From: R. James Gauvreau World building is a long, arduous process if you’re going to get detailed about it, and no one article could ever hope to summarize every pertinent aspect. Patricia C. Wrede’s famous World Building Questions is 31 pages long, and not only is it just a checklist, it isn’t even the most […]Continue reading
From: Tony Medeiros Do you struggle to get your players to roleplay and add flavorful description to their actions in combat? In today’s article we’ll give you the tools you need to excel in setting an example, identify your players’ roleplaying levels, and give them the confidence and guidance they need to narrate their epic […]Continue reading
Most cursed items range from lame to frustrating. They’re a hindrance difficult to remove and they make a character less enjoyable to play. When I’ve encountered cursed items that worked the GM had a plan for the item. It wasn’t a one-off joke or something they just dropped into the game. You can follow these simple steps to get great results out of cursed items in your game….Continue reading
Ship Quirks & Plot Seeds From: Jesse C Cohoon Sometimes I encounter ships in published adventure that don’t have enough details to make them interesting. So I’ve created some lists of ideas to help tide me over. Maybe you’ll find them useful for your games as well. Six Ship Purposes First, consider why the vessel […]Continue reading
What do you do when your game is stuck you need to kick-start the excitement again without appearing to take narrative control away from the Players? This weeks tips show you how a trickster NPC can accomplish that.Continue reading
How to design engaging everyday encounters connected to your campaign story and setting From: Tony Medeiros Tired of predictable encounters that have nothing to do with the campaign? Mortal combat, brushes with the gods, and natural disasters again? Have you thought about digging into the everyday life of the PCs and NPCs for inspiration? Even […]Continue reading
Five Techniques for Creating a Co-operative Table Culture From: Christopher Sniezak Getting players to work together is about setting expectations and building a culture of assistance at the table. People think this means being all Kumbaya and whatnot, but it’s really about having conversations that create guidelines and then executing those guidelines to create the […]Continue reading
From: Christopher Sniezak Chases are hard, especially when you have characters with different speeds. And moving on a grid requires a lot of grid or some kind of rotating map system. Since that’s not always practical I was tasked by Johnn with building a set of rules you can use in fantasy foot chases. Here’s […]Continue reading
A virtual table top (or VTT) allows people to play RPGs that would traditionally take place face-to-face around a table. Using a computer, and usually video and audio, players and GM connect to the VTT and get their game on. The experience is rich enough these days to be a viable option for remote players, gamers without local groups, or even standard gaming. However, given the amount of VTTs available, it can be challenging to find one that suits you and your group.
In today’s article I’ll summarise five popular VTTs to help you narrow down your choices so you can get online and start gaming.Continue reading
Do you struggle to make it clear the party doesn’t have to fight to win? As GM, it’s all in your delivery. The right words said the right way get your party thinking about their non-combat options rather than just mindlessly rolling initiative every time the bad guys show up.
So how do you narrate the party’s options with clarity and drama? How do you delight players with meaningful choices in the tension-filled earliest moments of conflict? You’re about to learn how with today’s tips.Continue reading
This article is inspired by the hazards from Jesse’s fascinating article in RPT #647: 6 Interesting Hazards. I’ve picked several hazards and woven each into a five room dungeon I’ve created.
The dungeons described below are presented as outlines for you to expand upon according to taste, and the requirements of your rules. The intention is to show you different ways of using hazards within the five room dungeon format.
I’ve also linked these dungeons into a single narrative as a campaign outline. You can choose to use each five room dungeon singly, or as part of a longer plot by an evil Cabal of Elemental Lords.Continue reading
Last week I revealed a complete adventure building checklist. It doesn’t show you how to build an adventure, but it does give you a full ingredients list so you know what to think about, design, and double-check for quality. In part II today, I’ll continue explaining in brief what each checklist item is about, picking […]Continue reading
What follows is the first half of a recipe. It’s an ingredients list. A bit of salt, a bit of sugar, and bits of GM vitamins. Use this list while building adventures, when you get stuck for what to do, or during the Smoothing Things Out stage.Continue reading
I’ve had more players cancel in recent years than during any previous gaming stretch. Families and jobs demand more time as we get older. And we have more things tugging time away from us these days.
So what do you do when a players texts you to say he’s bailing? Do you cancel the session or game on? You game on, of course! And here is a list of ideas and tips, combined from those two RPT newsletters plus some extras, on what to do with that #$?#%#@ player’s character.Continue reading
From: Tony Medeiros Struggling to create great non-combat scenes in your game? Non-combat encounters can be just as memorable and dramatic as a good, meaty fight. The best non-combat encounters are inspired by the bigger story of the adventure, and create excitement and dramatic tension in the scene. One of the best ways to create […]Continue reading
From: Chris Sniezak Forgetful Players, Monthly Games, and Rough Recaps I forget things between games. Especially if those games are bi-weekly or monthly. When you have a vague idea of what happened last time, the way you recap a game might not be smooth. Instead of remembering the reason for the party’s quest, you recall […]Continue reading
From: John Large How do you deal with bad players? How do you encourage your players to role-play more? If you’ve got players who won’t role-play then I have good news for you. Today’s tips tell you how to use rewards to encourage the good behaviour you want to see at your gaming table. There […]Continue reading
I’ve just added about 20 issues to the Roleplaying Tips Archives page. RPT#645-654 are all back-filled. RPT#619-#627 added. And RPT#513. More issues from the archives will be posted online, a few here and there, until the job of a complete archives is finished. I hope you find the game master tips useful! Be sure to […]Continue reading
Five different ways to make lives interesting for the PCs with meddling gods. My world-building framework always starts with the gods because they influence my fantasy games so much. Gods should be active agents in games. Meddlers in conflict with one another. And possibly in conflict with cosmological evils. This instantly gives me adventure hooks, villain ideas, and campaign possibilities. The gods don’t just sit back and watch their favourite show on World TV. Instead, they play chess, sacrificing pawns to capture rooks, knights, queens, and kings. And as always, the PCs are affected.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Today’s issue covers a Patron request for tips on puzzles. Faster Combat author Tony Medeiros treats us to a nice approach that integrates puzzle-building with storytelling. There’s also a random table of villain types to help inspire your plots at the end.Continue reading
From: Matthew Ipock Two of the best horror-sci-fi movies ever made have to be Alien and Aliens. You know, the ones about the space creature that latches onto your head, shoves an egg down your throat that eventually claws out through your chest and becomes a big, blackish-green hunter with acid for blood and a […]Continue reading
From: John Large This article was inspired by the use of combat zones in the Fate role playing system by Evil Hat Publishing. A lot of role playing games make use of tactical grid maps and miniatures in their combat systems. However, this isn’t the only way to run things. If you’re looking for a […]Continue reading
Four Questions to Characterize Random Encounters From: Mike Bourke Many GMs don’t roleplay monsters. Instead, they jump straight into combat. This is a big missed opportunity to improve your game. Roleplaying with monsters means more plot potential because you can bring hooks and clues into play to set up future encounters. It also lets you […]Continue reading
From: John Lewis We RPG players live for those times when all eyes are on our character. Suddenly we are completely in the moment, feeling a rush of adrenalin and a powerful surge of excitement. We sense the other players’ concentrated attention on what’s occurring. These intense moments, when the spotlight focuses on our character, […]Continue reading