Category: Approaches and Techniques

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Flashbacks with Alternate PCs

My group was short one player for our D&D game this weekend, and our GM, Sam, pulled out a one-shot with an awesome twist: The three of us played wildly different — and very powerful — alternate PCs. Our regular characters are a druid, a dread necromancer and a cleric/psion; our...

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What Good Improv Looks Like

At this weekend’s D&D game (in which I’m a player), our group took the game in a completely unexpected direction right out of the gate — and our GM wound up improvising the entire session. Virtually nothing he had prepped wound up seeing the light of day, and he improvised...

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Metagame Elements and Transparency

Over the years, I’ve observed that a certain amount of transparency on the GM’s part about metagame issues is pretty widely accepted by most gaming groups, particularly when it relates to the survival of the PCs. If the party is headed for Certain Doom™, most GMs I’ve...

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Music to Prep To?

Sitting here listening to MC Frontalot‘s “Secrets from the Future” while writing this post, it hit me that I’ve never tried doing game prep to music. You can build soundtracks for your game — so why not have background music keyed to your prep? I’m not very...

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Going Screenless Rocks

As promised, I went screenless for last night’s game. As the proud owner of somewhere in the neighborhood of nine GM’s screens and a screen fanboy of nearly 20 years, this was big change for me. And it was awesome. I felt more engaged with my players, I had more room to spread out my...

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Notes on Alternating Games

I wrote about alternating games back in 2005, and my group has been doing just that for nearly two years now. In that time, I’ve noticed a few things: • Communication is key. It’s obvious, but it’s easy to miss. When we started alternating games, everyone assumed our two GMs...

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