Category: GMing Advice


One of the side-effects of playing a large number of games, and starting to design your own, is that you start to see what the mechanics of a specific game are doing or not doing. As my understanding of game mechanics has begun to grow, I came to a few realizations about games, especially d20 games, which made me realize that I have been too hard on my fellow gamers who have been min-maxing those games. I feel like an apology may be in order… […]


Bastión Rolero, an excellent Spanish gaming site, is our newest translation partner. Here’s their first translated article. Once a few more have gone up, you’ll be able to see them all here. Many thanks to Bastión Rolero for translating our articles into Spanish!


Recently I’ve been reading articles on the differences between television and film writing. It got me wondering what could be applied to gaming as well. Obviously, there is one major difference between scriptwriting and running a game: as a GM, you can’t plan the ending. However, there are definitely some aspects of scriptwriting that apply to gaming. In this article, I will look at some of TV’s traditions. STATIC CHARACTERS TV characters don’t change much, if at all, over the course of a series. You’ll […]


I recently found myself chatting about my RPG glory days when I had little responsibilities and plenty of time to game. Up into high school (I started gaming at 9) it wasn’t unusual for me to play daily. These tended to be short sessions (under 3 hours), and there was a time when, in addition to the after school game I also ran an in-school group through a module during lunch breaks. Even through college, I managed to play regularly. I always had at least […]


Today’s guest article — on what can be a very awkward topic — is by John Lewis of RPG Alchemy. John’s loved RPGs since the early ’80s and has game mastered dozens of systems over the past few decades. He is one of the founders and authors of RPG Alchemy and is looking forward to RageCON in Reno, Nevada, this year, where he’ll be giving a seminar on player management for GMs (he’s pretty sure this topic will come up). Thanks, John! –Martin The social […]


Recently, I got into an argument. On the internet. Shocking, I know. How could such a thing happen? No one ever argues on the internet! This particular argument stemmed from a discussion on GMing. In another internet group, a friend had come across a request for GMing advice, but all the tips given felt adversarial and old-school to him, prompting him to bring the subject up to his friends. Obviously, I have some opinions on the role of the GM, but someone else countered that […]


Sometimes listening to a podcast is a little like eavesdropping on a conversation. The topic is so interesting you want to jump in and contribute. So it was when I was listening to a recent installment of “In Our Time” hosted by Melvyn Bragg for BBC4. The show regularly invites a panel of experts to have a discussion on a given subject, usually history and the humanities, but occasionally science. The episode that had me on my seat was on Beowulf, the poem about the […]