Johnn Four, Author at Roleplaying Tips
Johnn Four

Author Archives: Johnn Four

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

From Jonathan Hardin 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 post-session […]

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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 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 to […]

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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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Fast 5 Room Dungeons, Clue Tip, Instant Idea Generator, Different Combats – Mail Bag Edition

Ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo Johnn, It’s a Mail Bag issue and today I’ve got four helpful GMing tips for you. First is about alternative combat outcomes. Second is how to instantly generate ideas. Third is about adding clues. Fourth is a fantastic 5 question formula for fast 5 Room Dungeon ideation. Before we dive in, you might be […]

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Cunning Combat Strategy – 3 Round Combat Plans For Lightning Combats Part II

How do you make your next combat fast and exciting effective 3 Round Combat Plans? And what are we supposed to do in each round? What is our strategy here? That’s what I show you in today’s tips, which are taken from my brand new Faster Combat 5E course launching this spring. Today, I’ll go […]

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How to Create Situations With 5 Room Dungeons

We want to cue up situations, not outcomes. By that, I mean we don’t dictate the actions of the characters. That’s the players’ job. But as storytellers, we have a job to do too. We need to weave good tales from our setting, adventure plans, and gameplay as it happens. How can we do this […]

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Weaponize Your Villain’s Secret

RPT GM Dale S asked me for help with his adventure’s bad guy and plot: Hi Johnn, Would you mind wading in with any thoughts on my villain’s objective? The local gnoll clan and their unusual allies are attacking a small walled human frontier settlement. This is a nighttime ‘storming the barricades’ kind of assault […]

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Keep Players Intensely Engaged With the 3 Conflicts

Character arcs tell the story of how characters develop by overcoming foes and challenges in pursuit of their goals. This is the ambition of campaign play: to develop cool character story arcs. Such arcs keep players intensely engaged in your games. Why? Thinking about armour, health points, personality scores, and other character sheet elements are […]

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A Divine Way to Manage Your Meddling Gods – a 3 Part Framework

This is a guest post by Jonathan Hardin based on his original article at Sojourners Awake. How can you have gods walk your realm without whacking campaign balance? How can you turn deities into Plot Factories? And how can you roleplay divine beings in interesting ways that do not spell immediate doom for belligerent characters? […]

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