Tag Archives: tools & techniques

High Elf Generator + Dice Giveaway Contest

Win a set of Elven Rune dice – details at end of post Q-Workshop sent me a set of orange elven dice. The design and graceful script on their faces would give great luck to any elven PC or NPC, I’m certain. Very nice dice. Continuing on with the series started last month with a random political plot generator , this month…

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 …

iPad App Review: RPG Cartographer

Like growing your own food, creating your own maps is rewarding I took the picture to the right last night just before we ate them. They came from the first garden I’ve had in about a decade, and the first garden veggies we’ve grown since moving to Edmonton. A minor theme in my Riddleport campaign is handling most of the creation ourselves, as a group. The rules (Pathfinder)…

I’ve Been Framed

Curse of the Crimson Throne Pathfinder dice Q-Workshop sent me some lovely Pathfinder Curse of the Crimson Throne dice. These dice are beautiful and they made me think of politics, which then made me think about plots where an NPC or PC has been framed for a serious crime they did not commit along with clever use of spells as the punishment. What better way to celebrate …

Action Trumps Description

Wise words for game masters. Authors are advised to always show, never tell. So too it is with gameplay, where more fun comes from playing things out than listening to a GM drone on. Next time you are about to start a monologue, stop and put the game back in player hands. Do this by setting a scene and giving…

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 …

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 …

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 …

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&#…

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 …

Architecture of Riddleport Inspires Plots

Via Rosa Vecchia by ~Nurkhular Architecture is often an afterthought in campaigns, so it under performs as a GM tool. I’ve set about to fix that for my Riddleport campaign. Here are a few of the ways I’m using building architecture to enhance the campaign, and I describe my thought processes so you can do the same for yours. …