Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " NPCs & Roleplaying "

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 […]

Continue reading

Triple Hook: The 3 100% Motivating Factors

Got a great tip for you from RPT GM Ryan about motivating players. This tip works equally well for a question that came up on Saturday’s monthly Wizard of Adventure Q&A call about how to get players to hate NPCs. By the way, if you’re a Wizard of Adventure, you can catch the recording here. […]

Continue reading

Be The Ultima GM And Reward Tarot-Able Play

Here’s a fun way to reward virtuous roleplay. RPT GM Rafael reached out to me yesterday with this great tip about another use for tokens: For many years I have been doing something pretty similar to what you suggested as player rewards. It kind of looks like video game achievements, you know, when you do […]

Continue reading

When There’s TOO MANY Awesome Hooks

During a chat I had with RPT GM Omar last night, he mentioned this tricky problem: I also had a great holiday season and got a new Cthulhu-themed rulebook I’m eager to try. I really downgraded my prep in favour of a dynamic world that reacts to any player choice. That is, until some player […]

Continue reading

XP For RP? The One Thing I Reward Roleplaying Experience Points For Now

If you have time, I’d love to hear how you award XP for roleplaying. I love the idea but my concern would be that I might turn into a judge – “your roleplay was pretty good, but not great, so you get 100 XP” etc. And players roleplaying for my amusement would become a not-fun […]

Continue reading

From King To Pawn: A Simple Way To Scope Your NPCs

My business partner in crime, Jochen Linnemann, shared this great tip with me yesterday about a cool method for managing your NPCs…. Jochen: Just now, I read about an NPC classification scheme The Dark Eye uses for its publications: King: Cornerstone NPC, important for the living world and future campaigns and adventures. Knight: Important NPC […]

Continue reading

Why Your Villains Should Be Making Moves

Why Your Villains Should Be Making Moves Today’s tip is inspired by a question about villains from RPT GM Gerald Lock. You can catch his full question, his one-shot Halloween adventure, and my video reply here. So, you’ve crafted an awesome villain, complete with a dark past and malevolent goals, but when game night comes […]

Continue reading

Save Your Village From Murder Hobos – 5 Quick Tips

Save Your Village From Murder Hobos – 5 Quick Tips How do we protect villagers from Murder Hobos? We planned some great roleplay in town, but then the party decides they don’t like being sassed and suddenly we’re rolling for initiative. Here are a 1d4+1 ideas, inspired by Dragon Magazine #109, on how we can […]

Continue reading

Outsmart Your Players With 3-Step Villain Plans

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1167 How do we outsmart our players? It’s all their brains against ours. Surely the odds are against us. However, here’s a neat trick we can perform to make our villains smarter and our adventures more cunning. We look at the possible plots and actions our poor villain might take and group […]

Continue reading

Weaponize Your Villain’s Secret

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1152 RPT GM Dale S asked me for help with his adventure’s bad guy and plot: Hi Johnn, Would you mind wading in with any thoughts on my villain’s objective? The local gnoll clan and their unusual allies are attacking a small walled human frontier settlement. This is a nighttime ‘storming the […]

Continue reading

Villain Roleplay Tips – A Trio of Detestable Traits

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1142 Salaam Johnn, How can we get players to chase our villains like frothing lunatics brandishing cleavers overhead? It’s starts with someone they want to punch. Someone who isn’t normal but has turned their difference into something cringey. A monster on the inside, at the least. We can achieve all these things […]

Continue reading

Factions & Villains – 3 Reader GM Tips

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1143 Hitting too Close to Home Let’s dive in with this observation from RPT GM Maja who brings up an interesting point about favourite villain types that mirrors my own experience. Let’s call it the Seinfeld Effect. Johnn, If you ask me what villain type gets the most attention, it is the […]

Continue reading

Fantastic Factions => 4 Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Your Villain Factions

Why do I use factions so much in my campaigns? You know I love my NPCs. They are our avatars and “Agent Smiths” in the game to influence players and direct the characters. Therefore, we get even more value out of groups of NPCs. But random clusters do not make great storytelling. We need each […]

Continue reading

Outsmart Your Players With 3-Step Villain Plans

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1140 How do we outsmart our players? It’s all their brains against ours. Surely the odds are against us. However, here’s a neat trick we can perform to make our villains smarter and our adventures more cunning. We look at the possible plots and actions our poor villain might take and group […]

Continue reading

How To Create Roleplay Encounters

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1139 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 […]

Continue reading

Making Monsters Marvelous – Monstrous RPT Gems For You

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1128 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 […]

Continue reading
1 2 3 4