The Obsidian Monolith Campaign for Numenera 01 - The Town of Bonespir

The Obsidian Monolith Campaign for Numenera 01 - The Town of Bonespir

In these series of articles I will give you the material to run my campaign for Numenera, The Obsidian Monolith. This is the same campaign I discuss in The Obsidian Monolith episodes of the Game Master's Journey podcast. This is an introduction to the campaign and the town of Bonespir, where the story will start.

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Game Masters’ Roundtable of Doom #3 - My Evolution as a GM and Gamer

Game Masters’ Roundtable of Doom #3 - My Evolution as a GM and Gamer

The Game Masters’ Roundtable of Doom is a meeting of the minds of tabletop RPG bloggers and GMs. We endeavor to transcend a particular system or game and discuss topics that are relevant to GMs and players of all roleplaying games. This month's topic comes to us courtesy of Scott Robinson, who asks, "How has your gaming and/or GMing changed over time?"

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D&D Tyranny of Dragons Campaign Review & Rebuttal

D&D Tyranny of Dragons Campaign Review & Rebuttal

I’ve been running the published campaign for D&D, Tyranny of Dragons. I am enjoying running the campaign immensely, however I almost didn’t buy this amazing campaign. There are a lot of very negative reviews of these books online. Luckily for me, I kept digging and did find some positive reviews that put the negative reviews into the proper context, and I found some amazing resources for the campaign, which I will share with you in this article. I’ll give you the gist of what I got from the majority of the negative reviews, and I’ll tell you why I decided to get the books anyway, and why I’m glad I did.

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The Cypher Conundrum

The Cypher Conundrum

I believe I may have found a solution I like for the Cypher Conundrum. In a nutshell, what I call the Cypher Conundrum is a convergence of two things in Numenera and The Strange. First, if a GM generates cyphers randomly on-the-fly, he's going to end up with some results that don't make sense. Second, players in the Cypher System are supposed to find (and use) cyphers all the time. If you run many of the published adventures, you'll usually find that PCs are finding cyphers faster than they can use them, for a variety of reasons. This often leads to cyphers being left behind, which can be a drag for the GM if he's creating and detailing cyphers ahead of time.

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Five Things I Love About D&D 5e

Five Things I Love About D&D 5e

I’ll admit it, I was quite reluctant to give D&D fifth edition a try. I got burned when 3.5 came out, because I’d just bought the 3.0 books a short time before. 3.5 came out way too soon on the heels of 3.0. To me it seemed to either be a money grab on the part of Wizards of the Coast, or an indication they’d put out 3.0 before they’d sufficiently play tested it. Basically, 3.0 was a playtest, one that we all paid top dollar to participate in. However, I finally decided the changes were worth it and did make the game significantly better, so I bought in.

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How to Get Better Roleplay from Your Players

How to Get Better Roleplay from Your Players

This article is part of a bloggers roundtable of other GMs. Here is the question that was posed:

How would you, as GM, encourage roleplaying in a player who doesn't roleplay as much as you'd like, whether it's roleplaying with NPCs, being more descriptive in combat, or referring to themselves in the third person. If you want to take the roleplaying at your table to the next level, how do you get your players on board?

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The Scientific Mindset

The Scientific Mindset

The scientific method is a simple, yet powerful, methodology that has changed the world and has led to all the technology that surrounds us and improves our lives today. Just as important as the scientific method, however, is the scientific mindset. Not only is the scientific mindset absolutely essential for performing good science, but it's also advantageous to cultivate this way of approaching the world in day-to-day life. There are four aspects of the scientific mindset--curiosity, an open mind, skepticism and humility.

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Happy Newton Day!

Happy Newton Day!

I am a member of an overlooked minority in the US you don’t hear much about—people who don’t celebrate Christmas. There are many reasons why, not the least being the blatant materialism of the season in a culture that’s wasteful and materialistic on the best of days. For more on our culture of waste, please see The Story of Stuff. I also happen to think that buying someone something is one of the worst ways to try to show them they mean something to you (it is, however, one of the easiest). So, for those of you who have similar feelings, I offer an alternative: Newton Day.

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What You Should Know Before Applying for a Limited License

What You Should Know Before Applying for a Limited License

As gamemasters and players we are, by definition, creative people. It’s only natural when we find a game we love as much as we do Numenera or The Strange that we should wish to contribute to it. It’s also only natural when one puts in the time required to come up with an adventure, foci, descriptors, creatures, etc., that one would want to share it with other gamers. And once one has gone that far, why not make a little money for all your hard work? Because of all this, it should come as no surprise that there are so many of us considering the Numenera or The Strange Limited License.

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