The Lost Shrine of the Trickster God: GMing at Conventions

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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 […]

The Jungle Island of Loot, Part 2

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Redbeard, Mush and Jack sailed out of Ereborn and set for Volcano Island. I started things with a sailing challenge, asking for roll. I forget if it was Wisdom, Intelligence or Dexterity. I was clear to let them know that they wouldn’t get lost, as the volcano’s plume was visible from anywhere in the archipelago. Flubbing the […]

The Jungle Island of Loot, Part 1

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If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you know we managed to create new D&D characters and the basis of a campaign settings in less than two hours. When we were done everyone was ready to go, excited to see how the game would go. I dove right into it and grabbed the setting’s index cards into a stack. […]

Like a Virgin… for the 5th time.

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(Trying something new here. I’m challenging myself to write 3 short articles a week about D&D. If you like the idea, please let me know!) I’ve been playing RPGs for more than 30 years. I’ve been a Game Master for 95%+ of that time. It’s the role I like most, for reasons that have evolved over the […]