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Category Archives for "Players & Characters"

Triple Hook: The 3 100% Motivating Factors

Got a great tip for you from RPT GM Ryan about motivating players. This tip works equally well for a question that came up on Saturday’s monthly Wizard of Adventure Q&A call about how to get players to hate NPCs. By the way, if you’re a Wizard of Adventure, you can catch the recording here. […]

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How to Transform Passive Players Into Ones Who Seize the Day

RPT GM D echoes a sentiment I’ve heard from many GMs lately in my workshops and inbox: players are not seizing the plot and initiating gameplay. Instead, the GMs are doing the heavy lifting. Yet, despite carpet bombing plot hooks and poking the party with sharp irons — creating extra work and stress behind the […]

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Great Snakes! What To Do When You’re GMing a Single Player or Small Group

RPT GM Kevin asks: I finally have a group to start DMing for. It’s a group of 1, well 2, including me. He’s a newer player, so I’m thinking buffing the party out with some NPCs once the challenges get tougher. Any advice? Hey Kevin! Thanks for the question. Here are a few thoughts. Add […]

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Be The Ultima GM And Reward Tarot-Able Play

Here’s a fun way to reward virtuous roleplay. RPT GM Rafael reached out to me yesterday with this great tip about another use for tokens: For many years I have been doing something pretty similar to what you suggested as player rewards. It kind of looks like video game achievements, you know, when you do […]

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Why Players Get Bored With Our GMing (But Might Be Afraid To Tell Us)

Why Players Get Bored With Our GMing (But Might Be Afraid To Tell Us) As a player who gets bored easily (thus I am a forever-GM :), here are three reasons based on my experiences why a GM can lose player attention and participation in a game. Hopefully these tips help keep your table engaged. […]

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How To Keep Players of Unconscious & Dying Characters Engaged

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1214 How To Keep Players of Unconscious & Dying Characters Engaged When a character drops in combat, the fun stops for that player. While they can cheer their friends on, they can no longer join the fun. Different systems have different rules around death and dying. Regardless of ruling, here are some […]

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How to Motivate Your Players – Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1207 By Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com [Comment from Johnn: this is part two of a series Jonathan started here with How to Hook Players Easily Into Your Adventures.] The Power of a Motive Begin your game by highlighting why the player characters choose to adventure. Is it for glory and fame? Wealth and […]

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When Players Go Feral — How to Clarify Actions of Misunderstood Players

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1200 Brief Word From Johnn Today’s tips from Jonathan cover a problem I’ve experienced many times, especially at conventions. What do you do when one player goes off the rails? I especially like the example of the ranger who seemingly isn’t on the same page as the party and wants to ask […]

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3 Ways Your Players Can Help You Out Next Session

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1197 A Brief Word From Johnn Do you allow players to change their characters during level-up or between games? I received a nice tip on the weekend about this from RPT GM Paul M: I offered to modify the ability scores of the barbarian in my friends and family game to more […]

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What To Do When Players Miss The Clues?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1193 Brief Word From Johnn A false spring sprang here in Beaumont last week. It got warm (only -4), sunny, and melty. I’m trying to warn folks new to town that it’s just Room III: Trick and Setback. Because the groundhog doesn’t lie and more winter’s coming. But methinks inevitable frozen tears […]

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d10 Things You Can Do With a Dead Character

By Johnn Four, patreon.com/johnnfour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1191 It sucks when a character dies. To avoid discomfort or upset players, many GMs end up supporting Mary Sue PCs. Or we provide plot armour so thick we earn no drama from combat, traps, and hazards. I support character death as a result of fair gameplay. This […]

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Keep Players Intensely Engaged With the 3 Conflicts

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1151 Character arcs tell the story of how characters develop by overcoming foes and challenges in pursuit of their goals. This is the ambition of campaign play: to develop cool character story arcs. Such arcs keep players intensely engaged in your games. Why? Thinking about armour, health points, personality scores, and other […]

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Players “Checked Out” When Campaign Switched To Virtual Online

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1125 RPT GM Hornick switched his game to virtual and now has trouble getting his players to roleplay: My players have started to outgame-play the sessions with little ingame interactions. Maybe this is due to the medium of Roll20 and Discord. Do you have any ideas on this besides talking to them […]

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The Unification Event — How To Get The Party Together

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1136 Character backgrounds are key tools in your GM Toolbox. Mine them for plots, NPCs, and character motivation. However, it’s a struggle to get useful and game-full backgrounds from players. Often, you just get a couple paragraphs explaining how the PC became an orphan. Or, you might get the inverse. Pages of […]

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How To Help New Players Have A Blast With Their First Session

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1127 With so many new players (and GMs) joining our beloved hobby, there’s a lot of confusion out there about how to make sessions enjoyable and accessible for newbies. Sometimes your entire group is new. They don’t even have trope or game references to draw upon from different mediums such as video […]

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Resonance – Part I: How Do You Get Players to Care About Their Characters and Your Plot?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0755 How do you get players to care about their characters and your plot? This is in the top 10 questions I get asked all the time. It’s tough to do. Today I’ll share one approach to encounter building that’s part of the 5 Room Dungeon product I’m working on that helps […]

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