NPCs & Roleplaying Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Monsters Are NPCs Too – A Short Monster Personality Stat Block

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0944 When monsters become meat bags you lose a big opportunity for roleplay and storytelling. I’m guilty of queuing up encounters with 2d6 orcs in a 10′ x 10′ room. Big time wasters. Pointless. And boring. I know players love to use their characters’ powers. And crushing a foe is fun. But […]

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How To Build A Fantasy City In 47 Seconds

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0852 Need a city fast for your campaign? Follow these 6 steps to build a fantasy town or metropolis in under a minute. Drawing or consulting a map is my First Move. [Kill GM Procrastination With Your First Move] So we’ll begin this recipe with a quick fantasy city map generator. Let’s […]

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