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Leisure
Games

Game Master's Journey

Updated 5 days ago

Leisure
Games
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Game Master’s Journey is a discussion podcast for GMs and players of tabletop RPGs hosted by Lex Starwalker. The show explores strategies players and GMs can use to enhance the gaming experience for everyone at the table. Lex often uses Dungeons & Dragons as an example, but many of the topics are relevant to all RPGs. Lex also discusses the creation of his homebrew D&D setting, Primordia, providing a valuable worldbuilding resource for GMs creating their own setting.

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Game Master’s Journey is a discussion podcast for GMs and players of tabletop RPGs hosted by Lex Starwalker. The show explores strategies players and GMs can use to enhance the gaming experience for everyone at the table. Lex often uses Dungeons & Dragons as an example, but many of the topics are relevant to all RPGs. Lex also discusses the creation of his homebrew D&D setting, Primordia, providing a valuable worldbuilding resource for GMs creating their own setting.

iTunes Ratings

61 Ratings
Average Ratings
51
2
3
3
2

Outstanding

By JK_313 - Jul 29 2019
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A very useful resource. Thank you!

Glad it’s back

By Jkokoski - Dec 04 2018
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Lex delivers great content in a conversational style. Highly recommended!

iTunes Ratings

61 Ratings
Average Ratings
51
2
3
3
2

Outstanding

By JK_313 - Jul 29 2019
Read more
A very useful resource. Thank you!

Glad it’s back

By Jkokoski - Dec 04 2018
Read more
Lex delivers great content in a conversational style. Highly recommended!

Listen to:

Cover image of Game Master's Journey

Game Master's Journey

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Game Master’s Journey is a discussion podcast for GMs and players of tabletop RPGs hosted by Lex Starwalker. The show explores strategies players and GMs can use to enhance the gaming experience for everyone at the table. Lex often uses Dungeons & Dragons as an example, but many of the topics are relevant to all RPGs. Lex also discusses the creation of his homebrew D&D setting, Primordia, providing a valuable worldbuilding resource for GMs creating their own setting.

Game Master's Journey 101: You Can Be a Game Master with Matthew Colville

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GMJ 101: You Can Be a Game Master with Matthew Colville

Apr 18 2016

1hr 16mins

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D&D Essentials Kit Review & Discussion | GMJ 263

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Lex gives a thorough review of the D&D Essentials Kit. This is a great introduction to the game for new DMs and is a definite upgrade of the previous Starter Set.

Sep 23 2019

1hr 9mins

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Game Master's Journey 111: Curse of Strahd Review

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Today I’m reviewing the Curse of Strahd published campaign for D&D. I also go over listener feedback on the benefits of having a starting city with a diversity of people, and I give some encouragement and ideas for those taking the worldbuilding plunge. Don’t be afraid to steal ideas. All creators steal ideas. What’s important and interesting is how you fit the ideas together. I also talk briefly about the magic-casting dragons of Primordia.

Jul 06 2016

1hr 25mins

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GMJ 245: Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Review

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Lex takes a deep dive into Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, an adventure for 5th edition D&D. He gives an honest review of the good and bad of this adventure and discusses its usefulness to DMs who don’t end up running the adventure.

Lex begins with a spoiler free review, and then goes into a more detailed review for DMs and others considering buying the adventure. Please don’t listen to the later, spoiler-filled, part of the review if you’re going to be a player in the adventure.

Mar 04 2019

1hr 30mins

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Game Master's Journey 188: Tour of Xanathar's Guide to Everything

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Lex begins a series of episodes discussing Xanathar's Guide to Everything, the new D&D rules supplement. Today he gives an overview of the book with a tour of its contents. Whether you're a player or a DM, Xanathar's Guide has something for everyone.

Nov 08 2017

1hr 25mins

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Game Master's Journey 102: Running an Adventure for New Players

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This week I've got advice and encouragement for new GMs, and I also discuss running a game session for players brand new to the hobby.

