Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Players & Characters "

How to Transform Passive Players Into Ones Who Seize the Day

RPT GM D echoes a sentiment I’ve heard from many GMs lately in my workshops and inbox: players are not seizing the plot and initiating gameplay. Instead, the GMs are doing the heavy lifting. Yet, despite carpet bombing plot hooks and poking the party with sharp irons — creating extra work and stress behind the […]

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Wield the Unseen Ripples in Your Campaign

How do you motivate players to seize the story? RPT GM D asks: Thanks for your email and tips. When I read your opening sentence I was expecting a very different tack from you. I read it as ‘GMs being frustrated that players won’t make any decisions or show initiative’ and your response was about […]

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Great Snakes! What To Do When You’re GMing a Single Player or Small Group

RPT GM Kevin asks: I finally have a group to start DMing for. It’s a group of 1, well 2, including me. He’s a newer player, so I’m thinking buffing the party out with some NPCs once the challenges get tougher. Any advice? Hey Kevin! Thanks for the question. Here are a few thoughts. Add […]

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A Mad Lib For Your Devil’s Bargains

This is Part III of a series on How to Make Encounters Fun. Read Part I, Part II, and Part IV here. On Tuesday I shared a favourite GM tool that gives us a few boons: This tool is The Devil’s Bargain, and you can read Tuesday’s article about it here. Now, there are a […]

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How to Offer Diabolical Choices to Make Rewards Feel Well-Earned

This is Part II of a series on How to Make Encounters Fun. Read Part I, Part III, and Part IV here. There are three main things I look at when trying to make encounters fun: While encounters have many ingredients, dials, and levers, if you hit high notes with challenge, plot, and your energy, you’ll make […]

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1d6 Ways To Create Deadline Urgency In Encounters

Add some element of urgency to almost every encounter as a GM habit you develop, if you haven’t already. When we do this, we get many GMing benefits: An effective way to create urgency is to build in a deadline. Have the players and their characters race against the clock. Here are 1d6 ways to […]

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The Riches of World-Building: Spending Party Treasure

A 5E GM expressed frustration to me over the limited ways in which players can spend their loot: The only issue with treasure as plot devices, and I already see it within the game. There isn’t anything to buy with the gold and riches you reward. In 5E, magic isn’t supposed to be bought and […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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A Game Of Clues

Clues My family LOVES hidden object games. We’ve got PC games and iPad games. I’ve got several cool hidden object books on my shelf. And for Christmas, my wife is getting a hidden object jigsaw puzzle. While I don’t use hidden object games as session props (though if I did, I’d make the PCs quest […]

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A Festive Twist on RPG Downtime: Surprise Your Players With This Great Idea

Here’s a fun and cool character downtime idea. I had another email planned for today, but I just received this in my inbox from RPT GM Maja and wanted to share it with you. It’s not only a fun seasonal tip, but I could see doing something like this for general character downtime. I want […]

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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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Unlock Player Creativity With Descriptive Options

We played another session of the WOIN RPG conversion of my Basilica campaign and it went well. We were running Old School Essentials, and the group opted to try a crunchier system. So far, WOIN is ticking all the boxes. Today’s tip is not about rules though. Instead, it’s about something great one of my […]

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Try Back Pocket Events In Your Campaigns

Did you know there is a Fantasy Grounds version of my complete 1-20th level D&D 5E campaign, The Demonplague, co-written by James Introcaso? I don’t advertise this on The Demonplague’s information page, but will fix that soon. Meantime, if you are a Fantasy Grounds GM, you can purchase the campaign here. Unfortunately, due to Fantasy […]

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From Tasty Bait to Terrifying Consequences: Tricking Players With Instant Gratification

It’s great to be back from vacation! Thank you for your patience as I took a couple of weeks off from the newsletter. We went camping near a place called Rocky Mountain House where it’s not rocky and there are no mountains. The picture below was each glorious morning for me. This might leave you […]

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Beyond Gold Pieces: Amp Up Player Engagement With These Rewards

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1225 Amp Up Player Engagement With These Rewards Looking for different ways to reward players and their characters? Gold and gems are great, but you can’t dance to them. The best rewards engage characters and players, keep the Infinite Game going via story progression, open up choices and action possibilities, and create […]

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