Vignette D&D Play, Part 1: The Technique

When we started a new D&D campaign, my players made it clear: they’d much rather not start at level 1 again.

A Study in Collaborative World Building

Our gaming group got together to start planning a new D&D 5e campaign. I went back into my world-building tools and applied methods I talked about in my Index Card Codex series.

The Ring Of Rumours: A Cursed Item Story

And from that point on, I decided that the ring had a low level curse on it. Where people interacting with the characters somehow knew something about an expensive ring.

The Lost Shrine of the Trickster God: GMing at Conventions

There’s something about running games for complete strangers at conventions that morphs a seemingly mundane tabletop RPG session into an unpredictable and riveting experience worth writing stories about.

The Index Card Method Codex, Part 2

A stack is a great inspiration tool when you’re looking for what happens next, especially when you run a no-prep style game. When you’re thinking about what comes next in play, just pick up your stack and go through it. You might find something that inspires a whole scene, especially if you keep up-to-date notes.

The Index Card Method Codex, Part 1

I’ve been using index cards as a GMing tool a lot this last year. In July, I posted about using them to create adventures in your downtime. I’ve since found new uses for them and brought everything together in this post.

Zen and the Art of Dungeon Mastering #7: Asking Loaded Questions

As I mused on the session during the ensuing weekend, I realized that I might have rediscovered some of the best dirty GMing tricks I’d read in small-press RPGs like Dread. Asking loaded question can indeed steer a player’s action.

The Cardboard Dungeon, Part 1

For our second D&D session, I was “planning” to run a classic Dungeon Crawl™. In the spirit of the previous session, I didn’t want to prepare an actual dungeon map with a key of its content. First I didn’t have time, and second, I wanted to see how I could run an improvised crawl. As I […]

Fake it like Chatty.

No matter how many years of experience you accumulate as a Dungeon Master, there are things you’re better at than others.  For instance, I’m excellent with pacing and I bring stories from zero to epic in mere minutes. (I once ran a game from character creation to driving A moon-sized dragon into a planet core to […]

The Jungle Island of Loot, Part 3

After a very bloody round of combat , my players became aware that I wasn’t planning to parcel out encounters in tidy, balanced packets (especially since I didn’t have the Dungeon Master Guide at the time). They rapidly started looking for alternatives to becoming monkey chow. Franky: Mush will use Minor Illusion to create the sound […]