Tag Archives: game-mechanics

Speed Up Combat By Building Your Own Combat GM Screen

Photo courtesy of sdobie What is the number one way to make combat go faster? For D&D type games, it is mastering the rules. When you can make decisions based on accurate rules knowledge, not only do you have more options available, but you play with more effectiveness and confidence. You also need to make fewer rules references on or between turns. You help other…

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…

On The Nature Of Flaws

Disclaimer: This article was prompted and inspired by my receipt of a free copy of Player’s Option: Flaws from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming, but it is largely based on my experience with the Hero System. 4 Winds did not solicit this review and did not recieve notice of the content. /Disclaimer So that we’re all on the same page, let’s start with a quick review of just…

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. …

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…

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 …

Roll vs Boredom: Mentally Challenged

Roll vs Boredom is an ongoing project to fight off boredom from behind the game master’s screen.  My challenge to myself, to create one signature mechanic for every “adventure” I run in my current campaign, whether that be one night of play or a whole month to complete.   In the first article of this series, I discuss the…

“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 …

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…