Preparation Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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How To Build Encounters On A Budget

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1210 Brief Word From Johnn I just returned from a two week camping trip that was a great and relaxing time. I know I’m stressed when my notebook gathers dust and doesn’t get any new ideas. That was the story of my 2022 so far. But after a few days sitting around […]

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Tips For Lunch Hour Games + Personal Announcement

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1198 Big news to share with you this week. I have embarked on a grand adventure. Two adventures, really. The Great Resignation First, I’m going fuller-time with Roleplaying Tips! I’m thrilled but nervous and can’t wait to begin this new journey. I gave notice at my day job last week and I’ve […]

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How To Make Every Encounter Interesting

From Johnn Four Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1195 (Join the conversation about today’s tips here.) Here’s an interesting question about encounter building that WorldWibe asks on RPT’s Discord: Is a dungeon-making philosophy that goes: “Every room should have something interesting in it, be it battle, treasure or lore” a good design-methodology? Thanks for the great question! […]

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4 Ways To Surprise Players Who Know All The Monster Stats

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1178 Hello Sojourner! My players know all of the stats for every villain I place in their path. Through searching on the internet, hours studying monster manuals, and good old fashioned wits, my players have found a way to circumvent the wonder of being surprised in battle. As […]

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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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Visual Aid Session Prep with the Five Room Dungeon

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1174 Hello Sojourner! The goal of Visual Game Session Prep is to have a quick glance reference that reminds me of notes and plans I made before the session. This keeps paperwork to a minimum. Rather than referencing your notes within a large document during the game, you can simply look at […]

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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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Outsmart Your Players With 3-Step Villain Plans

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1167 How do we outsmart our players? It’s all their brains against ours. Surely the odds are against us. However, here’s a neat trick we can perform to make our villains smarter and our adventures more cunning. We look at the possible plots and actions our poor villain might take and group […]

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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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3-Step GM PiXiE Kaizen

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1155 There’s a myth about game master time management. Or even about time management in general. Folks think it’s about time. But in my experience that’s not true. It’s about energy. Doing campaign prep for 15 minutes a day will get more prep done over the long haul than doing it once […]

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3 Round Combat Plans For Lightning Combats – Part I

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1148 In Faster Combat, a Three Round Combat Plan is how your combat will end after your side has had three licks against the other side. Why would we make something like that? If your fights finish after the third bell, think how much faster they’ll be than melees that just grind […]

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Starting a West Marches Campaign – Step By Step

From Jochen Linnemann Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1147 Starting a West Marches Campaign (Part 1) Some time ago, I decided to start a West Marches type campaign with the idea of an episodic, easy-to-prep game for a group changing players in mind. So, I started to research the topic. Reading Tips Google was a good jump […]

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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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Factions & Villains – 3 Reader GM Tips

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1143 Hitting too Close to Home Let’s dive in with this observation from RPT GM Maja who brings up an interesting point about favourite villain types that mirrors my own experience. Let’s call it the Seinfeld Effect. Johnn, If you ask me what villain type gets the most attention, it is the […]

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Outsmart Your Players With 3-Step Villain Plans

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1140 How do we outsmart our players? It’s all their brains against ours. Surely the odds are against us. However, here’s a neat trick we can perform to make our villains smarter and our adventures more cunning. We look at the possible plots and actions our poor villain might take and group […]

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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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