Encounters Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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Simple Ways to Keep Fun in Your Games

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1199 I recently wrote a few tips for running lunch games. Several RPT GMs sent me this link, which is a D&D 5E Practical Guide to One Hour DnD Sessions (you might want to turn on your ad blocker before viewing the site): https://rpgbot.net/dnd5/dungeonmasters/one-hour-sessions/ I’m away halfway through, and it has great […]

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How To Make Every Encounter Interesting

By 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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Wow Your Players With Monster Hunts

5 Room Dungeon Template When I invented the 5 Room Dungeon in 2003, I first thought of it as a physical adventure framework. Five literal encounters. This method still works brilliantly, but we can advance it for great monster hunter storytelling. After reading a bunch of work by American professor Joseph Campbell, who wrote Hero […]

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Encounter Mapping Software – 3 Tips For Choosing The Best One

A great conversation came up in the monthly Wizard of Adventure chat Saturday on what encounter mapping software to choose. (Wizards of Adventure who could not make the call, here’s a link to the recording.) From DungeonFog to HexKit to Campaign Cartographer, and a bunch of others, how do you pick? Because it’s not just […]

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5 Ways To Warn Players Of A Deadly Challenge

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com 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 […]

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

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 spring. Today, I’ll go […]

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How To Handle Hack & Slash and Plot-Breaking Character Powers

Dia Dhuit Johnn, How can you make travel and exploration more interesting? And what can we do about players who like to kill everything and ignore roleplay? I’ll share a couple of tips on these topics, triggered by recent emails, with you today. Too Hack & Slash Focused Roleplaying Tips GM JG emailed me yesterday: […]

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How To Create Roleplay Encounters

I received this great request from RPT GM Carter: I have a problem I’m trying to solve: my players tell me they’re more interested in roleplaying than combat, but I’m most comfortable with making interesting combat encounters than interesting roleplaying encounters. With combat I create interesting terrain, interesting enemy mechanics, cool boss fights, etc. But […]

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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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Make Encounters Intense

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0765 Static RPG encounters become predictable. We roll initiative. PCs choose their targets. Grind until the last hit point. However, there’s a concept I’ve penned in my upcoming 5 Room Dungeons book called Intensify. Use this to make encounters come alive, surprise the PCs, and keep your players thoroughly entertained. The technique […]

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RPT Gem: A Fantastic Encounter Building Tool

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0762 If you have writer’s block, this is a fantastic GM encounter building tool created by Brennan OBrien. Today’s Musing is a short one. Just check this tool out and explore its possibilities. For example, I think it’s awesome for encounter building. Encounter Building Recipe Start with an encounter seed idea for […]

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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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0797 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 […]

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