Category: Game Mastering

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Interesting Magic Appearances

GM: A red ball of flame hurls through the- Player: Fireball *yawn* GM: A greenish-yellow cloud of smoke appears from- Player: Cloudkill *yawn* GM: A purple arc of negative energy rips toward you from the sorcerer’s fingertips. Player: Eh? What the? I don’t know what the spell is. Run!...

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Planned vs Emergent Backgrounds

I recently started an Icons campaign and was working through character generation, including working on character backgrounds. I find character backgrounds in superhero stories to be very useful for the GM, as it gives you a lot of ideas of the NPCs in the character’s lives as well as how their...

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Interesting Rural Locations

In the continuation of my “interesting” articles, I’m going to talk about rural locations today. Most folks conflate “rural” with “wilderness,” and this just isn’t the case. Yes, rural areas are on the verge of the wilderness, but it’s also...

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Quick & Dirty GMing

Have you ever kind of just been waiting in line to get into the rad nerdy board gaming bar with your friends after playing D&D and the wait-list is like 1-hour long (but you’ve already been waiting for a half-hour so you might as well stick it through) and you think “hey, maybe I...

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Alignment Alternatives

Alignment has been part of role playing pretty much from the get-go. It’s been around so long that it feels baked right in. Modern approaches in gaming have bucked that trend, though. I consider this a good thing as I’ve never liked the cop-out of, “I’m doing it because...

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A Tale of Two (Session) Zeroes

I wanted to take a look at two different session zeros that I recently facilitated, what I learned from them, and where I made some mistakes. I’ll outline the games, my objectives going in, and what we got out of them, and then do some comparisons at the end. Dishonored Sundays Our Sunday Eberron...

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Player Agency vs The Juggernaut

The loss of player agency sucks. It would be fair to say many folks play tabletops to enjoy the power fantasy of being some badass adventurer. Many folks like righting wrongs and expressing a level of control and accomplishment that may or may not be lacking in their daily lives. For many, this...

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Interesting Urban Locations

There are quite a few books and source materials out there to generate cities of all sizes and some of these even include the amenities or businesses that exist within the urban area. These are great skeletons to build details onto. You have to know that there are three bakeries in the city before...

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