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Sep
25

Don’t Let Fear or Anxiety Keep You Out of the GM’s Chair

Don’t Let Fear or Anxiety Keep You Out of the GM’s Chair As with any activity that requires you to perform in front of other people, GMing can be nerve-wracking. Some amount of nervousness is to be expected, but when your fears overwhelm you and you consider cancelling the session at the last minute, you can unwittingly put your entire campaign in jeopardy. Many of us creative types know how anxiety and depression can interfere with the way we want to live our lives. If you haven’t already heard Wil Wheaton’s powerful talk on anxiety, depression, and recovery, you owe it to yourself to have a listen. Our inner demons are...
Aug
21

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 2

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 2 Last session, as GM you introduced the players to the world just before setting it on fire. You gave them a glimpse of the villain’s plans and showcased the stakes of failure. Now, you’ve set the Player Characters loose in a brave new world so they can begin to get or learn what they need to oppose the villain or change who they are. No matter whether you’ve given them a linear quest line (A then B then C) or will let them choose between pursuing three different options (A, B, or C), you can keep the following tips in mind to nail the major beats of the second...
Aug
7

How to Create RPG Campaign Subplots

How to Create RPG Campaign Subplots “I like to call [subplots] supporting plots. They are there to support the main plot.” – McDonald, Brian. Invisible Ink (p. 100). Libertary. Kindle Edition. Subplots in roleplaying games are the side quests you go on to help accomplish one of your goals. When the NPC you need to talk to has gone missing, or when the NPCs asks you to travel to do some task or collect some item for him before he’s willing to help you, that’s a subplot. They’re the bread and butter of video games and roleplaying games alike. The conflict added to the story by subplots both provides...
Jul
31

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 1

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 1 After deciding to run a mini RPG campaign templated off the three-act structure, you’ve talked to the players about the type of campaign you want to run, you’ve guided them through character creation or provided pre-generated characters for them, and you’ve even give them personalized story hooks and some background information. Next, it’s time to light the fuse and wait until the Key Event ignites the plot and calls the player characters to participate in the adventure. A great first session accomplishes the following three things: it establishes the baseline for...
Jan
9

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 0

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 0 Technically the first “session” in my nine-part mini RPG campaign template, I like to call this part “Session 0“: it doesn’t actually involve running the game yet, but it does entail everything you need to get started. This post covers the things you as the GM will be facilitating the first time you gather all the players in one place, as well as the things you’ll want to prepare ahead of time. Those things are the hook, the cast of characters, the character backstories and/or individual quests, and the inciting incident. The Hook:...

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