Descriptions Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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

From JohnnFour 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 and details on the […]

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5 Ways To Warn Players Of A Deadly Challenge

From Jonathan Hardin 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, here are 5 ways to […]

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Run With The Impressions Technique

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 the action, answering player […]

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Better Storytelling With Two-Sided Characterization – Part II

Last Musing we chatted about the importance of characterizing details you bring into gameplay. As you provide encounter descriptions, introduce NPCs, offer treasures, tell secrets, and convey the world to your friends, you can think about both variables of the equation. The first variable is about how you inject physical and emotional energy into your […]

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Better Storytelling With Two-Sided Characterization – Part I

Better Storytelling With Two-Sided Characterization Characterization is how you roleplay the people, places, and things in your adventures. Here’s how to add panache, style, and zing via characterization to engage your players more and become a better storyteller. To me, it’s all roleplaying. But in the literary world, they call it characterization. When the PCs […]

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The Dangling Description Mystery Method Formula — The Secret Sauce To Riveting Descriptions

I was working on a new Faster Combat lesson about the Action Economy last weekend and a lightbulb went off. I know exactly what I want to deliver each time you and I describe something to our players. This applies to descriptions for encounters, NPCs, items, monsters, and locations. This applies to boxed text, bullet […]

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Systems Of Attraction: The Interpretation And Roleplay Of Charisma – Part II

From Mike Bourke Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #271 Last week, Mike shared with us part one of his analysis of charisma. Below are the final two interpretations for charisma followed by a summary and re-calculation system for D&D. [If you missed the first part of the article you can read it on the website. ] Personal Impact […]

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Systems Of Attraction: The Interpretation And Roleplay Of Charisma – Part 1

From Mike Bourke Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #270 Charisma. What is it? What does a charisma of “17” really mean? What personality traits does it imply? Recently, Roleplaying Tips was contacted to request an article on this very subject. It didn’t take much discussion of the question to realize that the answer is much more involved […]

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Looking Good, Feeling Great – Visual Aids

From Loz Newman Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #260 The DM uses descriptions to help players visualize his game- world. He uses maps, words, gestures, music, and so forth, to help them do this. This visualization is one of the “fundamentals” of tabletop role-playing. As a DM and long- time worshipper at the altar of “Good Game […]

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