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Category Archives for "Adventure Building & Campaigns"

The Hook, Line & Sinkers Method Will Inspire Your Encounters

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0778 Here’s a great way to create encounter seeds for your next game via RPT Reader Victor Diaz. It’s  called the Hook, Line & Sinkers method. From the RIFTS Adventure Book, page 38: Hook, Line & Sinkers ™ is the popular Game Master’s tool created by Jolly Blackburn. The idea behind it […]

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The Phantasmal Pessimist and Other Living Spell Examples

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0777 A couple weeks ago I offered a tip on creating Living Spells using a three step recipe. At the end was a challenge to use the recipe and create your own Living Spells. In today’s Musing I share with you four Living Spells, crafted by your fellow readers, that caught my […]

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A Slick Three Step Wandering Monster System

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0775 A Slick Three Step Wandering Monster System Ever since running B1: In Search of the Unknown I’ve enjoyed wandering monsters. As PCs quested for the legendary treasure of Roghan and Zelligar, I’d roll and run all sorts of monster encounters. It gave me yet another opportunity to be creative during the […]

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The Quarantine

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0770 Here’s a great campaign seed from Danish Roleplaying Tips GM Alexander Aubert: A quarantined city where a magical disease is turning everyone, including the PCs, slowly into monsters. These days, when I come across ideas for adventures I do something new. It’s a quick action borrowed from Dungeon World. And it’s […]

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A Village Name That’s a Funny Puzzle

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0705 Here’s a funny, simple puzzle for your game. My mom is reading a book called The Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman. In it there’s a place called Saint Ophere. Turns out the place was named because someone long ago misread a sign. The sign read: Stop here Stop here […]

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Encounters Seeds Formula – Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0715 Encounters Seeds Formula – Part II In a recent Musings email [Panicked Prep For Next Session] I talked about a formula to create encounter seeds fast: What if? + one source of inspiration = one encounter seed. I also provided three example sources of inspiration: Finally, I offered bonus points if […]

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d10 Things You Hear In Town

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0711 I often stumble over thinking up rumours on-the-fly. Especially in my sandbox games where there are so many possibilities. I end up just slandering a character or bad-mouthing the establishment. While good for a laugh, that doesn’t drive the campaign forward. So Jochen and I just added a new generator to […]

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The Potion Factory for Fun Faction Finagling

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0724 The Potion Factory for Fun Faction Finagling On theme with this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, here’s an idea for arming your next faction without destroying campaign balance. We began my Murder Hobos campaign as a playtest of the D&D 5E rules using the adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver included in the […]

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Plot Your Dungeons with This Simple Grid System

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0720 Plot Your Dungeons with This Simple Grid System The Nine Sector System of Dungeon Design I saw Castle Oldskull ~ CDDG1: The Classic Dungeon Design Guide ~ Book 1: Forging the Underworld (yup, that’s the full actual title) by Kent David Kelly in the Amazon Kindle store and on a whim […]

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I’m Killing Pcs and The Fun Doing This

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0718 Another bad habit I’ve gotten into is being arbitrary with encounter difficulty. This undermines player thinking and creativity and makes for a poorer gameplay experience. In my group, we don’t typically do long dungeon crawls. Encounters are a mix of wilderness, town, and dungeon, and of plot, puzzle, combat, and roleplay. […]

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A Quick Way To Make Player Victories Sweeter

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1104 I just finished reading the Kobold Guide to Plots and Campaigns. I highlighted and flagged a few pages, so expect a tip or two I’ve gleaned from the guide in the future. On page 23 there’s a great tip about making player victories sweeter: Designing a finale specifically to a setting […]

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Make Monster Parts Puzzles For Your Adventures

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1103 Over at my Campaign Community forum, Doug the Winter shares a great campaign war story. And in that story lies a fantastic tip: use monster parts as puzzle pieces. Here’s a snippet of his story: The Situation The group has been stuck in the feywild due to an ongoing feud with […]

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Think About Encounters Like Game Tiles for Better 5 Room Dungeon design

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0739 Pizza last night was awesome. I ordered my favourite. My wife ordered the house special sans shrimp (I’m not a shrimp fan). Mmmmmhmmm. I’m a lightweight these days, though. Five pieces and I’m full. The pizza metaphor doesn’t handle well what I want to talk about today. But a board game […]

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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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0728 [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. […]

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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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