Thursday, October 1, 2009


As a long-time DM, I've amassed a fair amount of resources that I find useful for when running a game. Some of them are very game-specific, but many are not, and that's what I thought I'd try and share today.

Obsidian Portal: Wikis are a new big thing, and the ability to have a source of information that people can alter if they note an omission or a mistake is great. Whether it is for a favorite RPG or a video game, they can be very handy, since they are most often created by fans who tend to provide more useful information than not. Obsidian Portal provides the ability to make your own personal game wiki, and let your players alter it as they want. How cool is that?

Encyclopedia Mythica: I have a fascination with mythology, and I like to make use of it in my games. My knowledge of mythology is mostly limited to Western mythologies, and the Encyclopedia Mythica expands my available knowledge by a great deal. Fun to use for modern games, like those taking place in White Wolf's World of Darkness.

Roleplaying Tips: Johnn Four has an immense amount of knowledge, and he sends out some of it, on various topics, on a weekly basis - and his archive goes back almost 9 years. If you're looking for some advice on a particular topic, you could do worse than checking the archive here for help.

Greg Stolze's Reign
: While I love Greg Stolze's work in general, Reign is a great game in particular. But why I provide this link is because, while the main book is for sale, all the supplements are available for free from his website, and they have some great and unusual ideas that make great places to grab some new ideas.

Name Generator: When running a game, thinking up decent names for NPCs is something I often find to be a pain, which is why I keep this link around. This site has general, specific, theme, and location-based name generaotrs, making it easy to come up with names that won't throw your players for a loop. I like to keep a short list of names around just in case PCs talk to people whose names I haven't plotted out.

Treasure Generator: I have trouble sometimes in D&D thinking up interesting treasure to provide for the PCs; magic items are OK, but items like art and created valuables aren't easy for me; I also like to use Bad Axe Games' Book of Unusual Treasures.

4E Tools for DMs: This link is to the storage area of a Google group that provides a number of useful files for DMs of 4th Edition D&D; initiative cards, condition cards, and power cards, all available for free.

Gametable: A tool for running RPGs online; it has the ability to roll dice, a map to see character movement, and a chat function. I was going to run my own game with this when complications came up, but ti still makes a good, and fairly uncomplicated, way to run a game online. If you want voce chat, I would suggest Ventrilo or Skype.

Critical Hits: A blog with a number of contributors that is devoted to trying to inform other gamers about what they see as big successes in not only RPGs, but also video games, movies, books, and other things related to geek culture. There are some great articles here; I've been trying to comment on some of the newer ones.

Dungeon's Master: Another blog devoted to gaming, while this one says it is for both players and DMs, it seems much of the advice and articles are meant to be useful for DMs, which makes them particularly helpful for me - especially when they go over parts of 4th Edition that remain unclear to me, like skill challenges.

Gnome Stew: "Written by nine veteran GMs, Gnome Stew is the most widely read game mastering blog in the world." That is how Gnome Stew describes itself, and who am I to argue? Good GMing advice, though you have to register to comment on anything.

Chasing the DM: This blog is a chronicle of a 4th Edition game in progress, and is interesting to read through just to see the kinds of situations and problems that both players and DMs can find themselves in.

At-Will: This blog says it provides inspiration, techniques, and other helpful stuff for 4th edition, and it also goes over the events of each week as they relate to D&D. If you want to keep up-to-date on what is happening in D&D, you should check here.

Have Dice Will Travel: This is the chronicle of the adventures of Keith Baker, the man who won the setting creation contest for D&D and gave us Eberron as a new setting. It's a travelogue of his travels around the world playing D&D, which makes for an interesting read - and lets me keep up on how he's doing with his latest works.

James Wyatt's Musings
: James Wyatt is the Design Manager for D&D, which means he has a fair hand into how things work, and does his fair amount of writing for the line. This is his personal blog, and while it is a bit behind on entries, it does provide some interesting insight on what he has brought to the game.

The Keep on the Gaming Lands: This is the blog of Mike Mearls, who is one of, if not the, chief designer for D&D currently. Considering his work on both 4th Edition and the work he did previous to it, I find his ideas very informative and often helpful.

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