Johnn Four

Author Archives: Johnn Four

How to Contact and Hire an Assassin

How do you handle assassin services in your campaigns? This situation offers you an opportunity to enrich your campaign and world through interesting encounters and possibilities. In this excerpt from Assassin’s Amulet – my upcoming essential GM Toolbook – I reveal the gaming potential of contacting and hiring assassins in your campaigns. Begin Excerpt: This […]

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How To Turn A Haunted House Into An NPC

From the GMMastery Yahoo Group A GM asked for help making a haunted house become an interesting NPC. Lots of ideas poured into the thread, which I thought I’d highlight here. I fully support giving locations personality. And as you’ll see below, creative GMs can also make places interactive and dramatic. The Initial Request From […]

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Adventure Design Tip: How Do You use Chekhov’s Gun in Gaming?

From Ben Scerri The literary principal of Chekhov’s Gun has been around since the late 19th century and has influenced every aspect of storytelling culture. However, in my experience, it has failed to fully affect gaming and the stories game masters tell. This might be due to the reactive essence of good gaming (i.e. the […]

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GM Tip Request – How Do You Track All the Details of a Living World?

O Wise Sage of the Northern Hemisphere, I come to you with an all-consuming question and have emptied my cup and am eager to learn. There’s a world that’s been created and lovingly populated with all manner of things. There are continents with plate tectonics and zones of subduction and hotspots and rift valleys. There […]

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How to Add Conspiracy Theories to Your Game

The most interesting thing about conspiracy theories is they could be true. Supporters will find evidence to support them, while the government will disprove them. The rest of the world doesn’t know or doesn’t care. That’s why many theorists keep ideas within sympathetic groups and only go public when they have enough proof. Create a […]

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How to Create Blockbuster Box Office Hits with Your Players – Every Adventure

Applying the Hollywood Formula to RPG Storylines From: Brad Allen I’ve been GMing for many years but only recently tried to enhance my pacing and story-writing skills. For a long time my games suffered from frequent lulls and anti-climaxes, but no longer. A year or so ago, I did some research on plot structure and […]

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Character Creation and Roleplaying Rewards

From The B’omarr Punk When I started emphasizing in-depth roleplaying in my games, some players didn’t want to play along. So, I instituted an incentive program that granted bonus xp, items, or ability points for giving characters depth. The program has two phases: character creation and roleplaying rewards. Character Creation During character creation, players complete […]

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Monster Features and Terrain Game Changers

By Ben Scerri Monster Features: The Premise Monsters in RPGs have had a long history of special abilities that add additional cool tidbits to encounters. For example, a dragon’s fiery breath and a rust monster’s corruption of metallic objects. However, seldom do they have attributes that cause players to think outside the box or that […]

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Basic GMing Rules

From Garry Stahl 1:  Garry’s First Rule of Fantasy Do not change reality more than necessary to make your universe work. Real world physics are your friend. You do not need to explain gravity, weather, or in general how the world functions. So don’t complicate things that do not need complication. Adding super science or […]

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