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Category Archives for "Adventure Building & Campaigns"

Wield the Unseen Ripples in Your Campaign

How do you motivate players to seize the story? RPT GM D asks: Thanks for your email and tips. When I read your opening sentence I was expecting a very different tack from you. I read it as ‘GMs being frustrated that players won’t make any decisions or show initiative’ and your response was about […]

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5 Heroic Campaign Strategies You Can Apply from the Dragonlance Chronicles

Last night I turned the last page on Dragonlance Chronicles #1, Dragons of Autumn Twilight. What an amazing book. The fourth time I’ve read it. This read-through, however, I pored over the pages like I was a game master running such a story. Through that lens, I added five items to my Basilica GM’s Agenda […]

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A Mad Lib For Your Devil’s Bargains

This is Part III of a series on How to Make Encounters Fun. Read Part I, Part II, and Part IV here. On Tuesday I shared a favourite GM tool that gives us a few boons: This tool is The Devil’s Bargain, and you can read Tuesday’s article about it here. Now, there are a […]

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How to Offer Diabolical Choices to Make Rewards Feel Well-Earned

This is Part II of a series on How to Make Encounters Fun. Read Part I, Part III, and Part IV here. There are three main things I look at when trying to make encounters fun: While encounters have many ingredients, dials, and levers, if you hit high notes with challenge, plot, and your energy, you’ll make […]

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Evolving Hex Crawls: My New Approach Where Sandbox Meets Hex Crawl

You know how my preferred campaign design approach is Sandbox meets Crawling meets Adventure Path? I wrote on that recently here. Well, over the weekend I tweaked it a bit. On the surface, it’s just wordplay. But to me, it’s an exciting change in how I do things behind the screen. First let’s review. My […]

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Epic Tower Quest: A Campaign Seed With Strategy, Intrigue, and Adventure

RPT GM NecroFileMD shared their cool Campaign Seed with us over at Campaign Community. You might use this idea for a campaign, an adventure, or even some fascinating lore for your world. Here’s the Campaign Seed: I run a homebrew tower climber campaign based on 5E. A 100 floor tower has appeared in the center […]

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d6 Polar Adventure Seeds

To celebrate the release of my latest GM Cheat Sheet, the Polar Adventures Generator, here are a half-dozen adventure seeds to help kickoff your next chilling adventure! Please note, the 9 GM Cheat Sheet adventure bundle sales ends tonight at midnight Eastern. Get the entire collection for 25% off here. Alternatively, you can pick up […]

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1d6 Ways To Create Deadline Urgency In Encounters

Add some element of urgency to almost every encounter as a GM habit you develop, if you haven’t already. When we do this, we get many GMing benefits: An effective way to create urgency is to build in a deadline. Have the players and their characters race against the clock. Here are 1d6 ways to […]

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When There’s TOO MANY Awesome Hooks

During a chat I had with RPT GM Omar last night, he mentioned this tricky problem: I also had a great holiday season and got a new Cthulhu-themed rulebook I’m eager to try. I really downgraded my prep in favour of a dynamic world that reacts to any player choice. That is, until some player […]

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A New Year, New Campaign Tool For You

Here’s a Mad Lib you might find useful for your GM Toolbox. There’s a January tradition in the RPG community. It’s called New Year, New Campaign. You might start a campaign. You could also run a different game system. I like to add a third option: campaign reboot. Why not take the opportunity of setting […]

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A Game Of Clues

Clues My family LOVES hidden object games. We’ve got PC games and iPad games. I’ve got several cool hidden object books on my shelf. And for Christmas, my wife is getting a hidden object jigsaw puzzle. While I don’t use hidden object games as session props (though if I did, I’d make the PCs quest […]

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How One RPT GM Exploits The Flatulent Feline

If you caught Monday’s announcement, I’ve written a new book with RPG AI expert Danny McKeever about how to use GPT for adventure building. It gives you detailed and specific prompts you can paste into ChatGPT (or Zorgon in Campaign Logger) to help you create adventures, worlds, NPCs, and treasure. In French, it turns out […]

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How I’m Using ChatGP For My Campaign Today

Have you ever heard a cat fart? Wizard of Adventure and loooooong-time Roleplaying Tips reader and contributor, Loz Newman, told me a funny story. He’s in France, probably preparing for another season of teaching kids and adults all about medieval archery. And he explained that, when you say ChatGPT in French, it sounds like you’re […]

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How I Prep My Basilica Campaign

How do you prep? While chatting with a GM during a coaching call, I realized I don’t prep the same way many GMs do. Let me explain, using my Basilica campaign as an example…. My current campaign is sandbox meets hex/dungeon crawl meets story path. I’m looting Temple of Elemental Evil (and hope the PCs […]

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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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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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Surprise Your Players: Betrayal Twist Mad Lib For Your Encounters

You know I’m a huge fan of adventure plot twists. That’s what Room V is all about. But we should try to add encounter-level twists, as well. Then we get to surprise and delight our players several times during sessions! Here is one of my favourite types of twists and d12 examples to help you […]

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Why Homebrew Adventures Suck

I’ve suffered through my fair share of homebrew disasters. For example, there was The Session Where Nothing Happened. The GM had been bugging me all week, bursting with anticipation of how awesome Saturday’s adventure would be. The weekend comes around. We roll up characters and started off in an infinite plane. We walked and walked, […]

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