Apr 26 2016

1hr 33mins

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GMJ 164: DMG Chapter 1: Creating Campaigns

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Lex returns to his exploration of the DMG and discusses creating a campaign. Whether you’re creating your first campaign, or you’ve created so many you’ve lost count, the DMG has some tools to help you.

Jul 17 2017

1hr 34mins

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Game Master's Journey 180: Hacks for DMs, Handing Out Powerful Magic Items & Is Worldbuilding a Waste of Time?

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Lex covers a variety of RPG topics today including getting PCs back to town at the end of the session in West Marches campaigns, Limitless Adventures' Limitless NPCs, stepping on toes, Jeremy Crawford's DM hacks and handing out legendary and other powerful magic items. Finally Lex discusses the belief that worldbuilding is a waste of the GM's time because the players won't care about the setting anyway.

Sep 21 2017

2hr 18mins

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Reveals & the Long Con, Initiative Revisited & Tailoring the Game to Your Group | GMJ 253

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Lex discusses his experience with reveals as a GM and whether or not to go for the long con. He also revisits his initiative system with some additions for players that may try to take advantage of the system. Finally, Lex talks about tailoring your game to fit your group of players.

May 13 2019

1hr 12mins

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GMJ 145: PHB Chapter 9: D&D Combat Rules

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Lex launches into an in-depth discussion of the combat rules of D&D. If you have any questions about the rules, or you'd just like a refresher, this is the episode for you.

Mar 06 2017

2hr 16mins

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DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: Combat, Chases, Diseases, Poisons, Madness & Experience Points | GMJ 262

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Lex & Brett wrap up their discussion of chapter 8 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide—Running the Game. Today they cover combat in D&D, chases, siege equipment, diseases, poisons and madness. They also talk about dealing with (or not dealing with) experience points at the table. What do you do about missing players if you use xp? Finally, they explore the pros and cons of leveling using xp, milestone leveling or hand-waved leveling.

Sep 16 2019

1hr 3mins

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GMJ 239: DMG Chapter 5: Adventure Environments - Traps

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Lex discusses traps in 5th edition D&D--how to detect traps, how to figure them out and how to disarm them. He also discusses his own experiences with traps in the game and gives some tips on how to use them well.

Jan 17 2019

1hr 18mins

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Game Master's Journey 171: Worldbuilding, Railroading & High Tier Play with Brett Nilsson

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Today Lex moves to the other side of the GM screen to talk with his DM, Brett. Lex has been playing in Brett’s campaign quite a while now and having a lot of fun. Lex asks him about his GMing style and about his homebrew setting of Terindal. They also talk about how to avoid railroading the PCs, and Brett's experiences running D&D at the higher tiers of play.

Aug 14 2017

2hr 11mins

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Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage | GMJ 254

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Lex gives his thoughts on the 5th edition iteration of the classic megadungeon, Undermountain.

May 19 2019

1hr 17mins

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Game Master's Journey 170: West Marches Campaign Variants

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Lex discusses some variations you can consider to tailor the West Marches formula to the needs of your own campaign. He describes the variations he's using for his own campaign, The Hinterlands of Elandria.

Aug 09 2017

1hr 15mins

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Game Master's Journey 194: Conversation with a New Game Master

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Listener-GM Ali Buck joins Lex on the show to discuss her experiences as a new GM.

Dec 14 2017

2hr 5mins

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Game Master's Journey 189: Tool Proficiencies Expanded in Xanathar's Guide to Everything

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Lex continues his exploration of Xanathar's Guide to Everything, the latest rules supplement for Dungeons & Dragons. This week he digs into the outstanding work done to improve the value of tool proficiencies in the game.

Nov 13 2017

1hr 9mins

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Game Master's Journey 167: Preparing & Running a West Marches Campaign

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In the second of a series of episodes on West Marches campaigns, Lex discusses how to prepare and run a West Marches-style campaign.

