Author: Matthew J. Neagley

About Matthew J. Neagley

First introduced to RPGs through the DnD Red Box Set in 1990, Matt fights an ongoing battle with GMing ADD, leaving his to-do list littered with the broken wrecks of half-formed campaigns, worlds, characters, settings, and home-brewed systems. Luckily, his wife is also a GM, providing him with time on both sides of the screen.

This here? This is all you get.

If you’ve ever obsessively stalked me, you may have noticed an interesting pattern. Here at my bio, it states: “Matt fights on ongoing battle with GMing ADD, leaving his to-do list littered with the broken wrecks of half-formed campaigns, worlds, characters, settings, and home-brewed systems.” And every year, I post a “garage sale” article of the campaigns that I thought up but never actually used for one reason or another. And of course if you just browse my general article list you’ll notice two overarching […]


Every year I write this article giving away some of my unused campaign ideas and every year it gets a little harder to write. Turns out I may not actually have the volume of ideas I once thought I did. I may have just had a massive backlog. Or maybe I’m just slowing down in my old age. Who knows? Still, as it ties in nicely with the various “fresh start” initiatives like our own New Game Day, I’ll keep pretending that someone out there […]


One of the more common “mistakes” of even veteran GMs is made not only before the game begins, but early on in the planning. This “mistake” is the massive investiture of time, creativity and energy into campaign design. While every game needs a solid foundation, detailing continents – even entire worlds that will never see use – is a waste of time, as is stating out every member of the thieves guild, detailing massive pantheons, writing national histories and creating genealogical surveys of kings. Yet […]

Mind Map Full

Mind Mapping is an information organizing technique, also called web mapping, concept mapping, spider mapping, or spray mapping. It involves building a fairly free-form web of related concepts with pathways between them. Useful for almost any aspects of GMing, it can be applied to brainstorming ideas, planning campaigns, settings, adventures, characters, locations, and pretty much anything else. The execution is simple. Write down the big idea in the center of a blank sheet of paper, then write down a smaller related idea nearby and draw […]


There are plenty of articles here, there, and everywhere on the care and feeding of a megadungeon. However, for those of you who would like something new, I propose the following: convert your megadungeon to a hex map! Why? Because Hex maps have an entirely NEW set of articles here, there, and everywhere on their care and feeding, so converting from one to the other puts you in a new mindset on running them and gives you a whole new set of tools to do […]

Scumbag Player

Ross Isaacs from SoulJAR Games and I recently had a yelling match over the meme pictured on the left, which I am given to believe originally came from Drinking Quest. By yelling match, I really mean civil discussion, but those aren’t nearly as exciting. While I’m revealing my blatant falsehoods, I might as well admit to one more. That article title is misleading too. You see, I don’t believe in realism in RPGs. I’m pretty sure that no one believes in realism in RPGs. Yes, […]

Dennis there

So one of the perennial questions that plagues my campaign planning is as follows: “How much space does a tribe of goblins need to be self sufficient? Can I place them in this forest and that’s good enough? Is there also room for these gnolls?” Now yes, as GM I can do whatever I like, and NO no player has EVER called me on having unrealistic population densities. This is more of a personal guideline thing: knowing what’s realistic or historical helps me make decisions. […]