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 We could be Frenemies: Using Good Creatures As Opponents Posted: Mon, 21 Aug 14:55:25  
D&D / Pathfinder, D&D 3.x, DnDNext
Sometimes, you want to hit your players with a problem that can be solved only with action of the most violent kind. In D&D, a monster that presents a kill-or-be-killed situation; in a superhero game, a violent threat that has to be stopped before innocents are harmed. But it’s never a good idea to do […]

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 The Crafting Of Personality Pt 1: Walk-On NPCs Posted: Thu, 17 Aug 14:54:21  
D&D / Pathfinder, Game Mastering, Mike
One task that confronts every GM is giving characters a personality. There have been a number of articles on the subject here at Campaign Mastery and I have no doubt that there will be many more. I tend to think of characters as coming in three different kinds or tiers: Feature Characters, Secondary Characters, and […]

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 Fractional Pursuits To Focus Attention Posted: Mon, 14 Aug 14:55:23  
Combat, D&D / Pathfinder, Game Mastering
For the last few weeks I’ve been (occasionally) reading a board-game development blog/newsletter – Brandon the Game Dev for anyone who might be interested – at the invitation of a relatively new twitter contact, @brandongamedev. This week’s post was about playtesting; in it, Brandon wrote, Since people can do unexpected and strange things with your […]

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 The Elephant In The Gray Room, Pt 3 of 5: Significant Repairs Posted: Thu, 10 Aug 14:53:39  
Campaign Management, Cyberpunk, D&D / Pathfinder
This entry is part 3 in the series Elephant In The Gray Room As long-time readers will know, I like to break up larger series, on the theory that any given subject will interest only part of the readership. On that basis, I’ve let this series lie fallow for a few weeks, but now it’s […]

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 Kickstarting the Story Posted: Mon, 07 Aug 14:55:55  
D&D / Pathfinder, Game Mastering, Mike
There is a principle of script-writing and fiction writing that says that if you want to grab the audience’s attention, you should start the story in the middle. Perhaps the ultimate expression of this principle is the James Bond teaser. I’m not sure if it’s the case with the most recent movies – I’m not […]

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 The Success Of DnD: A guide to the history and incarnations of the most popular RPG Posted: Thu, 03 Aug 14:55:16  
Campaign Creation, D&D / Pathfinder, D&D 3.x
This is going to be a really long article* unless I control my enthusiasms really tightly, so expect me to be a little more succinct than usual. Until I get carried away, that is…. * Actually, it was always going to be a really long article. I should have said, “incredibly long article”! The Roots […]

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 Embrace, Flirt, Subvert, Reject: The GMs Relationship With Cliche Posted: Mon, 31 Jul 14:55:10  
D&D / Pathfinder, Game Mastering, Metagaming & Metagame Theory
There are two different visions of a typical winter’s day. If altitude and latitude permit, you have your snowy day with bitter winds and flurries and whiteouts and snow getting down your back; if not, then cold and wet with howling winds and driving rain that sheets horizontally and in which the only cover is […]

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 Progressive Modifiers In The Zener Gate system Posted: Fri, 28 Jul 09:51:53  
Campaign Creation, Game Mastering, Game Philosophy
Prelude I: Someone asked why readers might want to read a diary of rules creation. The Answer is simple: it helps you understand rules and rules processes, making it easier for a GM to interpret other game mechanics as they encounter them. That’s always the value of a glimpse behind-the-scenes!   Prelude II: Well, that […]

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 A Proliferation Of Lesser Masterminds Posted: Mon, 24 Jul 14:55:47  
Campaign Creation, Campaign Management, D&D / Pathfinder
It’s easy to fall into the trap of having a singular arch-enemy in a campaign. If anything happens to that enemy, it can leave the GM casting around for a direction. What’s more, having one central villain who is responsible for all that ails the world (and his flunkies, of course) is inherently a harder […]

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 Countering The Rise Of Third-Person Roleplaying Posted: Thu, 20 Jul 14:55:21  
D&D / Pathfinder, Metagaming & Metagame Theory, Mike
This is a somewhat unusual article for Campaign Mastery in that it is pitched as much, or even more strongly, at players than at GMs… While planning the next adventure in the Adventurer’s Club campaign yesterday with my co-GM, I made an observation regarding the changing style of roleplaying. Both my co-GM, Blair, and I, […]

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