4 Amazing GM Advice Articles From Those Other Blogs

Tyson has been sick as a dog all week. He’s leaking unmentionable fluids from his face and slowly melding with his couch. I’m sure he would appreciate any well-wishes you send his way.

Fortunately, there’s other talent on the internet, and I’ve rounded up some of my all-time favorite posts from around the Internet. Many thanks go out to the excellent writers of Gnome Stew and Critical Hits for these gems.

The Articles

1. Improvising? Don’t Worry About Beginnings and Endings, Focus on Transitions

This is one of the few times when I read a post and my jaw dropped. Patrick Benson of Gnome Stew has boiled down adventure improvisation into a single formula:

Object of Player’s Interest + Radical Change = Transition Event

With that and a basic knowledge of story structure, you can build a compelling adventure on the fly.

2. Encounters: A Simple Formula

Formulas can help you with encounter design, and this one does just that:

Challenge + unique element + a way to advance even if the party fails = a successful encounter.

This is an old post from Martin Ralya of Treasure Tables. The blog is now defunct, and Mr Ralya has moved on to join Gnome Stew, but the archives are still there and worth a read.

3. The 5×5 Method Compendium

Dave Chalker of Critical hits wrote the 5×5 Method as a way to structure a campaign to react to player choices but still have a coherent story planned out. It’s an interesting and expansive concept worthy of your attention.

4. The Architect DM Series

This series inspired this entire post. Bartoneus over at Critical Hits is an architect, and he brings that perspective to his campaign design. The posts in this series are all fantastic, detailed, and useful. I guarantee that you will learn something new from them.


I genuinely hope you find something useful in these articles. I’m always looking for inspiration for new content, so tell me which ones you like the best.

  • http://singularmoments.blogspot.com/ Cole

    Get well soon, Tyson!

    Great links Jeff. I liked the Architect DM series, specially the part he talked about improvisation.

    When I am improvising, I find myself relying on the tools that I have chosen, just like the article suggested. Random generators, maps, and the background of that area become very important. Without them, the game may turn into a disconnected mess that will frustrate the players and kill the campaign.