Tag Archives: campaign management

City Government Power Bases – Land

What forces govern your city? In many societies, landowners have great power. With all the economic, defensive, military, and strategic benefits land provides, most governments use this as a starting power base for their regimes. For high fantasy games, consider land as an abstract concept that encompasses many possible dimensions. Land can be the ground, the clouds of sky realms, the flames …

City Government Power Bases – Religion

What forces govern your city? Religion, spirituality, and ideology make excellent government power bases because they are powerful sources of influence, prestige, and affiliation. Religion and cosmology varies from campaign to campaign, but it’s likely gods do exist in your world and they imbue certain, devout followers with spells and special powers every day. Even if your current campaign has …

The failure of …urmmmm… Memory

The thing that I hate most about being a regular blog writer is that your best ideas come to you when you have absolutely no chance to write them down and no hope of remembering them. In my head yesterday – the only medium available to me – I wrote no less than three absolutely brilliant and insightful articles for Campaign Mastery. Of …

City Government Power Bases – Magic and Psionics

What forces govern your city? We resume the city design series this week with thoughts about how to use magic and psionics to build interesting city government power bases. For the purposes of this article, magic and psionics are treated the same. Your game system might make this thinking incompatible, but hopefully you can take the thinking that follows and apply…

Experience for the ordinary person

Johnn’s recent mention of the Ostrich-GM approach he sometimes takes to the question of how Administrators and Nobles get their character levels (comments, City Government Power Bases – Class and Level ) struck a chord. There are really only two answers besides the close-you-eyes-and-hope-it-goes-away approach, and adopting one of them has some interesting implications for the rest of the game…

Clang! Crash! Pow! Game Mastering The Pulp Genre

If all has gone according to plan, you are now looking at the final part of what’s been a massive series on the Pulp Genre. This article is mostly afterthoughts and GM advice that I’ve culled from many discussions with players and with my co-GM, Blair Ramage, together with some stuff straight from my own head. It’s a cleanup article, let&#…

City Government Power Bases – War and Military plus Software Giveaway

What forces govern your city? A strong military is real, solid power. A city with a skilled, well-equipped and well-led army can protect itself, fend off its neighbours, go on a conquering binge, and keep its own citizens under control, though not necessarily all at once or in that order. A politician with a private army can often get away…

City Government Power Bases – Social Leverage, Marriage and Wealth

What forces govern your city? A power base is an asset you can use to achieve goals. It serves as a foundation or tool. You can wield it like a weapon, use it like a tool or draw upon it like a resource. Governments are typically boring game elements. However, design a power base for each government or government agency, and you turn them into NPCs of…

City Government Power Bases – Leadership

What forces govern your city? Popularity Being popular earns a government a lot of power, though it is always a fragile thing. Think of popularity as a form of temporary affiliation . Popularity is often restricted to a subset of urban society – you can’t please everyone. Strengths With a large amount of consent, a government can rule with fewer objections and roadblocks. The will of the people can …

Blat! Zot! Pow! The Rules Of Genre In RPGs

This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grown so substantially that it has become necessary to split it into multiple parts – yet another series! It’s pointless re-creating precisely a historical period or past fictional genre. For maximum …

The Ubercharacter Wimp: Plotting within your PCs limitations

This week I thought I would describe a tool that I came up with to help me create quick and easy NPCs, called The Ubercharacter Wimp, or TUW. Three into TUW The concept is really simple: in a document of some kind, I list the highest and lowest scores for each of the stats, as well as the group’s average. I follow that with an alphabetical…

The Ubercharacter Wimp: Plotting within your PCs limitations

This week I thought I would describe a tool that I came up with to help me create quick and easy NPCs, called The Ubercharacter Wimp, or TUW. Three into TUW The concept is really simple: in a document of some kind, I list the highest and lowest scores for each of the stats, as well as the group’s…

This Survey For New Players Ensures A Good Fit

New player surveys are a worthwhile time investment Roleplaying Tips reader Zerfinity sent me a campaign survey he used to build his new group. A friend once told me the best finishes have great starts. So it is with great campaigns, and one key is getting a group of like-minded, enthusiastic people around you each game night. Zerfinity’s survey offers a …

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…

Ask the GMs: What we have here is A Failure To Cooperate

Campaign Mastery was asked, GM Izzy: “I am a very green GM running a pulpy run around campaign set in modern day London, everyone has a laugh each session but it is impossible to progress with any major plot points because the party stoically refuses to coalesce into, well, a party! I have tried throwing in threats to their…

Like Sand through the Klein Bottle: Time Travel in RPGs, Part 3

Hopefully, this will wrap up the article on Time Travel! Part 1 looked at the problems of Time Travel in RPGs, and reached the conclusion that the GM had to have some understanding of the nature of time in his campaign before he could adjudicate the complexities that could result. Part Two comprised excerpts relating to the Nature of Time from…

A Journey Of 1,000 Years: Time Travel in RPGs, Part 2

.| Spiral |. by Clix The first part of this article looked at two simplistic solutions to the question of how to handle time travel in RPGs, and found that as they stood, neither was satisfactory. A number of readers were kind enough to write in, suggesting additions that could be made to these two solutions to make them more practical for game purposes. This…

When Inspiration Is Not Enough: Time Travel in RPGs, Part 1

Extract from ‘The Persistence Of Memory’ by Salvadore Dali When writing my submission to the June 2010 Blog Carnival , A Medley Of Inspiring Media , I said that Time Travel was a special case. This article started off as just another section of that Blog Post, but quickly showed signs of growing into another of those monster subjects requiring a multiple-part post to completely contain the discussion. Rather than…

Google Calendar As Awesome Campaign Calendar

Google Calendar as Campaign Calendar I’m using Google Calendar as the in-game calendar for my Riddleport Pathfinder campaign. It started as an experiment, but it’s worked so well I’m making it a permanent addition to how I run the campaign. Perhaps you can do this too. Riddleport is set in Paizo’s world of Golarion , and the calendar in that world is so close to Earth&#…