Design Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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How To Build Encounters On A Budget

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1210 Brief Word From Johnn I just returned from a two week camping trip that was a great and relaxing time. I know I’m stressed when my notebook gathers dust and doesn’t get any new ideas. That was the story of my 2022 so far. But after a few days sitting around […]

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6 Tips On How To Tie Dungeon Encounters Together

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1203 Brief Word From Johnn Last night I found a great course on Udemy about video game design. In part, it dives into the tension between player agency versus game designer agenda. Open world games versus plotted story paths. This is old hat for us though. The first moments behind the screen […]

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How To Make Every Encounter Interesting

From Johnn Four Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1195 (Join the conversation about today’s tips here.) Here’s an interesting question about encounter building that WorldWibe asks on RPT’s Discord: Is a dungeon-making philosophy that goes: “Every room should have something interesting in it, be it battle, treasure or lore” a good design-methodology? Thanks for the great question! […]

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Simple Ways to Enhance Your Magic Items

From Jonathan Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1184 Siema Johnn! In todays’ Roleplaying Tips Newsletter, I’ve got the following GM tips for you: 3 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Magic Items How can we spruce up magic items so they aren’t boring +1 shields? Jonathan Hardin (sojournersawake.com) shows us how via three quick changes we can make […]

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4 Ways To Surprise Players Who Know All The Monster Stats

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1178 Hello Sojourner! My players know all of the stats for every villain I place in their path. Through searching on the internet, hours studying monster manuals, and good old fashioned wits, my players have found a way to circumvent the wonder of being surprised in battle. As […]

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Cunning Combat Strategy – 3 Round Combat Plans For Lightning Combats Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1161 How do you make your next combat fast and exciting effective 3 Round Combat Plans? And what are we supposed to do in each round? What is our strategy here? That’s what I show you in today’s tips, which are taken from my brand new Faster Combat 5E course launching this […]

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3 Round Combat Plans For Lightning Combats – Part I

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1148 In Faster Combat, a Three Round Combat Plan is how your combat will end after your side has had three licks against the other side. Why would we make something like that? If your fights finish after the third bell, think how much faster they’ll be than melees that just grind […]

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Starting a West Marches Campaign – Step By Step

From Jochen Linnemann Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1147 Starting a West Marches Campaign (Part 1) Some time ago, I decided to start a West Marches type campaign with the idea of an episodic, easy-to-prep game for a group changing players in mind. So, I started to research the topic. Reading Tips Google was a good jump […]

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Fear the GM

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0764 When I surveyed readers last year about what kinds of adventure design challenges you all faced, one thing that came up was how to solve the PCs rampaging through your encounters without a care in the world. The characters don’t plan, never retreat, and don’t parley. This topic is salient because […]

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Build Story Last

For RPG purposes, I define story as the sequence of events that come out of gameplay. And I think of plot as the GM’s plan for those events. Plot comes first, story comes second. Plot is based on ideas and connections for events and situations. It’s flexible and adapts to character actions and resulting consequences. […]

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Hide The Monster’s Stats To See The Story

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0818 If you’re like me, you sometimes let monster stats limit your thinking. I was reminded of this when I received Fourscore Phantasmagores in the mail for review. It’s a monster book created by Montreal artist Rupert Bottenberg. It’s what I’d call a high concept book. It presents ideas, not stats. Its […]

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Happy House Ruling – How to Use Game Design to Create New Gameplay Experiences

From Johnn Four Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #623 Introduce constraints through house rules and game design to offer unique gaming experiences and encourage creativity. A couple of old school AD&D modules come to mind. EX1: Dungeonland and EX2: Land Beyond the Magic Mirror I think are the names. (All my books are in boxes in the garage at the moment.) […]

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