Short Takes 02/02/09

A firework in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2005

Image via Wikipedia

Posts I’ve found of use lately:

I voiced my wish to see some chance of spell failure in D&D in my recent post about Fantasy Magic. Having been called out by Bonemaster I have put together my suggestions as to how to use spell failure. – 6d6Fireball

D6 Fantasy, the system I’m using to develop Project Valiant, allows for spell failure but doesn’t really detail what exactly happens when it occurs. 6d6 Fireball posted a table I’ve swiped and modified for my own games. I’ve chosen to use a d10 instead of a d30 because I prefer Read the rest of this entry »


Get your Voice Heard

Go here, where a couple of people are looking at starting up a small online business providing tools to GM’s. Answer the polls. Then leave a comment detailing why you answered what you did and how they can help you. It looks like it could work really well for a time strapped GM. Maybe not so much for a player, hard to say. Most of the proposed tools seem to cater to adventure creation.

But this chance to tell them what YOU want and would use is not to be missed. Too bad WotC didn’t ask first.

Game Masters and Leadership Skills: Part 4

Previous Entries: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

In any game the leader can only go where the players are willing to follow, whether it be a Guild Leader in World of Warcraft or a Game Master of a tabletop role-playing game. If the players won’t follow, you have no game. And there are really two ways you can convince them to do this. The Stick and the Carrot.

The Stick, used very sparingly and with extremely judicious care, can be extremely effective Read the rest of this entry »

The Bard has a Stage!

Life is but a Fairy Tale Stage
Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

A few updates:

The Bard RSS feed has now moved to and the link on the left has the new feed.

Also, I’m going to be going through some changes here over the next two weeks. I’ve been able to acquire a domain name and web hosting so the Bard will be moving from a WordPress hosted site to it’s own space! YAY! A Stage of My Very Own! I’ll leave a pointer here for it when that happens. I might have a few growing pains so please be patient.

In the meantime, regular posts will continue although in February, I’ll be going from 3-4 posts a week to 2-3 posts a week -every 3 days for a regular post, instead of every other day. Short posts like this one won’t affect that schedule.

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Game Masters and Leadership Skills: Part 3

By this time, having read Part 1 and Part 2, you should have some idea of what your style is and where at least a few of your weaknesses are. If you’re like me, at one time or another you’ve looked around and wondered if you should even being doing this job or not. Sometimes it feels like my faults far, far outweigh my blessings.

If you’ve felt like this, a quiz like this one can help you decide whether or not to continue trying to do the job. Designed to measure the motivation of business leaders, alot of the questions certainly apply to those of us who try to herd kittens by running role-playing games.

And motivation is the real key here. Read the rest of this entry »

Interlude: Putting Elements Together I

veil-of-convenient-illusionsAs a Bard of Valiant, I try to write about actual processes I use as a Game Master that work in concrete ways to make my game better. Hopefully by passing these methods on, it helps make your game better, too. In this spirit, these series of posts will be about how I actually used something I posted about to improve my game so maybe you can use the process yourself.

As commented here, I really love the name “Veil of Convenient Illusions” as written about by Wyatt. I also recommended something Chgowiz found, the stock.xchng for finding cool images you can use in games. Well, I now know what the Veil will look like by randomly viewing images there.

I still have no idea what it does but by putting two things I’ve found on different blogs, I’ve come up a very cool and interesting magical item. Click on the picture for full impact.

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Interlude: Short Takes 01/26/09

Former Pakistani Prim...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

These entries will be lists of links I’ve found useful recently from other blogs. For almost all of these,  I actually used it in some way to make my games better and will write here how I went about doing so. At the very end, I’ll include links back to those who linked to me, if any.

Currently the players are on the hunt for the Veil of Convenient Illusions, which was last seen somewhere in the Constitutional Democratic Monarchy of Estalasia. – Wyatt

If you haven’t yet read Wyatt’s attempt to plan a skill encounter, Read the rest of this entry »