I love episodic games when learning new systems, trying out new groups or just plain experimenting with things. It’s a great way to get a taste of things without investing the time and energy into a campaign that may sputter and die because the system/world/environment/group doesn’t work out very well.
I love what Johnn has to say in this article. It’s more like making magic items a character rather than a “mere” object to be used against enemies. I’ve always had a great deal of fun with intelligent items and would love to be able to put the time and energy into making each item unique to the game and characters involved.
Bartonius has a great breakdown of the class 10×10 room that seems to exist in pretty much every dungeon. Working with that theme, he tells us all how to build a dungeon layout that makes sense and works well.
As a GM, do you also run a PC in the same game? I’ve done it before to pad out a group that was lacking in a particular role. It really wasn’t fun for me at all since I mostly wanted to run the game and I mostly wanted to run my character. These two “mostly” influences conflicted with one another and I didn’t get the full enjoyment out of either one. As soon as I could script my (N)PC out of the story, I did so.
Even more great advice on creating magic items. This one doesn’t focus as much on the “make them a character” aspect as the link above does, but there’s some great advice in here. Go check it out.