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Description:

Game Master's Journey is a podcast all about tabletop roleplaying games from the perspective of the captain's chair.

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Podcast Episode's:
Blood of the Avatars 23: Willim the Wondrous | GMJ 268
<p class="">This session begins after the PCs have had a month of downtime in the city of Elandria. The players discuss their downtime activities, and the characters compare notes of what they’ve learned in their various research. The PCs turn their attention to solving the mystery of the fate of Willim the Wondrous, a human sorcerer and lover of the dryad Anna who disappeared 50 years ago.</p>
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Blood of the Avatars 22: Homecoming | GMJ 267
<p class="">Lerissa meets with her mother, Amanda Victoria, and learns more about her erinyes father. Later, Fir joins Lerissa, Amanda and Dahlia at the spa and more surprising revelations unfold.</p>
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Fear & Horror, Healing & Rest Variants, Plot Points and More! | DMG Chapter 9: Dungeon Master's Workshop | GMJ 266
<p class="">Lex &amp; Brett return to their in-depth discussion of the <a href="https://amzn.to/2Y7mGRL" target="_blank">Dungeon Master’s Guide</a>. They begin with the optional rules of fear and horror. Then they explore some healing and rest variants. They briefly discuss adding firearms, explosives and/or alien technology to your D&amp;D game. Finally they discuss the three different variants of the plot points optional rule. They’re especially fans of the “gods must be crazy variant” and are really looking forward to trying that in a campaign!</p>
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Hero Points, Honor & Sanity | DMG Chapter 9: Dungeon Master's Workshop | GMJ 265
<p class="">Lex &amp; Brett return to their in-depth discussion of the <a href="https://amzn.to/2Y7mGRL" target="_blank">Dungeon Master’s Guide</a>. This week’s topics include hero points, honor and sanity. They might have also stumbled on a compelling alternative to alignment if you’re looking for a different way to play with morality in your D&amp;D game. Finally, they revisit skill variants from <a href="http://www.starwalkerstudios.com/gamemastersjourney/264" target="_blank">episode 264</a>, giving some examples of when they might be just the thing to use.</p>
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Homebrewing Guidelines, Ability Options & Skill Variants | DMG Chapter 9: Dungeon Master's Workshop | GMJ 264
<p class="">Lex &amp; Brett return to their in-depth discussion of the <a href="https://amzn.to/2Y7mGRL" target="_blank">Dungeon Master’s Guide</a> for Dungeons &amp; Dragons 5th Edition. This week they begin exploring Chapter 9: Dungeon Master’s Workshop. They begin with some general guidelines for considering optional and variant rules for your game. Then the ability option of using proficiency dice. Next up are some skill variants, including ability check proficiency, background proficiency and personality trait proficiency.</p>
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D&D Essentials Kit Review & Discussion | GMJ 263
<p class="">Lex gives a thorough review of the <a href="https://amzn.to/31EkTp4" target="_blank">D&amp;D Essentials Kit</a>. This is a great introduction to the game for new DMs and is a definite upgrade of the previous <a href="https://amzn.to/354wCPJ" target="_blank">Starter Set</a>.</p>
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DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: Combat, Chases, Diseases, Poisons, Madness & Experience Points | GMJ 262
<p class="">Lex &amp; Brett wrap up their discussion of chapter 8 of the <a href="https://amzn.to/2Y7mGRL" target="_blank">Dungeon Master’s Guide</a>—Running the Game. Today they cover combat in D&amp;D, chases, siege equipment, diseases, poisons and madness. They also talk about dealing with (or not dealing with) experience points at the table. What do you do about missing players if you use xp? Finally, they explore the pros and cons of leveling using xp, milestone leveling or hand-waved leveling.</p>
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DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: Exploration, Social Interaction & Objects | GMJ 261
<p class="">Lex &amp; Brett return to the <a href="https://amzn.to/2Y7mGRL" target="_blank">Dungeon Master’s Guide</a> to discuss exploration in D&amp;D. Topics covered include travel pace, visibility, noticing other creatures, tracking, social interactions, changing NPC attitudes, roleplaying, engaging players and damaging &amp; destroying objects.</p>
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DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: The Role of the Dice | GMJ 260
<p class="">Lex &amp; Brett discuss the various aspects of using dice in a D&amp;D game: using ability scores, saves, DCs, proficiency bonus, advantage &amp; disadvantage, inspiration, resolution &amp; consequences.</p>
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DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: Table Rules | GMJ 259
<p class="">Lex &amp; Brett discuss the various aspects of using dice in a D&amp;D game: using ability scores, saves, DCs, proficiency bonus, advantage &amp; disadvantage, inspiration, resolution &amp; consequences.</p>
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GM-to-GM Campaign Discussion | GMJ 258
<p class="">Lex and Brett discuss their latest D&amp;D campaigns—what they got right, what they got wrong, and what they’ve learned from the process. The also hit on some other topics including: using xp versus milestones versus hand-waving PC leveling; giving strongholds to the PCs; and whether or not to tell the players the difficulty number of a roll.</p>
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DMG Chapter 7: Treasure | GMJ 257
<p class="">Lex returns to his exploration of the <a href="https://amzn.to/2Y7mGRL" target="_blank"><em>Dungeon Master’s Guide</em></a> to discuss treasure and other types of rewards the player characters can earn through adventuring. Coins, gems, art objects and magic items are covered, as well as sentient magic items and artifacts. Lex also talks about other rewards PCs can receive, including blessings, charms, marks of prestige and epic boons.</p>
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DMG Chapter 6: Between Adventures: Downtime Activities | GMJ 256
<p class="">Lex returns to his discussion of the <a href="https://amzn.to/31J88d8" target="_blank"><em>Dungeon Master’s Guide</em></a>. This week he digs into downtime activities.</p>
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How to Run a Good Dungeon Crawl | GMJ 255
<p class="">How do you run a good dungeon crawl? How do you keep things interesting and exciting in a megadungeon or a campaign featuring a series of dungeons? Lex tackles these questions and more on this episode of Game Master’s Journey.</p>
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Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage | GMJ 254
<p class="">Lex gives his thoughts on the 5th edition iteration of the classic megadungeon, <a href="https://amzn.to/31xVfTn" target="_blank">Undermountain</a>.</p>
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Reveals & the Long Con, Initiative Revisited & Tailoring the Game to Your Group | GMJ 253
<p class="">Lex discusses his experience with reveals as a GM and whether or not to go for the long con. He also revisits his initiative system with some additions for players that may try to take advantage of the system. Finally, Lex talks about tailoring your game to fit your group of players.</p>
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Blood of the Avatars 21: Axis & Avatars | GMJ 252
<p>Quincy and Wahl visit the Halls of Knowledge to learn more about avatars of the gods. They also speak with Druinda and learn more about the World Axis and the adventurers who broke the world.</p>
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Hinterlands of Elandria 20: We Are SAMM | GMJ 251
<p>The PCs return to the city of Elandria and are inducted into The Honorable Guild of Adventurers, Explorers and Scholars. They acquire some powerful new gear, and a conversation with Druinda brings their true natures and destinies to light. Finally, the PCs receive an exciting new asset and ally in their quest. Secrets that have been brewing behind the scenes since the beginning of the campaign are revealed in this episode!</p>
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Hinterlands of Elandria 19: Legacy of the Night Elves | GMJ 250
<p>The PCs find some treasure and endeavor to seal the portal to the Abyss.</p>
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Hinterlands of Elandria 18: Glamour Bard Outlaw | GMJ 249
<p>The PCs explore a dungeon they believe to house a rift to the Abyss. Their goal is to slay the demons, end the threat they pose to Dianara’s Rest and close the rift. Lerissa breaks the game again, and other hilarities ensue.</p>
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Hinterlands of Elandria 17: Skedaddle Skedu | GMJ 248
<p>The PCs travel to a dungeon north of Dianara’s Rest in the hopes of sealing a rift to the Abyss and stopping the flow of demons into the area.</p>
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GMJ 247: Hinterlands of Elandria 16.2: Bacon Ninja Part 2
<p>The PCs head north in search of a rift to the Abyss. They believe this to be the source of demons that have been attacking the village of Dianara’s Rest in recent weeks.</p>
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GMJ 246: Hinterlands of Elandria 16.1: Bacon Ninja Part 1
<p>The PCs head north in search of a rift to the Abyss. They believe this to be the source of demons that have been attacking the village of Dianara’s Rest in recent weeks.</p>
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GMJ 245: Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Review
<p>Lex takes a deep dive into <a href="https://amzn.to/2ExBVuP" target="_blank"><em>Waterdeep: Dragon Heist</em></a>, an adventure for 5th edition D&amp;D. He gives an honest review of the good and bad of this adventure and discusses its usefulness to DMs who don’t end up running the adventure.</p><p>Lex begins with a spoiler free review, and then goes into a more detailed review for DMs and others considering buying the adventure. Please don’t listen to the later, spoiler-filled, part of the review if you’re going to be a player in the adventure.</p><p></p>
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GMJ 244: Hinterlands of Elandria 15.2: Explanations
<p>In this instalment of Hinterlands of Elandria, Kravitz finds his voice, and Bryn asks Quincy for aid in finding the firbolg. The PCs put the best spin on things possible when they explain the situation with Ezryn the Mad with the Mayors of Dianara’s Rest, and then they consider their next moves.</p>
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GMJ 243: Hinterlands of Elandria 15.1: Aftermath
<p>The PCs grapple with the repercussions of their battle with Ezryn the Mad. They search the ruins of her hut for treasure and debate Miguel the Flayer’s fate.</p>
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GMJ 242: DMG Chapter 6: Between Adventures: Linking Adventures Together into a Campaign & Campaign Tracking
<p>Lex returns to the 5th edition DMG to discuss how to link adventures together into a larger campaign. He also talks about campaign tracking and organization.</p>
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GMJ 241: Hinterlands of Elandria 14.2: Ezryn the Mad
<p>The PCs face off with Ezryn the mad.</p>
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GMJ 240: Hinterlands of Elandria 14.1: Safari Chic
<p>The PCs enter the Swamp of Woe in search of the witch, Ezryn the Mad.</p>
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GMJ 239: DMG Chapter 5: Adventure Environments - Traps
<p>Lex discusses traps in 5th edition D&amp;D--how to detect traps, how to figure them out and how to disarm them. He also discusses his own experiences with traps in the game and gives some tips on how to use them well.</p>
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GMJ 238: Hinterlands of Elandria Vignette 13.3: Bryn & Anna
<p>Bryn receives some valuable information from her dreams and the dryad, Anna.</p>
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GMJ 237: More Burnout Strategies, Tools for Grid Play, Alignment, Return to Numenera & More!
