Author: Phil Vecchione


About Phil Vecchione

A gamer for 30 years, Phil cut his teeth on Moldvay D&D and has tried to run everything else since then. He has had the fortune to be gaming with the same group for almost 20 years. When not blogging or writing RPG books, Phil is a husband, father, and project manager. More about Phil.

GMingAdvice04

I just recently started a Night’s Black Agents campaign and while prepping for my first session, I found that what I prepped was far less than I normally would write out. When I looked at what I was leaving out, I saw that it was all the contingency material; all the “if they do this, then this happens”. It was then I realized that I did not need that anymore, because I would react to what the players came up with and roll with it. I […]

GMingAdvice012

We GM’s are a creative bunch, coming up with all sorts of plots and challenges for our players, session after session. There are times when we get a bit carried away, and think up a brilliant idea; something that the players will never think of, something so incredible that they will bow before our great creativity, something they have never before experienced. Genius! I am here to tell you something: that Brilliant idea is going to blow up in your face. Let Me Tell Ya’ A […]

GMingAdvice05

This past week, I was listening to the new and excellent podcast, Gaming & BS. The episode was about Game Balance, and the hosts, Sean and Brett, had an interesting discussion about Encounter Balance in RPGs. Their discussion was solid, but as they were talking I realized that Encounter Balance is not the root issue. There is more lurking beneath the idea of Encounter Balance, and if you want to solve the problem you have to find the root cause. So let’s go digging… Encounter […]

GMingAdvice03

One of the benefits about co-hosting an RPG Podcast and owning a small RPG company is that I get to talk a great deal about RPG’s with a lot of great gamers and game designers. One of those discussions has been about two facets of an RPG: the game and the fiction engine. From Meta to Meat I want to approach the discussion of these two facets of the game from a meta, or theoretical, position. At this level, my focus will be more on generalities, with supporting points. […]

GMingAdvice03

Over the past few months, I have become interested in the topic of Leadership. As a project manager, leadership comprises a large part of what I do each day as I work with various project teams. As I began to study the area of leadership, I came to realize that it plays a role in RPG’s as well. With some thought, I realized that there is not a single leader, but there can be three different leaders at the table. What is Leadership? There is no […]

GMingAdvice012

Recently I went to a Project Management conference and sat in on a great session about how Disney creates their customer experience for their customers. While taking notes for things I need to bring back to my office, I realized that creating an enjoyable experience is one of the responsibilities (though not the sole job, nor sole responsibility) of the Game Master. At that moment, the seminar became doubly valuable, as I knew that I would also be taking what I learned to the gaming […]

GMingAdvice012

One thing I hear frequently from my fellow GM’s is that they are always a game master and never a player. Allow me to drag out my soapbox and say that if all you ever do is GM then you are doing yourself a large disservice. You are, in many ways, limiting your ability to grow as a GM. If you want to run the best games possible, sometimes you have to get out from behind the screen and pick up a character sheet. GMing […]