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Category Archives for "Adventure Building & Campaigns"

Create Your Special GM Moves

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0960 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 […]

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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0958 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 […]

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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0932 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 […]

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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0926 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 […]

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New Mad Lib: Instant Magic Items

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0894 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 […]

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Creating A Sandbox Campaign – 7 Steps

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0891 Creating A Sandbox Campaign Here’s a quick recipe for building a sandbox campaign. The point is to not do a whole lot of plot prep in advance. Be an Agile GM. Only plan deeper once players have chosen a hex, path, or entrance. Step 1: Sandbox Campaign Structure First thing I’d do is […]

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How To Create Five Room Horror Dungeons

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0870 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 […]

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How To Make Skill Items As Treasured As Magic

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0854 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 […]

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The Mad Lib d12 Random Quest Generator

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0849 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 […]

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7 Essential Encounter Ingredients

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0845 Here’s a fun reader tip from GM Barky on how to build your encounters. It’s definitely food for thought. Johnn, Here’s my recipe for encounter creation using a food metaphor: Meat Meat is the protein, the basic building block of life. In an encounter, it’s the enemy leader. Example: my players […]

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Sandbox Adventures – 5 Essential Ingredients

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0842 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 […]

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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1115 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 […]

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Adventure Building Tip: Must All Encounters Advance The Plot?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1114 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 […]

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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1113 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 […]

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Campaign Reboot Example: Murder Hobos

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0754 Campaign Reboot Example: Murder Hobos Readers asked for an example of a campaign reboot using my three step map. Rebooting My Murder Hobos Campaign (And Yours) in Three Easy Steps Here’s one using my current campaign, which needs new life injected into it as I prep Season 3. Step 1. Write […]

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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0745 Rebooting My Murder Hobos Campaign 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 […]

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Cool Idea: Skill Treasures

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0760 Cool Idea: Skill Treasures Here’s a simple way to make awesome magic items customised for your players. The idea occurred to me the other day, and I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before. I’ll outline the recipe in three steps because I loves me my GMing recipes. 🙂 […]

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Idea: Living Spell

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0769 Here’s a cool Wednesday idea for your game sent to me by Aramax over at Strolen’s Citadel. What happens when a spell goes awry? Perhaps it’s a miscasting? Maybe a foe warps three simultaneous effects cast upon him. Maybe it’s a research mishap. Of the many ways spells could change and […]

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Resonance – Part II: How to Create Resonance

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0756 How to Create Resonance Last Musing we talked about how to get apathetic players to care about your adventure by using Theme and Resonance. Theme is about choosing, designing, and introducing gameplay elements that focus on your campaign goal. Resonance is about choosing themes that will draw your players in and […]

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