<p>This week Lex responds to your feedback! He shares a couple more strategies to cope with GM burnout, and he discusses tools he’s used for grid play at the table. He revisits his opinion on alignment, sharing some more instances in which it can be useful, as well as his advice on how to avoid annoying your players with it. Finally he talks about why he stopped playing Numenera and gives some behind-the-scenes information on why he shut down GM Intrusions and began Game Master’s Journey.</p>
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GMJ 236: Hinterlands of Elandria Vignette 13.2: Lerissa, Miguel, Dahlia and Logen
<p>Lerissa, the tiefling bard, gets up to some shenanigans while the rest of the village of Dianara’s Rest sleeps.</p>
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GMJ 235: DMG Chapter 5: Adventure Environments - Settlements & Unusual Environments
<p>Lex returns to his exploration of the <em>Dungeon Master’s Guide</em>. This week he explores adventuring in settlements, underwater, on the sea and in the sky. He also responds to some Listener-GM thoughts on alignments and gives his own opinions on alignment in D&amp;D.</p>
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GMJ 234: Hinterlands of Elandria Vignette 13.1: Wahl & Eliira
<p>Wahl's mother, Eliira, angel of Elandra, visits him in a dream.</p>
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GMJ 233: DMG Chapter 5: Adventure Environments - Wilderness Part 2: Mapping, Movement & Wilderness Survival
<p>Lex returns to his exploration of the <em>Dungeon Master’s Guide</em>. This week he discusses mapping a wilderness and wilderness survival. He shows how concerning yourself with how the PCs survive in the wilderness can really add a lot to your game and enhance the players’ feelings of accomplishment as their characters progress through the game.</p>
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GMJ 232: DMG Chapter 5: Adventure Environments - Wilderness Part 1: Travel-Montage & Hour-By-Hour Approach
<p>Lex returns to his exploration of the <em>Dungeon Master’s Guide</em> to discuss techniques for using wilderness travel in your adventures. He outlines two basic techniques—the travel-montage approach and the hour-by-hour approach—and he gives advice and strategies for both.</p>
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GMJ 231: Coping with Burnout
<p>Any GM (or player!) can experience burnout. Lex investigates signs of possible burnout and explores various strategies of coping with GM burnout.</p>
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GMJ 230: D&D 5e Product Order of Purchase Guide
<p>Even with the near-glacial release schedule for D&amp;D fifth edition, the game is long enough in the tooth now that we have quite a few products to choose from. Which products are the most useful? Lex gives his opinions on which order to purchase the various supplements in today's episode of Game Master's Journey.</p>
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GMJ 229: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
<p>Lex gives an overview of the new D&amp;D supplement,&nbsp;<em>Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes</em>.</p>
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GMJ 228: DMG Chapter 5: Adventure Environments - Dungeons
<p>Lex returns to his exploration of the <em>Dungeon Master's Guide</em> to discuss one of his favorite adventure environments--dungeons. </p>
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GMJ 227: Day & Night, Darkness & Light
<p>Lex investigates the rules and (not-so) common sense of darkness &amp; light in D&amp;D.</p>
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GMJ 226: Hinterlands of Elandria 13: The Unicorn, the Dryad and the Great Faerie Oak Tree
<p>The PCs finally reach the magic tree and negotiate with Anna, the dryad, for a seedling to take back to Dianara’s Rest.</p>
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GMJ 225: Hinterlands of Elandria 12: Faeries Wear Boots
<p>The PCs enter the Faerie Forest and search for the magic tree. They get to know their new companion Dahlia, and they learn that not all denizens of Faerie are friendly.</p>
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GMJ 224: Hinterlands of Elandria 11: Journey to the Faerie Forest
<p>The PCs continue their journey to the Faerie Forest, and they meet a new companion along the way.</p>
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GMJ 223: DMG Chapter 4: Creating Nonplayer Characters
<p>Lex returns to his exploration of the DMG. He discusses Chapter 4: Creating Nonplayer Characters. This chapter has lots of useful advice and tables for fleshing out your NPCs.</p>
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GMJ 222: Hinterlands of Elandria Vignette 10.1: Jaime as Marcos
<p>In the latest installment of the Hinterlands of Elandria D&amp;D actual play, Lex gets together with Jaime to flesh out the backstory of his character, Marcos the College of Lore Bard.</p>
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GMJ 221: Does a New DM Need to Know the Rules to Run D&D?
<p>How much of the rules should you know as a beginning GM? Lex gives a breakdown of where the basic rules of the game can be found and what to focus on. He also gives his thoughts on how to approach campaigns that make certain classes, subclasses, races, etc. undesirable to play as PCs.</p>
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GMJ 220: Relics of Power, New Players, Organized Play, Feedback & More!
<p>This episode's topics of discussion are guided by fantastic feedback from listener-GMs. Lex discusses his new Relics of Power supplement for D&amp;D, some thoughts about organized play as a first experience with RPGs, and a blast from the past--some thoughts on the Tyranny of Dragons campaign.</p>
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GMJ 219: Hinterlands of Elandria 10: Critical Weasel
<p>This week the PCs continue their struggle against the horrors spewing from the rift to the far realms. They meet a new friend and have to save a friend from a fate worse than death.</p>
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GMJ 218: Hinterlands of Elandria 09: Magic & Brawn
<p>Things get real in this episode as the PCs endure the consequences of past actions. They also are reminded that the Breaking of the World and the Time of Rifts are still occurring in Primordia.</p>
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GMJ 217: Hinterlands of Elandria Vignette 08.1: Fir in Elandria
<p>This episode is a vignette featuring Fir, the fire genasi lore master wizard. Fir returns to Elandria to report back to Druinda on what the party has found in the village of Dianara’s Rest. While she’s there, she learns some new spells, goes shopping for Lerissa, and acquires a new member of the party...sort of.</p>
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GMJ 216: Hinterlands of Elandria 08: Morsels for Petunia
<p>The PCs leave Korcyryx’s lair to continue their journey to the Faerie Forest. They learn first-hand that the Wilds of Primordia are a very dangerous place.</p>
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GMJ 215: Hinterlands of Elandria 07: Into the Misty Wood
<p>This week our heroes leave the village of Dianara's Rest in search of a magic tree....</p>
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GMJ 214: Hinterlands of Elandria Vignette 06.1: Wahl's Vision
<p>Wahl has a vivid dream, perhaps sent by the goddess Elandra herself.</p>
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GMJ 213: Managing Disruptive Players, Handing Out Treasure & Upcoming Relics Supplement
<p>Lex covers a variety of RPG and GMing topics. How do we deal with players who make rolls we haven’t called for, or expect to always “win” the game with little to no effort? How do we know what kind of magic items and treasure to hand out? Lex also discusses an upcoming supplement which will allow you to create relics in your game—magic items that grow with the PCs who wield them.</p>
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GMJ 212: Hinterlands of Elandria 06: Fire by Night
<p>The heroes defend the people of Dianara's Rest from a vicious attack.</p>
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GMJ 211: Behind the Screen 07: Running Session 2: The Hinterlands
<p>Lex discusses the ins and outs of running the second session in his latest D&amp;D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria.</p>
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GMJ 210: Hinterlands of Elandria 05: Wining & Dining
<p>This episode follows the PCs as they spend a week in Dianara’s Rest. Each character pursues their own and the party’s goals in their own way, and hilarity ensues.</p>
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GMJ 209: Strongholds, Followers & More with Matthew Colville
<p>Matthew Colville rejoins Lex on the show today to discuss his upcoming D&amp;D 5th edition supplement, <em>Strongholds &amp; Followers</em>. This long-awaited tome is just part of Matt’s Kickstarter campaign, Strongholds &amp; Streaming. The campaign is also providing some awesome gemstone dragon miniatures as well as studio space so Matt can produce a high-quality actual play of his next campaign.</p>


GMJ 208: Hinterlands of Elandria 04: Dianara's Rest
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p>
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GMJ 207: DMG Chapter 3: Random Encounters
<p>Lex continues his exploration of the Dungeon Master's Guide with discussion of random encounters from chapter 3. He discusses how, why and when to use random encounters, and he explains how they don't really have to be random at all. A better term to describe how Lex, at least, uses these types of encounters is "flexible encounters".</p>
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GMJ 206: Hinterlands of Elandria 03: The Last Village
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p>
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GMJ 205: Hinterlands of Elandria 02: The Hinterlands
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.&nbsp;</p>
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GMJ 204: Hinterlands of Elandria 01: Into the Wilds
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p>
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GMJ 203: Hinterlands of Elandria Prelude 7: Manny as Lerissa
<p>This is the seventh prelude in Lex's Hinterlands of Elandria D&amp;D campaign. Lex talks with Manny about his character, Lerissa, the tiefling glamour bard.</p>
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GMJ 202: DMG Chapter 3: Creating Encounters
<p>Today Lex returns to his exploration of the DMG with a discussion on creating encounters.</p>
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GMJ 201: Hinterlands of Elandria Prelude 6: Craig as Quincy
