Tag Archives: adventure-prep

How To Fall In Love With GMing Again + iPad App Review of Daily Notes

Write down your ideas when they come to you. This core GM tip gets repeated often in the Roleplaying Tips newsletter for good reason. If you do not record your ideas, they could get lost or fuddled, and I find nothing more frustrating when my brain pumps out a super idea only to ignore or forget it. How To GM More Often Writing…

Perfect Skin: Some Musing On The Design Of Monsters

Monsters generally come in three parts: Stat Blocks, Descriptive passages (which some people refer to as Fluff), and Templates, enabling you to add the “monster description” to an existing race – sort of an ersatz Class. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the differing values and usefulness of books on the subject. NB: This is an unabashedly d20/3.x article. YMMV with other game systems. Reskinning…

Lessons From The West Wing III: Time Happens In The Background

One of the best pieces of writing/direction that I’ve ever seen in a TV production takes place in a later episode of the series, in season 6 or perhaps 7, and it’s something that has made an indelible mark apon my awareness and handling of the passage of time in my campaigns. The Scene One character (Josh Lyman) has been away from the…

We All Have Our Roles To Play: Personality Archetypes, Part 3

The Premise Archetypes for RPGs are usually defined either by the psychology of the character or the abilities of the character, but other classifications systems are possible. These can yield a different perspective, which can be invaluable. This series’ approach is based not so much on what the characters could do as a team, but of how the characters fit into a team. I have defined 27 …

Plot flowchart example

Reader Yong Kyosunim sent in one of his plot planning documents. This was in response to Campaign Mastery’s recent post on plot flowcharts . Check it out: An example plot flowchart You can download the plot flowchart in better quality as PDF if preferred. Yong created the chart using Excel. Thanks very much for sending this in, Yong!

Game Master Tool Illustrated: Plot Flowcharts

Today I want to share a simple and fast way that makes planning easier. I was going through old gaming papers recently and came across a partially crafted plot flowchart. This would be a short plot in Myste Cryk, a home-base type campaign that ran 2005-2006. As the blog carnival for September covers preparation, I thought I’d roll out a picture of this…

Let’s Have A Good Clean Fight…

I’ve written on this topic before, but only as part of a larger subject. But I recently had occasion to expand the EL-CR chart that I created for my own use, and decided to share it with our readers – and have written this Blog Post to explain what it is and how I use it. This is a chart …

A Picture Should Be Worth 1,000 Words

How good are you at doing two things at once, both of which require concentration? That’s what I thought! Few people are. And yet, we GMs often seem to expect our players to be able to do just that, and on a regular basis. We expect them to be able to take a verbal description of a scene or setting, integrate a…

I’ve Been Framed

Curse of the Crimson Throne Pathfinder dice Q-Workshop sent me some lovely Pathfinder Curse of the Crimson Throne dice. These dice are beautiful and they made me think of politics, which then made me think about plots where an NPC or PC has been framed for a serious crime they did not commit along with clever use of spells as the punishment. What better way to celebrate …

A Monkey Wrench In The Deus-Ex-Machina: Limiting Divine Power

This article deals in subjects that are sensitive issues to a lot of people. Everything contained within is written from a roleplaying context and no judgements are intended regarding the validity of any individual perspective on theology or on any social issues that may be referred to; no offence is intended. It’s just a game, people. Deus-Ex-Machina…

Break Down The Door – 5 Encounter Seeds

In my article about how to be a confident game master , I mentioned I have encounter seeds ready during games that I categorise as break down the door. Campaign Mastery reader Will asked to see what these were, so here they are. Thanks for the request, Will! If gameplay slows, or if I get stuck for an idea when the NPCs do something, …

Pulling That Lever: The Selection Of Leaders In RPG Societies

Nobles from ancient Mede Okay, so for the first time since we started this online magazine/blog, one of us has missed getting a post up. Johnn struck problems with his planned post at the last possible moment, and then tried to rewrite it but missed the deadline; thought that he would be able to get it up a day late, …

Eureka! – Some inspiring notions

There is a cooking show in Australia (it actually started in the UK, and a US version was recently announced) called Masterchef Australia. The goal of the series is to identify and winnow through the best amatuer cooks in the country until they are left with the one best cook of the bunch, who gets $100,000 and a book deal. Along the way, they are expected …

The Critical Threshold: A brief debate on the Merits of Extreme Results

This is not the post that I expected to make this week. I simply ran out of time and could not finish either the article I had intended to post this week [about time travel] or the one for next week [the long-awaited followup to last year’s Pillars of Architecture article], in time. Instead, I have had to reach into my …

Ask The GMs: How to GM solo PCs (especially in combat)

Campaign Mastery was asked, GM Brian: “I’m trying to run a D&D 3.5 Eberron campaign that will mostly be a solo campaign for my friend. I’m just looking for tips on how I can run a well balanced solo campaign that can still have a good amount of combat.” Johnn’s Answer: This is a great question, because not all of us can…