Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Descriptions "

Master Improvisation Using Story Stakes to Amp Up Your Game

I recently polled several GMs with this question: If you could learn anything about GMing that would significantly improve your gameplay, what would it be? The overwhelming response was the desire to improve improvisation skills. Tonight’s coaching workshop is dedicated to that very topic. It will focus particularly on setting Stakes, an aspect of improvisation […]

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Write More Engaging Room Descriptions

Description Sorcery from a Wordsmithing Warlock Crafting concise and evocative descriptions provides a huge boon for our storytelling prowess. Descriptions serve as the bridge between our imagination, character perceptions, and player choices. A well-made description: Jeremy Brown is a repeat offender, er, contributor, to the Roleplaying Tips Newsletter. πŸ™‚ During a convo we started up […]

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Add Details With Panache And Choice

Details are important for vibrant roleplay. But making them up all the time becomes difficult. Previously, @CasualOnesRay and @ExileInParadise tipped us about inviting players to provide details to help the GM out. Ask questions like: I often like to take this a step further. It depends on the group and each player. But imagine this […]

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I Set The Scene, But You Fill It Out

Aloha Johnn! Before I dive into today’s GM tip, I have a quick hint for Campaign Logger GMs. Especially if you’re transferring text to CL from OneNote on Windows When pasting text from OneNote into CL, use CTRL+SHIFT+V to bypass Windows default of pasting as an image. I explain this in more detail with a […]

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Unlock Player Creativity With Descriptive Options

We played another session of the WOIN RPG conversion of my Basilica campaign and it went well. We were running Old School Essentials, and the group opted to try a crunchier system. So far, WOIN is ticking all the boxes. Today’s tip is not about rules though. Instead, it’s about something great one of my […]

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The Sneaky GM Trap I Spotted At Start Of This Adventure

The Sneaky GM Trap I Spotted At Start Of This Adventure I was reading an adventure last night (an adventure that I also played in January) and something troublesome jumped out at me from the initial encounter’s boxed text. Here is the first sentence: The stairs leading to the basement of the Otari Fishery creak […]

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When Players Go Feral β€” How to Clarify Actions of Misunderstood Players

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1200 Brief Word From Johnn Today’s tips from Jonathan cover a problem I’ve experienced many times, especially at conventions. What do you do when one player goes off the rails? I especially like the example of the ranger who seemingly isn’t on the same page as the party and wants to ask […]

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

From JohnnFour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1181 CΓ©n chaoi a bhfuil tΓΊ 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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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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Better Storytelling With Two-Sided Characterization – Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0804 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 […]

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Better Storytelling With Two-Sided Characterization – Part I

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0803 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 […]

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The Dangling Description Mystery Method Formula β€” The Secret Sauce To Riveting Descriptions

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1037 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 […]

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