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p><p>This is the sixth prelude in Lex's Hinterlands of Elandria D&amp;D campaign. Lex talks with Craig about his character, Quincy, the human hunt cleric of Dianara.</p>
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GMJ 200: DMG Chapter 3: Creating Adventures
<p>Lex returns to his exploration of the Dungeon Master’s Guide with a discussion of the first part of chapter 3: Creating Adventures. Lex covers the elements of a great adventure, running published adventures versus adventures of your own creation, location-based adventures, event-based adventures, mysteries, intrigues, framing events, moral quandaries, side quests and more!</p>
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GMJ 199: Hinterlands of Elandria Prelude 5: Danielle as Gitfirhan
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p><p>This is the fifth prelude in Lex's Hinterlands of Elandria D&amp;D campaign. Lex talks with Danielle about her character, Fir, the fire genasi wizard.</p>
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GMJ 198: Hinterlands of Elandria Prelude 4: Brett as Wahl Part 2
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p><p>This is the fourth prelude in Lex's Hinterlands of Elandria D&amp;D campaign. Lex talks with Brett about his character, Wahl, the aasimar paladin.</p>
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GMJ 197: Hinterlands of Elandria Prelude 3: Steve as Maligar
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p><p>This is the third prelude in Lex's Hinterlands of Elandria D&amp;D campaign. Lex talks with Steve about his character, Maligar, the half-night-elf bard.</p>
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GMJ 196: Hinterlands of Elandria Prelude 2: Phoebe as Bryn
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p><p>In this episode, Lex gets together with Phoebe to discuss her character, Bryn, and her place in the world and adventure.</p>
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GMJ 195: Hinterlands of Elandria Prelude 1: Brett as Wahl Part 1
<p>Hinterlands of Elandria is a new D&amp;D campaign set in Lex's homebrew campaign world, Primordia. Five years after the beginning of the Breaking of the World, the Time of Rifts and the Retreat of Humanity, a new team of adventurers leave the safety of the city of Elandria to explore rumors of a lone village somehow surviving in the Hinterlands to the east. Very few cities survived the Breaking, and it's believe no smaller settlements did. If there is a village out there, how has it survived on its own? The answer to this question could decide the fate of the thousands of refugees packing the streets of Elandria.</p><p>In this episode, Lex gets together with Brett to discuss his character, Wahl, and his place in the world and adventure. This is the first prelude of the campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 194: Conversation with a New Game Master
<p>Listener-GM Ali Buck joins Lex on the show to discuss her experiences as a new GM.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 193: Enhance Your Worldbuilding with Anthropology
<p>Martin Hébert, a professor of anthropology, joins Lex to talk about how anthropology can help us create more realistic and more interesting cultures and worlds for our RPGs. They discuss some of the most common mistakes made by worldbuilders, and they tell you how you can avoid making those mistakes yourself.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 192: Xanathar's Guide to Everything: Dungeon Master's Tools
<p>Lex continues his exploration of <a target="_blank" href="http://amzn.to/2j8wpaL"><em>Xanathar's Guide to Everything</em></a>, the latest rules supplement for Dungeons &amp; Dragons. This week he digs into Chapter 2: Dungeon Master's Tools. Topics include basic rules &amp; assumptions of the game as well as expanded rules for falling, sleeping, adamantine weapons, tying knots, identifying spells, random encounters, downtime activities and awarding magic items.&nbsp;</p>
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GMJ 191: Behind the Screen 06: Creating the Misty Wood Encounter Table
<p>Lex discusses how he created the encounter table for the Misty Wood, the first area players will likely explore in the campaign.</p>
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GMJ 190: Behind the Screen 05: Preparing for Session 2: The Hinterlands
<p>Lex discusses how he prepared for the second session of his new D&amp;D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 189: Tool Proficiencies Expanded in Xanathar's Guide to Everything
<p>Lex continues his exploration of <a target="_blank" href="http://amzn.to/2j8wpaL"><em>Xanathar's Guide to Everything</em></a>, the latest rules supplement for Dungeons &amp; Dragons. This week he digs into the outstanding work done to improve the value of tool proficiencies in the game.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 188: Tour of Xanathar's Guide to Everything
Lex begins a series of episodes discussing Xanathar's Guide to Everything, the new D&D rules supplement. Today he gives an overview of the book with a tour of its contents. Whether you're a player or a DM, Xanathar's Guide has something for everyone.
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GMJ 187: Behind the Screen 04: Running Session 01: Into the Wilds
Behind the Screen is a series of GM commentary companion episodes to Lex's new D&D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria. This week Lex discusses running session 1, Into the Wilds.
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GMJ 186: Behind the Screen 03: Preparing Session 01: Into the Wilds
Behind the Screen is a series of GM commentary companion episodes to Lex's new D&D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria. This week Lex discusses how he prepared for the first session, Into the Wilds.
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GMJ 185: Behind the Screen 02: Hinterlands of Elandria Campaign Preparation
Behind the Screen is a series of GM commentary companion episodes to Lex's new D&D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria. This week Lex discusses his preparation for the campaign.
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GMJ 184: Behind the Screen 01: Introduction to Primordia
Behind the Screen is a series of GM commentary companion episodes to Lex's new D&D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria. This week Lex gives an introduction to his homebrew D&D world, Primordia.
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GMJ 183: DMG Chapter 2: The Astral Plane
Lex returns to his discussion of the Dungeon Master’s Guide with an exploration of the astral plane. This is the first part of a two part discussion. We'll go over the basics of the astral plane. We’re not given a lot of details on this plane in the 5e DMG compared to previous editions, so in part two we’ll refer to the Manual of the Planes from 3rd edition to fill in the gaps. This week Lex also discuss some of the spells used to travel the planes--plane shift, gate and astral projection.
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Game Master's Journey 182: Livestream 006: Upcoming Campaign, Future of the Show & More!
In October's livestream episode, Lex discusses his upcoming D&D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria, which he'll be livestreaming on YouTube. He also talks about the future of Game Master's Journey, adjusting encounters in a published adventure for PCs of a lower or higher level, Tomb of Annihilation and Xanathar's Guide to Everything.


Game Master's Journey 181: House Rules & Game Balance
Lex discusses why game balance is important. We often think of game balance when coming up with campaign-affecting house rules, but we should also keep it in mind when making rulings on-the-fly during play. These spontaneous house rules can have just as much impact on our games as the ones we spend time designing.
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Game Master's Journey 180: Hacks for DMs, Handing Out Powerful Magic Items & Is Worldbuilding a Waste of Time?
Lex covers a variety of RPG topics today including getting PCs back to town at the end of the session in West Marches campaigns, Limitless Adventures' Limitless NPCs, stepping on toes, Jeremy Crawford's DM hacks and handing out legendary and other powerful magic items. Finally Lex discusses the belief that worldbuilding is a waste of the GM's time because the players won't care about the setting anyway.
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GMJ 179: DMG Chapter 2: Creating a Multiverse
Lex shares what he learned from his latest D&D campaign. Then he begins a discussion of chapter 2 of the Dungeon Master's Guide: Creating a Multiverse. He covers the different types of planes and different ways you can fit them together into a cosmology. Finally he discusses some of the ways PCs can access and travel the planes.
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Game Master's Journey 178: GM Philosophies & Tips, Worldbuilding & More!
Brett joins the show again for a GM to GM discussion of some general GM philosophy and tips, and Lex goes into some detail on his upcoming campaign and his homebrew world of Primordia.
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Game Master's Journey 177: Livestream 005: Scaling Encounters on the Fly
Encounters seldom turn out in practice as they appear on paper. Today Lex discusses some ways to scale an encounter on the fly during play.
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Game Master's Journey 176: "Random" Encounters, Player Honesty, Theater of the Mind & GM Impartialness in West Marches Campaigns
Today Lex discusses feedback from Listener-GMs on recent topics. He discusses his opinions on Professional Game Masters. He also talks about "random" encounters, player honesty, competition, theater of the mind and the impartialness of the GM in West Marches style campaigns.
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GMJ 175: DMG Chapter 1: Flavors of Fantasy
Lex wraps up his exploration of chapter 1 of the Dungeon Master's Guide with a discussion of the flavors of fantasy.
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Game Master's Journey 174: Livestream 004: Preparing My Next Campaign
Today Lex talks about what he's done to prepare for his next campaign, The Hinterlands of Elandria. 
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GMJ 173: DMG Chapter 1: Play Style & Tiers of Play
Lex returns to the DMG to discuss play style and tiers of play. Not all D&D campaigns are the same, and this is the point in your campaign creation where you decide exactly what kind of an experience you’re going for.
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Game Master's Journey 172: Livestream 003: Preparing a Primordia Campaign - East Marches of Elandria
Lex discusses preparation for his new campaign.


