June 30, 2020

Anyone who’s paid attention to my rantings about traps in TTRPGs should know that I think having some understanding of how a trap’s trigger(s) and effect(s) actually work is critical.  Without that information, the players’ potential to interact with the trap is undercu...

June 18, 2020

In my series of posts on DM+1 play, I spent a fair number of electrons on talking about empowering the player by supporting their choices and intents.  As I'd said then, this is something that I think is a good practice in general, but it's especially important in DM+1...

June 12, 2020

(Picture source: https://twitter.com/DungeonInABox/status/1256972629505912833/)

Before I say anything, let me make it clear that I’m no expert on mental health, psychology, or brain function.  I’m mostly reflecting on my experiences as a GM through the lens of some idea...

May 30, 2020


I touched briefly on access to magic in the Power Variety post, but I had set aside writing about it at length for this post.

For those who don't know, the term "Vancian magic" comes from the original mechanics of spellcasting in D&D having been inspired by...

May 24, 2020


The essence of a D&D game is its adventures, and the core of an adventure is its encounters.  Encounters are what stand directly in the way of the PC accomplishing whatever it is they want to do.  It's possible to have obstacles that aren't encounters (like...

May 18, 2020


Whether split up into three separate books (as in most editions) or included as part of a single volume of rules (as in the Basic line and most OSR derivatives), monsters familiar and fantastical alike have always been a part of D&D.  While I support an inc...

May 16, 2020


Plenty of adventures modules suggest having a well-rounded party.  It’s not uncommon for players to ask each other what character types they’re playing to limit if not avoid redundancy.  Wizards of the Coast reworked D&D’s mechanics in 3rd edition to make ro...

May 12, 2020


Previously, I'd talked about how the DM+1 style brings changes in the distribution of attention, necessitates a roundabout approach to collaboration, and alters pacing.  This time, I want to continue looking at the non-mechanical side of things by talking a...

May 9, 2020


To state the obvious, the changes in how to run a DM+1 game as opposed to the traditional approach come from having only one player.  I'll talk about how to approach the narrative and mechanics parts of that in future posts of this series, but I want to ta...

May 5, 2020

I'm a fan of playing D&D in a one-GM, one-player format (henceforth DM+1).  It's something that I've done about as often as playing in larger groups (in terms of number of gaming groups, if not total playing time), it's a style that seems to be less intimidating for fir...

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