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.

GMingAdvice05

It’s rare that anyone plays a game exactly as written. In some cases, we don’t understand the rules, or misinterpret what the designer wrote. Sometimes, there are parts of the rules that don’t align with our tastes and so we change or omit them. Finally, there are some people who take the system of a game and bend it to be something altogether different from what the designer intended. In all these cases, we are not playing the game as the designer intended, we are […]

GMingAdvice04

When I am not writing here, I am the co-host of the Misdirected Mark podcast. On our last episode, my co-host challenged me to do a segment talking about how encumbrance is an interesting mechanic. I laughed, because I don’t think I have ever used encumbrance in any of my D&D campaigns. Then I thought about it, and took him up on the challenge. As I thought more about encumbrance, I came to realize that there are a number of interesting game play decisions around […]

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 […]