Tag Archives: game mastering

Gm Tips : How to introduce new players to Roleplaying-games ? – part 2

Last time I started to talk about the rewarding work of turning a new would-be-player into roleplayer to your playing group. In the previous part I shared my ideas ,that what should yo do and what should you avoid before the fateful first gaming session. You may find the first part of the article here. Now I want… Read More »

Gm Tips : How to introduce new players to Roleplaying-games ? – part 1

So you have a new player eager to join your playing group ? Good luck ! However there is a slight problem. Really, it is almost nothing to worry about, but he never played any roleplaying games before, not even on computer ! what should you do ? Well, I give you some ideas. First, I think we… Read More »

Taming The Time Bandits: Some time-saving combat techniques

Synopsis Of The Problem In Johnn’s last blog post, “My Group’s Time Thief Revealed,” he described his discovery that the chief drag on the pace of his combat was the GM, despite his expectations to the contrary. While he did not track the components of his activity, he was able to dismiss a couple of factors out of hand – …

The Nth Level Of Abstraction

During the last week, the RPG Bloggers Network brought an interesting post to my attention: “Discussion: Time Gaps” at Reality Refracted . This got me to thinking about the hierarchy of abstraction, and how often we (GMs) move from one level to another in the course of a typical game session, and how we can use a seemingly inappropriate level of …

TAG! You’re it!

Sometimes, creating an dynamic and interesting environment can be difficult.  I have found an interesting way to help organize my thoughts to so that I can say “yes” more often when a player decides they want to try thinking outside of the box a little bit.  Tags. This is something that I’ve borrowed from the FATE system.  In that system, every scene has certain aspects that…

Life & Death in RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-Up

March 2011′s RPG Blog Carnival covered Life and Death in RPG . Full XP to everyone who participated with insightful and inspirational articles, and thanks for your contributions. Readers, you are in for a treat as you have many articles to choose from this month. I encourage you to read through them and make life and death more memorable elements of your games. …

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&#…

Plotting a Better NPC with the Rule of Three

In a previous post , I discussed the “Rule of Three.” That’s all well and good for descriptions, but how can that be used to build better plots and stories? Simple, give each major NPC three plot ideas. These can be secrets, things the NPC wants to accomplish or things the NPC wants to stop. Everyone has goals and secrets, right? And …

Zot! Zap! Crash! Character Conventions In Pulp (Continued)

A real thompson submaschine gun in a violin case 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, and furnished a…

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, …

Pow! Bam! Crunch! Story Conventions In Pulp (continued)

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…

Bam! Zap! Crunch! World 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. World Conventions In researching this article, a couple of other websites came to our attention, one of which divided the genre conventions for pulp fiction into three …

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…

Review: Courts of the Shadow Fey (pdf)

Courts of the Shadow Fey by Open Design and Wolfgang Bauer is a 100 page adventure for 4e Dungeons & Dragons designed to take characters from 12th level to 15th level.  If you’re interested in purchasing the product, you can get it  here. In the interest of full disclosure, this was a review copy of the .pdf.  This won’t change how I feel about…

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…

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…

Gaming in the Digital Age: Hero Lab

There are many character creation programs that exist out there on the internet, but I have found Hero Lab from Lone Wolf Development to be one of my favorites. Unlike a few of the options out there, namely PCGen, Hero Lab is not free.  Purchasing the program gives you access to one game, and there are many to choose from; Pathfinder, Mutants and Masterminds (both 2nd …

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 …

Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 3: Student, Tutor Thyself

Back when I was first given a copy of the Champions Game System, it was only the third genre of game that I had ever been exposed to: The first was FRP (In the form of AD&D) and the second was Science Fiction (in the form of Space Opera). As a comics fan from way back, I was immediatly super-enthusisastic, which made learning the rules a …