Tag Archives: game master

Realism Vs. Fun

I’ve been thinking about writing about this for a long time, but didn’t because I didn’t have any particular thoughts, but at some point, I just have to write it. The reason that the conflict of realism and fun has … Continue reading

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Random Target Selection

When I GM, I like to have my enemies pick targets semi-randomly. I try to assess what would be realistic for them to do based on the battlefield situation and threat level, as well as the type of enemy. This … Continue reading

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Is Failure an Option?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to set conditions for failure in a tabletop RPG. On the one hand, tabletop RPGs lend themselves well to total and final failure in a quest because, while we strive to achieve our … Continue reading

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Social Pacing

Tabletop Roleplaying Games are largely social games. While focus on other core gameplay aesthetics (Narrative, Fantasy, Challenge, Discovery) vary from table to table, Fellowship is almost always a big part of why we gather round the table each week to … Continue reading

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Extrinsic Game Costs

I like puzzles in my games. I’ve mentioned before, however, that they present a challenge of design for to their reliance on player ability and not so much character ability. In my previous post, I gave some tips based on … Continue reading

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The Pacing of Fear

I’ve been meaning to do some more writing on game design topics for Game Masters, having touched on aesthetics of play (specifically with traps) and negative possibility space in the past. One aspect of game design I’ve been focusing on … Continue reading

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Running Puzzles

Puzzles are understandably controversial as tools in roleplaying games. Some people love puzzles, some people hate them. The more relevant dilemma is the extent to which puzzles are a staple of dungeon design and fantasy settings, while at the same … Continue reading

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Negative Possibility Space at the Table

I’ve recently described being a Game Master (specifically those of us who built our own world and write or own campaigns) as similar to being a game designer, a game designer whose resources are extremely limited, whose content only gets … Continue reading

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Progress Update-Gear Shift

Well, I finished coding up all of the lateral transitions (nonsensical and otherwise) and have been debating how to demonstrate them. It can be hard to tell what a player is doing when you’re just watching, so a movie didn’t … Continue reading

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Dungeon Mastery-Romps

Several months ago at a conference, Robert Defendi, maker of Echoes of Heaven, introduced me to the idea of “romps” in table top RPG modules and games. I’m not sure if this is a new idea, but it was new to … Continue reading

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