Johnn Four, Author at Roleplaying Tips - Page 4 of 56
Johnn Four

Author Archives: Johnn Four

Avoid This Nasty Description Trap GMs Often Trigger

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1019 I saw this writing tip from @ShawnMerwin and it applies to GMing, as well: Avoid “begin to” or “start to” unless those actions are interruptible. “You begin to hear a scream” is simpler as “You hear screaming.” Clearer and more concise is better. So it is for GM descriptions. And that […]

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Your Campaign Agenda => Best Campaign Ever Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1008 There’s a moment mid-campaign when my inner voice screams out: “I’ve lost the plot! What the #@$% is going on? What the #@$% do I do now?” (Sorry, in-skull Johnn has a potty mouth.) When I’m off the rails as a GM it’s panic time. …Everything feels like it’s crap. …The […]

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Run With The Impressions Technique

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0998 Here’s the thing with read-aloud scripts and boxed text you find in published modules…. It’s boring. And it kills the mood. Imagine an actor stopping mid-scene to grab the script and read it aloud to you. A terrible experience for both actor and audience. Likewise, stopping your natural way of describing […]

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Create Plots Easily With This Simple Method

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0986 Patrons have access to a cool plot-building PDF called the But Reversal Method. Today, I have a companion plotting technique for all RPT GMs called the Because Twice method, or B2. Sometimes my plans get convoluted and I literally lose the plot. Too many forks to detail and track, and not […]

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The Four Levers That Inevitably Pull Players Through Your Adventures

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0974 I’m writing right now in my Guide to 5 Room Dungeons about Push versus Pull. Push GMing means forcing players in a certain direction. But players are their own beings. They think and act independent of your wishes. You cannot control another person. Therefore, you cannot control your players. If you […]

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Create Your Special GM Moves

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0960 Adventures get repetitive and boring. “Bring me another 10 scorpion tales!” Even megadungeons and campaign paths can grind you down. I received an email from a subscriber who asked how to keep players engaged. He caught one player even playing video games on their phone during sessions. The best way I […]

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When Do I Peel Back The Cosmic Curtain In My Campaigns?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0958 Sveiki %FIRSTNAME%, Grand campaigns take characters from weaklings to near demi-gods. Intrigue campaigns have shadowy layers with a central truth hidden deep in the core. Mega-plot campaigns have a pyramid of villains and factions piled atop each other like an Ikea storage unit. How do we know what truths to reveal? When do we […]

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Monsters Are NPCs Too – A Short Monster Personality Stat Block

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0944 When monsters become meat bags you lose a big opportunity for roleplay and storytelling. I’m guilty of queuing up encounters with 2d6 orcs in a 10′ x 10′ room. Big time wasters. Pointless. And boring. I know players love to use their characters’ powers. And crushing a foe is fun. But […]

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