Tag Archives: gm advice

Murder by Checklist in the Yellow King RPG

Following on from this article – the advice to use Investigative Abilities as a checklist for an adventure applies doubly to Yellow King games. Unlike, say, Night’s Black Agents or Esoterrorists, where the player characters are highly competent and well-rounded investigators, Yellow King characters tend to be unusually narrow in their range of backgrounds, especially […]

Kenneth Hite’s Top Game Mastering Tip

For International GMs Day, Ken’s favorite GMing tip is very timely indeed. GUMSHOE is the groundbreaking investigative roleplaying system by Robin D. Laws that shifts the focus of play away from finding clues (or worse, not finding them), and toward interpreting clues, solving mysteries and moving the action forward. GUMSHOE powers many Pelgrane Press games, […]

Campaign Wins

This idea was suggested to me by the Chatty DM, although in doing due diligence I found that Rob already mentioned it in a “Rob says” sidebar in the 13th Age GM’s Screen & Resource Book. So, the first piece of useful, actionable advice in this article is “go read the Resource Book in detail, […]

Ability Lists as an Improv Checklist

When running a most improvised scenario (either something as ambitious as the Dracula Dossier or just riffing off a paragraph or two of notes), One Useful Trick is to have a copy of the investigative ability list for your game to hand, and check off abilities as you call for them or the players use […]

See Page XX: The Trouble with Tasers

The following article originally appeared in an earlier iteration of See Page XX in June 2008. A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws The Trouble With Tasers Technology is ruining the storytelling business. Lately it seems like every new innovation of communications technology renders another classic plot device moot. GPS tracking, widespread closed circuit […]

See Page XX: Consensus: Like A Fiat, But With More Passenger Room

This post originally appeared on DyingEarth.com between 2004 and 2007. A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws In Make It A Gimme I talked about looking for instances where the resolution system offered by the rules should be jettisoned in favor of an automatic result—in this case, a success for the player. This time […]

See Page XX: Fakebooking It

This post originally appeared on DyingEarth.com between 2004 and 2007. A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws Like most creative endeavors, the GMing craft comes with its share of eternal conundrums. One classic example is the question of whether you carefully prepare adventures, or improvise them in response to player choices. Carefully prepared adventures […]

See Page XX: Red Herrings and Ticking Clocks

This post originally appeared on DyingEarth.com between 2004 and 2007. A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws For the past couple of installments we’ve been examining investigative scenario construction from a macro perspective, mostly looking at the way scenes interact with one another. This time let’s zoom in a bit and talk about a […]

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