Category: GMing Ideas

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Find a GMing Mascot

I can’t take credit for this idea — it comes from two of the other GMs in my group: Don, whose yeti bobbler (illustrated here) has been his GMing mascot for years, and Sam, who keeps a little skull on hand to improve his die rolls. I’ve enjoyed both of their mascots for the past...

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How do You Craft a Good Pitch Session?

This Saturday, after fiending to run it for the past year, I’ll finally be getting a chance to pitch Burning Empires to my group (w00t!). In this case, by “pitch” I mean “run a pitch session” — one shot at hooking all three of my players. If someone hates it, we...

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Little Ways to Shake Things Up

Particularly when you’ve gamed with the same group, on the same night of the week and at the same place for awhile, those traditions become an integral part of your gaming experience — and that’s a good thing. But it can also be a good thing to shake up that formula a bit from...

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Reasons Not to Use a GMing Screen

I’m a longtime screen fanboy, but since I started writing TT I’ve heard plenty of good reasons not to use one at all. I’m going to play Devil’s advocate for a moment, and say that you shouldn’t use a GMing screen because… It creates a barrier between you and...

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MetaPoints: RPGs Need These

Courtesy of Jeff Rients comes this comment on Mike Mearls’s LJ: I want to have my cake and eat it too. Give me a system where the default puts the onus of clue-deciphering and people-influencing on the player, but give that player some sort of scarce resource they can spend to make the issue...

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Technology that Improves your Game

Here’s a quick list of five gadgets that can improve your game — helping with organization, speeding things up and opening new avenues. Let’s set aside the desktop PC and printer — those are kind of a given. • Laptop: Having a laptop available at the table gives you...

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Keep a Backup RPG on Deck

Along the lines of Write a Backup Adventure, I’ve recently started keeping a fallback RPG ready to go for “gaming emergencies.” Right now, I have the fabulous new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, along with an entire three-book published campaign, just sitting on the shelf...

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The Haiku Approach: Constrain to Inspire

In the same vein as the 20% rule for new campaigns, there is value in deliberately limiting your options when you GM — even to the point of excluding things you’re used to. I call this the “haiku approach” because it’s got a lot in common with haiku, the Japanese...

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42 Words to Consider Using the Next Time You GM

A grab-bag of descriptive terms, surprisingly thought-provoking simple words and terms with many meanings. I can think of at least two ways to use this list: to find words that aren’t commonly used in descriptions, and to brainstorm for upcoming sessions. 1. Eldritch 2. Nemesis 3. Rivulet 4....

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