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
Brief Word From Johnn Shelfies There was a meme going around about what’s on your gaming bookshelves. I took a couple quick pics of my own: View my bookshelves What’s on yours? Coming Soon: Adventure Building Workshop [toc] Got any plans this summer? How about joining my online Adventure Building Workshop? Details about this are […]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
Brief Word From Johnn Last Day For This Book Sale How do you get holy water? You boil the hell out of it. Speaking of what’s holy and otherwise, today is your last chance to get the Mythic Gods & Monsters GM how-to guide as Pay What You Want before it goes on its regular […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Johnn Chats With Playing Lean [toc] For those into game design and making a side business building games, you might be interested in a Hangout I had with Tore Rasmussen where we chatted about his new game, Play Lean. Currently in Kickstarter mode, Playing Lean teaches you how to start and […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Mythic Gods & Monsters Launches Tomorrow My new GM utility book offers fast and easy creation recipes for gods, pantheons, religions, and monsters. After a bit of a delay it’s nearly ready. My dream was to bring meddling gods down to the tabletop. Drive gameplay with unique religions, deities, and legendary […]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
Lessons From The Movies — Alien and Aliens 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 […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Murder Hobos Session 12 The plan was to go to Cragmaw Castle and finally deal with the villain, the Black Spider. Everyone agreed. It was how the session began. But then the past caught up with the wizard, and everything went sideways…. We began session #12 with nearly a full table, […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn 650 – Another Milestone It takes at least a year to write, edit, markup, and publish to reach 50 issues, and so RPT#650 means another great milestone, another year of having more fun at every game. It’s also a “monster” of an issue with that topic being the theme of #650 […]Continue reading
Focusing the Spotlight John Lewis, alchemist at RPG Alchemy 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 […]Continue reading
War-Winning Missions How to send the party on decisive missions that turn the tide of war Tony Medeiros, Faster Combat and Leonine Roar Ever struggle with how your PCs can make a difference in war campaigns while the battle rages on all around them? I have the solution for you today: make them war heroes. […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn Phandelver #10 – Torm’s Disfavour What happens when the God of Justice has it in for you? It begins with lightning and ends in Oh Snap! We played the next chapter of the campaign Friday night, and Torm got a small Chuckle of Justice at the expense of the self-named Murder […]Continue reading
RPT#646: The Mythic God Generator Brief Word From Johnn Wanna Be A Video Game Designer? My friend Pablo Farías Navarro from Australia has a cool Kickstarter called Complete Mobile Game Development Course. Pablo is creating an online school and will teach you how to build 15 different types of mobile games for iOS, Android, and […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn I have a special opportunity coming tonight just for Roleplaying Tips Patrons (you can become a Patron here). I’m starting up an epic, weekly online campaign for just 6 players. I’m taking three of my all-time favourite mega-modules and converting them to 5E. Then we’ll tell some incredible stories together every […]Continue reading
Factions Part II: The Faction Pyramid Christopher Sniezak, Misdirected Mark As a companion piece to last week’s great article by John Large about factions, today we’re gonna get into organizations and factions because you can’t have factions without organizations. Why? Glad you asked. An organization is a group of persons organized for a particular purpose. […]Continue reading
How to Create a Critical Path Walkthrough What is a Critical Path Walkthrough? Wikipedia says a critical path is “the longest necessary path through a network of activities.” In game terms, it’s the longest path through your game a player needs to take to complete your game. However, I like to look at it another […]Continue reading
Making Undead Cool Again Earlier this month, Roleplaying Tips kicked off the RPG Blog Carnival with the article Making Undead Cool Again. Featured in both the Roleplaying Tips Newsletter on October 6th, you can find the article here. Remember that if you want to get the earliest access to the Roleplaying Tips Newsletter, as well […]Continue reading
Lessons From The Movies: The Princess Bride Matthew Ipock The Princess Bride has become a great romantic-comedy cult classic. This is because the film has all the necessary ingredients of a great movie: action, comedy, memorable characters and dialogue, and “true love”. Because the movie has these needed ingredients, The Princess Bride can also serve […]Continue reading
Johnn Four Introduce constraints through house rules and game design to offer unique gaming experiences and encourage creativity. A couple of old school AD&D modules come to mind. EX1: Dungeonland and EX2: Land Beyond the Magic Mirror I think are the names. (All my books are in boxes in the garage at the moment.) The PCs are shrunk to […]Continue reading
Brief Word From Johnn The Productive Game Master Johnn Four Did you know I recently doubled my reading speed? It took minutes. No, really. There’s a way of reading on-screen where the words just flash by. All you do is focus. I did a reading test first, because I was skeptical. I did two, actually. […]Continue reading