Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #441 Reduce Session Cancellations with An On-Call Player From Ike Traditionally, you play tabletop RPGs in person with a group of your favourite people. Therein lies some of the hobby’s greatest appeal, and also one of its most common stumbling blocks. I am talking, of course, about synching up multiple, overtaxed schedules […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #442 Choosing Your Next Science Fiction RPG: Reader Recommendations In Issue #428 I polled you to help me figure out what science fiction RPG I should try as my next game. Here is the original request: What Sci-Fi RPG Should I Play Next Year? My D&D campaign is slowly forming a plot, […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #443 15 Kinds of Camouflage From Ian Winterbottom There was a song once, “Camouflage,” which had the refrain, “Things are never quite the way they seem.” It struck me then and still does now that there was the germ of some good hooks and stories there. To this end, I started methodically […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #444 Five Tips to Create Game Room Atmosphere From Joel Fox Atmosphere while playing is an important consideration that is often overlooked. Sometimes other issues take the foreground, such as simply keeping everyone on-task, or handling the many facets of GMing. Ironically, focusing on these issues becomes unnecessary if atmosphere is correctly […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #445 4 Tips for Post Apocalypse Game Masters From Kate Manchester The future is a bleak place. Society, as we currently know it, has ended, thanks to some sort of apocalypse. Since there are very few post-apocalyptic gaming systems, how do you create a setting? How do you deal with weaponry when […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #446 Build Your Own Starship From Brent P. Newhall Many sci-fi settings involve the liberal and exciting use and abuse of starships; you board ’em, you fight with ’em, and you fight in ’em. You’ll probably be creating new starships, either as player character vehicles or as environments. So, how to make […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #447 How to Create Factions – 3 New Tips From Johnn Four I discussed in Issue #393: Have Fun with Factions how you can save a lot of time by combining world design with adventure design through factions. http://www.roleplayingtips.com/readissue.php?number=393 Factions are such a useful game mastering tool I encourage all GMs to […]Continue reading
I’ve got a character problem. Maybe you’ve experienced it too? The rogue in my Barbossa campaign is being subsumed by other PCs and the emerging campaign style: Monk and bard are also good at stealth. The rogue is a halfling. So is the bard. Last session there was no combat. So sneak attacks became null […]Continue reading
Awesome RPT Patron Roel asked for my two cents on a couple of roleplaying house rules he’s thinking of for his campaign: When a player role plays a social situation well they can take +2 on social checks (diplomacy, intimidation etc) (GM’s discretion). This rule is to encourage players to role play conversations. The bar […]Continue reading
The better connected a character is to your world, the better the gameplay. Sometimes you can mine character backgrounds for all kinds of cool campaign stuff. Relationships with NPCs, for example, give you fantastic GMing options. Use these folks for quest hooks, plot complications, party resources, and roleplaying moments. However, some players don’t create any […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #448 8 Tactics for Mooks From Ian Winterbottom Encounters in the early days of campaigns are harrowing and exciting. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment that comes from overcoming a real threat by the skin of your teeth. As your PCs get more powerful, though, this old zest might fade. The joy […]Continue reading
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #449 Homebrew Terrain Ideas In Roleplaying Tips #432 I put out a request for homebrew terrain for my personal campaign. Without a large budget, I wanted to add a new dimension to the tabletop. That’s still a work in progress for my game. In the meantime, though, here are several of the […]Continue reading
From: Alex Harms Logic grid puzzles bring a new level of interest to roleplaying, from the simple skill challenge or puzzle to vast, campaign-sized epics. You can use these types of puzzles as guidelines to create stories and campaigns. Use them to design encounters and plan where and what clues should be dropped. Let them […]Continue reading
From: Logan Horsford It is sad and disturbing when I see modules say things like “police arrive in d10 combat rounds.” It is even more disturbing when a “level appropriate” amount of police show up. I’m writing this article with the assumption that most GMs don’t know how to use the police, or use them […]Continue reading
From: Logan Horsford In most games, there is no way of giving anything to the players on the spot who come up with good ideas, witty comments, or anything similar that the GM feels adds to the game. Giving an XP bonus at the end of the session falls short, and doesn’t offer instant gratification. […]Continue reading
Plenty has been written about villains: how to play them, what motivates them, how they fit into a campaign. Unless your campaign world is a desolate moral wasteland though, there’s probably a favorable hero to villain ratio, and that means you have more do-gooders running around than just the party. Where do these other heroes […]Continue reading
From: Sébastien Boily GMs want to build original and interesting adventures and campaigns. One of the problems many GMs have is thinking too big too early in the process of creation. By doing this, we are putting pressure on ourselves, which only increases the chances for the page to stay white. Here are a few […]Continue reading
From: John Lewis While it would be great if players naturally wanted to be drawn into the campaign, it rarely ever works out that way. It takes a DM to consciously create an evolving world and story that compel players to invest their attention, energy, and creativity into the shared experience. This is much easier […]Continue reading
From: Kate Manchester Play by e-mail (PbEM) games offer a lot of advantages over face-to-face games: they can be fit into any kind of busy schedule, players don’t have to live near each other, and pausing to look up the rules doesn’t slow down the game. The format even encourages many players to be more […]Continue reading
Combat without purpose becomes a grind.
One awesome solution you can use: Combat Missions.
But it’s more than that.
Toastmasters taught me to start with the audience and ask one key question:
How do I want the audience to feel during and after my speech?
So too it is with combats.Continue reading
From: Scott J. Compton Over the past decade, I have hosted several games with legendary items that were the heart of my campaigns. Here is what I discovered worked well for me and the interactions of the PCs that wielded the items. 1. Get the Big Picture Define the overall purpose the characters have in […]Continue reading
From: Jim Davenport There comes a day in even the most die-hard groups when someone discovers a new game system and wants to try it out. How do you introduce that game to your players in the way that gives it the best chance of survival and the best chance of fun for your players? […]Continue reading
From: Ronald Whited What exactly is a plot hook? To me they are the baited hooks you tease in front of your players until they sink their teeth into one. Then you reel them into wherever you wanted to take them in your campaign. Compelling plot hooks can launch an entire campaign, while stale ones […]Continue reading
From: Johnn Four Mine your game world’s history to create the basis of cultures. This not only saves you time, but it draws history back into your game instead of being long-winded trivia. It also creates connections between different societies in your world, whether for cities or countries or empires, instead of your cultures being […]Continue reading
From: Kit Reshawn One of the most difficult things to do with RPGs is making the transition to being a GM. Here are some tips I have for new GMs. Hopefully these will be useful for anyone thinking about taking the plunge and at the same time give new ideas to people who GM regularly. […]Continue reading