Storytelling Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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Keep Players Intensely Engaged With the 3 Conflicts

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 character sheet elements are […]

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Story Sparks — A Way To Improv Better

Ever make a fire from scratch, without matches or gasoline? Every material has an ignition temperature where a spark lights it up. The shirt you’re wearing probably ignites around 267°C or 513°F. Wood is about 300°C / 572°F. And what about our encounters? What ignites them? More on that in a sec. To start a […]

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Storymastery: More Examples of Bad Reveal Timings

Last Musing, we talked about how to stage your prophecies for maximum effect. Reveal your prophecy too soon, and players won’t be invested. They won’t care because they have not bonded with your campaign yet. And then even the best prophecy destined to hit your table will feel like a gimmick. There are other campaign […]

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RPG Theme Example: Beauty, Value, Usefulness

Adventure themes create deeper immersion and better play experiences. It’s like the difference between drawing with random crayons or painting with a coherent colour palette. If the theme you’ve picked resonates with your players, they will see the patterns and theme-connected relationships of your people, places, things, and plots. You can game this for clues, […]

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The Dangling Description Mystery Method Formula — The Secret Sauce To Riveting Descriptions

I was working on a new Faster Combat lesson about the Action Economy last weekend and a lightbulb went off. I know exactly what I want to deliver each time you and I describe something to our players. This applies to descriptions for encounters, NPCs, items, monsters, and locations. This applies to boxed text, bullet […]

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Storymastery: Don’t Make This Mistake with Your Reveals

Reveal something at the wrong time and it could backfire. But have a little patience, and your grand effects will dazzle. I was on an adventure consulting call last week with Adventure Building Workshop member Michael, and something we discussed was the timing of a prophecy in his campaign. In my experience, introduce a prophecy […]

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