GM Toolkit: A Magic Item Template For You

Here’s a template to help you design great items. In response to my Treasure First: A Quick Hack For Creating Adventure Hooks tips from last week RPT GM Jeremy Brown sent me this fantastic D&D 3.5 stat block for magic items. It’s my hope you might adapt it for your campaigns and game system to […]

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From King To Pawn: A Simple Way To Scope Your NPCs

My business partner in crime, Jochen Linnemann, shared this great tip with me yesterday about a cool method for managing your NPCs…. Jochen: Just now, I read about an NPC classification scheme The Dark Eye uses for its publications: King: Cornerstone NPC, important for the living world and future campaigns and adventures. Knight: Important NPC […]

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Treasure First: A Quick Hack For Creating Adventure Hooks

Treasure First: A Quick Hack For Creating Adventure Hooks When players fail to trigger an encounter or adventure, our prep becomes moot and the game goes sideways. But how do you craft hooks so appealing that players bite on them harder than an orc at an all-you-can-eat troll BBQ? Earlier this week, I gave a […]

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Plot Your Sandbox in Under a Minute with Player Magnets

Here’s how I plot out an old school sandbox in pretty much under a minute. In the Wizard of Adventure members area, we got to chatting about how to use Campaign Logger in conjunction with the The Plot Compass technique. The Plot Compass technique is something I shared with Wizards of Adventure recently. It boils […]

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Effortless & Dynamic Storytelling

Effortless & Dynamic Storytelling Among the many tools in my GM Toolbox, the method of Wandering Encounters holds a special place. It’s a simple yet profound way to keep the game world lively, the plot on track, and the characters engaged in evolving story arcs. The core essence of Wandering Encounters lies in its ability […]

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Unlock Player Creativity With Descriptive Options

We played another session of the WOIN RPG conversion of my Basilica campaign and it went well. We were running Old School Essentials, and the group opted to try a crunchier system. So far, WOIN is ticking all the boxes. Today’s tip is not about rules though. Instead, it’s about something great one of my […]

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Why Your Villains Should Be Making Moves

Why Your Villains Should Be Making Moves Today’s tip is inspired by a question about villains from RPT GM Gerald Lock. You can catch his full question, his one-shot Halloween adventure, and my video reply here. So, you’ve crafted an awesome villain, complete with a dark past and malevolent goals, but when game night comes […]

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Map, Monster, Chest: The Golden Trio of Adventure Design

The Golden Trio of Adventure Design RPT GM Benjamin asks: For an anxious and inspiring GM that tried to learn way too much for what is actually needed, how do you just sit down and say, “I’m doing this random plot, with random PCs, and keep everything afloat and fun?” My brother can improvise anything […]

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Mastering the Depths: Enhancing RPG Mines

Mastering the Depths: Enhancing RPG Mines Sometimes, a couple of extra details makes all the difference in helping players imagine our encounters and take interesting actions. RPT GM Chris N. sent me some great insights into the complexities of running a medieval or fantasy RPG mine. We can use these fantastic details to flesh out […]

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A Change of Pace: How To Evaluate Pacing In Your Game

A Brief Word From Johnn Before we dig into pacing tips though, a couple of quick items. Get Help With Your Campaign August 26, 2023 – Wizard of Adventure Q&A Zoom. If you are a Wizard of Adventure, here’s details and the link. Feel free to bring questions about your world, campaign, encounters, NPCs, technique, […]

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Try Back Pocket Events In Your Campaigns

Did you know there is a Fantasy Grounds version of my complete 1-20th level D&D 5E campaign, The Demonplague, co-written by James Introcaso? I don’t advertise this on The Demonplague’s information page, but will fix that soon. Meantime, if you are a Fantasy Grounds GM, you can purchase the campaign here. Unfortunately, due to Fantasy […]

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Campaign Logger 101 Webinar & Tips Email

A couple of quick action items for you today. 1. Aug 4 –  Campaign Logger 101 Webinar – Setting Up Your First Campaign Jochen, the developer of CL, is hosting our very first Campaign Logger webinar. It’s in a Euro-friendly time zone this time. We hope to run more in the future at different times […]

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From Tasty Bait to Terrifying Consequences: Tricking Players With Instant Gratification

It’s great to be back from vacation! Thank you for your patience as I took a couple of weeks off from the newsletter. We went camping near a place called Rocky Mountain House where it’s not rocky and there are no mountains. The picture below was each glorious morning for me. This might leave you […]

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Beyond Gold Pieces: Amp Up Player Engagement With These Rewards

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1225 Amp Up Player Engagement With These Rewards Looking for different ways to reward players and their characters? Gold and gems are great, but you can’t dance to them. The best rewards engage characters and players, keep the Infinite Game going via story progression, open up choices and action possibilities, and create […]

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Unlock New Adventures: 5 Room Dungeons With a Twist

Today’s tips come in the form of a 13 minute video. When I sent out a recent invitation to my Master of the 5 Room Dungeon Workshop, several GMs responded that they didn’t like the method. Fair enough. There are many ways to craft an adventure! However, some readers mentioned that the five rooms get […]

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1d12 Most Common Encounter Mistakes

1d12 Most Common Encounter Mistakes nuqneH TEST! I don’t generally dwell on the negative. We’re here to have fun at every game, after all. However, sometimes it’s great to review a list of gotchas and see if any resonate. If some do, we can then take action to fix. So today I have 1d12 mistakes […]

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