Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Adventure & Campaign Building "

Here’s How One GM Improvises Plots & Campaigns

Before I forget…again…this Saturday is the monthly Wizard of Adventure GM chat. Get help from me and smarter GMs to help your prep, encounters, world building, player issues, or any other aspect of your campaign. Wizards of Adventure, the meeting link is here. Roleplaying Tips GMs, if you’d like to join us and get some […]

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Wielding Character Backstories for Epic Campaigns

Common advice out there is for player characters to have backstories to help the GM. But how, exactly, are we to leverage this information? This week, I’ll share a few ways I do this, starting today with…. Part 1. Free (or Not) Hirelings Rather than whack every capitalized noun over time from PC backgrounds, I […]

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Turn Pit Traps from Pit Stops to Pit Tales

I have a sinking feeling that today’s tips might involve some puns. Don’t fall for them though! I’m going to drop a bunch of ideas to help change a classic trap from filler into great gameplay. No More Pit Bull I like pit traps. They work in any genre. They’re simple. Almost any foe can […]

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My Sandcrawl Method

Author Paul Quarles For my The Refining Forge campaign, a Castles & Crusades campaign, I decided to run a sandbox, hexcrawl campaign, or a Sandcrawl campaign as dubbed by Johnn Four. My last campaign struggled as a pure hexcrawl campaign with two key problems: This newer approach has been a lot more organic and has […]

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Wield the Unseen Ripples in Your Campaign

How do you motivate players to seize the story? RPT GM D asks: Thanks for your email and tips. When I read your opening sentence I was expecting a very different tack from you. I read it as ‘GMs being frustrated that players won’t make any decisions or show initiative’ and your response was about […]

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5 Heroic Campaign Strategies You Can Apply from the Dragonlance Chronicles

Last night I turned the last page on Dragonlance Chronicles #1, Dragons of Autumn Twilight. What an amazing book. The fourth time I’ve read it. This read-through, however, I pored over the pages like I was a game master running such a story. Through that lens, I added five items to my Basilica GM’s Agenda […]

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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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A Mad Lib For Your Devil’s Bargains

This is Part III of a series on How to Make Encounters Fun. Read Part I, Part II, and Part IV here. On Tuesday I shared a favourite GM tool that gives us a few boons: This tool is The Devil’s Bargain, and you can read Tuesday’s article about it here. Now, there are a […]

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Why Story Gets the Horse’s Rump at My Table

Here’s something that might not be popular. I don’t know. But I see a lot of GMs online talk about the importance of story. And story is the last thing I care about when running a game. Ok, there it is. I’ve said it out loud. Gather your pitchforks and torches, lads and lasses! 🙂 […]

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Evolving Hex Crawls: My New Approach Where Sandbox Meets Hex Crawl

You know how my preferred campaign design approach is Sandbox meets Crawling meets Adventure Path? I wrote on that recently here. Well, over the weekend I tweaked it a bit. On the surface, it’s just wordplay. But to me, it’s an exciting change in how I do things behind the screen. First let’s review. My […]

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Epic Tower Quest: A Campaign Seed With Strategy, Intrigue, and Adventure

RPT GM NecroFileMD shared their cool Campaign Seed with us over at Campaign Community. You might use this idea for a campaign, an adventure, or even some fascinating lore for your world. Here’s the Campaign Seed: I run a homebrew tower climber campaign based on 5E. A 100 floor tower has appeared in the center […]

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d6 Polar Adventure Seeds

To celebrate the release of my latest GM Cheat Sheet, the Polar Adventures Generator, here are a half-dozen adventure seeds to help kickoff your next chilling adventure! Please note, the 9 GM Cheat Sheet adventure bundle sales ends tonight at midnight Eastern. Get the entire collection for 25% off here. Alternatively, you can pick up […]

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1d6 Ways To Create Deadline Urgency In Encounters

Add some element of urgency to almost every encounter as a GM habit you develop, if you haven’t already. When we do this, we get many GMing benefits: An effective way to create urgency is to build in a deadline. Have the players and their characters race against the clock. Here are 1d6 ways to […]

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This Diagram Offers A Simple World-Building Trick

Here’s a cool biome diagram sourced by @Jear77 on the Roleplaying Tips Discord: I hear you saying: Johnn, this isn’t a simple diagram, dude. How’s this a simple world-building trick? Roger that. But bear with me for a sec. I researched a bit to figure out what’s happening in this triangle graph. It uses something […]

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When There’s TOO MANY Awesome Hooks

During a chat I had with RPT GM Omar last night, he mentioned this tricky problem: I also had a great holiday season and got a new Cthulhu-themed rulebook I’m eager to try. I really downgraded my prep in favour of a dynamic world that reacts to any player choice. That is, until some player […]

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A New Year, New Campaign Tool For You

Here’s a Mad Lib you might find useful for your GM Toolbox. There’s a January tradition in the RPG community. It’s called New Year, New Campaign. You might start a campaign. You could also run a different game system. I like to add a third option: campaign reboot. Why not take the opportunity of setting […]

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