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Quick Plot Design: How To Create A Villain Plan First Draft

Been working on my campaigns and thinking a lot about villain plans. I like to craft a roadmap for how the villain can win their goal. I call this Villain Win-State. And that road map becomes my adventure outline for villain type adventures. So what are the first couple of steps for making an awesome […]

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Adventure Building Tip: Must All Encounters Advance The Plot?

RPT GM Joshua asks: “Do all encounters need to advance the plot?” My answer is yes. But with a twist I’ll explain in today’s article. A session is made up of encounters. Encounters make up adventures. Adventures make campaigns. To speak about encounters I first need to speak about adventures. That’s one level up. We […]

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How To Detail An Encounter In Less Than A Minute: Dangers, Discoveries, Impressions

Here’s an encounter tip for you today, pulled out of my Adventure Building Master Game Plan, which launches later this year. Once I get to the encounter building phase, I start digging into the details. I’ve got a Campaign Game Plan created, and an Adventure Game Plan built, by the time I reach this stage. […]

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Resonance Part II: How to Create Resonance

Last Musing we talked about how to get apathetic players to care about your adventure by using Theme and Resonance. Theme is about choosing, designing, and introducing gameplay elements that focus on your campaign goal. Resonance is about choosing themes that will draw your players in and make them care deeply about what happens during […]

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Mad Lib Template for Hook, Line & Sinkers

The other day I talked about a classic GMing technique called Hook, Line & Sinkers. Use this three-part method to generate encounter skeletons fast. I remember first coming across this method in the Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine. Each issue would have a few to inspire your game. Victor Diaz recently posted about them, […]

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The Hook, Line & Sinkers Method Will Inspire Your Encounters

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 is simple — give […]

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The Phantasmal Pessimist and Other Living Spell Examples

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 eye. Here’s a link […]

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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 game. This month’s RPG Blog Carnival hosted over at Moebius Adventures […]

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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: The Monster Manual The News Random Page Finally, I offered bonus points if you connect encounter […]

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d10 Things You Hear In Town

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 Campaign Logger called Town […]

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The Potion Factory for Fun Faction Finagling

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 Starter Set box. In […]

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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 purchased it. The book is a couple hundred pages of dungeon building […]

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I’m Killing Pcs and The Fun Doing This

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. So encounters are non-linear […]

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