Brief Word From Johnn [toc] Longest Game Session? What has been your longest GMing marathon? Mine was when running a single player campaign for my friend Eric. We played in his basement and gamed for 44 out of 48 hours. It started Friday night with the Lost Cavern of Tsojcanth. Then we plundered the Against […]Continue reading
Players and GMs bring their own ideas, desires, and personalities to the table. This causes game friction when we have different expectations of each other and the game. To prevent intra-party conflict, use a short survey to understand what type of game your players want you to run. This survey also helps identify potential player vs. player conflicts ahead of time so you can deal with them proactively.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Patron Secret Article #10 Released Roleplaying Tips Patrons regularly receive secret articles written by me, and I just wanted to let you know the newest article – Divine Intervention Tips For Low/Med/High Level – has just been released and is available for download in the Patrons area. In a recent Patron […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn [toc] Campaign Logger Android Testers Needed RPT Patron Jochen Linnemann is making an Android app version of the Campaign Logger, my session note-taking and campaign organization tool. And he needs some testers for feedback and bug-finding. If you’d like to test out the app you need: A fairly modern Android device […]Continue reading
Most cursed items range from lame to frustrating. They’re a hindrance difficult to remove and they make a character less enjoyable to play. When I’ve encountered cursed items that worked the GM had a plan for the item. It wasn’t a one-off joke or something they just dropped into the game. You can follow these simple steps to get great results out of cursed items in your game….Continue reading
This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is all about cursing. Whether it’s your favourite ways to use the Curse spell, ideas you have about cursed magic items, or stories you have about the predicaments of cursed PCs in your campaign, any blog post about curses is welcome.
I’ll join the carnival later this month with some tips on making cursed magic items for your adventures. Meantime, let me tell you a quick story of how a simple cursed resulted in the entire party rejecting the first magic sword treasure of my Murder Hobos campaign earlier this year.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Game of Thrones a Great Game [toc] How do you be a gracious winner? I’m not sure, because we played the Game of Thrones board game Friday three times, and I became King of Westeros each time. And I rubbed it in until my friends were ready to flip the table. […]Continue reading
What do you do when your game is stuck you need to kick-start the excitement again without appearing to take narrative control away from the Players? This weeks tips show you how a trickster NPC can accomplish that.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Number of the Beast Today’s edition represents a 666-issue beast of a project meant to help you and I have more fun at every game. I think its evolution matches the evolution of our game mastering. It started with tentative steps and wondering what kind of thing we’ve got on our […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn This is the Number One Topic Request of All Time [toc] Players being jerks. That’s the gist of my most frequent topic request over the past 16 years of Roleplaying Tips. Everyone has a story of a troublesome player in their campaign or awkward social drama that took place at the […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn The Seeds of Earth [toc] I had a great vacation camping in beautiful British Columbia. Thanks for your patience in waiting for the next issue of RPT. We were at a place called Horse Lake. It’s a wonderful area to kick back, relax, and enjoy nature. While on vacation I read […]Continue reading
A virtual table top (or VTT) allows people to play RPGs that would traditionally take place face-to-face around a table. Using a computer, and usually video and audio, players and GM connect to the VTT and get their game on. The experience is rich enough these days to be a viable option for remote players, gamers without local groups, or even standard gaming. However, given the amount of VTTs available, it can be challenging to find one that suits you and your group.
In today’s article I’ll summarise five popular VTTs to help you narrow down your choices so you can get online and start gaming.Continue reading
Do you struggle to make it clear the party doesn’t have to fight to win? As GM, it’s all in your delivery. The right words said the right way get your party thinking about their non-combat options rather than just mindlessly rolling initiative every time the bad guys show up.
So how do you narrate the party’s options with clarity and drama? How do you delight players with meaningful choices in the tension-filled earliest moments of conflict? You’re about to learn how with today’s tips.Continue reading
This article is inspired by the hazards from Jesse’s fascinating article in RPT #647: 6 Interesting Hazards. I’ve picked several hazards and woven each into a five room dungeon I’ve created.
The dungeons described below are presented as outlines for you to expand upon according to taste, and the requirements of your rules. The intention is to show you different ways of using hazards within the five room dungeon format.
I’ve also linked these dungeons into a single narrative as a campaign outline. You can choose to use each five room dungeon singly, or as part of a longer plot by an evil Cabal of Elemental Lords.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Shelfies There was a meme going around about what’s on your gaming bookshelves. I took a couple quick pics of my own: View my bookshelves What’s on yours? Coming Soon: Adventure Building Workshop [toc] Got any plans this summer? How about joining my online Adventure Building Workshop? Details about this are […]Continue reading
What follows is the first half of a recipe. It’s an ingredients list. A bit of salt, a bit of sugar, and bits of GM vitamins. Use this list while building adventures, when you get stuck for what to do, or during the Smoothing Things Out stage.Continue reading
I’ve had more players cancel in recent years than during any previous gaming stretch. Families and jobs demand more time as we get older. And we have more things tugging time away from us these days.
So what do you do when a players texts you to say he’s bailing? Do you cancel the session or game on? You game on, of course! And here is a list of ideas and tips, combined from those two RPT newsletters plus some extras, on what to do with that #$?#%#@ player’s character.Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Last Day For This Book Sale How do you get holy water? You boil the hell out of it. Speaking of what’s holy and otherwise, today is your last chance to get the Mythic Gods & Monsters GM how-to guide as Pay What You Want before it goes on its regular […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Johnn Chats With Playing Lean [toc] For those into game design and making a side business building games, you might be interested in a Hangout I had with Tore Rasmussen where we chatted about his new game, Play Lean. Currently in Kickstarter mode, Playing Lean teaches you how to start and […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Mythic Gods & Monsters Launches Tomorrow My new GM utility book offers fast and easy creation recipes for gods, pantheons, religions, and monsters. After a bit of a delay it’s nearly ready. My dream was to bring meddling gods down to the tabletop. Drive gameplay with unique religions, deities, and legendary […]Continue reading
I’ve just added about 20 issues to the Roleplaying Tips Archives page. RPT#645-654 are all back-filled. RPT#619-#627 added. And RPT#513. More issues from the archives will be posted online, a few here and there, until the job of a complete archives is finished. I hope you find the game master tips useful! Be sure to […]Continue reading
Five different ways to make lives interesting for the PCs with meddling gods. My world-building framework always starts with the gods because they influence my fantasy games so much. Gods should be active agents in games. Meddlers in conflict with one another. And possibly in conflict with cosmological evils. This instantly gives me adventure hooks, villain ideas, and campaign possibilities. The gods don’t just sit back and watch their favourite show on World TV. Instead, they play chess, sacrificing pawns to capture rooks, knights, queens, and kings. And as always, the PCs are affected.Continue reading
In RPT#644 I showed you how to use a tool called the Faction Pyramid Technique to create organizations that will drive your plots, adventures, and hexcrawls.
I went beyond the simple goals and structure of an organization and added the unique philosophies, lines, and limits of individual nodes to create specific factions. This time, I'll touch on the nodes with more detail including changes over time, layers within the factions, and character interaction with the organization as a whole and their individual nodes.Continue reading
Today’s issue covers a Patron request for tips on puzzles. Faster Combat author Tony Medeiros treats us to a nice approach that integrates puzzle-building with storytelling. There’s also a random table of villain types to help inspire your plots at the end.Continue reading
Lessons From The Movies — Alien and Aliens Matthew Ipock Two of the best horror-sci-fi movies ever made have to be Alien and Aliens. You know, the ones about the space creature that latches onto your head, shoves an egg down your throat that eventually claws out through your chest and becomes a big, blackish-green […]Continue reading