GM Interview: Rory Klein

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This week we interview Rory, a GM from Cape Town who’s a huge Greyhawk fan. If you have any questions about his campaign feel free to post them below. Please introduce yourself Hi, I am Rory from South Africa, Cape Town. I am 39 years old and I work as an IT Consultant. “Online,” I go by […]

Big Secrets and Big Plots in Roleplaying Games

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By Heather Grove So many roleplaying game plots revolve around secrets. GMs try to make sure that there’s always another mystery in the game for the characters to run after and solve – lots of people love a good mystery. Secrets add spice and interest to a game. They make your players go nuts trying […]

How Do You Prevent Metagaming?

Metagaming

In RPT#520, Sean made this tips request: Johnn, I nearly laughed aloud at work over the “One More Tip: Top 10 Ways to Stop Sounding So Damn Metagamey.” I would love to see some tips on handling metagame scenarios in tactful ways. My group tends to pour through every source book at their disposal (and […]

Fear in RPGs

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by Delphine T. Lynx Fear. One of our strongest emotions, and yet one very difficult to conjure up unless it’s genuine. It can be fleeting or eternal, gentle or monstrous. But how does Fear apply to RPGs? It is important to note that not every roleplaying game would benefit from a sense of impending doom, […]

Adventure Design Tip: How Do You use Chekhov’s Gun in Gaming?

Chekovs Gun

From Ben Scerri The literary principal of Chekhov’s Gun has been around since the late 19th century and has influenced every aspect of storytelling culture. However, in my experience, it has failed to fully affect gaming and the stories game masters tell. This might be due to the reactive essence of good gaming (i.e. the […]

How to Create Blockbuster Box Office Hits with Your Players – Every Adventure

Hollywood GMing

Applying the Hollywood Formula to RPG Storylines By Brad Allen I’ve been GMing for many years but only recently tried to enhance my pacing and story-writing skills. For a long time my games suffered from frequent lulls and anti-climaxes, but no longer. A year or so ago, I did some research on plot structure and […]

Basic GMing Rules

Rules of Game Mastering

From Garry Stahl 1:  Garry’s First Rule of Fantasy Do not change reality more than necessary to make your universe work. Real world physics are your friend. You do not need to explain gravity, weather, or in general how the world functions. So don’t complicate things that do not need complication. Adding super science or […]

GM Interview: Chris Rheinherren

  This interview features our first GM who runs games over internet relay chat (IRC). If you have any questions about IRC, just leave Chris a comment below. Please introduce yourself Your name: Chris Rheinherren, online I use Bynw or Anlarye. My campaign’s website is located at www.teara-adan.com There is a link there to a […]

Managing Intraparty Conflict

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By Andrew McLaren Roleplaying is a group activity. One cannot enjoy roleplaying alone. Sometimes the GM’s job is made more complicated by conflict that takes place within the group, when arguments and fighting takes place between characters and players. Consider the following situation to get an idea of what I mean: Having defeated the evil […]

Managing Player Expectations

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In the GM Mastery Yahoo! group, Randal recently asked, “How do you deal with player expectations? And more importantly, how do you prevent the game from failing as a result of not meeting those expectations?” Some great discussion ensued that included numerous points of views and GMing styles. I thought you might find snippets of […]

GM Interview: Frank Bartlett

This week we hear from Frank Bartlett, who GMs for his wife and two daughters. I love the idea of the whole family gaming together! Well done, Frank. Please introduce yourself Do you have a blog, website or campaign wiki? No, while I use my PC to create my campaigns, my group prefers old school […]

How to Make Your Games More Cinematic

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by Travis W. Herring Many role-players enjoy evenings with their friends, sitting around the table or living room, eating pizza and drinking soda. For most, this is enough. For others, however, a traditional evening about the table isn’t. They want MORE. For those people, this article is the answer you have been looking for. How many […]

How To Reduce Combat

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By Mark of the Pixie If you want less combat, try these tricks. 1) Use fewer monsters PCs can only fight if there are people or things to fight. I know a few GMs who throw in monsters as a delaying tactic, to slow the game down. Don’t do this if you want to reduce […]

Strategy, Tactics and Logistics for GMs

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By Michael Beck  (Read the original German version at http://spielleiten.wordpress.com) In the military, one distinguishes between different levels of decisions, called strategy, tactics, and logistics. I don’t want to delve deep into this issue, since I’m no expert in this field. But a short and rough explanation will help understanding the following tip. Logistics are […]

Choosing a Setting

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by Delphine T. Lynx Please be aware that, while the article below is relevant to gaming in general, its initial target audience was those interested in MUDs, or Multi-User Domains – text games played via computer. Therefore certain aspects may not be applicable to classic roleplaying games, but the theory behind the essay is. Choosing a […]

GM Interview: Alexander

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What kind of GM does a quantum physicist and a French existentialist artist produce? Let’s find out. Meet Alexander D. Fagaly, aka Hourglass. Please introduce yourself: Do you have a blog, website or campaign wiki? My website consists of my gaming group and a few other friends. We post various alternative rules, campaign concepts and […]

Running a Zombie Apocalypse

by Silveressa Recently Mordred asked me: “ I’ve attempted to run a few zombie campaigns of my own in the past, and they’ve all come to nothing. I’m curious as to how much of this campaign you actually write and how much is player driven? Do you simply have a list of encounters that you […]