Johnn Four, Author at Roleplaying Tips
Johnn Four

Author Archives: Johnn Four

How to Motivate Your Players – Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1207 By Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com [Comment from Johnn: this is part two of a series Jonathan started here with How to Hook Players Easily Into Your Adventures.] The Power of a Motive Begin your game by highlighting why the player characters choose to adventure. Is it for glory and fame? Wealth and […]

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6 Tips On How To Tie Dungeon Encounters Together

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1203 Brief Word From Johnn Last night I found a great course on Udemy about video game design. In part, it dives into the tension between player agency versus game designer agenda. Open world games versus plotted story paths. This is old hat for us though. The first moments behind the screen […]

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Simple Ways to Keep Fun in Your Games

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1199 I recently wrote a few tips for running lunch games. Several RPT GMs sent me this link, which is a D&D 5E Practical Guide to One Hour DnD Sessions (you might want to turn on your ad blocker before viewing the site): https://rpgbot.net/dnd5/dungeonmasters/one-hour-sessions/ I’m away halfway through, and it has great […]

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Tips For Lunch Hour Games + Personal Announcement

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1198 Goeiedag Johnn, Big news to share with you this week. I have embarked on a grand adventure. Two adventures, really. The Great Resignation First, I’m going fuller-time with Roleplaying Tips! I’m thrilled but nervous and can’t wait to begin this new journey. I gave notice at my day job last week […]

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How To Make Every Encounter Interesting

By Johnn Four Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1195 (Join the conversation about today’s tips here.) Here’s an interesting question about encounter building that WorldWibe asks on RPT’s Discord: Is a dungeon-making philosophy that goes: “Every room should have something interesting in it, be it battle, treasure or lore” a good design-methodology? Thanks for the great question! […]

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How To Improvise Better With Connect & Shift

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1194 By Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Discuss these tips on their dedicated thread here at Campaign Community. Improvisation seems scary and sometimes difficult, especially for new GMs. I have learned a few tips from people who think quickly on their feet. And I think the pair of techniques I’m sharing with you today […]

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What To Do When Players Miss The Clues?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1193 (Join the conversion about these tips in this thread at Campaign Community.) Hello Sojourner! This is Jonathan with www.sojournersawake.com. Besides the common adventure in leaving town, delving into the dungeon, and slaying the monster to collect the reward, game masters can homebrew adventures involving mystery and discovery. I enjoy stories of […]

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d10 Things You Can Do With a Dead Character

By Johnn Four, patreon.com/johnnfour It sucks when a character dies. To avoid discomfort or upset players, many GMs end up supporting Mary Sue PCs. Or we provide plot armour so thick we earn no drama from combat, traps, and hazards. I support character death as a result of fair gameplay. This gives you additional and […]

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Wow Your Players With Monster Hunts

5 Room Dungeon Template When I invented the 5 Room Dungeon in 2003, I first thought of it as a physical adventure framework. Five literal encounters. This method still works brilliantly, but we can advance it for great monster hunter storytelling. After reading a bunch of work by American professor Joseph Campbell, who wrote Hero […]

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Highlights and Hopes — How to Get Valuable Feedback From Your Players

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com If they are having fun, then you’re doing it right. With my Highlights & Hopes technique, I can immediately receive feedback on how my players define fun. I gather these Highlights & Hopes right after the game while they are still fresh in everyone’s mind. Definition Highlights & Hopes is a […]

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Simple Ways to Enhance Your Magic Items

From Jonathan Siema Johnn! In todays’ Roleplaying Tips Newsletter, I’ve got the following GM tips for you: 3 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Magic Items How can we spruce up magic items so they aren’t boring +1 shields? Jonathan Hardin (sojournersawake.com) shows us how via three quick changes we can make to an item’s properties. […]

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Encounter Mapping Software – 3 Tips For Choosing The Best One

A great conversation came up in the monthly Wizard of Adventure chat Saturday on what encounter mapping software to choose. (Wizards of Adventure who could not make the call, here’s a link to the recording.) From DungeonFog to HexKit to Campaign Cartographer, and a bunch of others, how do you pick? Because it’s not just […]

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5 Ways To Power Up Your Secret Doors

From JohnnFour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1,179 Depending on your system, secret door checks every five feet bog gameplay down and soon get tiresome.This topic came up in the most recent Wizard of Adventure Zoom call: How do you handle secret doors??I’m not a big fan of the passive check, or maybe I’m using it incorrectly.?I […]

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! A Simple Way To Improve Gameplay, Engagement & Character Outcomes

From JohnnFour Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú Johnn? Here’s a refreshed tip from Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #5, going way back to 1999 right before the world was going to end with Y2K. Too often we become trapped in our heads thinking three moves ahead, doing math, or coming up with names and details on the […]

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5 Ways To Warn Players Of A Deadly Challenge

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Many times the threat that presents itself to characters surpasses their abilities to defeat it. The encounter is not easy or even difficult, it’s deadly. Without a warning label, your players may be unfairly surprised that you designed a deadly encounter for them. To avoid that frustration, here are 5 ways […]

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3 Easy Ideas To Generate Instant Adventure Ideas – Plot Factory Tutorial Part II

From JohnnFour Last week we talked about Plot Factories as a tool in your GM Toolbox. Think of them like spawn points in a video game. Foes keep emerging to assault your character until you destroy the spawn point. In our adventures and sandboxes, we do the same via Plot Factories that churn out new […]

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Visual Aid Session Prep with the Five Room Dungeon

Hello Sojourner! The goal of Visual Game Session Prep is to have a quick glance reference that reminds me of notes and plans I made before the session. This keeps paperwork to a minimum. Rather than referencing your notes within a large document during the game, you can simply look at a simple visual diagram […]

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My 7 Keys to a Great Sandbox Game

New RPT GM Eddie asked for advice on homebrewing adventures: I love that a campaign can be going strong that long. The one I’m running is like 6 months old. Even though I’m pretty new to the game (less than a year) I’ve been looking more into old school revival and alternative materials because although […]

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