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Game Master Tools

A new version of this page is currently being written.

This is a digital artwork of a yellow and green budgerigar sitting on a branch with a tiger head that is the same color as its yellow feathers.

This is a digital artwork of a yellow and green budgerigar sitting on a branch with a tiger head that is the same color as its yellow feathers.



Making Things Go Awry

These are possible outcomes for failed rolls and they have been moved to their own page where they will be expanded upon.


Variable Die Mechanic for Nonplayer Characters

This rule is a die mechanic for nonplayer characters that has different outcome possibilities for nonplayer characters based on their level of competence.

Any time that you want to add an element of randomness to a nonplayer character’s actions decide how competent they are and roll one six-sided die. The result indicates how successful they are.

Mild Competence: This one is for characters that are using skills they are weak in or that aren’t particularly competent overall. (Mild Competence is similar to a two dice roll using a Body or Mind of 3.)

  • 5 & 6 Are Failures
  • 2-4 Are Partial Successes
  • 1 Is a Full Success

Medium Competence: This one is for characters that have a medium level of competence in what they are doing. (Medium Competence is similar to a two dice roll using a Body or Mind of 5.)

  • 6 Is a Failure
  • 3-5 Are Partial Successes
  • 1 & 2 Are Full Successes

Strong Competence: This one is for characters that are using a skill or ability that they are strong in, that are prepared, or that have a higher level of competence. (Strong competence is similar to a three dice roll with a Body or Mind of 4.)

  • 6 Is a Failure
  • 4 & 5 Are Partial Successes
  • 2 & 3 Are Full Successes
  • 1 Is an Outstanding Success

Exceptional Competence: This one is for characters that are exceptional at what they are doing. (Exceptional competence is similar to a four dice roll with a Body or Mind of 4 or three dice roll with a Body or Mind of 5.)

  • 5 & 6 Are Partial Successes
  • 3 & 4 Are Full Successes
  • 1 & 2 Are Outstanding Successes

Beyond Exceptional Competence: This one is for special situations or characters. At the very least this indicates someone doing something with a high level of skill, preparation, and assistance. (Beyond exceptional competence is similar to a four dice roll with a Body or Mind of 5.)

  • 6 Is a Partial Success
  • 4 & 5 Are Full Successes
  • 1-3 Are Outstanding Successes

Outcomes: This is a quick reminder of what each of the outcome terms mean.

  • Failure: Something has gone wrong. Their action was not successful and the situation has gotten more complicated. If Magic is involved, it has gone awry.
  • Partial Successes: Their action is only partially successful. They have accomplished something useful, but it comes with a limitation, side effect, or complication.
  • Full Success: They are completely successful.
  • Outstanding Success: Their action is tremendously successful. In addition to succeeding, they gain an additional benefit.


Creating Adventures

Game masters create the world and set up situations. The group then plays to find out how the player characters deal with those situations. Each player narrates what their character is doing. The game master helps by asking question. Each time a character takes an action that has a significant chance of failure, it is time for a roll. The result of each roll is used to move the plot forward.

Certain situations may involve active non-player characters (other characters that are controlled by the game master). In these cases, the game master can choose to have the non-player characters take an action in-between player character actions. Any time that action directly affect a player character, the player can make a roll to use one of their defensive abilities. Dangerous or rapidly changing environments can work in a similar manner, with the situation changing in-between player character actions.

Below are some different tools that have been created in order to assist game masters in creating their world and setting up the challenges of the game.


The Crossroads Adventures

This is a set of quirky, ready-made adventures that I am creating for those who want a detailed adventure to work through. The Crossroads Setting will also have a list of characters, locations, and monsters for game masters to work with.

These adventures are set in my Crossroads setting that I am developing. They are whimsical adventures that take inspiration from fairy tales and medieval culture. Each of these adventures was created to be played on the Unfamiliar Heroes podcast series, and the text of each adventure is planned to be released with the podcast episodes. This is very much a work in progress.

Crossroads Character Creation: This character creation sequence is designed for any of the adventures that I have created for the Crossroads setting. The sequence starts with a bit of background and setting information to get players oriented. Next is the character creation itself. Afterwards there is a mini adventure to give the players a taste of game play.

The Owlbear Reintroduction Program: The podcasts of this adventure are currently being released.

Life in the Adventurer’s Academy: Planned adventure.

The Haunted Mill: Planned adventure.


Tools for Building Encounters

This will be a collection of tools and advice designed to help game masters creates their own unique challenges and opponents for the players to overcome.

This section is currently being written. More soon!


Character advancement system: In addition to single-session games, Magic Goes Awry is designed for ongoing games that take place over multiple sessions. This is a rough draft of what the character advancement system is going to be.

  • Level 1: Character creation. In the current version of the game, all characters gain four main class abilities during character creation. For games with advancement, this system requires starting characters out at a less powerful level by reducing the number of defensive trainings from two to one (step 4 of character creation), reducing the skills from eight total skills to five (step 5), and reducing the number of class abilities from four to two (step 6).
  • Level 2: Gain a skill.
  • Level 3: Gain a class ability.
  • Level 4: Gain a defensive training.
  • Level 5: Gain a skill.
  • Level 6: Gain a skill.
  • Level 7: Gain a class ability. (This is the level of the standard game characters.)
  • Level 8: Gain a skill.
  • Level 9: Gain a skill.
  • Level 10: Gain a class ability.
  • Level 11: Gain a skill.
  • Level 12: Gain a skill.
  • Level 13: Gain a class ability.


Optional rules: An alternate dice-rolling system, which produces more frequent failures, can be found on the “Optional Rules” page.


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