Author: John Fredericks

About The Author

John Fredericks

In the early 1980's, John was given the Moldvay Red Box set as a birthday gift. The Blue Expert set soon followed and the mania has yet to subside. Over the years, he has played and GMed various flavors of D&D, Star Trek, Star Wars and the odd superhero game. Most of his recent GMing has been online using virtual tabletops. While not a current photo, John assures you that he has never looked better. Sad, but true. He is the sole proprieter of Sharp Mountain Games on drivethrurpg.com.

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Dungeon Crawl: Adding More Roleplaying!!

Dungeon crawls are a staple of roleplaying. For this article, let’s expand the definition of dungeon beyond traditional tombs and caves. Crashed spaceships, inner-city sewers, and post-apocalyptic abandoned malls are all really variations on the dungeon. In a way, any remote location where bad things live can be a...

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What We Avoid!!

I’m afraid of flowers. More specifically, while I’ve been drawing and painting for many years, I avoid painting flowers. Get nervous just thinking about them. Recently I decided to face that fear by attacking one on a brand new 16″ X 20′ canvas. And the world didn’t end. I...

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SESSION ORGANIZATION: BREADCRUMBS!!

  Much like a movie or a novel, a roleplaying adventure depends on the flow of information. A game can grind to a halt when players don’t know where to go or what to do next. If players are exploring or clearing out a dungeon, this may not be...

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A Mobile Base of Operations!!

In my fantasy campaign, the players recently acquired a flying airship. This gave me the chance to reflect on the advantages and possible concerns with a mobile base of operations. While many of my examples will be based in a fantasy setting, the same principles should apply to any...

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Create a One Page System Today!!

As a GM, we often want to run a different genre or try out a new mechanic. However, learning an entirely new system can be overwhelming. Believe it or not, creating a one-page system can be quicker. Think of it this way: if you can read 50 pages an...

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THE ONLINE TABLETOP: Preparing Your First Session!!

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge: you’re going to GM your first online session.  Maybe you’re a little nervous, concerned about getting all the details right.  This article will give you some guidelines to help you make that first session start smoothly. WHAT YOU’LL NEED A virtual...

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THE ONLINE TABLETOP: Non-Traditional Maps!!

While gamers love traditional, dungeon-type maps, they are certainly not the only possible graphics options.  Background images, area maps, and player handouts can enhance any gaming experience.  Online virtual tabletops (VTT’s) make including these types of images easier than ever.  And they won’t eat up a dime of printer...

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THE ONLINE TABLETOP: Using Traditional Maps!!

Online, virtual tabletops (VTT’s) now allow more people to game than ever before.  Regardless of geography, or work and family commitments, it’s possible for almost everyone to find a game that fits their needs.  This article is the first in a series examining different aspects of being an online...

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Questions for Reflective GM’s!!

When I was taking my teacher classes, we were encouraged to be “Reflective Teachers,” even to keep a teaching journal or diary.  While few teachers have the time to write a diary, most good teachers do try to evaluate their lessons and make improvements.  We may formalize those suggestions...

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When No One Knows Anyone!!

This Saturday I will be GMing at a local gameday, and I’m going in blind.  I found out about it through the local meetup.com group and tossed my hat into the ring.  It’s mostly board games, but I sent an email asking if they’d like an RPG table. The...

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