Game Master's Journey 171: Worldbuilding, Railroading & High Tier Play with Brett Nilsson
Today Lex moves to the other side of the GM screen to talk with his DM, Brett. Lex has been playing in Brett’s campaign quite a while now and having a lot of fun. Lex asks him about his GMing style and about his homebrew setting of Terindal. They also talk about how to avoid railroading the PCs, and Brett's experiences running D&D at the higher tiers of play.
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Game Master's Journey 170: West Marches Campaign Variants
Lex discusses some variations you can consider to tailor the West Marches formula to the needs of your own campaign. He describes the variations he's using for his own campaign, The Hinterlands of Elandria.
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Game Master's Journey 169: Livestream 002: Xanathar's Guide, Tomb of Annihilation, West Marches & More!
Lex discusses Wizards of the Coast's new product announcements: Xanathar's Guide to Everything and Tomb of Annihilation. He also discusses West Marches campaigns, Mearls' crazy initiative system, and more.
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Game Master's Journey 168: Livestream 001: Introductions
Welcome to the first episode of the Game Master's Journey Livestream. Lex introduces the show and explains what you can expect.
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Game Master's Journey 167: Preparing & Running a West Marches Campaign
In the second of a series of episodes on West Marches campaigns, Lex discusses how to prepare and run a West Marches-style campaign.
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Game Master's Journey 166: West Marches Campaigns
Lex and Christopher discuss West Marches campaigns--a style of campaign that features wilderness exploration and player-directed action. Everything from scheduling, to party makeup, to game session objectives is up to the players!
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GMJ 165: DMG Chapter 1: Creating Campaign Events
Lex returns to the Dungeon Master's Guide to discuss creating campaign events. These events are the perfect way to begin or end a campaign, or to renew flagging interest in a campaign that's grown stagnant. Finally, Lex discusses ending a campaign.
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GMJ 164: DMG Chapter 1: Creating Campaigns
Lex returns to his exploration of the DMG and discusses creating a campaign. Whether you’re creating your first campaign, or you’ve created so many you’ve lost count, the DMG has some tools to help you.
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GMJ 163: DMG Chapter 1: Magic in Your World
Lex returns to his in-depth exploration of the DMG with a discussion of how you can use magic to flesh out your world. Whether magic is rare or common, low-powered or high-powered, reviled or respected, the consequences of your decisions will trickle down throughout your setting.
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Game Master's Journey 162: Art & Cartography in RPGs with Mike Schley
Mike Schley joins the show to discuss art, mapping and worldbuilding in RPGs. He discusses his new Schleyscapes Kickstarter and his setting of Fernweh.
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GMJ 161: DMG Chapter 1: Factions & Organizations
Factions and organizations are a great way to add richness to your world and increase your players' engagement and investment with your setting. Lex discusses how to create organizations, and he illustrates the process with his Honorable Guild of Adventurers Explorers and Scholars and the mystery cults of the gods of Primordia.
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Game Master's Journey 160: Improving a Published Adventure to Make It Your Own
Even the best published adventure can be improved by tailoring it to your players and their PCs. Lex discusses some issues with The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, and he details some of the changes he's made to the adventure to address these problems. Hopefully this example will help you put your own spin on the next published adventure you run, leading to an even more enjoyable experience for both you and your players.
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Game Master's Journey 159: Mass Combat, Absent Players & Real-World vs. In-Game Religions
In this special, Patron-sponsored bonus episode, Lex discusses whether or not we need mass combat rules in our tabletop RPGs. He also presents a listener-GM's fantastic strategy on how to turn player absence into an opportunity for the rest of the group. Finally he gives some thoughts on keeping real-world religious conflicts from ruining the game for everyone.
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GMJ 158: DMG Chapter 1: Creating Settlements for Your Campaigns
Lex continues his series on the Dungeon Master’s Guide with a discussion of creating settlements for your campaign.
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Game Master's Journey 157: Designing The Trickster's Labyrinth
Lex discusses designing The Trickster’s Labyrinth, his first published D&D adventure. He also talks about some of his experiences thus far running The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.
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GMJ 156: DMG Chapter 1: Mapping Your Campaign
Lex continues his exploration of the DMG with a discussion of creating maps for your campaign and world. He discusses the bottom-up and top-down approaches to mapping, giving some pros and cons of each. He also considers what to do if you don't have any skills with mapping and provides some campaign map resources to help you with your campaign and world.
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GMJ 155: DMG Chapter 1: Developing Gods & Pantheons for Your World
Lex discusses developing gods and a pantheon for his homebrew world of Primordia. Lex first attempted to base Primordia's gods on the domains in D&D, but finally realized it wasn’t working. Lex shares what he's learned from this and what he thinks is a better approach to creating gods and pantheons for your homebrew world.
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GMJ 154: DMG Chapter 1: Gods of Your World
Lex continues his exploration of the DMG with a discussion of gods and deities in your world. Lex explores different types of pantheons and religious systems, and provides examples from his own homebrew world of Primordia.
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Game Master's Journey 153: Tales from the Yawning Portal Review
Today Lex discusses Tales from the Yawning Portal, an adventure supplement for Dungeons & Dragons. Lex gives a full review of the book overall and each of the seven included adventures.
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GMJ 152: DMG Chapter 1: A World of Your Own
Lex begins a discussion of the first chapter of the Dungeon Master's Guide with an exploration of the core assumptions of the published D&D settings and how you can alter them to create a world that’s truly unique. Lex accompanies this with an introduction to his own homebrew D&D world of Primordia and how he's approached these core assumptions. Finally, Lex talks a bit about his continuing journey in designing the god, pantheons, portfolios and domains of Primordia.
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GMJ 151: DMG Introduction: Knowing What Your Players Enjoy Most About the Game
This week Lex begins an in-depth exploration of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. He spends some time discussing the different aspects of a roleplaying game and how you can engage players who enjoy those different aspects.
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Game Master's Journey 150: Preparing for a D&D Session
Lex discusses how he prepared for an upcoming D&D session. He explains how he took a problem encounter and used it as an opportunity to reinforce the themes of the campaign and further the goals he has for this particular session and the campaign overall.
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Game Master's Journey 149: Writers as GMs, Running Improvisational Adventures & DM-PCs vs. NPCs
Stephen Rhodes joins Lex to discuss the craft and art of running RPGs. They discuss the similarities & differences between writing for video games & running RPG adventures and Stephen points out yet another way that theater of the mind play is an invaluable tool in the improvisational GM’s toolbox. They also discuss the difference between a DM-PC and an NPC that travels with the party, how to know which side of that line you’re on, and how killing off a beloved NPC can be exactly what your story needs.
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Game Master's Journey 148: Maybe You Should Add Game Master to your Resume
Stephen Rhodes joins Lex on the show today to talk about how being a Game Master helped him get where he is today as a writer for Ubisoft Games. They also discuss writing & publishing RPG adventures, the pros & cons of class-based games, their thoughts on the ultimate RPG super-system, insights on starting a new campaign, & techniques for running RPGs for both new and veteran players.
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Game Master's Journey 147: D&D Beyond, Initiative Variants & Balancing House Rules
Lex discusses D&D Beyond, a new online tool for players and DMs. He also discusses how cutting words interacts with initiative rolls, a few initiative variants and using potions. He gives thoughts to consider when making house rules or rules variants—there’s more to it than what makes sense logically. Finally, he gives an update on his upcoming D&D adventure, The Trickster’s Labyrinth.
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GMJ 146: PHB Chapter 10 & Appendices: Spellcasting, Conditions & Exhaustion in D&D 5th Edition
This week Lex concludes his in-depth discussion of the D&D Player's Handbook with an exploration of the spellcasting, conditions and exhaustion rules.
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GMJ 145: PHB Chapter 9: D&D Combat Rules
Lex launches into an in-depth discussion of the combat rules of D&D. If you have any questions about the rules, or you'd just like a refresher, this is the episode for you.
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Game Master's Journey 144: Teaching New Players & Tips for New GMs
Today I continue my series on the Roles of the GM. In this episode we discuss the GM as a teacher. As GMs we often find ourselves teaching players a new game, or even teaching players who’ve never played an RPG before. I give you strategies to set yourself up for success and ensure your players come back for more. I also give some tips specific to teaching 5th edition D&D to new players, and finally I give some tips for new GMs preparing to run D&D for the first time.
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GMJ 143: PHB Chapter 8: Food & Water, Descriptive & Interactive Roleplaying, Resting & Downtime
I continue my discussion of chapter 8 of the PHB. We’ll talk about food & water, & interacting with objects. We’ll also discuss social interaction and the difference between descriptive and active roleplaying. I have some thoughts on how you can encourage more immersive active roleplaying from your players. Finally, we’ll go over resting and downtime activities.


GMJ 142: PHB Chapter 8: Travel, Movement, Falling, Suffocation, Vision & Light
I begin discussing chapter 8 of the Player’s Handbook, Adventuring, which includes travel pace, special types of movement, activities while traveling, falling, suffocating, vision and light.
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Game Master's Journey 141: D&D Product Replacement & How RPGs are Good for Us
Today I’ll discuss an excellent Ted talk I saw about how playing RPGs like D&D is good for us. Before that, I’ll discuss Wizards of the Coast’s product replacement policy for D&D fifth edition. Their website is misleading, and the process is much easier than you may have been led to believe.
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GMJ 140: PHB Chapter 7: D&D Ability Scores & When to Call for a Check
I dig into chapter 7 of the Player’s Handbook and discuss ability checks. I tell you how you can determine which ability and skill to use for a check and how to assign the DC for a check. I also touch on helping, group checks, encumbrance, and hiding in combat. Finally, I provide some insight on how to know when to ask for a roll, and when not to.
