Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Players & Characters "

GMing 1st Level Parties Without a Tank

Wizard of Adventure Andy asked me for ideas on how to challenge a party of three 1st level PCs, particularly as the party lacks a tank. Since we’re constrained by the party’s overall strength, we should focus less on combat and more on other types of engaging encounters. Moreover, since game systems often reward typical […]

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GM Trick: Instant Gratification

Here’s another sneaky GM trick to use sparingly. I believe I’ve written about this before, but as I was cleaning up old files this week, I came across this note and wanted to make sure I shared it with you before deleting: Delayed gratification vs. instant gratification = GM takes advantage of human nature for […]

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10 Tips For Leveraging Influence in Your Campaign

A couple of quick things before we head into today’s tips about using social influence in your campaign. Rio Grande Flood Charity [BUNDLE] My friend Christian is running an RPG charity bundle to raise funds for victims of Brazil’s floods. You can get the details at DriveThruRPG here. The Quarry: A DCC Compatible Adventure Another […]

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Can the PCs Earn Your Favour?

Add the notion of Favour to one or more cultures in your world. A Favour means doing something now for someone in exchange for the promise you can request something of them in the future, usually of commensurate effort or value. This makes it a form of currency. And therefore, a fantastic reward option for […]

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Give an Unfortunate Player Competing Sentient Magic Items

Wizard of Adventure Arvindh shared this great idea on the Roleplaying Tips Discord for making a character’s life…interesting: I have a player with an over-possessive sentient bow called Nuji. There’s a lot of jealousy. This woodelf has two named bows. One, an inheritance. The other, looted from The Room of Living Legends. I run a […]

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From Parchment to Potions: d12 DIY Prop Ideas

Physical, tangible, visceral props surprise and delight our players, and never fail to engage them. Here’s a fantastic example from Wizard of Adventure Carol: One of the coolest props ever was in a game my daughter is running. She gave my wizard a spell book that was locked with a code. Then she gave me […]

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Here’s How One GM Improvises Plots & Campaigns

Before I forget…again…this Saturday is the monthly Wizard of Adventure GM chat. Get help from me and smarter GMs to help your prep, encounters, world building, player issues, or any other aspect of your campaign. Wizards of Adventure, the meeting link is here. Roleplaying Tips GMs, if you’d like to join us and get some […]

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Earn More Player Action With Push Points

Here’s a cool house rule sent to me by Jonathan Hardin from Sojourners Awake: My NEW favorite technique is Push Points. For every natural 1 or 20 you roll, you experience the consequences of the roll as usual, but you collect 1 point for experiencing that event. You can collect up to 10 points at […]

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Wielding Character Backstories for Epic Campaigns

Common advice out there is for player characters to have backstories to help the GM. But how, exactly, are we to leverage this information? This week, I’ll share a few ways I do this, starting today with…. Part 1. Free (or Not) Hirelings Rather than whack every capitalized noun over time from PC backgrounds, I […]

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Master Improvisation Using Story Stakes to Amp Up Your Game

I recently polled several GMs with this question: If you could learn anything about GMing that would significantly improve your gameplay, what would it be? The overwhelming response was the desire to improve improvisation skills. Tonight’s coaching workshop is dedicated to that very topic. It will focus particularly on setting Stakes, an aspect of improvisation […]

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Celebrate Character Birthdays (d12 Birthday Events Table)

Something I haven’t done in years is track the PCs’ birthdays. This realization came while I was reading an old Dragon Mag yesterday. We used to roll for character birth dates. When the calendar rolled ’round there was a celebration, even if it was a loaf of bread with torch mashed in to blow out. […]

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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 […]

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Garner Combat Victories Faster With Signature Moves

Here’s a tip from my business partner and Campaign Logger developer, Jochen Linnemann. It’s in response to an RPT GM who asked for help speeding up his GURPS combats. GURPS, if you haven’t played, is crunchier than most systems. You make more rolls to complete an action. Therefore, combat can become longer affairs. Here’s Jochen’s […]

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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. […]

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Use My Core Gameplay Loop When Your Game Stalls

During Monday’s game master coaching session, one GM, Mr. Snakes, encountered a plot block. His players had just completed an epic 5 Room Dungeon on a demon-infested ship, caught up in faction play while trying to solve a murder mystery. (Well done, Mr. Snakes!) He asked about my core gameplay loop because, after the ship […]

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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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