Quick update: the contest is now over. Thanks to everyone who entered! Use My New 3 Line NPC Generator to Create Great NPCs To celebrate RPT#700, and to get your help testing a new online generator I’ve created, I’ve got another GM challenge and contest queued up. The theme is 3 Line NPCs and there’s […]Continue reading
Tips and ideas on how to panic and get ready for a game with only 30 minutes to prepare. I'm going to assume you don't just wing it 100%. That requires no prep time except to go to the store to buy snacks. 🙂 Instead, I'm going to say you GM like me, where you want some ideas, notes, and rough plans, because you like a safety net and enjoy having at least some material to riff off of during the session.Continue reading
Want to design your own combat missions, fully tailored to the people, places, and things of your campaign? Today you’ll learn how to do this, including what design questions to ask and answer along the way. Let total annihilation scenarios take a back seat while you light a fire under your combat creativity.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Dungeon Crawl Classics Is A Classic I had a blast this past weekend playing the DCC RPG for the first time. We adventured through the character funnel, 67: Sailors on the Starless Sea. The flavour of the game is great. The core rules are a toned down variant of d20, with […]Continue reading
A Brief Word From Johnn Only Hours Left On Assassin’s Amulet Deal The special price for Roleplaying Tips subscribers expires October 27 – just a few hours from now. To get the code that gives you 33% off the cover price, before the special expires, visit this link. GMing Two Weeks In A Row I’m […]Continue reading
RPG Designer James Gauvreau kicks off a short series on culture building for you with the Klok’k’ot. The Klok’k’ot are an urban desert civilization on a precipice.Continue reading
New features in the Campaign Logger web app. Dice roller, village generator, custom tagging labels, search & filter, and several more. Plus a few enhancements and bug fixes. See the entire list of improvements for this game-changing GM organization tool.Continue reading
Getting the PCs to do things is like herding cats. It’s hard to get them all pointed in a single direction, and sometimes they get lost and confused about what it is they should be doing. If you’re trying to give guidance to the group, but don’t want to put them on the Plot Express, here are a few things you can try.Continue reading
Wow, that month went by fast! I hope you got some gaming done. Did you run into any issues engaging and inspiring your players? If so, then February’s RPG Blog Carnival is just for you. Here’s what bloggers from around the world had to say on the topic.Continue reading
The first Dungeon World principle is to draw maps but leave blank spaces. Maps are a fundamental part of world building, so leaving blanks suggests an unfinished world. However, the idea is to fill them in later. Blank areas on a map allow all manner of cool things to happen in your game. They prevent you from painting yourself into a corner at campaign outset. They let you be flexible and roll with the dice.
Here are some tips on using blanks on a map to increase the fun at your table. The tips are divided up according to the style of map being used…Continue reading
After awhile you don’t want to get ready for and run games anymore. You get writer’s block. You dread game day and find any reason to postpone. You feel uncreative and stressed out before each looming game day deadline.
It’s a tough spot to be in. And I’ve been there. Maybe you have, too. Maybe you’re there right now.Continue reading
A kingdom map helps you and your players see how your kingdom fits together. Players will use it to decide where they want to travel and what challenges to tackle next.
However, a map too detailed and complex harms gameplay. It blocks cool campaign ideas that come up after campaign kickoff. It puts players off, so its hooks fail. And prep becomes harder because you end up with too much detail to connect ideas with and GM for.Continue reading
(Thanks to Alan Kellogg for this topic suggestion) What do you do to get players excited and eager to play each session? How have you gotten players keen to dive into that new campaign you just spent weeks preparing? And what approaches do you take to keep players’ faces out of their cells phones and focused […]Continue reading
In my last article I talked a little about how people get around as part of a Far Future Spacefaring Civilization and putting limitations on those methods. Now I want to talk a little more in depth about those methods and how you can put some limitations on them to make them more gameable.
There are three kinds of FTL travel methods employed in various sci-fi settings: hyper drives, jump drives, and warp drives.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn How I Like To GM [toc] Been thinking about how I’d describe my GMing style. I’m sure my players will give you a different version than me. 🙂 Last night, after the game, I realized what I’ve been saying in the newsletter and what I’ve been doing at the game table […]Continue reading
Chekhov’s famous writing maxim applies to RPGs too. This article shows you four ways to use this technique to build better adventures.Continue reading
Do your players’ imaginations fall into a black hole when it comes to character creation? Do they fumble for great character concepts – the story and style behind their characters? Today, you’ll learn how to help your group create brief, inspiring character concepts to help them add depth to your campaigns and roleplay more.Continue reading
I love plot twists. Those gaming moments where shocked players fall off their chairs (well, mine stand up and yell and shake their fists at me). Game surprises make memories we relish as GMs and become legendary stories your players tell others. In today’s article I talk about two new plot twist approaches and a few other ways to twist your games.Continue reading
The ghost story is a classic horror tale, yet it seems to take a back seat in roleplaying to vampires, werewolves, and yet more vampires. These haunting generator tables provide some ghostly ideas for those modern GMs who want to return to the roots of the genre. This article presents three tables to help you create a ghost story.Continue reading
In my games I want a story that emerges collaboratively at the table. My current HeroQuest 2 campaign provides this for me. Yet, as I read through RPG rules for pleasure, it is clear many games reference the importance of story without providing a satisfying explanation of how to help it emerge. Spark RPG is one game that does address this issue.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn [toc] Well met, new subscribers! If you join us via the Mega Dice Bag giveaway, then thank you for entering. I hope you win a bag full of 105 polyhedrons. What can you expect to see in the Roleplaying Tips Newsletter? And should you stay subscribed? I can’t decide the second […]Continue reading
September’s RPG Blog Carnival was all about cursing. Spells, items, campaign stories => any way you have gamed the stink eye or nasty magic. Several bloggers offered great ideas for we game masters to use curses in our games. Here’s a summary of carnival entries.Continue reading