Tag Archives: campaign mastery

25 Cleric Character Hooks

Continuing the hooks series, today we have a bunch of priestly ones for your holy edification. Many came out as missions rather than internal character struggles or personality quirks. More actionable than character-revealing this time around. Use these for PCs or NPCS. Sensing his wanderlust and noting his independent manner, the church has asked him to become a holy bounty hunter. There is a long list …

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!

Neurons & Lobes: Examining Psionics, Part 2 of 5

In part 1, I explained that the imminant advent in my supers campaign of a character who is a powerful psionic has had me thinking about Telepathy quite a bit recently. I then began to excerpt selected rules and background material from the campaign rules relating to the subject. The first part focussed on the metagame and game mechanics concepts around which psionics…

Interviewing Potential Players

How to find local gamers You have a vacancy in your gaming group and decide to advertise for a new player. Because there are many places online and offline potential players might look for groups you put ads in several places, casting a wide net, hoping to get a response. To your surprise, you get a few responses. However, now …

The Mind’s Eye: Examining Psionics, Part 1 of 5

Lately I’ve been thinking about Telepathy quite a lot. I know that a psionic character will be joining the team in the next phase of my Zenith-3 superhero campaign, and I want to have the a solid handle on all the wrinkles that come with it. I want some simple analogy that I am instantly familiar with – as will my players – to enable me to grasp …

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…

“How Hard Can It Be?” – Skill Checks under the microscope

Fans will recognise the quote used as the title of this article as something often said by Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear when the trio of presenters are about to attempt a challenge posed by the show’s producers. Since it inevitably turns out that the correct answer is “Very!”, it is usually followed by one or both of the other commentators yelling “Don’t Say …

High Elf Generator + Dice Giveaway Contest

Win a set of Elven Rune dice – details at end of post Q-Workshop sent me a set of orange elven dice. The design and graceful script on their faces would give great luck to any elven PC or NPC, I’m certain. Very nice dice. Continuing on with the series started last month with a random political plot generator , this month…

Jolting The Status Quo

I created two illustrations for this article and couldn’t decide which one to use. So I’ve used both. Life’s full of surprises. Some are pleasant; others challenge us, and may even seem overwhelming. Take me, for example: I’ve been living in the same rented unit for the last 20 years or so. Last week, I was sent a termination of lease by the landlord; …

Ask The GMs: How to set up a fun fishing mini game

Campaign Mastery reader Andy S. asks, “I want to set up a fishing mini game, and I have all the fish and weight/length charts. I just want a better challenge then a STR vs. STR(strength) one for them to haul the fish in. Any suggestions on how to do it?” Johnn’s answer: Andy, I have just spent…

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 …

The Anatomy Of Evil: What Makes a Good Villain?

I’ve been watching some of my old Stargate: SG1 episodes during the last week, and (as often happens) some of the commentary (in the season 9 extras) sparked an interesting question. The discussion was about the relative merits of Apophis, Baal, and Anubis as villains. This in turn connected in my head with a discussion that I had with my co-GM in our Pulp campaign about a villain created…

iPad App Review: RPG Cartographer

Like growing your own food, creating your own maps is rewarding I took the picture to the right last night just before we ate them. They came from the first garden I’ve had in about a decade, and the first garden veggies we’ve grown since moving to Edmonton. A minor theme in my Riddleport campaign is handling most of the creation ourselves, as a group. The rules (Pathfinder)…

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…

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 …

Oops…

Just a quick post to apologise to anyone affected by a breakdown in our RSS feed systems last week, which were the result of problems outside our control – one of our service providers upgraded their systems without notifying us. The problem has now been fixed and policies put in place which will hopefully prevent that exact problem from recurring. Special thanks to reader…

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 …

Lessons From The West Wing II: The Psychology Of Maps

Credit: Eurobas at en.wikipedia It’s time for another of my occasional Lessons From The West Wing . This draws heavily on concepts put forward in a single episode, Episode 16 of Season 2, “Somebody’s Going To Emergency, Somebody’s Going To Jail” . Some people have decried the episode as one of the weakest in the West Wing’s repetoir, others found it illuminating. As it happened, it…

Action Trumps Description

Wise words for game masters. Authors are advised to always show, never tell. So too it is with gameplay, where more fun comes from playing things out than listening to a GM drone on. Next time you are about to start a monologue, stop and put the game back in player hands. Do this by setting a scene and giving…

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…