Re-molding an Adventure

I once ran an adventure that resulted in a TPK. Darn Hodags. Everyone rolled up new characters and wanted to take it on again. It was a playtest, so that wasn’t a big issue. However, I wasn’t quite happy doing an exact reset and sending the players through again. I […]

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Game Without The Table

This article is part of a three part series on gaming spaces by 3 different gnome authors. You can read the second part here, and the last part here. It all started with a giant game of chess . . . In one fantasy themed game that I ran the […]

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Narrative Phrases

Every person has a particular style of speaking. Different phrases and sayings commonly creep into our personal lexicons and come out as the commas and semicolons of our speaking. Since being a Game Master is a form of public speaking, certain of these phrases get uttered over and over during […]

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Traps As More Than Something To Disable

In many of my experiences with old school gaming, traps have generally been seen as things to disable and get past, or as things that are meant to do damage to the party if they aren’t careful. This definition blurs a little as the genre changes from fantasy or dungeon […]

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Redirect The Critical Fail

I was watching the remake of the Italian Job the other night. Aside from being a pretty decent “Super-Thief” movie, it also feels a lot like a spy based role-playing game. The exposition, the introduction and quirks of the characters, the movement of the plot and the back and forth […]

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What GMs Can Learn From Gaming Comics

Aside from Role Playing Games, one of my favorite pastimes is reading comics. Specifically, webcomics. More specifically, Role Playing Game related web comics. There are a slew of gaming webcomics out on the world wide inter-tubes and they have unique takes on gaming. Some look deep at the mechanics of […]

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So you want to game with Keith baker, huh?

This is a heads up to anyone who has ever wanted to game with a game designer, or who has ever looked at Eberron and wished they could query the mind that came up with it. Keith Baker, the creator of the Eberron setting, is taking 2009 to explore the […]

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Island Design Theory

I can’t remember the last adventure I ran that actually moved in a linear fashion. Often, I find that if I am running a pre-gen, or have built an adventure with a definite plan of execution, it ends up one of two ways. The players swing the story around like a rat flail, mangling the world until the story fits their play style (while I weep in despair over my beautiful creation), or I reign them in and keep them straight on the planned course only to find them not enjoying the game as much.

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Sharing Your Notes

A common practice in teaching today is for the teacher of a class to make notes on important things and then provide them to the students. Studies show that this helps students retain information that they would normally gloss over in lectures. I remember many teachers in college doing this […]

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A Reminder About Social Contracts

Social contracts. The concept isn’t new to gaming, nor is it a foreign entity to the great gnome stew readers. While most of us are familiar with the concept, it is one that benefits from being brought up and discussed regularly. I’m hoping that this post will outline social contracts […]

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John Arcadian