We’ve mused how motivating yourself to be a better GM makes you happier. Those who pursue intrinsic goals are happier because they control more of their destiny. Now let’s talk about our players, who are probably a mixed bag of intrinsic and extrinsic interests.Continue reading
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….Continue reading
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.Continue reading
The core of Plotto, as far as I’m concerned, is the list of 1,462 plot conflicts. However, I don’t use Plotto as it was originally intended for constructing a plot. Instead, I use a stripped-down approach that I find easier to adapt for RPG adventure creation.Continue reading
Give your magic item a quick history. Then use the history to tie a whole bunch of things together that will make you look like a genius. To flesh out your item’s lore fast, follow these four simple steps.Continue reading
I got my first taste of sandbox adventure play in B2: Keep on the Borderlands. The PCs based themselves in The Keep and forayed into the Wild. A crazy hermit shared the location of several caves nearby, confirmed dangerous, rumoured with riches.As the party crested a hill, a horseshoe valley stretched before them, rings of caves […]Continue reading
Jochen and I have had a fairly productive summer working on Campaign Logger. We hope you’ve had a chance to use the app in the past couple of months because that means you’re either gaming or prepping to game!Here’s a bit of a laundry list of what’s changed for the web app. Here’s a bit of […]Continue reading
This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is about Occult Mysteries and Magic. To celebrate that theme, here is a quick and adversarial secret society idea for your campaign. The Masters of Destiny These guys hunt adventurers. They believe an ancient evil will soon awake, but the world is doomed because there are no heroes powerful enough […]Continue reading
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. […]Continue reading
Recently I challenged you to place a spy in the party. In response, RPT reader Joshua Barry wrote in with some excellent tips on Tactical vs. Strategic spying with some great fantasy examples I’d like to share with you today. Let’s dive in! I’d like to expand on your definition of a spy and look at […]Continue reading
Big news for Campaign Logger, my campaign organisation and sleek session logging app: Campaign Logger for iPad is now available! For iPad folks, this means the tool now runs natively on your favourite device, and you can access all your data and run it offline. You can get the iPad version of Campaign Logger directly […]Continue reading
How to Import Characters from Hero Lab You can now export character portfolios from Hero Lab and import them as tagged NPCs in Campaign Logger. Note that this is a beta feature. We’ve only tested this with D&D 5E portfolios. If you encounter any bugs, please let us know and send over your Hero Lab portfolio […]Continue reading
Today’s Musing is part of this month’s RPG Blog Carnvial about megadungeons is brought to you by RPT reader Ydars who wrote in response to my recent piece about how Dang Megadungeons Break My Heart. He’s got some great ideas I want to share with you: Dear Johnn, Megadungeons are difficult beasts to run because […]Continue reading
Use this tutorial and scripts to create amazing interactive maps of your RPG world using the Campaign Logger app for GMs and Google Maps.Continue reading
Wandering monsters chop prep time and prevent railroading. Here’s my three-step system for creating great wandering monster tables and clever plots.Continue reading
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?Continue reading
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.Continue reading