What is a GM? (GM’s Day 2016)

Today I’d like to muse a bit on a definition of Game Master (or Gamemaster or GM or Dungeon Master or DM or Storyteller or Referee, etc.). GM’s Day 2016 is coming up this week and I think it’s about time I actually defined what that role actually means to me personally. A GM is…

A Pair of Tiny Dungeons

Continuing my delving into dungeons dark and random… I’ve pulled together (as I like to do) a collection of random tables. They fall into the following categories: Shape Size Number of Exits Occupants Purpose Traps Age Exit Type And in true Fitz fashion they’re pretty abstract and minimal. I expect to add more details over…

A Random Start To Random Dungeon Design

Whether you go with analog randomizers such as physical dice or coins or their digital counterparts, I’ve been fascinated by the flexibility of the traditional random table. Ever since reading Appendix A: Random Dungeon Generation in the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide way back in the early 1980s, I was hooked. And I didn’t really realize how…

How do you inspire your players? RPG Blog Carnival – January 2016

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival topic is hosted by Johnn Four of Roleplaying Tips himself. He wants to know what we (as GMs I suspect) do to inspire our players to get excited to play each session. This is a tough one since I don’t GM a ton these days. Let’s take a look anyway……

The Snake’s Heart and 5e

This weekend I had an opportunity to possibly run The Snake’s Heart for my home gaming group as a D&D 5e session. Though I have played 5e two or three times (with my kids and some friends of the family), it’s been a while. This gave me an opportunity to dust off the Player’s Handbook,…

Using Scarcity, Abundance, and Enough to Inspire Settings and Encounters

Recently I had an opportunity to ponder how economics plays into the development of an area. It was a thought that first occurred after reading Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond many years ago – but I hadn’t really been at a point where I could ponder how it applies to game mechanics or writing…

Three Questions About That Fantastic Item your PCs Just Recovered…

Your PC just located an artifact of immense power while diving into a dungeon on the far side of the world. S/he knows it has fantastic abilities because s/he can feel the power thrumming from within. But you’ve seen other characters burned (literally or figuratively) by the power of such items before and want to…

Free Randomness, Part 1

You’re the GM doing prep for your next session. You have it all together. Maps. Broad strokes of the plot. But somehow you find yourself stuck when you try to come up with the little details – the glue to pull everything together. What do you do then? Panic? Meditate? Call an emergency meeting? Or…

August Blog Carnival: Contemplating Devious Dungeons

As I begin to start looking through the 5th Edition D&D Player’s Handbook and have played through a bit of the 5th Edition Starter Set, I wonder at all the various dungeons being conceived for upcoming games. (Yes, I have 5e on the brain.) But more than that, what kinds of dungeons are there? I…

Most Old School RPG owned – #RPGaDAY 2014, Day 5

So now we’re on Day 5 of #RPGaDay. It asks us what the most “Old School” RPG may be in your collection. In my collection, it would have to be my classic Dungeons & Dragons or Palladium Fantasy books. But in my defense, I see “Old School” as being nothing more than a way of describing my…

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