Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Improvising "

Here’s How One GM Improvises Plots & Campaigns

Before I forget…again…this Saturday is the monthly Wizard of Adventure GM chat. Get help from me and smarter GMs to help your prep, encounters, world building, player issues, or any other aspect of your campaign. Wizards of Adventure, the meeting link is here. Roleplaying Tips GMs, if you’d like to join us and get some […]

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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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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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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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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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How To Improvise When Players Do Combat Stunts in OSR RPGs

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1218 How To Improvise When Players Do Combat Stunts in OSR RPGs Bonjour, Johnn! Last session a player went way outside the rules. He wanted his character to leap through the air onto a giant bird’s leg, climb up the tarsus, then release a magical belt attached to the beast’s limb. This […]

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What Do You Do When Characters Fail? — 5 Solutions For You

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1196 What do you do when the dice betray your players? When the party seems to meet a dead-end? When your adventure stalls due to bad luck or bad choices? That’s the topic of today’s tips. But before you dig into them, please take the associated poll here: How to Prevent Dead […]

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How To Improvise Better With Connect & Shift

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1194 By Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Discuss these tips on their dedicated thread here at Campaign Community. Improvisation seems scary and sometimes difficult, especially for new GMs. I have learned a few tips from people who think quickly on their feet. And I think the pair of techniques I’m sharing with you today […]

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

From JohnnFour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1181 Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú 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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Do This To Drastically Improve Communication With Players

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1168 When there’s good communication, it’s invisible. When there’s bad communication, everyone feels it. As an anti-social, only child introvert, I’ve always considered myself as having a low emotional quotient. I’m much more polite in writing. 🙂 At work I’ve been called direct due to my questions. Being direct is effective, in […]

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How to Create Situations With 5 Room Dungeons

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1153 We want to cue up situations, not outcomes. By that, I mean we don’t dictate the actions of the characters. That’s the players’ job. But as storytellers, we have a job to do too. We need to weave good tales from our setting, adventure plans, and gameplay as it happens. How […]

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Story Sparks — A Way To Improv Better

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1135 Ever make a fire from scratch, without matches or gasoline? Every material has an ignition temperature where a spark lights it up. The shirt you’re wearing probably ignites around 267°C or 513°F. Wood is about 300°C / 572°F. And what about our encounters? What ignites them? More on that in a […]

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My Monsters Sucked Until I Discovered This Special Approach

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1130 I realized last month I’ve been in a rut slinging boring monsters. This troubled me because boring foes = boring games (h/t to Slapchop). In my Terror in the Badlands campaign, for example, we had a crazy battle in a ruined underground city against a white dragon. It was tricksy with […]

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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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A Simple But Effective Adventure Template

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1083 Sometimes all you need is a skeleton. With a few guiding bullet points, you become unblocked and inspired to create next session’s adventure. I’ve featured a couple of adventure design templates in the past, including the Hook, Line & Sinkers Mad Lib (March 2017), the Mad Lib 5 Room Dungeon Idea […]

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