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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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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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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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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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A Cracking Way To Conjure Compelling Encounters

The best way to start adventure planning is with conflict. Conflict drives gameplay. When PCs must meet and beat something, you’re going to offer up choices, skill checks, attack rolls, and parleys. Roll the dice, say yes, keep the pace storming. A problem I used to face was coming up with enough conflict, encounter, and […]

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Encounters Are Like My Favourite Zesty Game Food

How do you think your games? My favourite unit of thought for gameplay is encounters. Encounters are like pizza. They are central to the meal. You might get pop, dips, chicken wings, and other add-ons, but the meal is all about the ‘za. During sessions, we usually order four or five pizzas, each one different […]

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Morale: the Missing Encounter Piece From D&D and Pathfinder

From Daniel J. Mello (danscififan) Morale — the esprit de corps, the willingness of the unit to continue to fight. This is an old wargame trait assigned to various armies. Infantry are well trained and usually have a high Morale, where partisans and rebels are not as well trained and often have a lower Morale. […]

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