Category: Players

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Ways to Handle Missing Players

When one of your regular players can’t make a session, you have a choice to make: Don’t play, play something else or play as normal. The first two options are pretty straightforward — let’s explore the third one, playing anyway. When you find yourself in this situation, you...

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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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GMs, Put Your Players First

If there’s a Treasure Tables philosophy (as longtime reader John Arcadian suggests that there is), then this is its cornerstone — number one with a bullet, a gold star and a chorus of angels playing little trumpets: Always put your players first. Don’t ignore your own fun, but...

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Called Shot to the Nuts

“I make a called shot to his nuts” is one of the most potentially troublesome things a player can declare during a session. Why? Because assuming the game you’re playing doesn’t support doing damage to specific areas (hit points, anyone?), it’s one of two things: a...

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Nope, We’re Not Doing That

When you present your players with a clear course of action at the start of a session — the adventure, in other words — and they say, “Nope, we’re not doing that — we want to do this instead,” you have an interesting decision to make. Do you improvise an entire...

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What Do You do When Your Players are Lost?

We’ve all run into it at some point: You’re partway through a session, and your players are utterly and completely lost. The main plot is a distant blip on the horizon, either way ahead of the party or way behind them — or it’s not even in their flashlight beam at all. If...

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