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GMJ 139: PHB Chapter 6: Multiclassing & Feats in D&D
Today I discuss multiclassing & feats in D&D fifth edition. These are two optional rules that you can use (or not use) to tailor your game to get exactly the experience you’re looking for.
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GMJ 138: PHB Chapter 5: Using Tables, Variant Rules, Equipment & Living Expenses
I discuss chapter 5 of the PHB—Equipment. You might be surprised how many gems are in this chapter, including some decisions you can make about how to customize your game. Before that, I have another update to episode 136's discussion of the alternate encounter rules in the Unearthed Arcana.
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GMJ 137: The GM as Rules Arbiter and PHB Introduction & Chapter 1: Using the Random Height & Weight Table
As game masters we wear many hats, and there are a lot of skillsets involved. Today I discuss the GM as rules arbiter. When it comes to the rules of an RPG, the buck stops at the GM. Most RPGs have a rule zero which gives the GM ultimate authority when it comes to the rules, not the books or developers of the game. Second, I will begin a series of segments in which I will dig into the PHB and DMG. If you’ve been asking for episodes on how to play and/or run RPGs, this is for you! Hopefully I’ll tease out some gems from these books you didn’t even know were there.
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Game Master's Journey 136: Building D&D Encounters using the Unearthed Arcana
Today I’ll discuss an alternative method for building encounters for D&D that Wizards has provided in the Unearthed Arcana. After some playtesting, I’ve found this method to be easier and work better than the method presented in the DMG. It’s also not nearly as confusing or involved as it may seem. I also discuss the dangers of getting too used to adjusting encounters on the fly instead of designing them correctly to begin with. Finally, I give some pointers on creating a legendary version of a non-legendary monster to throw at your PCs.
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Game Master's Journey 135: Volo's Guide to Monsters
Today I give a complete review of Volo's Guide to Monsters, the latest supplement for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition.
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Game Master's Journey 134: Bringing NPCs to Life & House Rules
In this episode I’ll discuss a trick I use to help me bring my NPCs to life or even create an NPC on the fly during play. I’ll also share with you a house rule I’ve been deliberating for D&D. It’s turned out to be a great example of some of the perils of making house rules.
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Game Master's Journey 133: Bringing Strongholds & Followers from 1st Edition to 5th
<p>This week I discuss Limitless Adventure's 5th edition products and Kickstarter. I also discuss strongholds and followers from Advanced Dungeons &amp; Dragons 1st Edition and share some of my thoughts on how I will bring these rules into 5th edition for use in my homebrew world, Primordia.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 132: Bringing PC Backstories into the Adventure
Today I’m discussing PC backstories and how to bring them into the story of your campaign. I’ll give advice not only for GMs, but also for players on how to better give the GM what she needs in order to bring your backstory into the main narrative. Not only will using these character hooks enrich the story of your game, but it will also increase player buy-in and engagement. I also talk a bit about the new player options for D&D being released in the new Unearthed Arcana articles and how you can, and should, make your voice heard.
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Game Master's Journey 131: Keeping the Game Going Between Sessions Part 2
<p>Today I return to the topic of gaming between sessions. How do we keep the story going, and keep players engaged, in between our gaming sessions? I’ve got some great ideas from listeners that I’ll share with you.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 130: Primordia 2.0 - Improving Your World Through Revision
<p>Today I’ll discuss some revisions I’m considering for Primordia as I begin preparations for my first campaign in the setting. I’ll also answer a few remaining listener questions about the setting. This is a great example of how worldbuilding is a process that never truly ends. Never be afraid to make necessary revisions to your setting, even when you already have campaigns up and running.&nbsp;</p>
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Game Master's Journey 129: Keeping the Game Going Between Sessions
<p>Shane of the Total Party Thrill podcast joins me today to discuss gaming between sessions. We explore strategies you can use as a GM to keep player engagement and interest high in between your gaming sessions.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 128: Primordia Q&A
<p>Today I answer listener questions about my homebrew D&amp;D world, Primordia. Some of the topics discussed include the underdark of Primordia, the fae of Primordia, and traveling to Primordia from other worlds.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 127: Adventuring in the Wilds of Primordia
<p>Today I resume discussion of my homebrew D&amp;D world of Primordia. I talk about how some of my assumptions about the world have come into conflict with running actual adventures in the world and the solutions I found to the dilemma. I also discuss what adventures in Primordia will be like, and I talk more about the Wilds of Primordia and what kinds of things you’ll find out there. What makes Primordia unique, and what will the life of an adventurer really be like in Primordia?</p>
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Game Master's Journey 126: Storm King's Thunder Review
I give my full review of Storm King’s Thunder, the new published D&D campaign by Wizards of the Coast.
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Game Master's Journey 125: Theater of the Mind Feedback
<p>Welcome to season 7 of Game Master's Journey! I’ve gotten some great feedback on episode 124, which was on theater of the mind play, and I’ll share some of that feedback with you today. I’ll also share a tip on how to handle initiative in such a way as to not disrupt the flow, momentum and pacing of your session.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 124: Theater of the Mind
Today I’m going to discuss using theater of the mind as GMs. I’ll give some benefits and challenges as compared to using miniatures and a grid, and I’ll pull in some opinions from listener-GMs. Finally, I’ll share some strategies to help you make theater of the mind work for you and your group.
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Game Master's Journey 123: Storm King's Thunder First Impressions
<p>Storm King's Thunder has more to offer than just an adventure. I discuss some of the early highlights of this book and thoughts they've inspired, including giving DMs and players choices when handing out "random" magic items, how to use the coins in treasure hoards to help keep PC wealth where you want it, and some ideas on what to do if you have a TPK. I also discuss how the adventure gives the players special NPCs to play, and how we can use its enhanced monsters as a springboard of inspiration for creating our own bad-ass one-of-a-kind monsters.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 122: Tome of Beasts Review
<p>If you're looking for an extensive review of Tome of Beasts by Kobold Press, then you've come to the right place! I dig into this new monster manual for D&amp;D fifth edition in detail. Will this book be right for you, your game, your setting and your group? You'll have to decide for yourself, but I'll give you the knowledge you need to make an educated decision.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 121: Revising the Ranger
<p>Today I’m going to discuss the latest revision of the ranger class for D&amp;D released by Wizards of the Coast in the latest Unearthed Arcana. Has Wizards effectively addressed and solved the problems with fifth edition's ranger?</p>
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Game Master's Journey 120: Old Magic & Elandria Expansion Feedback
<p>I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on episode 119, in which I discussed the expansion of Elandria, and some more feedback on episode 118 and the Old Magic of Primordia. I’ll go over some of that feedback, and my thoughts on it, in this episode.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 119: The Expansion of Elandria
<p>Today, I’m pulling in some listener feedback to guide a discussion on the expansion of the city of Elandria and the planning stages of my first campaign in my homebrew world of Primordia.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 118: The Old Magic of Primordia
<p>Today I talk a little about the legendary Old Magic of Primordia. This will exist solely in the realm of DM Fiat. Maybe it isn't even magic at all....</p>
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Game Master's Journey 117: Handling Off-the-Wall PC Actions On-the-Fly
Today's topic is making rulings on the fly as a GM--specifically, calling for rolls that aren’t necessarily covered by your system of choice. You don’t need (or want!) a game to give you a mechanic for every little thing. Once you’ve grasped the basic resolution mechanics of a game, you can apply that knowledge to resolve any crazy thing the PCs come up with to try. I’ll use the current incarnation of D&D as an example.
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Game Master's Journey 116: Worldbuilding 18 - Exploring Your World's History for Variant Campaign Settings
<p>If your homebrew D&amp;D world is anything like my world, Primordia, then it was a very different place at different points in its history. Exploring these other time periods can yield the perfect campaign setting for a different kind of adventure you want to run. Whatsmore, using the same locale in different time periods allows you to easily make previous campaigns more relevant.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 115: Worldbuilding 17 - Diversity of Religions in Primordia
<p>I bring in listener feedback to further discuss The Honorable Guild of Adventurers, Explorers &amp; Scholars. I also talk about how Primordia will have a great diversity in beliefs and religions even though there are ultimately only nine deities.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 114: Worldbuilding 16 - Guild Dues & Perks
<p>This week I discuss the benefits and responsibilities of being a member of the Guild of Adventurers. I also talk about GMs who make bard players perform at the table and how discussing your world with your players can bring a fresh perspective to your worldbuilding.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 113: Worldbuilding 15 - Balances of Power in Elandria
<p>This week I’m doing another worldbuilding feedback episode—unplugged, unrehearsed and unedited! I talk more about the different branches of government and the balances of power in the city of Elandria.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 112: Worldbuilding 14 - Merchants, Nobles, Economies, Religion & More
<p>In this unplugged feedback episode I discuss a variety of worldbuilding topics guided by your feedback. The topics include the delicate balance of power among the merchants, nobles and Queen of Elandria, the religious and cultural diversity of Primordia, and much more.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 111: Curse of Strahd Review
Today I’m reviewing the Curse of Strahd published campaign for D&D. I also go over listener feedback on the benefits of having a starting city with a diversity of people, and I give some encouragement and ideas for those taking the worldbuilding plunge. Don’t be afraid to steal ideas. All creators steal ideas. What’s important and interesting is how you fit the ideas together. I also talk briefly about the magic-casting dragons of Primordia.


