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Encounters Are Like My Favourite Zesty Game Food

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0735 How do you think your games? My favourite unit of thought for gameplay is encounters. Encounters are like pizza. They are central to the meal. You might get pop, dips, chicken wings, and other add-ons, but the meal is all about the ‘za. During sessions, we usually order four or five […]

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RPG Adventure Themes Tie The Room Together

[http://thescript.thetake.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/The-Big-Lebowski-rug-1024×769.jpg] Use Themes to Tie Your RPG Adventure’s Room Together A reader asked me about theme. Theme is the rug that ties the whole room together, man. As I teach in my adventure building course, get theme right, and you intensify your adventures, deepen your players’ experience, and sharpen your stories. Here’s an example. The […]

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Good Campaign Design Should Not Hurt Your Players

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0744 A good friend asked me this the other day: “All players are starting out at level 1. Now, one player dislikes playing his character and wants to start another character. He is asking to carry over his XP to the new character. “I dislike this option (which might be due this […]

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Look up, what’s that falling?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0789 Characters never look up. Let’s take advantage of that in our designs. Inspired by a recent post from Derek Von Zarovich on his Patreon, let’s turn this soggy Monday into a fun brainstorm. First, here’s the cool idea and map from Derek Map-Adventure Vault. This was a tower from a flying […]

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Drama Works Best When There Are Contrasting Moods

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0787 Today’s Musing about megadungeons is brought to you by RPT reader Ydars who wrote in response to my recent piece about how Dang Megadungeons Break My Heart. He’s got some great ideas I want to share with you: Dear Johnn, Megadungeons are difficult beasts to run because they tend to lack […]

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The Hidden Places Are The Best Ones

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0783 Happy Friday %FIRSTNAME% I was struggling with a player request until I hit upon a good idea last weekend. The wizard wants to “break reality.” That’s the entire request. After wrestling for a long time, an idea from the Stranger Things show hit me. The principle is, hidden places have immense […]

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Dang Megadungeons Break My Heart

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0782 Here are four creative ways to drop a megadungeon into your campaign. This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is being hosted by Raging Swan Press. And the topic is megadungeons! (Insert thunderous noise and shaking ground here.) I lurvs me my megadungeons. I happen to have several bookshelves dedicated just to these […]

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Making High Level PCs Fulfill Their Worst Enemy’s Plans

Here’s a quibble with high-level characters, and it runs contrary to advice I posted years ago. My recent Musing on how to challenge high-level PCs received a lot of excellent feedback. Thanks! A common response was to give the PCs more roleplaying challenges. “The PCs are so tough now they roll over their foes. So […]

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5 Room Campaign Planning

Roleplaying Tips reader Sean S. has great ideas about using 5 Room Dungeons in combination with story arcs. I neglected to mention how conversations I’ve had with Sean have influenced my thinking about 5RDs over the years (thanks Sean!), including making 5RDs within 5RDs, 5RD spawn points, and more. Today, Sean muses about how you […]

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5 Room Dungeon Spawn Points

Ohayo %FIRSTNAME% You can make 5 Room Dungeons spawn points for deeper adventures. Here’s how. The basic formula is: Type: Ruins, campsite, tower, etc. Plot: Combat mission, quest, explore, etc. Room #1: Entrance or guardian Room #2: Puzzle or roleplaying Room #3: Trick or hazard Room #4: Conflict or climax Room #5: Reward or plot […]

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How To Wrangle Your Million Campaign Details

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0820 Roleplaying Tips reader S.S. Asked me: I have recently bought both MyInfo and Campaign Logger. As I am starting the MyInfo course you have I was wondering if you were considering a blog post illustrating using the two of them together? MyInfo seems like it’ll be perfect for my world-building, and […]

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Hide The Monster’s Stats To See The Story

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0818 If you’re like me, you sometimes let monster stats limit your thinking. I was reminded of this when I received Fourscore Phantasmagores in the mail for review. It’s a monster book created by Montreal artist Rupert Bottenberg. It’s what I’d call a high concept book. It presents ideas, not stats. Its […]

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15 Kinds of Camouflage

From Ian Winterbottom Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #443 There was a song once, “Camouflage,” which had the refrain, “Things are never quite the way they seem.” It struck me then and still does now that there was the germ of some good hooks and stories there. To this end, I started methodically going through the reasons […]

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How To Create Great Magic Items In Just Three Minutes

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #531 Busy GMs need help prepping for games faster. And you can create fantastic magic items in just three minutes using my stat block. Magic treasure is critical in most fantasy games because it does so much: Creates campaign balance, especially if combats are often difficult Adds to campaign mood, atmosphere and […]

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Walking the Faction Pyramid, Magic Trinkets, Magic Banking

In RPT#644 I showed you how to use a tool called the Faction Pyramid Technique to create organizations that will drive your plots, adventures, and hexcrawls.

I went beyond the simple goals and structure of an organization and added the unique philosophies, lines, and limits of individual nodes to create specific factions. This time, I'll touch on the nodes with more detail including changes over time, layers within the factions, and character interaction with the organization as a whole and their individual nodes.

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