Posts Tagged by GM


I was reading Phil’s article when it occurred to me that there was one “leader” missing in his analysis: the Host. The Host wields a lot of power at the gaming table and she isn’t necessarily the Game Master; heck, she may not even be a player. The Host is simply the person providing the gaming space for the session. Game Masters often like to think that they’re the ones with the ultimate control, but the Host, if they aren’t one and the same, can […]


If you’re the GM, you accept the fact that you are the monster guy. It’s your pleasure and privilege to bring to life the bad guys in your world. Invariably, though, the pace of the game can rob you of that fun — portraying evildoers, that is. You are the devious designer of hundreds of snares and pit traps placed throughout the underground warren by the mad kobold king … which the PCs just sidestepped, outright avoided, and foiled on lucky rolls, not triggering a […]


So, during my monthly review of podcasts during my commute to work, and I’m listening to a seminar conducted by Wolfgang Baur — Kobold-in-Chief over at Kobold Press (formerly Open Design) — for the most recent PaizoCon that was recorded and posted by those fine Canadians over at 3.5 Private Sanctuary. Wolfgang talks about his GMing techniques for room and combat description — a broad topic, to be sure. But of particular interest was his approach to combat description for encounters he writes up for […]


At the beginning of my last game session I asked my players if any of them spent their experience points (this for WitchCraft, if it matters).  Only one of them did, and he announced that he’d spent some points on improving his Martial Arts. That’s when I threw him a curve ball. I asked him to justify it. He looked stunned, primarily because it’s not something I normally ask. I did it on a lark, just to get the creative juices flowing (I didn’t intend […]


2011 proved to be an interesting year for me at GenCon. Normally, I have large blocks of time to hit the dealer hall or meet people. This year, my schedule was crammed, not the least because I only chose to attend 3 days without cutting back on my usual number of events. As a Gnomie, this was a special con. We won our second silver ENnie (I have it on pretty good authority that we were going to take the gold before a Halfling voting […]


A while back I was playing in a game where almost all of us were in our mid-20s to late-30s. The sole exception was a gamer in his 50s, whom many of us hadn’t met before this particular campaign. No one had any problem with someone one or two decades older than us joining the campaign. A few sessions in our host (not the GM) wanted to let his son join the game. His son was about 12 at the time and it was fairly […]


A modern variant of the mythical “grim and gritty” fantasy campaign is the “standard horror” campaign. How many of us have dreamed of running a horror adventure (horror generally doesn’t lend itself well to campaigns without high PC turnover rates) where all of the PCs are regular people forced to confront something horrific? How much fun would it be to have a flight attendant, a bookish college student, a big box store salesperson, and a construction worker have to survive a horrific threat before help […]