System-Neutral GMing Advice
 

Preorders for our sixth system-neutral GMing advice book, Focal Point: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions, will open in late June or early July!

Written by our own Phil Vecchione, Walt Ciechanowski, and John Arcadian, Focal Point is the final book in the "accidental trilogy" begun in Never Unprepared and Odyssey, but also stands on its own.

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Focal Point is at the printer! Which means . . . preorders will open July 7! And that means . . . it’s preview time! Specifically, time to share a free 19-page preview of Focal Point, including the front and back covers, table of contents, and a representative sample from each of the book’s three big sections. Preorder details will be in the launch announcement on the 7th. I can’t wait to share this book with you!








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I recently ran two games at our local gameday: fantasy in the first session, and Star Wars (using a VERY simple version of FUDGE) in the second. I wanted to sit down and evaluate what went well and what needed improvement in case I get to run those scenarios again. I’m not going to bore you with a blow by blow account (“Let me tell you about my game..”). Rather let’s focus on some of the big issues that come to mind, and may have […]

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I’m still reading the Cypher System rulebook, though I suspect many people would get through it faster than I have. So far I’ve finished the first 10 chapters (through page 234) covering character creation and the rules. Though the sections on adapting the base system to various genres and the GMing section remain, what I’ve read so far encompasses all the necessities for running a game. Character creation in the cypher system is fairly easy. Couched as creating the sentence “I am an adjective noun […]

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While proofreading the final draft of Focal Point I re-read a story I presented about a time when I was a less-than-stellar player. I’d allowed an encounter that went bad for me early on hang over the entire session and I’d resisted any attempt to get back on board no matter how hard the GM and other players tried. Not only did it ruin the session, but it cut the heart out of the campaign and it died a session or two later. As a GM, I’ve […]

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It’s time for our third preview of Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions (the third book in the trilogy that begin with Never Unprepared and Odyssey) — specifically, the table of contents. I know that might not sound like the most exciting thing to preview, but it is! I always read the table of contents before buying a gaming book — it gives me a good idea of what the book covers (and doesn’t cover), and whether or not I’m […]

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It is getting close to that time…Gen Con. A time when I need to run games for strangers. A time when I have four hours to introduce a setting, characters, and a problem; and then GM the players through a hopeful solution to the problem. Along the way, I may have to teach one or more people the game system I am running. That makes for a pretty intense and jam-packed four hours. The faster I can convey things to the players, the faster we […]

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Our sixth system-neutral book for GMs, Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions, will be available for preorder in early July — but in the meantime, how about another preview? If you missed the initial announcement, which includes the gorgeous cover illustrated by Juan Ochoa (with graphic design by Darren Hardy and art direction by John Arcadian), fear not! Take a peek at it now. Let’s talk interior artwork! Focal Point was art directed by our own John Arcadian — who, […]