Improvising Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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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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