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4 Ways To Surprise Players Who Know All The Monster Stats

From Jonathan Hardinwww.sojournersawake.com Hello Sojourner! My players know all of the stats for every villain I place in their path. Through searching on the internet, hours studying monster manuals, and good old fashioned wits, my players have found a way to circumvent the wonder of being surprised in battle. As GM, I want to keep […]

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Making Monsters Marvelous – Monstrous RPT Gems For You

A Charter Member of the Adventure Building Master Game Plan asked me about monsters. Great topic. One might say there are three kinds of monsters: Constructs Tricksters Mirrors Constructs fulfill our System needs. Stats, abilities, xp/treasure. Tricksters serve our Story needs. Clue bearers, agents, plot twisters. Mirrors serve our Setting needs by reflecting darker aspects […]

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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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Hide The Monster’s Stats To See The Story

If you’re like me, you sometimes let monster stats limit your thinking. I was reminded of this when I received Fourscore Phantasmagores in the mail for review. It’s a monster book created by Montreal artist Rupert Bottenberg. It’s what I’d call a high concept book. It presents ideas, not stats. Its weird and disturbing entries […]

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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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Monsters Under The Skin

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #650 Four Questions to Characterize Random Encounters From Mike Bourke Many GMs don’t roleplay monsters. Instead, they jump straight into combat. This is a big missed opportunity to improve your game. Roleplaying with monsters means more plot potential because you can bring hooks and clues into play to set up future encounters. […]

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The Faction Pyramid Technique

From Christopher Sniezak Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #644 As a companion piece to last week’s great article by John Large about factions, today we’re gonna get into organizations and factions because you can’t have factions without organizations. Why? Glad you asked. An organization is a group of persons organized for a particular purpose. A faction is […]

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Monster Features and Terrain Game Changers

By Ben Scerri Monster Features: The Premise Monsters in RPGs have had a long history of special abilities that add additional cool tidbits to encounters. For example, a dragon’s fiery breath and a rust monster’s corruption of metallic objects. However, seldom do they have attributes that cause players to think outside the box or that […]

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