Tools & Techniques Archives - Roleplaying Tips

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When Players Go Feral — How to Clarify Actions of Misunderstood Players

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1200 Brief Word From Johnn Today’s tips from Jonathan cover a problem I’ve experienced many times, especially at conventions. What do you do when one player goes off the rails? I especially like the example of the ranger who seemingly isn’t on the same page as the party and wants to ask […]

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What Do You Do When Characters Fail? — 5 Solutions For You

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1196 What do you do when the dice betray your players? When the party seems to meet a dead-end? When your adventure stalls due to bad luck or bad choices? That’s the topic of today’s tips. But before you dig into them, please take the associated poll here: How to Prevent Dead […]

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How To Improvise Better With Connect & Shift

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1194 By Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Discuss these tips on their dedicated thread here at Campaign Community. Improvisation seems scary and sometimes difficult, especially for new GMs. I have learned a few tips from people who think quickly on their feet. And I think the pair of techniques I’m sharing with you today […]

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Highlights and Hopes — How to Get Valuable Feedback From Your Players

From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1186 If they are having fun, then you’re doing it right. With my Highlights & Hopes technique, I can immediately receive feedback on how my players define fun. I gather these Highlights & Hopes right after the game while they are still fresh in everyone’s mind. Definition Highlights […]

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Encounter Mapping Software – 3 Tips For Choosing The Best One

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1182 A great conversation came up in the monthly Wizard of Adventure chat Saturday on what encounter mapping software to choose. (Wizards of Adventure who could not make the call, here’s a link to the recording.) From DungeonFog to HexKit to Campaign Cartographer, and a bunch of others, how do you pick? […]

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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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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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Cunning Combat Strategy – 3 Round Combat Plans For Lightning Combats Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1161 How do you make your next combat fast and exciting effective 3 Round Combat Plans? And what are we supposed to do in each round? What is our strategy here? That’s what I show you in today’s tips, which are taken from my brand new Faster Combat 5E course launching this […]

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Do You Get Bored Of Your Campaigns?

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1156 What’s the purpose of a campaign? My answer: To finish it. No joke. Other factors rank high too: Tell a long-form story Keep the adventure going with beloved characters Have more fun at every game! My apex, though, is to finish the dang thing. Else, feelings of a story unfinished. An […]

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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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How to Create Situations With 5 Room Dungeons

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1153 We want to cue up situations, not outcomes. By that, I mean we don’t dictate the actions of the characters. That’s the players’ job. But as storytellers, we have a job to do too. We need to weave good tales from our setting, adventure plans, and gameplay as it happens. How […]

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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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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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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 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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Celebrate Your Encounter Locations This Way

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1069 Make your locations memorable. And incorporate the story. Do those two things to make encounters even better. Here’s how: Features => Twist => Secret Let’s see what to do for each part: Figure Out The Special Features First, give your location a Purpose. Sometimes the game role for the location differs […]

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