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 Ten Tips for NPC Creation Posted: Mon, 12 Nov 13:10:45  
D&D / Pathfinder, Mike, NPCs & Villains & Monsters
It’s a funny thing, but once you’ve thought of two or three tips on an important subject, other thoughts on the same subject start crowding in. This was going to be a quick article listing a handful of tips, things that I always keep in mind when creating an NPC, but then the ideas started […]

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 A Measure Of Success: GM’s ways of ‘winning’ in an RPG Posted: Mon, 05 Nov 13:01:08  
Beginners, Game Mastering, Game Philosophy
This article has been in preparation for a very long time – since May 2017, in fact. I hope it proves to have been worth the wait… While there is no such thing as “winning” in an RPG, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t success, and that not all success is created equal. Some success […]

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 Randomness In RPGs Posted: Mon, 29 Oct 12:59:44  
Combat, D&D / Pathfinder, D&D 3.x
Anarchy. Chaos. Flexibility. Uncertainty. Control. Challenge. Unpredictability. All of these words can be used to describe the influence of Randomness within an RPG. Every GM uses randomness in all seven of these ways, the relative significance being the primary variant. But why do RPGs contain a random element? Randomness in RPGs derives from two sources, […]

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 Construction Methodology and RPGs Posted: Mon, 22 Oct 12:55:10  
Campaign Creation, Campaign Management, D&D / Pathfinder
There’s a show that I like to watch now and then on a local Free-To-Air lifestyle channel called “Rescue My Renovation”. It appeals because it not only explains what was done wrongly but the correct way that it should have been done, and why. This presents practical information that I’ve found useful from time to […]

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 If Wishing Made It So Posted: Mon, 15 Oct 13:05:32  
Campaign Management, D&D / Pathfinder, D&D 3.x
Last week’s post was (technically*) the 1000th here at Campaign Mastery. Appropriately for such a number, it dealt with big-picture abstractions and the fundamental principle upon which the blog is founded – having more fun at the gaming table. That make’s this post (again, technically*) the 1001st – a number that itself both the seeds […]

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 Scratching Your Itch Posted: Mon, 08 Oct 12:55:48  
Game Mastering, Game Philosophy, Mike
I know a number of former GMs who gave up the job. Some of them reverted to being players, some of them occasionally still dabble in the big chair, and some were so traumatized by the experience that they gave up RPGs entirely. There are always three parts to the equation that dictates a GM’s […]

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 The Splash Vector: Delivering plots to unhittable PC Targets Posted: Mon, 01 Oct 13:59:17  
Campaign Creation, Campaign Management, Game Mastering
There are lots of good reasons to have a strong supporting cast in an RPG. They permit interactions which reveal or highlight aspects of a PC that otherwise might get an infrequent airing, for one thing. Trusted NPCs can serve as proxies for the PCs, or can supplement their skill-base. Or, fourth, they can facilitate […]

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 Structural Concepts Of Genre Posted: Mon, 24 Sep 13:56:41  
Mike, Tools & Techniques, Uncategorized
It’s not often that I start one of these article with no certainty about where it’s headed, and with no intention of even attempting to be comprehensive, but that’s the situation in which I find myself this week. Last week, I participated in an extended conversation through Twitter with Daniel Lonson and several other GMs […]

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 The Biochemistry of Anagathics and Elves Posted: Mon, 17 Sep 13:34:28  
Campaign Creation, Cyberpunk, D&D / Pathfinder
Anagathics (n) – drugs and treatments that halt and reverse the progress of aging. At least, that’s what they are called in Traveler – since we don’t exactly have any proven medications that achieve this yet, nor even research into the science on which such treatments could be based that’s advanced enough to make treatments […]

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 The Earth Below: An original DnD Cosmology and Campaign Setting Posted: Mon, 10 Sep 13:01:12  
Campaign Creation, D&D / Pathfinder, Mike
Or, “Dwarves are from Marz, Elves are from Venusia”, which was almost the title of this article! I was thinking about another post (that you will hopefully see in a week or so) when an idea for a completely original D&D/Pathfinder cosmology occurred to me. In a matter of minutes, it had become a fully-fledged […]

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