Tag Archives: advice

Come to me my jungle friends!

Tweet Recent events in my life have me thinking about pets. Be they familiars, animal companions or summoned animals, whatever way your system of choice calls them, why do we feel the urge to have pets in our games? I can see why… The joy and happiness they bring into our real lives is one we want to recreate in the game as well. Or maybe we…

Are mini-campaigns the solution?

Tweet Back in the day, when we were still young and had too much time on our hands, we played in long campaigns, sometimes even spanning years. But in recent years I haven’t finished any campaign properly. Either we lost interest in the game or the group dissolved before the campaign has reached a satisfactory conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a lot …

Dealing with Problem Players

One of the things which has been on my mind recently is the issue of dealing with problem players. My weekend group has recently shrunk in size due to a lack of shared vision leading to a horrible rift in the group. What follows is a collection of my thoughts on the issue. The events at my gaming table have left me …

What’s in a name?

I’ll admit it, naming non-player characters and places in role playing game is HARD! If you are not careful you’ll end up with names your players will make fun of for years to come. The noble and serious NPCs that will be the key to the plot will not be remembered for his generosity or secret knowledge, but for being called…

Eureka!

Some time ago, Martin Ralya of GnomeStew.com and Engine Publishing asked me if I was interested in reviewing Eureka. I’ve read about Eureka before and since I am chronically under-prepared for my games, it looked like the perfect book for me. So he send me a copy and I was immediately blown away! So what’s Eureka about? Eureka is a 314-paged…

Ask The GMs: How to survive political games with paranoia and intrigue

Lilith Laing asks the GMs: “Recently I started playing in a Vampire: The Masquerade Old WOD game. Even after one session, it is probably the best game I have ever played in (or even run), but I have never played this sort of political game before. Do you, the GMs, have any tips for how to deal with political games like Masquerade, that is, the paranoia …

GameScience Dice Review

Last March I wrote a post titled The Importance of Dice where I talked about how important dice are to both players and game masters alike. It seems like everywhere I look every person has their own unique way of holding and rolling their dice. Some people wont let anyone else touch their dice for fear of negative consequences as a result. The options of dice …

Gen Con: GM’s Jam!

One of the highlights of this year’s Gen Con was definitely the GM’s Jam seminar. Since I had brought my video camera with me, I recorded the whole thing and uploaded it to blip.tv . Alas I forgot to bring a tripod, so the video is a bit shaky at times. But aside from that, the video should be fine. Part 1: Part 2: I hope you enjoy the video!…

Gen Con: GM’s Jam!

One of the highlights of this year’s Gen Con was definitely the GM’s Jam seminar. Since I had brought my video camera with me, I recorded the whole thing and uploaded it to blip.tv . Alas I forgot to bring a tripod, so the video is a bit shaky at times. But aside from that, the video should be fine. Part 1: Part 2: I hope…

Electronic Tools for Gaming – The iPhone

I’ll admit it, I was a holdover. I didn’t make the switch to an iPhone until last winter. Before that I had an ancient Palm Treo that worked perfectly well for years. I used it to browse the internet, and on it I planned many adventures and campaigns. I had used an iPhone and loved it so when I had the chance to end my old mobile phone contract …

Carcassonne

As last Saturday’s D&D game was approaching, I came to the realization that I was not going to have an adventure ready. This has happened to me once or twice before and generally the game is just called off. This gives me an extra week to plan out an adventure. This weekend I didn’t want to do that. I hated the idea of my group going all week …

Special 2nd Anniversary Post: Getting your Players to Play Indie RPGs

Stargazer and I have been good online buddies for quite some time and I’ve seen this blog grow from the moment it joined the RPGbloggers network to it’s current authoritative status.  Yet, as much as I talk to our good friend, I wasn’t quite sure what to discuss here. Then it struck me, he loves Indie RPGs and I’ve recently developed quite a…

Review – Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters

Today I’m reviewing Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters , a book produced by the authors of GnomeStew.com. Here’s how the publisher describes their book: Featuring a foreword by gaming industry legend Monte Cook, Eureka contains 501 complete adventure plots usable with almost any roleplaying game, plus GMing advice and tools for making the most of every plot. If you game…

DMing 101: Start small

This week’s DM advice is primarily aimed at anyone looking to begin their first campaign, although it’s just as useful to experienced DMs. The advice, which comes straight out of the 4E Dungeon Master’s Guide: (p. 142), is  Start small .  By this I (and the DMG) mean, set your campaign in a well-defined, specific area or region. Ideally…

Audio tips for RPG podcasters

I listen to quite a few RPG-related podcasts and while the audio quality of most have improved immensely over the last couple years, some still have a way to go. Therefore I thought I’d offer some simple advice for podcasters to improve their audio quality of their product. What makes me think I’m qualified to offer advice? In my …

Dicebook

In March I posted about Apple’s iPad and what it could mean for us gamers. Even back then there were several apps that make a gamer’s life easier. But recently I learned about Dicebook . Dicebook is not just another PDF viewer but allows you to roll the dice while viewing PDFs. Since the iPad’s multitasking abilities are pretty limited, this could be quite handy. Alas I don’t …

Character Death, woe or wow?

Last night I played a particularly long session of my weekly Pathfinder RPG game. During this game I killed a player character. Well that’s not quiet accurate. I wasn’t gunning out for him; it was a mixture of chance and strategy.  Scar, the half-orc dragon blooded sorcerer rolled a 1 on his saving throw and died from the maximized Acid Ball (the enemy wizard’s version of Fireball). This …

DMing 101: An introduction

Welcome to the first installment of my new weekly advice column, DMing 101. Since it’s the first installment I thought I should include a little introductory explanation about the purpose and nature of the column first. My goal is to provide tips and advice to new 4th edition D&D DMs – or those still on the fence – in easy to digest chunks. These will be…

Dungeon Master Burnout… My cure!

Some context… I read a post by Chatty DM on twitter this past Sunday about him possibly taking a D&D sabbatical and ended up briefly tweeting with Greywulf about D20 burnout and how despite having been a D20 game master continuously for over 17 years I’ve avoided it. Greywulf suggested this may be a good blog post, so here it is! I’ve been a DM most of my…

DM Rewards: Tomb of Horrors Review

I got something very unexpected in the mail last Friday when I went to check my PO box. Wizards of the Coast sent me my second DM Rewards package of the year.  I was standing in the post office holding a large white envelope from Wizards of the Coast that had DO NOT BEND printed in large bold letters…