Tag Archives: campaign mastery

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, …

We All Have Our Roles To Play: A Functional Perspective on Personality Archetypes, Part 1

Everything that I’ve ever read on the subject has defined archetypes for RPGs either in terms of the psychology of the character or the abilities of the character. Filling out a team roster is often a case of players selecting from a chinese menu – “let’s see, we need a fighter, a mage, a rogue, a cleric, and once those are filled, anyone else can…

Grow The Hobby With Great Game Mastering

How to tell compelling stories about your campaign to non-gamers. This month’s RPG carnival , held at Mad Brew Labs, covers the topic of growing the hobby. Topics of new player recruitment and teaching come to mind. We might also consider the industry’s image, how game companies market their products, which companies get shelf space in book stores and …

Dungeonaday.com Sponsors Campaign Mastery

I love the idea of Dungeonaday.com . I use a laptop at the game table, Personal Brain software to organize my campaign, email to organize my group, and an iPad to generate content. I’m all about digital. Yet, I still have book cases filled with beloved RPG books, box sets, modules and maps. I have a large pile of books I use for my Riddleport…

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 …

Blog Carnival Wrap-Up – What Inspires Your Games?

Thanks to all the bloggers and commentators who participated in June’s carnival about what non-game media have most inspired your games and how . I was surprised by the variety of answers. I think there’s an idea or three here for any GM’s tastes. Good job everyone! Lizard Games was inspired by the clone wars, which were not explained in …

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…

New Contest to Celebrate 500 Issues

New prize added – copies of the Left Hand of God To celebrate upcoming Issue #500 for Roleplaying Tips we’re holding a contest. RPT reader Daniel at www.steamcrow.com said we should do 500 of something, such as 500 random city encounters. That’s pretty ambitious, but it sounds like a great idea. Let’s do it. I’ve got some prizes lined up…

Plot Stat Block For The Organized Game Master

Eureka 501 Plots How do you organize your plot notes so you are on top of the details? In my Riddleport campaign, I have several plots hatching, and I would find tracking them difficult without using my plot stat block. It does not matter if you use Obsidian Portal, another wiki, a notebook or Post-Its; you must find a way to outline your plots to keep yourself sane. A short…

Plot Stat Block For The Organized Game Master

Eureka 501 Plots How do you organize your plot notes so you are on top of the details? In my Riddleport campaign, I have several plots hatching, and I would find tracking them difficult without using my plot stat block. It does not matter if you use Obsidian Portal, another wiki, a notebook or Post-Its; you must find a way to …

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…

How To Be A Confident GM, Part 2

Treasure your confidence Confidence is key to having fun long term as a game master. Last week we covered several tips on how to become a confident GM , and this week we deliver more. Collaborate Say yes whenever possible. Get into the habit of building on player input and ideas instead of overwriting them. Pass ideas around so others can add …

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…

How To Be A Confident GM, Part 1

Treasure your confidence Gnome Stew recently posted an article about running on minimal prep game . One of the points was to GM with confidence, and that got me wondering about how exactly do you be a confident GM? Following are a few ingredients to that recipe. I look forward to your comments about what you do to bolster your confidence. GMing is 80% confidence…

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&#…

Blog Carnival June 2010: A Medley Of Inspiring Media

This month’s RPG Carnival, which Campaign Mastery is delighted to host, poses the question: What non-game media have most inspired your games and how? A doozy of a topic, this. Sure, there are the obvious genre-related materials – you can’t talk about Fantasy in this context without mentioning The Lord Of The Rings, first the book, and then the movie…

What inspires your games?

This month’s RPG Carnival, which Campaign Mastery is delighted to host, poses the question: What non-game media have most inspired your games and how? The answer for me is Saturday morning cartoons, which I grew up on and still watch today. Anything is possible in a cartoon. It’s pure imagination at work in every genre. Plots tend to be simple …

It’s Not Like Shooting Sushi In A Barrel: A Personalised Productivity Focus For Game Prep

While watching the special features from Numb3rs season 3 on DVD, I got to thinking about one of the phenomena of TV shows – that some episodes you really like, and some you don’t, and some episodes are really popular and some are not (and these categories never completely coincide. This is true even of my favorite TV series. At the …

Ask The GMs: An Inconsistency of Play

How do you fix it when inconsistent roleplay or interpersonal conflicts are killing the campaign? The more restrictions on gameplay you have, and the more expectations on play style you have, the more you need to talk about this with everyone in the group and reach consensus. Assumptions kill groups faster than monsters. Campaign Mastery was asked, Hi GMs! I’ve…

Book of Dead Characters to Celebrate Your Gaming

My Book of Dead Characters from 1985 A friend I once gamed with was awesome at celebrating gaming. He made sessions into special events. He had props. He talked about games in a special way, like a sports fan does about when their team won the championship that year. He celebrated the details and told stories about special session moments. It was infectious and …