Stories with Meaning

In order to create a believable world, in which characters do more than simply hack and slash, some study and research will always be needed. In fact, to create the most effective game world possible, as much effort could be required as penning a novel. Penning a novel, however, need not be done from scratch – authors do tend to have a “toolbox” of useful story elements handy to make their jobs easier.

Building Cities

In most world building scenarios your players will end up in cities frequently and if you don't do enough prep work all your cities can end up looking about the same.  There are many different GMing philosophies on this but I'm going to share what's worked for me. When I first started I tried to... Continue Reading →

Getting Your Players to Work Together

When I first started GMing I was fairly against obvious hooks in a campaign. I mean, how frequently does your party composition make a group that would all randomly come together at some tavern (and all happen to be at the same tavern) and group up to do whatever the story is. Not frequently enough for a GM's taste.

Showing intricate histories without shoving them down the PC’s throat

I've found that many players love rich histories within campaigns. My current campaign is a world building one and over the six or so months since it's started I've been trying to find good ways to solve the age old problem of subtly showing a depth of history in the campaign without bashing people over the head with it. On the other hand many campaigns I've played in, and sometimes even ones I've GMed, have the problem that there is an detailed history but the players never actually get a good feeling for it. For all intents and purposes they are just playing in a generic fantasy world with the occasional explanation from the GM about some historical fact. So what are some easy ways I've found to keep players within the campaign setting without boring them with long history lessons?

Creating Intrigue in a Campaign

One of the things I love in a campaign is intrigue. Don't get me wrong, I can still enjoy more straightforward games, but I love it when everyone has their own agendas and when those agendas conflict between people. It can be difficult to create it well though. It is very easy to end up with, instead of intrigue, a frustrating machination of plot or characters so transparent that the party never has to wonder about them. So how do I try to create good intrigue?

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