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
A Brief Word From Johnn I’m Back! But My Email Was Down It took just under 44 hours after I left for vacation for spam to fill my email account to the brim. Grrr. So, if you sent me an email after 7pm Sunday the 16th, then it would have bounced. Sorry–please re-send it. This […]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! [graphic-divider] I’d like to expand on your definition of a spy and look […]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
A Brief Word From Johnn Monarchy Tips For World Building This week we have an awesome world building article for GMs who are serious about their campaigns, or for game masters who just want a cool story idea or two. I personally found it a most interesting read and I hope you enjoy it and […]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
I got on Skype and interviewed Philip Athans last week. We chatted about adventure design, monsters, items, and more. Philip is the author of Writing Monsters and The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction. He used to work for Wizards of the Coast and has penned several books over the years and edited dozens.Continue reading
Today I show you how I used the new goblin generator in Campaign Logger as an orc generator to create d20 orcs in under half a minute. But first, a quick backstory. Vargulf drank out of a magical pool. It made him forever afraid of orcs. There’s a half-orc in the party. Kriv. That doesn’t […]Continue reading
Static RPG encounters become predictable. We roll initiative. PCs choose their targets. Grind until the last hit point. However, there’s a concept I’ve penned in my upcoming 5 Room Dungeons book called Intensify. Use this technique to make encounters come alive, surprise the PCs, and keep your players thoroughly entertained.Continue reading