Johnn Four

Author Archives: Johnn Four

Map, Monster, Chest: The Golden Trio of Adventure Design

The Golden Trio of Adventure Design RPT GM Benjamin asks: For an anxious and inspiring GM that tried to learn way too much for what is actually needed, how do you just sit down and say, “I’m doing this random plot, with random PCs, and keep everything afloat and fun?” My brother can improvise anything […]

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Mastering the Depths: Enhancing RPG Mines

Mastering the Depths: Enhancing RPG Mines Sometimes, a couple of extra details makes all the difference in helping players imagine our encounters and take interesting actions. RPT GM Chris N. sent me some great insights into the complexities of running a medieval or fantasy RPG mine. We can use these fantastic details to flesh out […]

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A Change of Pace: How To Evaluate Pacing In Your Game

A Brief Word From Johnn Before we dig into pacing tips though, a couple of quick items. Get Help With Your Campaign August 26, 2023 – Wizard of Adventure Q&A Zoom. If you are a Wizard of Adventure, here’s details and the link. Feel free to bring questions about your world, campaign, encounters, NPCs, technique, […]

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Try Back Pocket Events In Your Campaigns

Did you know there is a Fantasy Grounds version of my complete 1-20th level D&D 5E campaign, The Demonplague, co-written by James Introcaso? I don’t advertise this on The Demonplague’s information page, but will fix that soon. Meantime, if you are a Fantasy Grounds GM, you can purchase the campaign here. Unfortunately, due to Fantasy […]

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Campaign Logger 101 Webinar & Tips Email

A couple of quick action items for you today. 1. Aug 4 –  Campaign Logger 101 Webinar – Setting Up Your First Campaign Jochen, the developer of CL, is hosting our very first Campaign Logger webinar. It’s in a Euro-friendly time zone this time. We hope to run more in the future at different times […]

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From Tasty Bait to Terrifying Consequences: Tricking Players With Instant Gratification

It’s great to be back from vacation! Thank you for your patience as I took a couple of weeks off from the newsletter. We went camping near a place called Rocky Mountain House where it’s not rocky and there are no mountains. The picture below was each glorious morning for me. This might leave you […]

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Beyond Gold Pieces: Amp Up Player Engagement With These Rewards

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1225 Amp Up Player Engagement With These Rewards Looking for different ways to reward players and their characters? Gold and gems are great, but you can’t dance to them. The best rewards engage characters and players, keep the Infinite Game going via story progression, open up choices and action possibilities, and create […]

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Unlock New Adventures: 5 Room Dungeons With a Twist

Today’s tips come in the form of a 13 minute video. When I sent out a recent invitation to my Master of the 5 Room Dungeon Workshop, several GMs responded that they didn’t like the method. Fair enough. There are many ways to craft an adventure! However, some readers mentioned that the five rooms get […]

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1d12 Most Common Encounter Mistakes

1d12 Most Common Encounter Mistakes nuqneH TEST! I don’t generally dwell on the negative. We’re here to have fun at every game, after all. However, sometimes it’s great to review a list of gotchas and see if any resonate. If some do, we can then take action to fix. So today I have 1d12 mistakes […]

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Surprise Your Players: Betrayal Twist Mad Lib For Your Encounters

You know I’m a huge fan of adventure plot twists. That’s what Room V is all about. But we should try to add encounter-level twists, as well. Then we get to surprise and delight our players several times during sessions! Here is one of my favourite types of twists and d12 examples to help you […]

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Get Ready to Roll: How to Plan and Prepare for GMing Successful Convention Games

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1224 We just played session #09 of my Basilica campaign that’s half sandbox, half Temple of Elemental Evil. The party was bequeathed land as reward for escorting settlers safely to the area. As it turns out, the land is a swamp with ruins of an old moathouse on it. Girding loins and […]

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Why Players Get Bored With Our GMing (But Might Be Afraid To Tell Us)

Why Players Get Bored With Our GMing (But Might Be Afraid To Tell Us) As a player who gets bored easily (thus I am a forever-GM :), here are three reasons based on my experiences why a GM can lose player attention and participation in a game. Hopefully these tips help keep your table engaged. […]

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Save Your Village From Murder Hobos – 5 Quick Tips

Save Your Village From Murder Hobos – 5 Quick Tips How do we protect villagers from Murder Hobos? We planned some great roleplay in town, but then the party decides they don’t like being sassed and suddenly we’re rolling for initiative. Here are a 1d4+1 ideas, inspired by Dragon Magazine #109, on how we can […]

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The Sneaky GM Trap I Spotted At Start Of This Adventure

The Sneaky GM Trap I Spotted At Start Of This Adventure I was reading an adventure last night (an adventure that I also played in January) and something troublesome jumped out at me from the initial encounter’s boxed text. Here is the first sentence: The stairs leading to the basement of the Otari Fishery creak […]

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Why Homebrew Adventures Suck

I’ve suffered through my fair share of homebrew disasters. For example, there was The Session Where Nothing Happened. The GM had been bugging me all week, bursting with anticipation of how awesome Saturday’s adventure would be. The weekend comes around. We roll up characters and started off in an infinite plane. We walked and walked, […]

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