Category: Tools for GMs

TheArrow.png

Mega dungeons are difficult to fully detail because of their sheer size. Here is a random dungeon generation system that helps make the process easier in two ways. First, it creates chunks all at once instead of single rooms, and second it’s modular so that you can design only as much as you need and have rough notes on the rest of what you’ve made while still allowing you to tack on additional content later and still have a coherent whole. The basic building blocks […]

Picture of an old-school dungeon

If you don’t follow him regularly, you might not have noticed that Chris Chinn is on fire these days. He’s long been writing great articles to help you diagnose your group and provide awesome tools, like the Same Page tool, or the super quick one sentence character motivator. Some of the more interesting ideas for 4th edition plots and stories came from his site, including The Five Blades of Bahamut– a game I’d still happily play. Now that Fifth Edition is out, he’s got a […]

spookymonk311971m.jpg

Here are three themed NPCs for use in your game. Though they could be tweaked for any genre, they can be dropped directly into a supers or modern fantastic game. Their theme is flawed divine power. Often, divine heroes are portrayed as beautiful and righteous. Not so with these characters. Though still heroic, they are a motley and damaged group. Brother Job: When the nuns of St. Mary’s found an abandoned infant on their doorstep they took the poor thing in, intending to keep him […]

kochsnowflake.jpg

You would have to ask an expert (which I am not) to get a better understanding, but to my knowledge there are two general classes of fractals.  The first (the type seen below) is a graph of a set of complex numbers. The most well known of these is the Mandelbrot set, whose mathematical equation is: zn+1 = zn2 + c where z is a complex number. There’s even a song about it:   The other type of fractal are the pathological monsters (so called […]

rumild20

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 GM.  Even if you don’t play online, hopefully you can find some food for thought here. Let’s first look at traditional, top-down maps.  These are the gridded maps we’ve all loved for decades.  Online VTT’s allow […]

Free RPG Day is coming up later this month (on June 21st), and we’re having a mini-con to coincide. In the past, I’ve gone light on running games to be available for emergencies, but the store is well staffed this year… and I’m eager to GM. (I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a few games recently; my batteries are recharged. It’s time to reciprocate.) One of the games that I enjoyed running earlier this year was Kingdom. It was a very interesting game; though […]

image.png

There is a class of creativity exercise called Random Stimulus. The basic gist of all of them is being presented with a new, random stimulus and then engaging in free association between the idea you are working on and this new stimulus. This takes a bit of practice, but it can be used to find new ideas or to enhance ideas already in use. A great source of random image stimulus is Marc Barcinsky and Adrien JeanJean’s Endless Interestingness. This web page is an endless […]