Game Master's Journey 110: Unplugged, Unrehearsed & Unedited - Feedback
<p>This week I discuss listener feedback on a variety of RPG-related topics, including RPG product reviews, types of fantasy, worldbuilding, using real-world cultures as inspiration for your world and running D&amp;D in a world without gods.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 109: Worldbuilding 13: A More Attractive Cleric Part 3 - Making Clerics Awesome in Your World
<p>Today I return to my discussion of the cleric in D&amp;D. We spent the previous two episodes outlining the problem and posing possible solutions. Today I’ll go into what I think is the best solution we have—using your setting to make the cleric awesome. I’ll discuss some of the ways I’m trying to do this with my own homebrew world of Primordia.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 108: Worldbuilding 12 - Portals of Primordia
<p>I use listener feedback and questions to direct a discussion of the Portals of Primordia.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 107: Storm King's Thunder, Rune Magic & Volo's Guide to Monsters
<p>I take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to discuss the announcement of the new storyline for D&amp;D, Storm King's Thunder.&nbsp;</p>
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Game Master's Journey 106: Worldbuilding 11 - Fitting Ideas Together & Exploring the Consequences
<p>I explore the consequences of decisions I've made about Primordia and Elandria. This leads to ideas about the history of the region and the politics of the merchants and nobles of the city of Elandria.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 105: Worldbuilding 10 - Hades, He Who Laughs Last
<p>In this worldbuilding episodes I discuss Primordia's god of death--Hades, He Who Laughs Last.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 104: A More Attractive Cleric Part 2 - The Holy Burrito
<p>The cleric is one of the original classes of D&amp;D, yet throughout the editions I've seen relatively few players play them. This week I continue my series in which I examine the cleric and see what I can do to make it a more attractive option for players. This week I share your feedback, and I look at a few different ways that we could approach making the cleric a more attractive option to play.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 103: A More Attractive Cleric Part 1
<p>The cleric is one of the original classes of D&amp;D, yet throughout the editions I've seen relatively few players play them. I myself am often loathe to play a cleric. This week I begin a multi-episode series in which I will examine the cleric and see what I can do to make it a more attractive option for players. This week I look at possible reasons players don't choose clerics. In the Worldbuilding segment I discuss the angels of Primordia.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 102: Running an Adventure for New Players
This week I've got advice and encouragement for new GMs, and I also discuss running a game session for players brand new to the hobby.
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Game Master's Journey 101: You Can Be a Game Master with Matthew Colville
<p>GMJ 101: You Can Be a Game Master with Matthew Colville</p>
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Game Master's Journey 100: Episode 100 Celebration - The Past, Present & Future of Game Master's Journey
<p>Welcome to season 6 and the 100th episode of Game Master's Journey! Pour yourself a drink and strap in for this mega-episode! I discuss the past, present and future of the show, and this episode is jam-packed with your feedback.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 99 - Stealing from 13th Age with John Marvin
<p>John Marvin of Dread Unicorn Games joins me again on the show to discuss ideas, techniques and mechanics you can steal from 13th Age to use in your RPG game of choice. Not only does he give great guidance on using these aspects in your game, this is also an excellent proof of concept for how you can use aspects of any RPG in the game you're currently playing.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 98 - Designing Adventures & Campaigns for Dungeons & Dragons
<p>What is a balanced encounter in an RPG? What does "balanced" even mean? Are balanced encounters a desirable goal? If so, is it achievable? If so, how do we do it? How do we increase our chances of finishing a published campaign? What are some effects of the xp-per-encounter method of PC advancement in D&amp;D when it comes to designing adventures or campaigns? What are the traps we will encounter, and how do we overcome them? I tackle these questions and more on this episode of Game Master's Journey.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 97 - Return to Ravenloft
<p>Today I discuss my return to a beloved campaign setting--Ravenloft. I wax nostalgic about my memories of Ravenloft, and I talk about my plans for my own Curse of Strahd campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 96 - Plot Twists: GM Intrusions in D&D
<p>One of the great things about having so many RPGs to choose from these days is that you can take things you like from one game and apply them to another. My Plot Twist mechanic is inspired by Numenera’s GM Intrusion. You can easily do a similar mechanic for any game you’re running. Even if you don’t play D&amp;D, I hope that this show how you can implement a beloved mechanic or idea from one game in another game.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 95 - The Social Contract with Christopher Ruthenbeck
<p>Christopher from Shark Bone Podcast joins me on the show to discuss the social contract for your tabletop RPG. We explain what a social contract is, and how you can use it to avoid problems before they start. We share a host of ideas and thoughts to help you nail down the social contract that will work for you and your own group. One of the jobs of a GM is to manage the table and the players and create an environment where everyone can be comfortable to be creative. The social contract is an excellent tool to help you do just that.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 94 - Worldbuilding 9: My Take on Alignment
<p>This week I discuss my philosophy when it comes to alignment in D&amp;D. This philosophy has some mechanical effects on the game which result in consequences for my world of Primordia. Removing any mechanical effects of alignment from the game &nbsp;influences certain magic items as well as the deities and the outer planes. I explain how my exploration of alignment in fifth edition really helped me to arrive at some exciting new ideas for my world, and how those ideas then helped me nail down the mechanical impacts (or lack thereof) of alignment in my D&amp;D games.</p>


Game Master's Journey 93 - Fixing D&D's Broken XP & Advancement System
<p>Although I’m a fan of how Dungeons &amp; Dragons fifth edition uses xp budgets to build encounters, the system for handing out experience for character advancement is unfortunately broken. I describe the problem and offer a solution. I also discuss handing out xp for roleplaying and traps.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 92 - Review of Star Wars RPGs by Fantasy Flight Games
<p>I've had many listeners ask my to do a review of the Star Wars RPGs by Fantasy Flight Games. Specifically, listeners want to know why I'm not running this game anymore. This week I discuss my opinions of the games and give as balanced a review of them as I can manage.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 91 - Primordia AP 13: Lessons Learned
<p>The PCs reenter the dungeon and finally reach the tomb of the Red Raven. They face their biggest challenge yet.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 90 - My Edge of the Empire Campaign Part 3
<p>I get a lot of questions from listeners about worldbuilding and adventure and campaign design. There’s also been quite a bit of interest in my new Star Wars campaign. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to conclude my discussion of my Edge of the Empire campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 89 - Do It Your Way
<p>There are lots of GMs out there (including myself) who will tell you how you should run your game. Ultimately it's up to you to decide what works best for you and your game. Don't hesitate to blaze your own trail.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 88 - Swans of Black & The Fifth Edition OGL with Ryan Chaddock
<p>Ryan Chaddock joins me on the show today to discuss his 5e Kickstarter, Swans of Black, and the new OGL for D&amp;D.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 87 - Primordia AP 12: Mockery of the Undead
<p>In this episode of the Primordia campaign actual play, we learn that sometimes the way to deal with undead is to insult and mock them. Things really start to go south, and then they go south some more.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 86 - Primordia AP 11: Pink Lightning Bolts
<p>Iorek earns the title Kill Stealer.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 85 - Primordia AP 10: Mackadoodle!
<p>The PCs have leveled, so we start out with everyone describing their new abilities and spells. We also have a little bit of general 5e discussion, and then we get on with the adventure. Samson loses part of his soul. Oh well, he wasn’t using it.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 84 - XP & Random Encounters Feedback
<p>This week I use your feedback to revisit the topics of encounter-based versus milestone xp and using random encounters in your game.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 83 - Primordia AP 09: Tactical Retreat
<p>Iorek discovers a mysterious door, and things get real as the PCs face their toughest challenge yet.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 82 - To XP or Not to XP, Random Encounters & Should the Players Always Win?
