October 29, 2009


Dungeon Masters Guide 2 by WotC introduced the idea of adding a formalized system for recording Achievements within the game.  As they mentioned, video games have had similar systems in place for some time now and there is no reason not to include them into a tabletop game; in fact there are some very good reasons to do just that.

October 27, 2009

Rules of the Campaign

One thing I highly recommend for someone about to start a new campaign is to write up and send out a Rules of the Campaign. This is not a new idea, but basically it means letting your prospective players know what they can expect in the campaign. This can be exceedingly helpful; if they are expecting a campaign of dungeon crawls and instead get court intrigue, they may be disappointed or even resentful. A prospective player may not be in the mood for the style of campiagn you have planned and its best to determine that at the outset.

October 22, 2009

Upcoming Awesomeness

Like most players, there are a number of games and supplements I am looking forward to.  Will they be awesome or will they stink? I don't know, but the waiting is killing me.  What products are you waiting for?

And now, in no particular order, is the stuff I wish I could travel forward in time for.

October 20, 2009

Puzzles-Make 'Em Do It

As a GM I enjoy adding puzzles to an adventure.  It breaks up a series of combats and allows the people who enjoy the mental aspect a chance to shine.  You really need to know your players however, because some people don't like them at all and your group may be full of those type of people.  Here are some pointers on how to add puzzles to an adventure and some things to avoid at the same time.

October 19, 2009

Some Rituals

Earlier this year Goodman Games held an open call for 4E rituals to be included in their upcoming publication Book of Rituals.  They were kind enough to accept a few of my submissions.  There were a few they did not accept and I now present them to you.   

October 16, 2009

Big Ball of No Fun

This blog is mainly concerned with tabletop RPGs. I have been playing and running RPGs for nearly 30 years. I have 5 bookshelves of gaming material, with cartons of gaming suplements put in storage as well. I've played through the fun times and taken breaks from gaming when it seemed the right thing to do.

Through the years I've come up with alot of ideas about rpg gaming, some about how to make it better and sometimes just crunch.  Some of my ideas fall flat, but at least I remember the failures and can avoid them in the future.  Maybe I can help you do the same.

This blog is about my thoughts and opinions on tabletop RPGs, how to run the games and how to make them better.  Hopefully I'll be able to provide you with things you can use at the table.

So, why is the blog called Big Ball of No Fun?  About 20 years ago, my players thought it would be funny to make a list of my attributes as a DM.  They came up with about 10 lines of positives. Then they came up with two pages of negatives; things like 'doesn't give out enough xp' or 'laughes when we die'.  It was all done in jest, or at least I hope so.  But one of the negatives was 'Big Ball of No Fun'.  It has stuck with me through the years.  For me it means challenging the players even when they want it easy.  Keep them guessing and never make it easy.