Category: Organization

Our game space and some ideas for yours!

WHERE you play the game is important. I mean, it’s not as important as having good people, and a good game, but a well-thought-out game space can enhance the enjoyment of any event. Here are a few design principles that I’ve uncovered in the process of creating game spaces in my own home, and in surveying game spaces in other people’s conventions, stores, and homes.

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Simple Pleasure of a GMing Binder

I started running a Mage chronicle this past weekend, and one of the things I did to keep organized was create a GMing binder. It’s not revolutionary. It’s not as sexy as using a GMing wiki (PDF). It’s not a new idea in any way. But you know what? It’s fun. I’d...

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How Do You Organize Past Scenarios?

Once you’re several adventures into a campaign, how do you organize the scenarios your group has already played through? There are two components to this question: the literal, physical organization of material (using a GMing binder, for example) and the meta-level management of past events...

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Mapping Combats: A Balancing Act

Some gamers like battles that involve battlemaps, minis and precise movement. Other gamers prefer battles to be largely descriptive, with the GM keeping track of positions. Many gamers fall somewhere in between — perhaps leaning towards a loose map of the combat area that isn’t used...

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Musings, Collusion Kills and Excel Maps

To celebrate TT’s new three-column layout (ahem), how about three GMing links? • Musings of the Chatty DM: Phil’s got some good stuff to say about GMing (and other topics, too) — try The Rule of Cool to get started, or dive into part one of his four-part series about...

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Have 2+ Copies of the Rules on Hand

This is a pretty basic tip, but one that took me a bit of time to figure out when I first started out as a GM: The more copies of the rules you have on hand, the better. • For character creation, one copy per player is ideal. • During the game, having at least two copies around is handy...

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Keep Spare Gaming Supplies on Hand

This is a pretty basic tip, but perhaps a handy one for novice GMs: Your players will forget stuff, so have spare dice, pencils, pads and other supplies on hand. This goes double if you’re running a convention game. My RPG to-go box includes three full poly sets (d4 through d%), two full...

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Manage Your Campaign With Google Tools

Amaril, author of the brand-new blog The Immaterial Plane, emailed me about Enhancing Your RPG Games with Google, his post about the many ways you can manage, organize, plan out and otherwise spruce up your campaign with Google’s free tools (thanks, Amaril!). You can get some of these same...

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Combat: To Map, or Not to Map?

A deceptively simple question: Do you use tactical maps and minis (or counters, etc.) for combat, or not? And is your choice at all influenced by whether or not the system you’re using recommends mapping out your combats?

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Scheduling Your Gaming Sessions

Like many of the organizational aspects of gaming, as the GM you’ll usually be the one taking the lead when it comes to scheduling your group’s sessions. There are five basic approaches to this task — let’s take a look at each them. What Schedule? This is pretty much how I...

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It Came From The Stew Pot

Calling all Writers! Come write for Gnome Stew!

We are always looking for new articles and gnomes to throw in the stew. Drop an article proposal over at

Guest authors get paid the same per article rate as full time staff gnomes.


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