Roleplaying Tips Blog

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 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 to […]

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4 Ways To Surprise Players Who Know All The Monster Stats

From Jonathan Hardinwww.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 keep […]

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Visual Aid Session Prep with the Five Room Dungeon

Hello Sojourner! The goal of Visual Game Session Prep is to have a quick glance reference that reminds me of notes and plans I made before the session. This keeps paperwork to a minimum. Rather than referencing your notes within a large document during the game, you can simply look at a simple visual diagram […]

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Use This Clever Tool To Herd Your Cats – Plot Factories

From JohnnFour Plot Factory Tips When something automagically generates valuable plot hooks within your System, Story, or Setting, I call that a Plot Factory. Plot Factories have been mentioned before here and here. And to help you worry less about your plot hooks and adventure seeds, I want to show you today how to craft […]

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Do This To Drastically Improve Communication With Players

When there’s good communication, it’s invisible. When there’s bad communication, everyone feels it. As an anti-social, only child introvert, I’ve always considered myself as having a low emotional quotient. I’m much more polite in writing. 🙂 At work I’ve been called direct due to my questions. Being direct is effective, in my experience. It helps […]

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Ripping Up Adventure Drama With A Saw Blade

Make your adventures wondrous with terrific drama. We want tension in our plots and gameplay that escalates as players get close to the climactic ending. To increase drama we raise the Stakes (what’s in it for the characters) and toughen the Conflicts (foes, hazards, obstacles, challenges). However, we shouldn’t make every encounter even more tense […]

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Fast 5 Room Dungeons, Clue Tip, Instant Idea Generator, Different Combats – Mail Bag Edition

Ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo Johnn, It’s a Mail Bag issue and today I’ve got four helpful GMing tips for you. First is about alternative combat outcomes. Second is how to instantly generate ideas. Third is about adding clues. Fourth is a fantastic 5 question formula for fast 5 Room Dungeon ideation. Before we dive in, you might be […]

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Cunning Combat Strategy – 3 Round Combat Plans For Lightning Combats Part II

How do you make your next combat fast and exciting effective 3 Round Combat Plans? And what are we supposed to do in each round? What is our strategy here? That’s what I show you in today’s tips, which are taken from my brand new Faster Combat 5E course launching this spring. Today, I’ll go […]

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