Category: GMing Advice


If you’ve been running online games for any length of time, well, you may have made a few missteps along the way. At least I have. Some were the kind of mistakes that any GM could make, and some were more particular to online games. So this column will be kind of a GM’s examination of conscience. Don’t worry, it won’t be a cringe-inducing tell-all. Just a chance to look at some majoyr lessons I’ve learned over the years, and hopefully to provide you with […]


Given that this was my last weekend before leaving for Gen Con I was looking for something fun to do with my kids on Saturday. My wife suggested the Colonial Plantation, which I’d never been to in spite of it being only about 15-20 minutes away from our house. It was not an event weekend, so I didn’t expect to get much out of it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With hardly anyone else there, my family had the full attention of the people […]


The name of the dashing green fellow in the picture to the right is South. He and a bunch of his friends showed up at a game of The One Ring that I ran at Origins this year. South showed up just like this, in full Orc makeup from a larp he was involved with earlier. Joking around, he played up his Orcish character and joked around with the other players both known and unknown to him. As I went around the table and gauged […]

If you need a dinosaur, you better have a dinosaur.

GenCon officially starts in under a week and I’m freaking out. It’s a good kind of freaking out. The kind where I look at a random nerdy friend, grin like a maniac and yell, “CONNNNNNN!!!” at a loud volume. Luckily the non-nerdy people around me are mostly used to my eccentricities by now. I love game conventions and I hit between five and seven of them every year. GenCon is, by far, the biggest behemoth of the bunch. They’ll probably top 60,000 people this year […]


Well, our initial look at flavor text for cues to roleplaying monsters differently generated a good response. So here are some more to utilize in your game. Good dragons gone bad Sometimes it is fun to pit the PCs against a metallic dragon. Not that they are really that much different than the chromatic ones, but the “good” dragons have noble motivations. Like overzealous paladins (except they have huge wings and devastating breath weapons), these guys aren’t so easily tricked into “looking the other way.” […]


I love movies, comics, and books, and it never fails that as I am consuming them, my mind grabs on to parts and tries to drag them into the campaign I am running. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and that is true, but what is also true is that putting something anachronistic into your game breaks immersion. So how do you take that awesome think you just saw and get into your game, without jarring your players? Today’s Topic… This […]


Recently I needed a forest road map for an encounter, and my creativity was running a bit low. The best I could come up with was the standard “road with trees on either side.” Online aerial maps helped me break out of the creative slump, and I thought I’d share some of my observations here. FINDING THE RIGHT MAP If you’d like to find an aerial map, you may wish to start close to home. Need a warehouse district for your modern game? I bet […]