Players & Characters Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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How to Motivate Your Players – Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1207 By Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com [Comment from Johnn: this is part two of a series Jonathan started here with How to Hook Players Easily Into Your Adventures.] The Power of a Motive Begin your game by highlighting why the player characters choose to adventure. Is it for glory and fame? Wealth and […]

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When Players Go Feral — How to Clarify Actions of Misunderstood Players

Brief Word From Johnn Today’s tips from Jonathan cover a problem I’ve experienced many times, especially at conventions. What do you do when one player goes off the rails? I especially like the example of the ranger who seemingly isn’t on the same page as the party and wants to ask “dumb” questions. While the […]

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Simple Ways to Keep Fun in Your Games

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1199 I recently wrote a few tips for running lunch games. Several RPT GMs sent me this link, which is a D&D 5E Practical Guide to One Hour DnD Sessions (you might want to turn on your ad blocker before viewing the site): https://rpgbot.net/dnd5/dungeonmasters/one-hour-sessions/ I’m away halfway through, and it has great […]

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3 Ways Your Players Can Help You Out Next Session

Delegation comes naturally to some. For others, we don’t think of it, worry we might bother or offend folks, or just want to control too much. We do not have to take on the entire burden ourselves. Getting players to help us out makes the game experience better for all. Because some players want to […]

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What To Do When Players Miss The Clues?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1193 (Join the conversion about these tips in this thread at Campaign Community.) Hello Sojourner! This is Jonathan with www.sojournersawake.com. Besides the common adventure in leaving town, delving into the dungeon, and slaying the monster to collect the reward, game masters can homebrew adventures involving mystery and discovery. I enjoy stories of […]

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d10 Things You Can Do With a Dead Character

By Johnn Four, patreon.com/johnnfour It sucks when a character dies. To avoid discomfort or upset players, many GMs end up supporting Mary Sue PCs. Or we provide plot armour so thick we earn no drama from combat, traps, and hazards. I support character death as a result of fair gameplay. This gives you additional and […]

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Highlights and Hopes — How to Get Valuable Feedback From Your Players

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com If they are having fun, then you’re doing it right. With my Highlights & Hopes technique, I can immediately receive feedback on how my players define fun. I gather these Highlights & Hopes right after the game while they are still fresh in everyone’s mind. Definition Highlights & Hopes is a […]

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! A Simple Way To Improve Gameplay, Engagement & Character Outcomes

From JohnnFour 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 and details on the […]

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Do This To Drastically Improve Communication With Players

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 my experience. It helps […]

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Keep Players Intensely Engaged With the 3 Conflicts

Character arcs tell the story of how characters develop by overcoming foes and challenges in pursuit of their goals. This is the ambition of campaign play: to develop cool character story arcs. Such arcs keep players intensely engaged in your games. Why? Thinking about armour, health points, personality scores, and other character sheet elements are […]

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Players “Checked Out” When Campaign Switched To Virtual Online

RPT GM Hornick switched his game to virtual and now has trouble getting his players to roleplay: My players have started to outgame-play the sessions with little ingame interactions. Maybe this is due to the medium of Roll20 and Discord. Do you have any ideas on this besides talking to them about this? They lately […]

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The Unification Event — How To Get The Party Together

Character backgrounds are key tools in your GM Toolbox. Mine them for plots, NPCs, and character motivation. However, it’s a struggle to get useful and game-full backgrounds from players. Often, you just get a couple paragraphs explaining how the PC became an orphan. Or, you might get the inverse. Pages of narcissistic background explaining why […]

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How To Help New Players Have A Blast With Their First Session

With so many new players (and GMs) joining our beloved hobby, there’s a lot of confusion out there about how to make sessions enjoyable and accessible for newbies. Sometimes your entire group is new. They don’t even have trope or game references to draw upon from different mediums such as video games. That’s what happens […]

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How To Level Up Players With Reward Systems

We’ve mused how motivating yourself to be a better GM makes you happier. Those who pursue intrinsic goals are happier because they control more of their destiny. Now let’s talk about our players, who are probably a mixed bag of intrinsic and extrinsic interests. I go along with live and let live and to teach by example. So […]

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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic: The Cause of Your Gaming Woes?

Here’s something key to understand about yourself and your players. People are motivated by some combination and degree of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Learn what these are for each person in your group to better tailor your game rewards. Rewards that fit, like the right key to the right lock, help your game become a satisfying campaign. An extrinsic reward is […]

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