing with them during play. It is also the second of five articles scheduled to be part of the November 2016 Blog Carnival, which Campaign Mastery is hosting. The carnival subject is “ordinary life” – […]

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Stalking Fear: The Creepy in Non-creepy genres

This is being written on October 31, which is one of those Iconic dates in North America and catching on (thanks to the marketing muscle of various supermarkets and retailers, who are always looking for an angle that will persuade you to buy something extra) through large parts of the rest of the world. This […]

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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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