Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

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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Review Roundup: Three products of interest

I get offered more product to review than I possibly have time to read, other than superficially. Sometimes that product is already commercially available, sometimes it’s the center of a fundraising campaign, sometimes it just comes out of the blue. While I would love to give every review it’s own post of prominence, reality dictates […]

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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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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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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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Character Incapability: The distant side of the coin

Last week, I wrote about creating adventures based on what a character could do. This week I’m going to look at the far more difficult proposition of basing a mini-adventure on what a character can’t do. This task is much trickier; just because a character is incapable of the action that would resolve whatever problem […]

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Support Your Local Hero

Heroism is part and parcel of most fantasy campaigns and certainly central to Pulp and Superheroic Campaigns. In fact, most campaigns, driven by the need for drama, will incorporate heroism in some fashion, whether that be from greed/opportunity, enlightened self-interest, or the real deal. How can heroism stem from greed/opportunity? Heroism is doing the right […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 6: Challenges

This entry is part 6 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 6 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to answer that question – while throwing in some tips and reminders of the basics for more experienced GMs. This is […]

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Definitions and the Quest For Meaning in Structure

Back in Campaign Mastery’s special 750th post, I included some correspondence between myself and Tracey Snow which I reformatted into an interview format. Part of that “interview” went like this: Do you have a glossary for terms that you use in your articles? Your recent article where you try to define an adventure talks a […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 5: Characters

This entry is part 5 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 5 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to answer that question – while throwing in some tips and reminders of the basics for more experienced GMs. This is […]

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Ask The GMs: Iceberg Plotlines: Massive Plot Arcs in RPGs

This is the second of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Today’s question is asks about something I’ve described using a number of different terms over the years. My current euphemism is “Iceberg Plots”, because 9/10ths (or more) of the plot doesn’t show in any given adventure. The […]

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