Aug 01 2017

1hr 30mins

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Blood of the Avatars 21: Axis & Avatars | GMJ 252

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Quincy and Wahl visit the Halls of Knowledge to learn more about avatars of the gods. They also speak with Druinda and learn more about the World Axis and the adventurers who broke the world.

Apr 14 2019

1hr 33mins

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GMJ 175: DMG Chapter 1: Flavors of Fantasy

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Lex wraps up his exploration of chapter 1 of the Dungeon Master's Guide with a discussion of the flavors of fantasy.

Aug 28 2017

1hr 9mins

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Combat Options: Initiative Variants & Action Options | DMG Chapter 9: Dungeon Master's Workshop | GMJ 269

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Lex & Brett return to their in-depth discussion of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. This week is all about combat options! First, they cover initiative variants, including initiative score, side initiative and speed factor. Next they go through some additional options for actions in combat—climb onto a bigger creature, disarm, mark, overrun, shove aside and tumble.

Nov 25 2019

1hr 2mins

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Blood of the Avatars 23: Willim the Wondrous | GMJ 268

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This session begins after the PCs have had a month of downtime in the city of Elandria. The players discuss their downtime activities, and the characters compare notes of what they’ve learned in their various research. The PCs turn their attention to solving the mystery of the fate of Willim the Wondrous, a human sorcerer and lover of the dryad Anna who disappeared 50 years ago.

Nov 11 2019

2hr 14mins

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Blood of the Avatars 22: Homecoming | GMJ 267

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Lerissa meets with her mother, Amanda Victoria, and learns more about her erinyes father. Later, Fir joins Lerissa, Amanda and Dahlia at the spa and more surprising revelations unfold.

Nov 07 2019

1hr 46mins

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Fear & Horror, Healing & Rest Variants, Plot Points and More! | DMG Chapter 9: Dungeon Master's Workshop | GMJ 266

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Lex & Brett return to their in-depth discussion of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. They begin with the optional rules of fear and horror. Then they explore some healing and rest variants. They briefly discuss adding firearms, explosives and/or alien technology to your D&D game. Finally they discuss the three different variants of the plot points optional rule. They’re especially fans of the “gods must be crazy variant” and are really looking forward to trying that in a campaign!

Oct 21 2019

1hr 18mins

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Hero Points, Honor & Sanity | DMG Chapter 9: Dungeon Master's Workshop | GMJ 265

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Lex & Brett return to their in-depth discussion of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. This week’s topics include hero points, honor and sanity. They might have also stumbled on a compelling alternative to alignment if you’re looking for a different way to play with morality in your D&D game. Finally, they revisit skill variants from episode 264, giving some examples of when they might be just the thing to use.

Oct 07 2019

1hr 9mins

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Homebrewing Guidelines, Ability Options & Skill Variants | DMG Chapter 9: Dungeon Master's Workshop | GMJ 264

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Lex & Brett return to their in-depth discussion of the Dungeon Master’s Guide for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. This week they begin exploring Chapter 9: Dungeon Master’s Workshop. They begin with some general guidelines for considering optional and variant rules for your game. Then the ability option of using proficiency dice. Next up are some skill variants, including ability check proficiency, background proficiency and personality trait proficiency.

Sep 30 2019

1hr 8mins

Play

D&D Essentials Kit Review & Discussion | GMJ 263

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Lex gives a thorough review of the D&D Essentials Kit. This is a great introduction to the game for new DMs and is a definite upgrade of the previous Starter Set.

Sep 23 2019

1hr 9mins

Play

DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: Combat, Chases, Diseases, Poisons, Madness & Experience Points | GMJ 262

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Lex & Brett wrap up their discussion of chapter 8 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide—Running the Game. Today they cover combat in D&D, chases, siege equipment, diseases, poisons and madness. They also talk about dealing with (or not dealing with) experience points at the table. What do you do about missing players if you use xp? Finally, they explore the pros and cons of leveling using xp, milestone leveling or hand-waved leveling.

