Tag Archives: campaign mastery

Too Much Life for The Living: March 2011 Blog Carnival

One more article for the Blog Carnival! Next time, I’ll get back to the series on Pulp Genre Conventions, if everything goes according to plan… A Variant Combat System for D&D 3.x Is healing too easy in D&D? Sometimes it seems like Clerics are little more than magical drip bottles, especially in more tactically oriented campaigns and adventures, like the typical dungeon. Only when adventures …

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…

For A Limited Time Only, “The Empty Chair” on special

Filling The Empty Chair by Johnn with Mike Anyone who has visited Campaign Mastery over the last few months will have noticed the advert for our book “ Filling The Empty Chair “. Written by Johnn Four with contributions and editing by nyself, it’s packed with strategies and techniques for finding and recruiting new players for your games. And it’s yours for…

Life and Death in RPG – March 2011 RPG Blog Carnival

This month’s RPG blog carnival theme covers life and death in RPG. When thinking about what I’d write for the carnival my attention wandered to my Riddleport campaign. There, I spotted how death was a theme in at least two plots. Then another plot. And then another. Soon, I was seeing death everywhere. It makes me wonder – could death …

Wham! Clang! Kapow! Character Conventions In Pulp

The Story So Far… 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 grew so substantially that it became necessary to split it into multiple parts. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, …

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 …

Pow! Wham! Bang! Story Conventions In Pulp

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. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, and furnished a context for the…

City Government Power Bases – Law and Affiliation (plus NBOS software giveaway)

What forces govern your city? In the introduction last week I covered the goal of this series, which is to use the idea of power bases – where do fantasy governments, government officials and factions get power and influence? – to make your cities interesting places to adventure. Each part in this series will cover two or three power bases in detail…

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 …

City Government Power Bases – Overview

What forces govern your city? The topic of city government causes GMs big yawns. Other than picking a government type, you find it a difficult city element to make interesting for game sessions, adventures and city design. However, it is an important part of urban environments that should not be ignored. And it does not have to be a difficult or boring thing. The key is …

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…

Drow Generator & Dice Giveaway

Drow are soon to make their appearance in my Riddleport campaign. They are part of The Great Game being played out in the background as the characters struggle for fame and power in the pirate city. To help me GM the dark elves I created the following tables and references. Maybe they would be useful for your campaign too? Following are tables I crafted for drow generation. 100 Names &#…

Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 5: Rules Touchstones – Combat

In the course of part 2 of this series, which was all about overcoming a resistance to studying rules for their own sake, I suggested that the GM learning a new set of rules should watch for patterns, and use them to make understanding the rules a little easier. Starting in this part of the series, I’m going to start explaining some of those patterns. and how…

The Perfect Monster Manual – A Wishlist

Yesterday I put Pathfinder Bestiary 2 in my shopping cart. I need to wait for a few Christmas bills to get paid before I order it, though. I also happened to meet with one of my players for coffee, and we got to talking about monster books. He is not a fan of them. Why? Waste of money, he says, because he only uses …

Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 4: The Quality of Rules

A lot of blogs and articles talk about “realism” (or verisimilitude) in RPGs and how to achieve it. Campaign Mastery is no different in this respect, a number of my articles having dealt with the subject. Over the last few weeks, as I write this, I’ve been spending time thinking about a fundamental question that a lot of these articles …

Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 4: The Quality of Rules

A lot of blogs and articles talk about “realism” (or verisimilitude) in RPGs and how to achieve it. Campaign Mastery is no different in this respect, a number of my articles having dealt with the subject. Over the last few weeks, as I write this, I’ve been spending time thinking about a fundamental question that a lot of these articles and opinions…

Things Done and left Un-done

I keep unfinished article ideas in a text document on my computer. When I first started writing Campaign Mastery, I set up a list containing some seventy-odd ideas deriving from material I had produced for my different campaigns. In the past year, that list has, quite obviously, reduced in size – by all of four entries. In November, I moved apartments, and my computer was …

‘Tis The Season: A Christmas Scenario

Christmas Tree by Enimal A few years ago I ran a Christmas-oriented scenario in my superhero campaign, and it was pretty successful on a number of fronts – so much so that I thought it worth taking the time to tell you all about it. Scenario Premise The concept of the scenario itself is remarkably simple: I had the characters do their christmas shopping and then give each …

Johnn’s 2010 Year in Review

How high do you dream? Today I go over my 2010 goals to see how I graded. In part two, in an upcoming post, I talk about my 2011 goals and let you know what kind of posts and products you’ll see from me next year. I believe goals make you more effective, whether you are aiming to improve your game mastering or running a business. Focus…