Over on Avonia d20, Patrick (who is Patrick on the TT forums, too) has recently written two excellent GMing advice articles: NPCs Don’t Sit on Fences and Bad Metaphor, Part 1.

NPCs Don’t Sit on Fences makes the point that it doesn’t matter how you intended your players to perceive a particular NPC — what matters is how they actually see them. It’s simple, cogent advice for creating useful NPCs — good stuff.

Bad Metaphor, Part 1 argues that while the process for creating an RPG plot and the plot of a novel are similar, comparing the two after that point is a bad idea (and a poor metaphor) — and one that can get you, as the GM, into trouble.

(And for d20 System GMs, many of Patrick’s other posts — like this in-depth look at trapfinding — may be right up your alley.)