Sep 16 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: Exploration, Social Interaction & Objects | GMJ 261

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Lex & Brett return to the Dungeon Master’s Guide to discuss exploration in D&D. Topics covered include travel pace, visibility, noticing other creatures, tracking, social interactions, changing NPC attitudes, roleplaying, engaging players and damaging & destroying objects.

Sep 09 2019

45mins

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DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: The Role of the Dice | GMJ 260

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Lex & Brett discuss the various aspects of using dice in a D&D game: using ability scores, saves, DCs, proficiency bonus, advantage & disadvantage, inspiration, resolution & consequences.

Sep 02 2019

50mins

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DMG Chapter 8: Running the Game: Table Rules | GMJ 259

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Lex & Brett discuss the various aspects of using dice in a D&D game: using ability scores, saves, DCs, proficiency bonus, advantage & disadvantage, inspiration, resolution & consequences.

Aug 26 2019

1hr 12mins

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GM-to-GM Campaign Discussion | GMJ 258

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Lex and Brett discuss their latest D&D campaigns—what they got right, what they got wrong, and what they’ve learned from the process. The also hit on some other topics including: using xp versus milestones versus hand-waving PC leveling; giving strongholds to the PCs; and whether or not to tell the players the difficulty number of a roll.

Jul 26 2019

1hr 27mins

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DMG Chapter 7: Treasure | GMJ 257

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Lex returns to his exploration of the Dungeon Master’s Guide to discuss treasure and other types of rewards the player characters can earn through adventuring. Coins, gems, art objects and magic items are covered, as well as sentient magic items and artifacts. Lex also talks about other rewards PCs can receive, including blessings, charms, marks of prestige and epic boons.

Jun 30 2019

1hr 30mins

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DMG Chapter 6: Between Adventures: Downtime Activities | GMJ 256

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Lex returns to his discussion of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. This week he digs into downtime activities.

Jun 23 2019

1hr 4mins

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How to Run a Good Dungeon Crawl | GMJ 255

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How do you run a good dungeon crawl? How do you keep things interesting and exciting in a megadungeon or a campaign featuring a series of dungeons? Lex tackles these questions and more on this episode of Game Master’s Journey.

Jun 16 2019

1hr 7mins

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Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage | GMJ 254

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Lex gives his thoughts on the 5th edition iteration of the classic megadungeon, Undermountain.

May 19 2019

1hr 17mins

Play

Reveals & the Long Con, Initiative Revisited & Tailoring the Game to Your Group | GMJ 253

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Lex discusses his experience with reveals as a GM and whether or not to go for the long con. He also revisits his initiative system with some additions for players that may try to take advantage of the system. Finally, Lex talks about tailoring your game to fit your group of players.

May 13 2019

1hr 12mins

Play

Blood of the Avatars 21: Axis & Avatars | GMJ 252

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Quincy and Wahl visit the Halls of Knowledge to learn more about avatars of the gods. They also speak with Druinda and learn more about the World Axis and the adventurers who broke the world.

Apr 14 2019

1hr 33mins

Play

Hinterlands of Elandria 20: We Are SAMM | GMJ 251

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The PCs return to the city of Elandria and are inducted into The Honorable Guild of Adventurers, Explorers and Scholars. They acquire some powerful new gear, and a conversation with Druinda brings their true natures and destinies to light. Finally, the PCs receive an exciting new asset and ally in their quest. Secrets that have been brewing behind the scenes since the beginning of the campaign are revealed in this episode!

Apr 07 2019

2hr 17mins

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Hinterlands of Elandria 19: Legacy of the Night Elves | GMJ 250

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The PCs find some treasure and endeavor to seal the portal to the Abyss.

Mar 31 2019

1hr 36mins

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