Blog Archives

5
Oct

Tabletop Tidbits: The Measure of Success in Relation to the Mental Movie

One of the things people often say about success is that it’s a state of mind. The basic idea being that if you think of yourself as a success, or in terms of success, then that positive outlook will assist you in overcoming obstacles and you’ll start being more successful. With respects to GameMastering, I always sort of translated this premise as the mood I was in when writing. If I was “in the zone” while working on my game, then surely that would find its way into the material, and eventually into the presentation of the campaign itself.

6
Sep

Obsidian Portal Campaign of the Month September 2018 – Shadows of the Rift

It’s hard to think of what Zaldara must have been like, before. Before The Rivening cut the land in two. I’ve heard stories that the source of that cataclysmic event lies on the eastern half, in the wastelands that few dare to tread, and none do so lightly. There’s a darkness there, something that dwells in the deepest of shadows; the Shadows of the Rift – September’s Campaign of the Month! A journey to the wastes is not for the feint of heart, so we’ll have to make preparations. I’ll take you to pencilneckgeek, the GameMaster of this sundered place.

31
Aug

Tabletop Tidbits: Adding Perception Filters to Your GM Toolbox

A druid, a rogue and a paladin walk into a tavern…” At this point most people begin thinking about the sorts of punchlines that might go to a joke with that opening. But the better use of time for the typical GameMaster is to start imagining, and asking questions. What time of day is it? What sort of folk live in the town? Are they well-off? God-fearing? How long has it been since the druid last set foot inside a settlement? These sorts of questions get the mind going in a much more useful direction, and will lead to an examination of the key perception filters at play.

3
Aug

Obsidian Portal Campaign of the Month August 2018 – The Praise of Old Men

Welcome to Sel-kai my young friend. It’s okay, you can look; I won’t judge. The Warbirds certainly are an impressive sight. Especially the first time. So, come to make your fortune have you? No better place to do it. Spend enough time here, work hard enough, and you might earn more than just that, you might come to earn The Praise of Old Men – August’s Campaign of the Month! Now, wipe that tourist’s look off your face, and follow me. I’ve got just the person you need to see, they call him Ancellus, the GameMaster.

20
Jul

I Fail to Follow: Making Followers Easier for the GM

A guest article by: Jynx001

I’m terrible at GMing followers when I’m running a game. One of the players in my last game acquired one around game nine, rolled up stats, described her, and figured out what role she would play in the party. The player did all the work for me. I ignored it. Completely forgot she existed and didn’t even write down her name. I had plenty of opportunities to incorporate the NPC into the story in some semi-meaningful way and I simply didn’t. My bad on that one, whatever-your-name-was.

This isn’t the first time I’ve failed at giving followers a fair shot – I’m guilty of many counts of allowing backpack familiars and henchmen that seem to phase in and out of existence as they are remembered. The sin is especially egregious, considering that in many game systems the player is spending some of their hard-earned XP or other resources to simply be allowed to have a friend! (Just like real life!) It bugs me that I’m so bad at NPC allies. So, I started examining why it was happening to search for solutions.

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