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Category Archives for "GM Techniques"

What Are Seeds And Hooks?

Anon GM wrote in with this request about seeds and hooks: I need your help with something embarrassing. I have been DMing for years now and realized there is something that seems to be foundational to game play and I kind of don’t know anything about it.

I have read your tips and have read in multiple places about seeds and hooks. What are they and how do I use them?

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How to Avoid a TPK When GMing Intense Encounters

With the Encounter Intensify Technique you increase the stakes during an encounter to give your players a jolt of adrenaline. Just when you think it can’t get worse or more desperate, it does.

A reader asked me how to avoid wiping the party, because I advised picking a moment when encounter outcome seems dubious. Pick a low moment for the PCs to ramp up that intensity.

It’s just like in the movies. Something bad happens to the hero. As the hero struggles, something even worse happens, putting the audience on the edge of its seat.

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Creating My First 5 Room Dungeon in Campaign Logger

For my recently started MMO (moderately multi-player offline) campaign I have been looking for a format which eases on my GM workload and still provides an entertaining experience for my potentially changing player and character audience. Luckily, Johnn Four shot me a link to his 5 Room Dungeons which was exactly what I have been looking for.

On top of the format, managing a changing audience that potentially crawls the same dungeon more or less concurrently asked for a tool that allowed fast, easy and effective note-taking while I am moderating the table at the same time. Enter Campaign Logger…

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Hello, are you listening?

Upon reflection, one of my biggest challenges is listening to the game. I’m not paying enough attention to my players. For example, how many plot hooks did I pick up from my players last session? Zero. The trick to being a happy game master is being present during games. Being in the present. If I’m […]

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Encounters Seeds formula part II

In a recent Musing I talked about a formula to create encounter seeds fast: What if? + one source of inspiration = one encounter seed. I also provided three example sources of inspiration: The Monster Manual The News Random Page Finally, I offered bonus points if you connect encounter seeds to each other so your plot […]

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Remedies For GM Burn-Out

by The Roleplaying Tips Community Lots of great tips from subscribers in this Flash Back Friday submission,covering everything from being sick of gaming to having writer’s block. I hope the cure for you lies herein! Note on Navigation: To quickly move between readers’ emails, use your application’s Find or Search feature and look for @@@@@@. I have purposely […]

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How to Create a Bureaucracy

By Gareth Hodges The Aaargh factor Technically, a bureaucracy is designed to help a government or large group deliver services in a timely, efficient and effective manner. Traditionally however, they are viewed as mockeries that frustrate, delay and ultimately fail to produce results. The first step in creating a bureaucratic system for your gaming world […]

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