Johnn Four

Author Archives: Johnn Four

Rewarding The Game Master – A Simple Framework

The games we play and the people who play them are complex. We cannot simply write a script and have the audience passively follow along, clapping when the applause sign lights up. We play an interactive game in a social environment. Everyone wants a role to play and the ability to affect outcomes. Player agency might come easy to you or not. For me, it’s on the difficult side….

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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic: The Cause of Your Gaming Woes?

Here’s something key to understand about yourself and your players. People are motivated by some combination and degree of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Learn what these are for each person in your group to better tailor your game rewards. Rewards that fit, like the right key to the right lock, help your game become a satisfying campaign.

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8 Ways To Use Riddles

I have rivers without water, Forests without trees, Mountains without rocks Towns without houses. I love riddles. You’ve probably got a book of riddles on your shelf, too. But when your campaign or adventure theme does not support classic dungeon riddle play, how do you put riddles in your campaign? Here are a few ideas. […]

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What Are Seeds And Hooks?

Anon GM wrote in with this request about seeds and hooks: I need your help with something embarrassing. I have been DMing for years now and realized there is something that seems to be foundational to game play and I kind of don’t know anything about it.

I have read your tips and have read in multiple places about seeds and hooks. What are they and how do I use them?

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How to Avoid a TPK When GMing Intense Encounters

With the Encounter Intensify Technique you increase the stakes during an encounter to give your players a jolt of adrenaline. Just when you think it can’t get worse or more desperate, it does.

A reader asked me how to avoid wiping the party, because I advised picking a moment when encounter outcome seems dubious. Pick a low moment for the PCs to ramp up that intensity.

It’s just like in the movies. Something bad happens to the hero. As the hero struggles, something even worse happens, putting the audience on the edge of its seat.

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