Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Encounters "

d8 Non-Combat Encounter Seeds for Weak PCs

Before digging into today’s GM tips, I wanted to mention a podcast I was on with Harley Stroh of Goodman Games and Ian Rotondi-Gray from StoryTogether. Listen to the podcast episode on Youtube here. It was great talking about Dungeon Crawl Classics, GMing, and creativity. d8 Non-Combat Encounter Seeds for Weak PCs Part II, GMing […]

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GMing 1st Level Parties Without a Tank

Wizard of Adventure Andy asked me for ideas on how to challenge a party of three 1st level PCs, particularly as the party lacks a tank. Since we’re constrained by the party’s overall strength, we should focus less on combat and more on other types of engaging encounters. Moreover, since game systems often reward typical […]

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Failing Forwards & Upwards: My d6 Go-To Results to Streamline GMing

We need not know every way to Fail Forward. We only want a few reliable go-tos. In the discussion after last night’s Story Stakes Workshop, the topic of skill checks came up. For d20 games, I mentioned that a fail doesn’t have to be a hard no or a binary 0 result. Any game system […]

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An Essential Ingredient for EVERY Villain Encounter

A GM on Reddit the other day was lamenting about a classic villain disaster. They introduced the BBEG at the start of their campaign to sew hints, hooks, hatred, and all that. But then the players unexpectedly attacked. Crits were rolled. The villain died. The GM’s now prepping a new campaign. Before you put villains […]

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We Only Think of the Gold

RPT GM Patrick writes in response to my tip about playtesting our encounters with mental playthroughs: Good morning my fellow GM! This approach has been truly amazing, as you mentioned, in addressing any peculiarities that might have been overlooked during the initial creation phase. I’ve been employing this method for several months now, and the […]

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Use This One Trick to Make Your Encounters Twice as Fun

Here’s something you can do to level-up your encounters. It takes only a minute, and it’s free. Play the encounter through in your mind before it hits the table. In helping GMs with their encounters over the years, I’ve discovered that almost no one does a mental playtest of the encounters they prep. This is […]

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Garner Combat Victories Faster With Signature Moves

Here’s a tip from my business partner and Campaign Logger developer, Jochen Linnemann. It’s in response to an RPT GM who asked for help speeding up his GURPS combats. GURPS, if you haven’t played, is crunchier than most systems. You make more rolls to complete an action. Therefore, combat can become longer affairs. Here’s Jochen’s […]

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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. 🙂 During a convo we started up […]

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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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How to Offer Diabolical Choices to Make Rewards Feel Well-Earned

This is Part II of a series on How to Make Encounters Fun. Read Part I, Part III, and Part IV here. There are three main things I look at when trying to make encounters fun: While encounters have many ingredients, dials, and levers, if you hit high notes with challenge, plot, and your energy, you’ll make […]

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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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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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A Game Of Clues

Clues My family LOVES hidden object games. We’ve got PC games and iPad games. I’ve got several cool hidden object books on my shelf. And for Christmas, my wife is getting a hidden object jigsaw puzzle. While I don’t use hidden object games as session props (though if I did, I’d make the PCs quest […]

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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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Effortless & Dynamic Storytelling

Effortless & Dynamic Storytelling Among the many tools in my GM Toolbox, the method of Wandering Encounters holds a special place. It’s a simple yet profound way to keep the game world lively, the plot on track, and the characters engaged in evolving story arcs. The core essence of Wandering Encounters lies in its ability […]

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A Change of Pace: How To Evaluate Pacing In Your Game

A Brief Word From Johnn Before we dig into pacing tips though, a couple of quick items. Get Help With Your Campaign August 26, 2023 – Wizard of Adventure Q&A Zoom. If you are a Wizard of Adventure, here’s details and the link. Feel free to bring questions about your world, campaign, encounters, NPCs, technique, […]

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