Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Preparation "

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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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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We Only Think of the Gold

RPT GM Patrick writes in response to my tip about playtesting our encounters with mental playthroughs: Good morning my fellow GM! This approach has been truly amazing, as you mentioned, in addressing any peculiarities that might have been overlooked during the initial creation phase. I’ve been employing this method for several months now, and the […]

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Use This One Trick to Make Your Encounters Twice as Fun

Here’s something you can do to level-up your encounters. It takes only a minute, and it’s free. Play the encounter through in your mind before it hits the table. In helping GMs with their encounters over the years, I’ve discovered that almost no one does a mental playtest of the encounters they prep. This is […]

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My Sandcrawl Method

Author Paul Quarles For my The Refining Forge campaign, a Castles & Crusades campaign, I decided to run a sandbox, hexcrawl campaign, or a Sandcrawl campaign as dubbed by Johnn Four. My last campaign struggled as a pure hexcrawl campaign with two key problems: This newer approach has been a lot more organic and has […]

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Write More Engaging Room Descriptions

Description Sorcery from a Wordsmithing Warlock Crafting concise and evocative descriptions provides a huge boon for our storytelling prowess. Descriptions serve as the bridge between our imagination, character perceptions, and player choices. A well-made description: Jeremy Brown is a repeat offender, er, contributor, to the Roleplaying Tips Newsletter. 🙂 During a convo we started up […]

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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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Evolving Hex Crawls: My New Approach Where Sandbox Meets Hex Crawl

You know how my preferred campaign design approach is Sandbox meets Crawling meets Adventure Path? I wrote on that recently here. Well, over the weekend I tweaked it a bit. On the surface, it’s just wordplay. But to me, it’s an exciting change in how I do things behind the screen. First let’s review. My […]

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How I’m Using ChatGP For My Campaign Today

Have you ever heard a cat fart? Wizard of Adventure and loooooong-time Roleplaying Tips reader and contributor, Loz Newman, told me a funny story. He’s in France, probably preparing for another season of teaching kids and adults all about medieval archery. And he explained that, when you say ChatGPT in French, it sounds like you’re […]

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How I Prep My Basilica Campaign

How do you prep? While chatting with a GM during a coaching call, I realized I don’t prep the same way many GMs do. Let me explain, using my Basilica campaign as an example…. My current campaign is sandbox meets hex/dungeon crawl meets story path. I’m looting Temple of Elemental Evil (and hope the PCs […]

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From King To Pawn: A Simple Way To Scope Your NPCs

My business partner in crime, Jochen Linnemann, shared this great tip with me yesterday about a cool method for managing your NPCs…. Jochen: Just now, I read about an NPC classification scheme The Dark Eye uses for its publications: King: Cornerstone NPC, important for the living world and future campaigns and adventures. Knight: Important NPC […]

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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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Effortless & Dynamic Storytelling

Effortless & Dynamic Storytelling Among the many tools in my GM Toolbox, the method of Wandering Encounters holds a special place. It’s a simple yet profound way to keep the game world lively, the plot on track, and the characters engaged in evolving story arcs. The core essence of Wandering Encounters lies in its ability […]

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A Change of Pace: How To Evaluate Pacing In Your Game

A Brief Word From Johnn Before we dig into pacing tips though, a couple of quick items. Get Help With Your Campaign August 26, 2023 – Wizard of Adventure Q&A Zoom. If you are a Wizard of Adventure, here’s details and the link. Feel free to bring questions about your world, campaign, encounters, NPCs, technique, […]

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