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The Four Levers That Inevitably Pull Players Through Your Adventures

I’m writing right now in my Guide to 5 Room Dungeons about Push versus Pull. Push GMing means forcing players in a certain direction. But players are their own beings. They think and act independent of your wishes. You cannot control another person. Therefore, you cannot control your players. If you try, everyone just gets […]

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Create Your Special GM Moves

Adventures get repetitive and boring. “Bring me another 10 scorpion tales!” Even megadungeons and campaign paths can grind you down. I received an email from a subscriber who asked how to keep players engaged. He caught one player even playing video games on their phone during sessions. The best way I know how to keep […]

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When Do I Peel Back The Cosmic Curtain In My Campaigns?

Sveiki %FIRSTNAME%, Grand campaigns take characters from weaklings to near demi-gods. Intrigue campaigns have shadowy layers with a central truth hidden deep in the core. Mega-plot campaigns have a pyramid of villains and factions piled atop each other like an Ikea storage unit. How do we know what truths to reveal? When do we reveal them? I’ve found […]

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An Example Of The Creature Feature For Your 5 Room Dungeon Designs

Without a key idea or theme, our adventures can feel like an uninspired assortment of random ideas. Our adventures fail to make an impact and they fall apart. One awesome solution is to create a Feature. Before you begin adventure design, choose a Feature. Pick a central idea and build your five rooms out from […]

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Use The Feature Method To Make Adventure Design A Whole Lot Easier

Before you put pen to paper designing your next 5 Room Dungeon, do this one quick thing to greatly improve your design. When I build 5 Room Dungeons I often find it’s a struggle to make them more than just an assortment of encounters. Make It Pop A designer I worked with had a massive […]

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New Mad Lib: Instant Magic Items

Got another Mad Lib for you today. This one is for special item creation and is inspired by the Perilous Deeps book for Dungeon World. Just fill in the blanks to make an interesting item: This item [DOES ACTION] [TO A THING] and the wielder [CAN CONTROL IT] which [CAN BE USED SOMETIMES]. For example: This item allows for communication with predatory […]

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How To Create Five Room Horror Dungeons

Hola %FIRSTNAME% Roleplaying Tips Patron Jeffrey asks how to create five room horror adventures: Johnn, been reading for a long time, and always figured that I would one day have a question worthy of asking… I guess that day is today. How would you use a five-room dungeon to run a horror game? For readers […]

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How To Make Skill Items As Treasured As Magic

Reward players with treasure that enhances their skills. Sometimes we get focused just on just combat-related rewards, or treasures that grant cool powers like invisibility. Mix things up by offering skill items. Here’s how. Step 1: Make A List Run through the skill list of your game system and make a list. I’m a spreadsheet […]

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The Mad Lib d12 Random Quest Generator

A bit of fun inspiration for your campaign today. RPT GM Tony shares a random quest generator in Mad Libs format. What I like most about his plot generator is it creates a named and enumerated quest purpose. You could use this template to create legends, world wonders, artefacts, Spikes of Danger, and other nifty […]

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Sandbox Adventures – 5 Essential Ingredients

I got my first taste of sandbox play in B2: Keep on the Borderlands. The PCs based themselves in The Keep and forayed into the Wild. A crazy hermit shared the location of several caves nearby, confirmed dangerous, rumoured with riches. As the party crested a hill, a horseshoe valley stretched before them, rings of […]

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Quick Plot Design: How To Create A Villain Plan First Draft

Been working on my campaigns and thinking a lot about villain plans. I like to craft a roadmap for how the villain can win their goal. I call this Villain Win-State. And that road map becomes my adventure outline for villain type adventures. So what are the first couple of steps for making an awesome […]

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Adventure Building Tip: Must All Encounters Advance The Plot?

RPT GM Joshua asks: “Do all encounters need to advance the plot?” My answer is yes. But with a twist I’ll explain in today’s article. A session is made up of encounters. Encounters make up adventures. Adventures make campaigns. To speak about encounters I first need to speak about adventures. That’s one level up. We […]

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How To Detail An Encounter In Less Than A Minute: Dangers, Discoveries, Impressions

Here’s an encounter tip for you today, pulled out of my Adventure Building Master Game Plan, which launches later this year. Once I get to the encounter building phase, I start digging into the details. I’ve got a Campaign Game Plan created, and an Adventure Game Plan built, by the time I reach this stage. […]

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Rebooting My Murder Hobos Campaign (And Yours) in Three Easy Steps

Let’s talk about a campaign reboot. But before that, let me crack open the champagne and yell Happy Year +1! Alana and I had a great time visiting her parents in snowy Salmon Arm, B.C. We spent Christmas there, then flew back to ring in the changing of the calendar with dinner out and a […]

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