Tag Archives: mike

The Ubercharacter Wimp: Plotting within your PCs limitations

This week I thought I would describe a tool that I came up with to help me create quick and easy NPCs, called The Ubercharacter Wimp, or TUW. Three into TUW The concept is really simple: in a document of some kind, I list the highest and lowest scores for each of the stats, as well as the group’s average. I follow that with an alphabetical…

The Ubercharacter Wimp: Plotting within your PCs limitations

This week I thought I would describe a tool that I came up with to help me create quick and easy NPCs, called The Ubercharacter Wimp, or TUW. Three into TUW The concept is really simple: in a document of some kind, I list the highest and lowest scores for each of the stats, as well as the group’s…

The Dark Side Of The Mind: Examining Psionics, Part 5

Last time, I continued examining the concept of The Internet as an analogy or metaphor for Psionics, especially telepathy. The examination of web phenomena is now in the home stretch – here are the final seven, and a few closing thoughts. 15. Cookies A cookie is a small file placed on a computer by a website which facilitates a more interactive experience with that website. That’s pretty …

All This And Psionic Spam: Examining Psionics, Part 4 of 5

Last time out, I started examining the concept of The Internet as an analogy or metaphor for Psionics, especially telepathy – but ran out of time after looking at only 7 web phenomena of a planned 21. So here we go, with the next seven: 8. The World Wide Web Everyone knows someone else who knows something useful. This information is the telepathic equivalent of a hyperlink, a connection…

The Value Of Information: Examining Psionics, Part 3 of 5

This, and the two parts that preceded it, were all originally intended to be one post, and a relatively smallish article at that. The decision to incorporate material from the game rules that I had written relating to the subject put paid to that concept, but I felt it was a necessary preamble. Finally, though, we have all caught up with each other on the subject, and…

Stiff Upper Lip: Thinking about nations in RPGs

I’m interrupting my series on Psionics to bring you this timely post on sports and nation-building… As I write this, the local TV host is replaying highlights from the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Since Johnn is Canadian and I am Australian, both Commonwealth countries, we find our respective nationalities on opposing sides. It’s a somewhat interesting …

Stiff Upper Lip: Thinking about nations in RPGs

I’m interrupting my series on Psionics to bring you this timely post on sports and nation-building… As I write this, the local TV host is replaying highlights from the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Since Johnn is Canadian and I am Australian, both Commonwealth countries, we find our respective nationalities on opposing sides. It’s a somewhat interesting event, this time…

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…

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 …

“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…

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 …

Ask The GMs: Puzzles In Your Games

William Wiese asks the GMs, “I’ve been trying to think of different ways to implement puzzles into the game and to find some that are not riddles.” Johnn’s answer: Puzzles are tricky beasts, William. And thanks for the question; it’s a good one. Tricky bit #1 My tips below will assume your group is ok with using players’ intelligence and knowledge to solve …

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…

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…

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…

Pulling That Lever: The Selection Of Leaders In RPG Societies

Nobles from ancient Mede Okay, so for the first time since we started this online magazine/blog, one of us has missed getting a post up. Johnn struck problems with his planned post at the last possible moment, and then tried to rewrite it but missed the deadline; thought that he would be able to get it up a day late, …

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 …

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…

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…