Critical Success

Jame D'Amato

Critical Success is a resource for new GMs and players as well as experienced role-players who want to spend time thinking about game theory.

I’ll be applying concepts from improv, writing and story telling to explain how you can sharpen your GM skills and make your game more fun for everyone. Critical Success will use clips from the ONE SHOT podcast so everyone can see these concepts in action.


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Critical SuccessPodcasts

17. Alignment Part 1 with Ben Dutter

Plenty of OD&D concepts have fallen out of favor. Most of them died out because they put limitations on play. These days swords and sorcery systems are way less restrictive and f20 games are focused on customization. However, 5th edition D&D opted to keep alignment- which has some gamers scratching their heads.

Critical SuccessPodcasts

15. John Harper

John Harper is responsible for some of the most fun and influential micro systems on the internet. With games like Lasers and Feelings, Lady Blackbird, and Ghost Echo in his portfolio Harper is the king of micro games. In this discussion James and John discuss Johns approach to gaming, his design philosophy, loosen the definition of “game designer,” and fix everything.

Critical SuccessPodcasts

13. Voicing Characters

James discusses the art of voicing characters. This episode has improv techniques for developing character voices, advice on how to fudge certain voices you can’t do, and the secret to good voice work.

Critical SuccessPodcasts

12. Designing Monsters

This week live from CODcon James invites Kat Murphy and Jim Hepplewhite on the show to discuss customizing monsters thanks to a question from Jeff Chaffe @infocorn on twitter.

Critical SuccessPodcasts

11. Cultivating Atmosphere

What separates basic play from role-playing art? For game masters it is almost always a question of atmosphere. In this episode James teaches aspiring DMs how to create and maintain atmosphere. He also gives some tips for hardened grognards looking for ways to better describe their locations.

Critical SuccessPodcasts

10. Interview With David Ewalt

Parting with the usual format, James sits down with Senior Editor of Forbes Magazine and author of “Of Dice and Men” David M. Ewalt to discuss David experience running his very first campaign. Their conversations spans world building, session prep, improvisation, and how to incorporate lessons learned in other systems into your main campaign.

Critical SuccessPodcasts

9. Getting players to Participate

A couple years ago I DM’d for the first time for a game with my girlfriend (now wife) my friend Matt and his wife and a couple of our female friends. Other than myself and Matt, no one else had ever played D&D. Though I think they kind of liked it, it was very difficult to get them to attempt to role play (my wife later said she just didn’t know what to do.