Category Archives: General

General information about myself or my blog

One Year Blog Birthday Giveaway!

This blog is now one year old!

The Journeyman GM is now one year old today! To celebrate, I’m going to be holding a little contest by giving a birthday gift to one lucky winner. Somebody is going to get a free $5 Gift Certificate to

All you have to do to enter is post a comment below and answer two questions:

  • What do you like best about The Journeyman GM?
  • What do you want to see on this site? (Whether it be a blog topic or something else)

And that’s it! The author of one comment will be randomly selected to receive the $5 RPGNow Gift Certificate. Make sure that you include a valid e-mail address in the “E-mail” field for the comment or some other means of contacting you or I won’t be able to give you the prize.

One randomly selected comment will be drawn on Sunday, June 24th to win the prize, so submit your entry by then.

Thanks for helping give this blog an awesome first year!


Possible Downtime

I am currently in the process of switching to a new host. The process should be painless, but it may result in some downtime for the site. If everything goes as planned, you’ll have a Wednesday update right on time.

EDIT: Okay, so things didn’t go as planned and there were several hours where nobody could access I wound up reverting it to the original host and things should be stable for the time being. I’ll get out my Wednesday update before I try to move hosts again.


There isn’t a proper blog post this week because I’m graduating from college on Saturday! I’ve been very busy tying up loose ends with school now, but in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to devote more time to the blog, prepare for my Origins games, and work on my big project, codename Project Prometheus, that I hope to be released at the end of the summer (If you already know definitively what it is, please keep the secret for a bit longer! But trust me, it will be worth the wait!)

Just for fun, I’m going to reflect on what graduating means from the point of view of RPG stat blocks.

Dungeons & Dragons: I get two new magic +1 Diplomas (which rumor has it increases your Intelligence, although it’s debated).

Savage Worlds: I took the Scholar Edge for my latest advance, which gives me +2 to Knowledge (Computer Science) and Knowledge (Psychology) checks as a result of my double-major.

Traveller: I took the Drifter career after my 18th birthday, but explained it as being a poor college student. Since then, my Education stat has gone up by 1 and “Started a blog” has been my life event. I’m going to be taking the Citizen career next term.

Risus: My stats are now JourneymanGM 4, Gamer 3, College Student 3.

A Gamemaster Manifesto

While reading another gaming blog, I came across the Gamemaster Manifesto on Reddit. It’s a series of 14 points that a certain GM promises in his game. I’ve decided to create a similar list with the things that I promise in a game I GM:

  1. I pledge to create a game that is fun for both myself and all players at the table.
  2. I pledge to provide an immersive setting, created either by myself or by other imaginative people.
  3. I pledge to allow you to help personalize the setting for the group.
  4. I pledge to have an end in mind when starting any campaign so that it will be an engaging story with a suitable beginning, middle, and end.
  5. I pledge to use a gaming system that allows for your character to be awesome.
  6. I pledge to follow the rules of the gaming system so that you know exactly what you are able to do. I reserve the right to modify or eliminate any rules found in the system (possibly by request) and will notify you ahead of time of these changes.
  7. I pledge to help you understand the rules and will happily make suggestions about tactics, character options, and other elements of the system that you may not be familiar with.
  8. I pledge that I will respond to ideas with “yes,” “yes, but…,” or “no, but…” rather than a flat “no.”
  9. I pledge to allow you to create the character that you want to play, so long as it fits with the setting and contributes to the fun of all players at the table.
  10. I pledge to give you a challenge and odds to overcome. Victory will often be difficult and require both planning and luck, but it will never be utterly impossible.
  11. I pledge to avoid content that makes anyone feel uncomfortable to be playing the game. I will ask a player to change their behavior or leave if they are encouraging content that makes other players feel uncomfortable to be playing the game.
  12. I pledge to provide open and thoughtful conversation to address any issues that you may have about the game.

This list may not be exhaustive, but it should make it clear the sort of game I want to run. I think it all boils down to the first pledge:

I pledge to create a game that is fun for both myself and all players at the table.

I also promise never to have a game as ridiculous as this one.

The Next Iteration of D&D

In October I made predictions about D&D 5e. Not two weeks ago I predicted that Dungeons & Dragons 5e would be announced sometime soon. Honestly, I didn’t imagine that it would be this soon. If you’ve read other gaming blogs, you no doubt already know that Wizards of the Coast made an announcement that they are indeed “developing the next iteration of D&D, and will be looking to the legions of D&D fans to help shape the future of the game along with us.”

Before I give my opinion, I’d like to say that there are two things that strike me about this. One is that they are calling it “the next iteration of D&D,” rather than “D&D 5th Edition.” This suggests to me that it will have some new name. Later in the press release, Mike Mearls states:

We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game…We seek to reach as many people as possible, from the gamer who just started with D&D last week to the gaming group that has been together since the early-1970s. For this process to work, we want to give a voice to all D&D fans and players of all previous editions of the game.

Given this goal, it makes sense that they would be hesitant to name it D&D 5e, since it would imply that it is next in a serial line of progression that’s one more step removed from your favorite edition. From a psychology standpoint, I think this makes sense because it’s dissociating this next iteration from that serial progression. The only trouble is that we don’t have a definitive name for it yet, although “D&D Next” seems to be the predominant term. The Platinum Warlock has predicted that it will wind up being “D&D Anniversary Edition” because 2014 is the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, but I suppose time will tell.

The second thing is that Wizards of the Coast is getting feedback from the players about the new edition and you can even sign up to get prerelease materials this spring for your home campaign. Moreover, they’re trying to get feedback from players of all editions. I see this as a double-edge sword. It’ll be a good thing because Wizards will get a lot of feedback and be able to fix a lot of issues and complaints before the final product is released. They did this with the hybrid classes that appeared in D&D 4e’s Player’s Handbook 3 and I think that process worked out well.

The trouble is that there are going to be a lot of passionate players with a lot of strong opinions about the best rules for Dungeons & Dragons. There will no doubt be long and heated discussions and rants on the internet. Heck, there already are just based on the initial announcement alone! Still, it’s my sincere hope that the majority of players will be civil about the process and will able to constructively give suggestions.

So what do I think about it all? I’m optimistic. I think that this “best of D&D” mentality combined with crowd feedback will result in a product that will appeal to the majority of D&D players. And let’s not forget that a successful version of D&D and a united D&D playerbase benefits the role-playing game industry as a whole. After all, more D&D players encourages more people to get into the hobby itself, after which many will try different systems. So here’s to an improved next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons!

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