Johnn Four

Author Archives: Johnn Four

3 Line NPC Contest

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 […]

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RPT#642: “I only have 30 minutes to prepare for a game” What do you do?

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.

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How Not to Get Eaten

Geek & Sundry posted a checklist for foolish brave adventurers on how to survive. I decided to measure my group and see how well the Murder Hobos rated. Is 9 out of 20 a good score? #murderhobosfail

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RPT#690: How To Fill In The Blanks – Drawing Maps Dungeon World Style

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…

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RPT#688: The Card Grid – The Fastest Way To Map Your Kingdom With Adventure Sites

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.

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RPT#685: Space Opera Part 2: Building The Setting Core Elements

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.

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RPT#677: How To Twist Your Plots

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.

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