Tag Archives: rules & 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…

Top-Down Plug-in Game Design: The Perfect Recipe?

Click on the image to see a larger version As someone who writes about RPGs

How To Cast A Spell On Your Campaign And Polish Till It Gleams

The dead will not always give you clear answers In part one, you saw how spell details can inspire encounters . In part two today, we continue to walk through the plight of poor Halcos and who the PCs’ enemies plot to prevent them from casting Speak With dead. We also offer tips on how spells can help you design game worlds and regions…

How To Cast A Spell On Your Campaign And Make It Sparkle Like Gold Dust

One spell can change the complexion of a campaign If two people are casting Speak With Dead on the same body, does one get a busy signal? In my Riddleport Pathfinder campaign, an NPC named Halcos was assassinated as the PCs were dragging him away to be interrogated. In reaction, the party plans to bring the body to an allied temple for a Speak …

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, …

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…

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 …

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 …

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…

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…