<p>Today I'm discussing three topics. First, I give my thoughts on awarding experience versus using a milestone method of advancement. I also talk about how I do "random" encounters. Finally I tackle the question, "Should the players always win?"</p>
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Game Master's Journey 81 - Primordia AP 08: Fabulous Pastel Butterflies
<p>In this episode of my Primordia campaign, Raith and Azriel get naked, and we ponder whether we've gone astray from our hard core roots.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 80 - Primordia AP 07: Fort Dead Bugs
<p>The PCs battle some scary and gross creatures in The Forgotten Tomb.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 79 - Primordia AP 06: Zombies of The Forgotten Tomb
<p>The adventures in Primordia continue. The PCs face a horde of zombies within the Forgotten Tomb.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 78 - GM 101: Sandbox vs. Plot-Driven Adventures & Finding Good Players Online
<p>Welcome to the fourth episode in my GM 101 series in which I answer the question, “How do I become a game master?” Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to discuss sandbox versus plot-driven adventures. I also talk about how to get your players invested in your story, and how to find good, quality players online.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 77 - Primordia AP 05: The Forgotten Tomb
<p>The first adventure in Primordia continues, as the PCs enter the Forgotten Tomb.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 76 - Primordia AP 04: The Adventure Begins
<p>We begin the first adventure in Primordia. The PCs leave the city of Elandria to investigate rumors of monsters near a Forgotten Tomb.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 75 - Primordia AP 03: Characters & Opening Scene
<p>We continue our discussion of characters, including our fifth PC. We then start with the first scene of the campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 74 - Primordia AP 02: Character Creation & Backgrounds
<p>We introduce the characters and tell a little about their backgrounds. Dwayne as Iorek, a Tiefling Wild Magic Sorcerer; Nathan as Samson, a Human Order of the Immortal Psion; Steve as Raith, an Eladrin Bladesinger Fighther/Wizard; Kyle as Sprout, a Goliath Nature Cleric of Primordia; and Chrissy as Azriel, an Aasimar Great Old One Warlock.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 73 - Primordia AP 01: Psionics & The Order of the Butterfly
<p>Nathan and I discuss the psion/mystic class, which he is going to playtest. We talk about how psionics will work in Primordia, and how it will interact with magic. We also discuss his character, Samson, and the Order of the Butterfly. Nathan does a great job of coming up with new lore in the world to support an Order of the Immortal psion.&nbsp;</p>
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Game Master's Journey 72 - Game Mastering & Worldbuilding with Dungeon Master Chris
<p>Dungeon Master Chris from the Dungeon Master’s Block podcast joins me on the show today to discuss game mastering and worldbuilding.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 71 - GM 101: Pacing, Session Notes, and Making Combat Fast & Interesting
<p>Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to respond to your feedback and do my best to answer your questions about game mastering. These questions inculde: How do I control the pacing of my game? How do I make session notes that are easy to reference during play? How do I make published adventures not feel like a railroad? How do I make combat fast and interesting without feeling like a separate mini-game?</p>
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Game Master's Journey 70 - GM 101: Session Zero, House Rules, Worldbuilding & Thinking on Your Feet
<p>Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to answer the question, “How do I become a game master?” In the second of my series of GM 101 episodes, I respond to your feedback and do my best to answer your questions about game mastering. I discuss session zero, speeding up and slowing down combats, when to house rule (and when not to), worldbuilding and thinking on your feet.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 69 - GM Aids for Encounters & NPCs
<p>Running a game requires a lot of creativity and thinking on your feet. So what do you do when you’re out of ideas? Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to share three resources that can help you out when your creative well has run dry. These products can be invaluable to you during your prep, and even during play.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 68 - GM 101: So You're Thinking About Becoming a Game Master
<p>For a show about game mastering, there are precious few episodes about how to BE a game master. That ends now. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to answer the question, “How do I become a game master?” In this first of my series of GM 101 episodes, I will do my best to share what I’ve learned in my over 20 years of experience as a game master.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 67 - Instant Adventures with John Marvin
<p>John Marvin of Dread Unicorn Games joins me on the show today to discuss the art of game mastering. We discuss his recent series of blog post articles in which he unpacks the instant adventure format for designing and running adventures. We also talk about third party publishing in RPGs and John’s upcoming 13th Age supplement, Gods and Icons.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 66 - Using Montages and Fronts in Your RPG with John Marvin
<p>John Marvin of Dread Unicorn Games joins me on the show today to discuss the art of game mastering. We discuss his new adventure for Numenera, what he’s learned about running adventures from 13th Age organized play, and how to use montages and fronts to enhance your game.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 65 - Building D&D Encounters Part 2
<p>One of the many things I love about D&amp;D fifth edition is the ease with which you can create balanced encounters. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to create the first encounters in my new D&amp;D campaign, and I take you along for the ride.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 64 - Building D&D Encounters Part 1
<p>One of the many things I love about D&amp;D fifth edition is the ease with which you can create balanced encounters. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to create the first encounters in my new D&amp;D campaign, and I take you along for the ride.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 63 - Worldbuilding 8: Building My First City Elandria
<p>One of the best parts of being a game master is creating your own world. The fifth edition of D&amp;D has inspired me to finally take the plunge. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to discuss my new D&amp;D world, Primordia. I’ll discuss the Adventurers’ Guild in my world, how the portals work, and my first city, Elandria.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 62 - Worldbuilding 7: The Primordia Campaign Begins
<p>One of the best parts of being a game master is creating your own world. The fifth edition of D&amp;D has inspired me to finally take the plunge. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to discuss my new D&amp;D world, Primordia. I’ve begun running a campaign in the world, so I’ll discuss the first session. I’ll also talk about why I think starting small with your worldbuilding is the way to go and some more about my deities.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 61 - Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide Review
<p>Wizards of the Coast has recently released our first non-adventure supplement to D&amp;D fifth edition, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to discuss this supplement. I’ll tell you exactly what is (and isn’t) in this book and help you decide whether it’s for you.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 60 - Worldbuilding 6: Welcome to Primordia
<p>I've finally chosen a name for my D&amp;D world! I also discuss how cities work in the world, more about the night sky of Primordia, and how the planets and moons relate to the deities. I also talk about how the gods are perceived and how I tightened up my pantheon.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 59 - My Edge of the Empire Campaign Part 2
<p>I get a lot of questions from listeners about worldbuilding and adventure and campaign design. There’s also been quite a bit of interest in my new Star Wars campaign. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to continue my discussion of my Edge of the Empire campaign. I talk about the characters the players created, and what I came up with for the first adventure.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 58 - My Edge of the Empire Campaign Part 1
<p>Sometimes the best way to learn is by example. I’ve had quite a few requests from listeners to discuss my new Edge of the Empire campaign. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to do just that. In the first of a series of episodes about my new Edge of the Empire campaign, I discuss the inspirations, ideas and thoughts I had going into the campaign. Once I have a clear idea of what I want to accomplish, I’m ready for session zero with the players.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 57 - Worldbuilding 5: Back to the Drawing Board
<p>This week I really get under the hood of designing my own D&amp;D setting. I ask myself some tough questions about if and why I want to build my own world and what exactly I want to accomplish with it, and I share the answers to those questions with you.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 56 - Game Preparation
<p>A good GM should always be prepared. No matter what your RPG of choice is, game preparation is very important. Preparation can make the difference between an excellent GM and a terrible one. Prep can also make the difference between feeling awesome during and after a session versus not so much. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to discuss game preparation with the aid of an excellent GM resource—Never Unprepared by Phil Vecchione.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 55 - Choose Your Own Adventure Path
<p>Published RPG campaigns can be a great resource for GMs with busy lives. However my experiences with them has taught me that they have a lot of drawbacks. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to share my experiences with published campaigns and why I now feel they’re not for me. I also explore my other options in the search for that ever elusive “sweet spot”.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 54 - Communication & Dealing with Problem Players
<p>A very important aspect of our hobby that is sometimes overlooked is establishing and maintaining clear communication with your players. In every way from setting player expectations to resolving conflicts among the people at the table, communication is key. Today I set off again on the Obsidian Monolith to address a listener’s problems with power-gaming players and reflect on some insights I’ve gained from my own groups lately.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 53 - RPG Elegance, 13th Age & Star Wars RPG Revisited
<p>In the season three finale episode, I revisit some topics from the season with your feedback, including elegance in RPGs, 13th Age, and the Star Wars dice system.&nbsp;</p>
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Game Master's Journey 52 - Writing for Paizo with Mark Garringer
<p>Mark Garringer returns to the show today with some tips on writing for a company like Paizo. He also shares what it’s like to MC the Pathfinder Special with 1200 players.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 51 - Designing Monsters & Scenarios for Pathfinder with Mark Garringer
<p>Mark Garringer returns to the show to discuss his experiences with Pathfinder Society as a Venture Captain. He also talks about writing monsters and scenarios for Paizo.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 50 - From Pathfinder to D&D Fifth Edition with Mark Garringer
<p>Mark Garringer joins me on the show today to discuss his experiences in the RPG hobby, including creating monsters and scenarios published for Pathfinder.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 49 - The Soul of Star Wars with Kevin LoadedDice & Evan Luis
<p>Kevin and Evan from the Loaded Dice podcast network join me to conclude our discussion of Star Wars Edge of the Empire. This is part three of a three part interview.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 48 - Using Improvisation & Cinematic Aspects in RPG Storytelling with Kevin LoadedDice & Evan Luis
<p>Kevin and Evan from the Loaded Dice podcast network join me to continue our discussion of Star Wars Edge of the Empire. This is part two of a three part interview.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 47 - Gaming as Cooperative Storytelling with Kevin LoadedDice & Evan Luis
<p>Kevin and Evan from the Loaded Dice podcast network join me to discuss their Star Wars Edge of the Empire campaign, The Whiskey Rebellion. We have a lot of laughs, with some insights into the system and gaming in general along the way.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 46 - Improvisation in RPGs with Scott Kellogg Part 2
<p>One of the most important tools in the GM’s toolbox is improvisation. Scott Kellogg returns to the show today to discuss how to use improvisation skills to improve the RPG experience for your entire group.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 45 - Improvisation in RPGs with Scott Kellogg Part 1
