Tag Archives: GM

Minion Motivation

As a Game Master you probably spend a fair amount of time creating a Big Bad for your adventures. Part of this creation involves coming up with a motivation for this Big Bad. By determining why they do the things they do it is easier for you to determine how they will act in different situations. Motivation is an important aspect in creating well-rounded characters in your game. But, have you ever stopped to think about the motivations for the minions that serve the Big Bad? These NPC’s are often just nameless cannon fodder. We trot them out for the PC’s to fight without a second thought as to why they are fighting.  However, a minion’s motivation defines their actions just as much as the Big Bad.  Continue reading Minion Motivation

Awarding Noncombat Experience

“Dragons! Shall we slay them for XP rewards?” “Nay, establishing trade routes is all the reward we seek.”

A few months back I wrote a post about why you should switch over from awarding experience points to milestone leveling.  One of the comments on that post was “I love math so I want to still use XP leveling, but I’m also building a campaign with little to no combat in it. How can I award non-combat XP?” The Dungeon Master’s Guide does cover this subject briefly under Creating Encounters (pg. 80) and Noncombat Challenges (pg. 261), but I am more than happy to provide my take on the subject. Continue reading Awarding Noncombat Experience

How Movies Taught Me How to Avoid a TPK

One of the worst sins that any Game Master can commit is the Total Party Kill. Sure, I make jokes about TPKs all the time. But, in my actual games I would never wipe an entire party. A TPK ruins a game and can even ruin friendships. Luckily, I found an excellent resource for learning how to avoid that TPK; movies! Movies are full of tropes and plot contrivances that allow characters to escape certain death. All I needed to do was spend hundreds of hours of my life watching them. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!! Continue reading How Movies Taught Me How to Avoid a TPK

3 Reasons to Use Milestone Leveling

Look, I’m not going to lie to you all. When other GMs and players used to talk about how much better milestone leveling was I rolled my eyes. I’ll stick with good old experience points, thank you very much! However, in the middle of my last campaign I started to get tired of tracking XP for every encounter. So I gave milestone leveling a try. And guess what? It turns out that I was wrong all along! Here are three reasons to use milestone leveling. Continue reading 3 Reasons to Use Milestone Leveling