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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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Keep Players Intensely Engaged With the 3 Conflicts

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1151 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 […]

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My 7 Keys to a Great Sandbox Game

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1145 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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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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Ripping Up Adventure Drama With A Saw Blade

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1141 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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How To Stop Campaigns From Fizzling Out

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0876 Here’s an email from RPT GM Sam about campaigning: Hi Johnn! Glad I stumbled upon your stuff over the weekend. I am a gamer from Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been playing RPGs for about 12 years and I’ve been interested in GMing for about 5 years now. My biggest problem is this: […]

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How To Create Wicked Rumour Tables

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1111 RPT GM Roy Winfrey asks: Love the rumour post you just posted. I was intrigued by the Knowledge Table. Any chance we might see an article about how to construct that? Thanks for the question, Roy. I first spoke about the idea of a Knowledge Table in my Adventure Building Workshop, […]

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Quick Plot Design: How To Create A Villain Plan First Draft

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1115 Been working on my campaigns and thinking a lot about villain plans. I like to craft a roadmap for how the villain can win their goal. I call this Villain Win-State. And that road map becomes my adventure outline for villain type adventures. So what are the first couple of steps […]

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Character Home Bases Part III: Example Village of Coldwater

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0759 On Monday we covered how to get players to care about home bases. Wednesday I showed you a simple three step village creation recipe that you can world-build from. And today I’ll walk you through a quick example that you can also drop right into your campaign this weekend. Note that […]

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Character Home Bases Part II: How To Create Villages Fast

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0758 Last tip I rambled on about building character home bases and several ways you can invite players to care about them. While the Hobos of the Apocalypse will likely be creating a village community from ground up, I will want other villages to exist in the Good Faction held territory to […]

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Character Home Bases Part I: 6 Tips

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0757 The Hobos of the Apocalypse (formerly The Murder Hobos now reborn as positive change agents) need and want a home base once they emerge from the bowels of the elemental dungeons they currently cleanse. The problem is, they’ve got few stakes in the place I’ll design. The campaign started as a […]

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