<p>One of the most important tools in the GM’s toolbox is improvisation. Scott Kellogg joins me on the show today to discuss improvisation in roleplaying games.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 44 Unplugged - Star Wars Dice, Political Games, Sandbox Games & More
<p>I've gotten a lot of great listener feedback on recent topics, including the Star Wars RPG dice system, running political games, running sandbox games, and more. Tonight I'll go through the feedback on these topics and hit some of the highlights. I'll also tell you a little bit about the Edge of the Empire campaign I'm planning, and how I'm preparing for it very differently from other campaigns I've run in the past.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 43 - Elegance in RPGs Revisited
<p>Today I’ll reopen some discussion on episodes 40 and 41 with some enlightening comments from listeners of the show. I'll share what listeners think about elegance in RPGs and the new Fantasy AGE RPG.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 42 - How to Be a Better Player
<p>We talk a lot about being a Game Master on this show, appropriately enough. But how can we be better players? Look on any online gaming community and you’ll see there are far more players looking for a GM than the other way around. How can you be the kind of player GMs want at their tables?</p>
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Game Master's Journey 41 Unplugged - What I Learned from Wil Wheaton
<p>Welcome to Game Master’s Journey Unplugged. Sit with me around the fire, as I discuss what I recently learned watching another GM run a game.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 40 - Elegance in RPGs
<p>The more experience I gain with RPGs, the more I appreciate elegance in RPG systems. Not only do elegant mechanics make a game easy to learn, teach and grok, but it also helps everyone at the table keep their focus where it belongs—character and story. Today I look at a few systems, some more elegant than others, and try to tease out what works and why.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 39 - Running Adventure Paths Part 3
<p>Running a published adventure that will span the majority of the careers of your PCs presents unique challenges. Will Johnson returns to the show today to discuss those challenges.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 38 - Running Adventure Paths Part 2
<p>Running a published adventure that will span the majority of the careers of your PCs presents unique challenges. Will Johnson returns to the show today to discuss those challenges.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 37 - Running Adventure Paths Part 1
<p>Running a published adventure that will span the majority of the careers of your PCs presents unique challenges. Will Johnson joins me on the show today to discuss these challenges, and we have some tips for running adventure paths.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 36 - Worldbuilding 4: Ancient History & PC Races
<p>One of the most rewarding parts of being a game master is creating your own world. Today I will give a brief overview of the ancient history of my world and talk about the races available as PCs.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 35 Unplugged - D&D Player's Handbook Errata
<p>Welcome to Game Master’s Journey Unplugged. Sit with me around the fire, as I discuss the Errata to the Player’s Handbook for D&amp;D released by Wizards of the Coast.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 34 - Organized Play with Will Johnson
<p>Will Johnson joins me on the show today to discuss organized play. Not only is organized play a great way to find new gamers in your area for your home game, but it’s also a great way to try GMing for the first time.&nbsp;</p>
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Game Master's Journey 33 - Star Wars RPG with Joshua Brown Part 2
<p>Joshua Brown is back to continue our discussion of the Star Wars RPGs. This week we talk about experience and character advancement in the game. We also discuss high level play. Does the system bog down like in so many other games? Our other topics include running the game when you’re not an expert on Star Wars lore, dealing with players who know the lore better than you, and the Force and Destiny beta. Finally we answer the question, "Are Force users overpowered and unbalanced compared with other characters, as they have been in previous systems?"</p>
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Game Master's Journey 32 - Star Wars RPG with Joshua Brown Part 1
<p>Joshua Brown joins me on the show today to discuss the Star Wars RPGs by Fantasy Flight games. We talk about running Star Wars as a new GM and playing it as a new player. This is a really great game for players new to RPGs. Finally we talk a bit about lightsaber colors.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 31 - Worldbuilding 3: The Gods Part 2
<p>One of the most rewarding parts of being a game master is creating your own world. A very important big-picture aspect of fantasy worlds is the gods. Today I continue my discussion of the gods of my world.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 30 - Worldbuilding 2: The Gods Part 1
<p>One of the most rewarding parts of being a game master is creating your own world. A very important big-picture aspect of fantasy worlds is the gods. Today I start thinking about the deities in my world.</p>
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Game Master's Journey Unplugged E29 - Magic Items in Tyranny of Dragons
<p>Welcome to Game Master’s Journey Unplugged. Sit with me around the fire as I discuss magic items in the Tyranny of Dragons campaign for Dungeons &amp; Dragons.</p>
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Game Master's Journey 28 - Worldbuilding 1: Brainstorming Big Picture Ideas
<p>One of the most rewarding parts of being a game master is creating your own world. Today I begin creating my own world for D&amp;D, and I take you along for the ride. We start off with some big picture ideas for the world.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E27 - Star Wars RPG with Ben Yendall Part 2
<p>Ben Yendall joins me again on the show today to conclude our discussion of the Star Wars RPG system by Fantasy Flight Games.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E26 - Star Wars RPG with Ben Yendall Part 1
<p>Ben Yendall joins me on the show today to discuss the Star Wars RPG system by Fantasy Flight Games.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E25 - Determining the Best Size for Your RPG Group
<p>Is bigger really better when it comes to the size of your RPG group? Does it matter whether you’re playing in person or online? Is there a sweet spot for group size?</p>
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Game Master's Journey E24 - The Future of Dungeons & Dragons
<p>Welcome to the season two premier! Today I’ll dig into the inspiration mechanic for D&amp;D fifth edition.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E23 - Inspiration in D&D
<p>Welcome to the season two premier! Today I’ll dig into the inspiration mechanic for D&amp;D fifth edition.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E22 - Feats & Multiclassing in D&D
<p>This is the season one finale episode! Today I’ll discuss feats and multiclassing in Dungeons &amp; Dragons.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E21 The Obsidian Monolith 10 - The Conclusion of the Campaign
<p>In the final episode of The Obsidian Monolith I show how to bring a campaign to a satisfying conclusion. I also reveal the secrets of the Obsidian Monolith and the campaign. This is an episode you won't want to miss!</p>
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Game Master's Journey E20 - How to Avoid GM Laziness & Improve Your Craft
<p>The longer you GM, the easier it is to fall into bad habits. What are some of the signs you’re slipping and becoming a lazy GM, and what are some strategies you can use to keep your game mastering at peak performance? Join me on the Journey as I explore these questions. Together we can become game masters truly worthy of the title.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E19 The Obsidian Monolith 09 - The Machine of the Emols
<p>Today I’ll discuss the fourth adventure of the campaign—The Machine of the Emols. I also give the outline for the rest of the campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E18 - Digging Into the New Dungeon Master's Guide Part 3
<p>I continue my discussion of the new Dungeon Master’s Guide for Dungeons and Dragons. This is an awesome resource for any GM of almost any RPG game out there.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E17 - Do You Want the Kitchen Sink in Your RPG Setting?
<p>We see a lot of kitchen sink RPG settings these days, but do you really want to throw the kitchen sink into your homebrew setting? What are the pros and cons of representing a wide variety of genres and themes in one setting?</p>
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Game Master's Journey E16 The Obsidian Monolith 08 - The Village of the Culovas
<p>Today I'll discuss the conclusion of the second adventure in the campaign. I'll also share with you what I came up with for the culova village and culture, as well as some culova NPCs.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E15 - 13th Age with J-M DeFoggi & Nick Johnson Part 2
<p>I continue my discussion of 13th Age with J-M DeFoggi and Nick Johnson of the Iconic podcast. This is part two of a two part interview.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E14 The Obsidian Monolith 07 - Connecting Adventures Together
<p>In this episode of The Obsidian Monolith, I discuss the second adventure of the campaign and show you how I used it to connect the first and third adventures together.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E13 - 13th Age with J-M DeFoggi & Nick Johnson Part 1
<p>J-M DeFoggi and Nick Johnson of the Iconic podcast join me on the show today to discuss the 13th Age Roleplaying game.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E12 The Obsidian Monolith 06 - The Windmill in the Woods
<p>Today I describe some of the NPCs in Bonespir, and I’ll share the creation of the first adventure in the campaign—The Windmill in the Woods.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E11 - Digging Into the Dungeon Master's Guide Part 2
<p>Today I continue my discussion of the new Dungeon Master’s Guide for Dungeons and Dragons. This is an awesome resource for any GM of almost any RPG game out there.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E10 The Obsidian Monolith 05 - The Town of Bonespir
<p>Today I talk about the town of Bonespir, a small logging town on the edge of the Westwood in Navarene. This is where the campaign will begin, and will serve as a home base for the PCs.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E09 - Digging into the Dungeon Master's Guide Part 1
<p>Today I dig into the new Dungeon Master’s Guide for Dungeons and Dragons. This is an awesome resource for any GM of almost any RPG game out there.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E08 The Obsidian Monolith 04 - Prepping and Running a Numenera Session
<p>Today I share how I prepare and run a Numenera session. I then discuss my goals and plans for the first adventure of The Obsidian Monolith campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E07 - Dungeons & Dragons First Impressions
<p>Today I give my first impressions of Dungeons &amp; Dragons fifth edition, and I tell you how you can run or play D&amp;D on the cheap or even for free!</p>
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Game Master's Journey E06 The Obsidian Monolith 03 - Location, Location, Location
<p>The Obsidian Monolith is a supplemental podcast to Game Master's Journey in which I will build a Numenera campaign from scratch.Today I talk about how I decided where to begin the campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E05 - My Favorite RPGs
<p>Gamemaster’s Journey is a podcast all about tabletop roleplaying games from the perspective of the captain’s chair. This is a great resource for GMs of all RPGs. Today I’ll discuss some of my favorite games.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E04 The Obsidian Monolith 02 - Laying the Foundation for Your Campaign
<p>The Obsidian Monolith is a supplemental podcast to Game Master's Journey in which I will build a Numenera campaign from scratch. Today I start laying the foundation for the campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E03 The Obsidian Monolith 01 - Preparing for an Adventure
<p>The Obsidian Monolith is a supplemental podcast to Game Master's Journey in which I will build a Numenera campaign from scratch. Today I’ll share with you the things I think about when it’s time to create a new campaign.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E02 - My Game Master's Journey
<p>Game Master’s Journey is a podcast all about tabletop roleplaying games from the perspective of the captain’s chair. This is a great resource for GMs of all RPGs. Today I will tell you a bit about myself and my history with roleplaying games.</p>
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Game Master's Journey E01 - A New Beginnning
Game Master’s Journey is a podcast all about tabletop roleplaying games from the perspective of the captain’s chair. This is a great resource for GMs of all RPGs. Today I will give an introduction to the show.
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