Author: Troy E. Taylor


About Troy E. Taylor

Troy's happiest when up to his elbows in plaster molds and craft paint, creating terrain and detailing minis for his home game. A career journalist and Werecabbages freelancer, he also claims mastery of his kettle grill, from which he serves up pizza to his wife and three children.

GMingAdvice012

Are your gaming sessions a little stale? Maybe what your table needs is a pie in the face. No, make that a mud pie. Fair warning: This advice may not work with your group. It may not even work with most groups. But maybe what you need is a bit of things you step in, go squish, and involve unwashed and unbraided hobbit feet. The appeal of gross-out humor might only be toward a slim segment of the gaming community. After all, things that make […]

GMingAdvice03

So I’m watching an episode of my new favorite TV show, “The Librarians,” which is about a D&D adventuring party …. (Oh, wait, I’m sorry — it’s really about these “librarians” — who fight bad magic on the side of good with John Laroquette offering sage advice from the sidelines.) And in this episode they need to make a pentagram to ward off the magic of that nameless sorceress from Arthurian Britain (hope that isn’t too spoilery). But hey, this is the modern world! How […]

GMingAdvice05

In the spirit of “you can never have enough five-room dungeon posts,” here’s a 5-step mini-quest using the fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. For reference, check out these past posts by myself and Matthew J. Neagley on the utility and craft behind the five-room dungeon. This one will use the Moose layout, though it can be adapted to the Evil Mule. Setup Family and friends of Dionysus worshipers approach the PCs, requesting they intercede in a planned bacchanal, orchestrated by wicked maenad Calepida. […]

GMingAdvice012

Incorporating elements of the supernatural into my games has never been a strength of mine. I have to make a conscious effort to dip into that well. In most of the fantasy-style games I run, there are enough flesh and blood beasts, demons and devils to keep adventurers busy. But haunts and spirits are great for creating mood or for using as markers to point player characters in a certain direction. I need to utilize them more. To school myself in the gaming possibilities of […]

GMingAdvice04

Veteran game masters might fall into the trap of viewing every monster in terms of its hit dice and combat capabilities. It’s too easy to just plug in a monster that matches the requisite challenge rating, call for initiative, and play on. Resist that urge. Freshen up those monsters. Every time your group rolls up new player characters or you start a new campaign, you have a chance to make those familiar entries in the Monster Manual new again — legendary even. The key is […]

GMingAdvice04

On the map, those entrances to a dungeon level look so innocuous: Hash marks to indicate a stairwell, a stylized ‘H’ for a ladder, a curving arrow for a slide. But dungeon-delving adventurers should be wary. There’s no better place for a monster to call home than at the doorway to another dungeon level. After all, what monster doesn’t want to be first in line at the buffet? Even game masters working from published game modules should take note to tweak those adventures by adding […]

Crock Pot

Oh, those patron higher powers. So prickly. So judgmental. So demanding. And when a GM has to portray a boss, patron, king, devil or god, by what means does she use to evaluate a character’s devotion to a particular ideal — then act accordingly? Is the cleric’s faith strong enough? Is the paladin’s heart pure enough? Is the monk’s mind in tune? Are the druid and ranger at one with the environment? And what of other characters? Is the warlock abiding by the infernal contract? […]