Master Improvisation Using Story Stakes to Amp Up Your Game

I recently polled several GMs with this question: If you could learn anything about GMing that would significantly improve your gameplay, what would it be? The overwhelming response was the desire to improve improvisation skills. Tonight’s coaching workshop is dedicated to that very topic. It will focus particularly on setting Stakes, an aspect of improvisation […]

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Poisonous Ideas for Plots, Encounters & World-Building

I was chatting with moderator @ExileInParadise on the Roleplaying Tips Discord about how poison can inspire toxic challenges and venomous adventures. Poison is any substance that causes harm to an organism. It basically attacks a single biological process and takes it out. There’s often a spot in the rule book for how to handle poison […]

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Celebrate Character Birthdays (d12 Birthday Events Table)

Something I haven’t done in years is track the PCs’ birthdays. This realization came while I was reading an old Dragon Mag yesterday. We used to roll for character birth dates. When the calendar rolled ’round there was a celebration, even if it was a loaf of bread with torch mashed in to blow out. […]

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An Essential Ingredient for EVERY Villain Encounter

A GM on Reddit the other day was lamenting about a classic villain disaster. They introduced the BBEG at the start of their campaign to sew hints, hooks, hatred, and all that. But then the players unexpectedly attacked. Crits were rolled. The villain died. The GM’s now prepping a new campaign. Before you put villains […]

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We Only Think of the Gold

RPT GM Patrick writes in response to my tip about playtesting our encounters with mental playthroughs: Good morning my fellow GM! This approach has been truly amazing, as you mentioned, in addressing any peculiarities that might have been overlooked during the initial creation phase. I’ve been employing this method for several months now, and the […]

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Use This One Trick to Make Your Encounters Twice as Fun

Here’s something you can do to level-up your encounters. It takes only a minute, and it’s free. Play the encounter through in your mind before it hits the table. In helping GMs with their encounters over the years, I’ve discovered that almost no one does a mental playtest of the encounters they prep. This is […]

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Turn Pit Traps from Pit Stops to Pit Tales

I have a sinking feeling that today’s tips might involve some puns. Don’t fall for them though! I’m going to drop a bunch of ideas to help change a classic trap from filler into great gameplay. No More Pit Bull I like pit traps. They work in any genre. They’re simple. Almost any foe can […]

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My Sandcrawl Method

Author Paul Quarles For my The Refining Forge campaign, a Castles & Crusades campaign, I decided to run a sandbox, hexcrawl campaign, or a Sandcrawl campaign as dubbed by Johnn Four. My last campaign struggled as a pure hexcrawl campaign with two key problems: This newer approach has been a lot more organic and has […]

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Garner Combat Victories Faster With Signature Moves

Here’s a tip from my business partner and Campaign Logger developer, Jochen Linnemann. It’s in response to an RPT GM who asked for help speeding up his GURPS combats. GURPS, if you haven’t played, is crunchier than most systems. You make more rolls to complete an action. Therefore, combat can become longer affairs. Here’s Jochen’s […]

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Triple Hook: The 3 100% Motivating Factors

Got a great tip for you from RPT GM Ryan about motivating players. This tip works equally well for a question that came up on Saturday’s monthly Wizard of Adventure Q&A call about how to get players to hate NPCs. By the way, if you’re a Wizard of Adventure, you can catch the recording here. […]

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Use My Core Gameplay Loop When Your Game Stalls

During Monday’s game master coaching session, one GM, Mr. Snakes, encountered a plot block. His players had just completed an epic 5 Room Dungeon on a demon-infested ship, caught up in faction play while trying to solve a murder mystery. (Well done, Mr. Snakes!) He asked about my core gameplay loop because, after the ship […]

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