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Category Archives for "Running Games"

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! A Simple Way To Improve Gameplay, Engagement & Character Outcomes

From JohnnFour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1181 Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú Johnn? Here’s a refreshed tip from Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #5, going way back to 1999 right before the world was going to end with Y2K. Too often we become trapped in our heads thinking three moves ahead, doing math, or coming up with names […]

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5 Ways To Warn Players Of A Deadly Challenge

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1180 Many times the threat that presents itself to characters surpasses their abilities to defeat it. The encounter is not easy or even difficult, it’s deadly. Without a warning label, your players may be unfairly surprised that you designed a deadly encounter for them. To avoid that frustration, […]

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Do This To Drastically Improve Communication With Players

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1168 When there’s good communication, it’s invisible. When there’s bad communication, everyone feels it. As an anti-social, only child introvert, I’ve always considered myself as having a low emotional quotient. I’m much more polite in writing. 🙂 At work I’ve been called direct due to my questions. Being direct is effective, in […]

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Fast 5 Room Dungeons, Clue Tip, Instant Idea Generator, Different Combats – Mail Bag Edition

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1162 Ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo Johnn, It’s a Mail Bag issue and today I’ve got four helpful GMing tips for you. First is about alternative combat outcomes. Second is how to instantly generate ideas. Third is about adding clues. Fourth is a fantastic 5 question formula for fast 5 Room Dungeon ideation. Before we dive […]

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How To Handle Hack & Slash and Plot-Breaking Character Powers

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1157 Dia Dhuit Johnn, How can you make travel and exploration more interesting? And what can we do about players who like to kill everything and ignore roleplay? I’ll share a couple of tips on these topics, triggered by recent emails, with you today. Too Hack & Slash Focused Roleplaying Tips GM […]

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3-Step GM PiXiE Kaizen

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1155 There’s a myth about game master time management. Or even about time management in general. Folks think it’s about time. But in my experience that’s not true. It’s about energy. Doing campaign prep for 15 minutes a day will get more prep done over the long haul than doing it once […]

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7 Ways to Improve Virtual and Online Game Sessions

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1144 With the amount of online games I’ve been playing and running, I’ve learned a few things that help make virtual sessions better. Be Clear on Mission & Focus It’s more difficult herding cats in online games. With numerous distractions via computer, software, and home environment, we must work strategically to keep […]

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How To Level Up Players With Reward Systems

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0879 We’ve mused how motivating yourself to be a better GM makes you happier. Those who pursue intrinsic goals are happier because they control more of their destiny. Now let’s talk about our players, who are probably a mixed bag of intrinsic and extrinsic interests. I go along with live and let live and […]

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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic: The Cause of Your Gaming Woes?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0877 Here’s something key to understand about yourself and your players. People are motivated by some combination and degree of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Learn what these are for each person in your group to better tailor your game rewards. Rewards that fit, like the right key to the right lock, help your game […]

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Avoid This Nasty Description Trap GMs Often Trigger

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1019 I saw this writing tip from @ShawnMerwin and it applies to GMing, as well: Avoid “begin to” or “start to” unless those actions are interruptible. “You begin to hear a scream” is simpler as “You hear screaming.” Clearer and more concise is better. So it is for GM descriptions. And that […]

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Run With The Impressions Technique

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0998 Here’s the thing with read-aloud scripts and boxed text you find in published modules…. It’s boring. And it kills the mood. Imagine an actor stopping mid-scene to grab the script and read it aloud to you. A terrible experience for both actor and audience. Likewise, stopping your natural way of describing […]

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