Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Plots "

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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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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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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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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Why Story Gets the Horse’s Rump at My Table

Here’s something that might not be popular. I don’t know. But I see a lot of GMs online talk about the importance of story. And story is the last thing I care about when running a game. Ok, there it is. I’ve said it out loud. Gather your pitchforks and torches, lads and lasses! 🙂 […]

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Epic Tower Quest: A Campaign Seed With Strategy, Intrigue, and Adventure

RPT GM NecroFileMD shared their cool Campaign Seed with us over at Campaign Community. You might use this idea for a campaign, an adventure, or even some fascinating lore for your world. Here’s the Campaign Seed: I run a homebrew tower climber campaign based on 5E. A 100 floor tower has appeared in the center […]

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d6 Polar Adventure Seeds

To celebrate the release of my latest GM Cheat Sheet, the Polar Adventures Generator, here are a half-dozen adventure seeds to help kickoff your next chilling adventure! Please note, the 9 GM Cheat Sheet adventure bundle sales ends tonight at midnight Eastern. Get the entire collection for 25% off here. Alternatively, you can pick up […]

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A New Year, New Campaign Tool For You

Here’s a Mad Lib you might find useful for your GM Toolbox. There’s a January tradition in the RPG community. It’s called New Year, New Campaign. You might start a campaign. You could also run a different game system. I like to add a third option: campaign reboot. Why not take the opportunity of setting […]

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How One RPT GM Exploits The Flatulent Feline

If you caught Monday’s announcement, I’ve written a new book with RPG AI expert Danny McKeever about how to use GPT for adventure building. It gives you detailed and specific prompts you can paste into ChatGPT (or Zorgon in Campaign Logger) to help you create adventures, worlds, NPCs, and treasure. In French, it turns out […]

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Treasure First: A Quick Hack For Creating Adventure Hooks

Treasure First: A Quick Hack For Creating Adventure Hooks When players fail to trigger an encounter or adventure, our prep becomes moot and the game goes sideways. But how do you craft hooks so appealing that players bite on them harder than an orc at an all-you-can-eat troll BBQ? Earlier this week, I gave a […]

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Plot Your Sandbox in Under a Minute with Player Magnets

Here’s how I plot out an old school sandbox in pretty much under a minute. In the Wizard of Adventure members area, we got to chatting about how to use Campaign Logger in conjunction with the The Plot Compass technique. The Plot Compass technique is something I shared with Wizards of Adventure recently. It boils […]

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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 […]

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Surprise Your Players: Betrayal Twist Mad Lib For Your Encounters

You know I’m a huge fan of adventure plot twists. That’s what Room V is all about. But we should try to add encounter-level twists, as well. Then we get to surprise and delight our players several times during sessions! Here is one of my favourite types of twists and d12 examples to help you […]

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Why Homebrew Adventures Suck

I’ve suffered through my fair share of homebrew disasters. For example, there was The Session Where Nothing Happened. The GM had been bugging me all week, bursting with anticipation of how awesome Saturday’s adventure would be. The weekend comes around. We roll up characters and started off in an infinite plane. We walked and walked, […]

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1d6 Ways To Create Urgency In Encounters

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1212 Brief Word From Johnn Biggest Eruption In Over 100 Years Did you hear about the volcanic eruption that happened at Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai last January? It’s probably the biggest eruption that’ll happen in our lifetime – the biggest since Krakatoa in 1883 – but due to its remote location it […]

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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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d10 Things You Can Do With a Dead Character

By Johnn Four, patreon.com/johnnfour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1191 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 […]

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3 Easy Ideas To Generate Instant Adventure Ideas – Plot Factory Tutorial Part II

From JohnnFour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1175 Last week we talked about Plot Factories as a tool in your GM Toolbox. Think of them like spawn points in a video game. Foes keep emerging to assault your character until you destroy the spawn point. In our adventures and sandboxes, we do the same via Plot Factories […]

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Use This Clever Tool To Herd Your Cats – Plot Factories

From JohnnFour Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #11731 A Brief Word From Johnn Today’s tips are about one of my favourite GM techniques. But before I share my ideas on Plot Factories, I wanted to let you know about a Kickstarter my friend Mike Shea of Sly Flourish fame is running. He loves clever GM techniques too, […]

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Ripping Up Adventure Drama With A Saw Blade

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1166 Make your adventures wondrous with terrific drama. We want tension in our plots and gameplay that escalates as players get close to the climactic ending. To increase drama we raise the Stakes (what’s in it for the characters) and toughen the Conflicts (foes, hazards, obstacles, challenges). However, we shouldn’t make every […]

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My 7 Keys to a Great Sandbox Game

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1164 New RPT GM Eddie asked for advice on homebrewing adventures: I love that a campaign can be going strong that long. The one I’m running is like 6 months old. Even though I’m pretty new to the game (less than a year) I’ve been looking more into old school revival and […]

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