Roleplaying Tips Blog

When Players Go Feral — How to Clarify Actions of Misunderstood Players

Brief Word From Johnn Today’s tips from Jonathan cover a problem I’ve experienced many times, especially at conventions. What do you do when one player goes off the rails? I especially like the example of the ranger who seemingly isn’t on the same page as the party and wants to ask “dumb” questions. While the […]

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Simple Ways to Keep Fun in Your Games

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1199 I recently wrote a few tips for running lunch games. Several RPT GMs sent me this link, which is a D&D 5E Practical Guide to One Hour DnD Sessions (you might want to turn on your ad blocker before viewing the site): https://rpgbot.net/dnd5/dungeonmasters/one-hour-sessions/ I’m away halfway through, and it has great […]

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Tips For Lunch Hour Games + Personal Announcement

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1198 Goeiedag Johnn, Big news to share with you this week. I have embarked on a grand adventure. Two adventures, really. The Great Resignation First, I’m going fuller-time with Roleplaying Tips! I’m thrilled but nervous and can’t wait to begin this new journey. I gave notice at my day job last week […]

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3 Ways Your Players Can Help You Out Next Session

Delegation comes naturally to some. For others, we don’t think of it, worry we might bother or offend folks, or just want to control too much. We do not have to take on the entire burden ourselves. Getting players to help us out makes the game experience better for all. Because some players want to […]

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What Do You Do When Characters Fail? — 5 Solutions For You

Terve Johnn, What do you do when the dice betray your players? When the party seems to meet a dead-end? When your adventure stalls due to bad luck or bad choices? That’s the topic of today’s tips. But before you dig into them, please take the associated poll here: How to Prevent Dead End Dice […]

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How To Make Every Encounter Interesting

By Johnn Four Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1195 (Join the conversation about today’s tips here.) Here’s an interesting question about encounter building that WorldWibe asks on RPT’s Discord: Is a dungeon-making philosophy that goes: “Every room should have something interesting in it, be it battle, treasure or lore” a good design-methodology? Thanks for the great question! […]

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How To Improvise Better With Connect & Shift

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1194 By Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Discuss these tips on their dedicated thread here at Campaign Community. Improvisation seems scary and sometimes difficult, especially for new GMs. I have learned a few tips from people who think quickly on their feet. And I think the pair of techniques I’m sharing with you today […]

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What To Do When Players Miss The Clues?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1193 (Join the conversion about these tips in this thread at Campaign Community.) Hello Sojourner! This is Jonathan with www.sojournersawake.com. Besides the common adventure in leaving town, delving into the dungeon, and slaying the monster to collect the reward, game masters can homebrew adventures involving mystery and discovery. I enjoy stories of […]

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d10 Things You Can Do With a Dead Character

By Johnn Four, patreon.com/johnnfour It sucks when a character dies. To avoid discomfort or upset players, many GMs end up supporting Mary Sue PCs. Or we provide plot armour so thick we earn no drama from combat, traps, and hazards. I support character death as a result of fair gameplay. This gives you additional and […]

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Wow Your Players With Monster Hunts

5 Room Dungeon Template When I invented the 5 Room Dungeon in 2003, I first thought of it as a physical adventure framework. Five literal encounters. This method still works brilliantly, but we can advance it for great monster hunter storytelling. After reading a bunch of work by American professor Joseph Campbell, who wrote Hero […]

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Highlights and Hopes — How to Get Valuable Feedback From Your Players

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com If they are having fun, then you’re doing it right. With my Highlights & Hopes technique, I can immediately receive feedback on how my players define fun. I gather these Highlights & Hopes right after the game while they are still fresh in everyone’s mind. Definition Highlights & Hopes is a […]

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Simple Ways to Enhance Your Magic Items

From Jonathan Siema Johnn! In todays’ Roleplaying Tips Newsletter, I’ve got the following GM tips for you: 3 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Magic Items How can we spruce up magic items so they aren’t boring +1 shields? Jonathan Hardin (sojournersawake.com) shows us how via three quick changes we can make to an item’s properties. […]

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Encounter Mapping Software – 3 Tips For Choosing The Best One

A great conversation came up in the monthly Wizard of Adventure chat Saturday on what encounter mapping software to choose. (Wizards of Adventure who could not make the call, here’s a link to the recording.) From DungeonFog to HexKit to Campaign Cartographer, and a bunch of others, how do you pick? Because it’s not just […]

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5 Ways To Power Up Your Secret Doors

From JohnnFour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1,179 Depending on your system, secret door checks every five feet bog gameplay down and soon get tiresome.This topic came up in the most recent Wizard of Adventure Zoom call: How do you handle secret doors??I’m not a big fan of the passive check, or maybe I’m using it incorrectly.?I […]

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! A Simple Way To Improve Gameplay, Engagement & Character Outcomes

From JohnnFour Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú Johnn? Here’s a refreshed tip from Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #5, going way back to 1999 right before the world was going to end with Y2K. Too often we become trapped in our heads thinking three moves ahead, doing math, or coming up with names and details on the […]

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5 Ways To Warn Players Of A Deadly Challenge

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Many times the threat that presents itself to characters surpasses their abilities to defeat it. The encounter is not easy or even difficult, it’s deadly. Without a warning label, your players may be unfairly surprised that you designed a deadly encounter for them. To avoid that frustration, here are 5 ways […]

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4 Ways To Surprise Players Who Know All The Monster Stats

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Hello Sojourner! My players know all of the stats for every villain I place in their path. Through searching on the internet, hours studying monster manuals, and good old fashioned wits, my players have found a way to circumvent the wonder of being surprised in battle. As GM, I want to […]

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3 Easy Ideas To Generate Instant Adventure Ideas – Plot Factory Tutorial Part II

From JohnnFour Last week we talked about Plot Factories as a tool in your GM Toolbox. Think of them like spawn points in a video game. Foes keep emerging to assault your character until you destroy the spawn point. In our adventures and sandboxes, we do the same via Plot Factories that churn out new […]

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