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Celebrate Your Encounter Locations This Way

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 from the Purpose. This […]

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Power Your Plots With Simple Rumour Tables

The Keep is a monthly D&D campaign, just three sessions old, where the PCs have been shipwrecked on the mysterious jungle island of Barbossa. In session one, I used a rumour table to drop several plot hooks into play to give the sandbox immediate direction. Each player rolled a d20 and received their own rumour. […]

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Your Campaign Agenda => Best Campaign Ever Part II

There’s a moment mid-campaign when my inner voice screams out: “I’ve lost the plot! What the #@$% is going on? What the #@$% do I do now?” (Sorry, in-skull Johnn has a potty mouth.) When I’m off the rails as a GM it’s panic time. …Everything feels like it’s crap. …The campaign’s falling to pieces. […]

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Create Your Special GM Moves

Adventures get repetitive and boring. “Bring me another 10 scorpion tales!” Even megadungeons and campaign paths can grind you down. I received an email from a subscriber who asked how to keep players engaged. He caught one player even playing video games on their phone during sessions. The best way I know how to keep […]

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Monsters Are NPCs Too – A Short Monster Personality Stat Block

When monsters become meat bags you lose a big opportunity for roleplay and storytelling. I’m guilty of queuing up encounters with 2d6 orcs in a 10′ x 10′ room. Big time wasters. Pointless. And boring. I know players love to use their characters’ powers. And crushing a foe is fun. But after a few times […]

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Use The Feature Method To Make Adventure Design A Whole Lot Easier

Before you put pen to paper designing your next 5 Room Dungeon, do this one quick thing to greatly improve your design. When I build 5 Room Dungeons I often find it’s a struggle to make them more than just an assortment of encounters. Make It Pop A designer I worked with had a massive […]

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New Mad Lib: Instant Magic Items

Got another Mad Lib for you today. This one is for special item creation and is inspired by the Perilous Deeps book for Dungeon World. Just fill in the blanks to make an interesting item: This item [DOES ACTION] [TO A THING] and the wielder [CAN CONTROL IT] which [CAN BE USED SOMETIMES]. For example: This item allows for communication with predatory […]

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How To Create Five Room Horror Dungeons

Hola %FIRSTNAME% Roleplaying Tips Patron Jeffrey asks how to create five room horror adventures: Johnn, been reading for a long time, and always figured that I would one day have a question worthy of asking… I guess that day is today. How would you use a five-room dungeon to run a horror game? For readers […]

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How To Make Skill Items As Treasured As Magic

Reward players with treasure that enhances their skills. Sometimes we get focused just on just combat-related rewards, or treasures that grant cool powers like invisibility. Mix things up by offering skill items. Here’s how. Step 1: Make A List Run through the skill list of your game system and make a list. I’m a spreadsheet […]

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The Mad Lib d12 Random Quest Generator

A bit of fun inspiration for your campaign today. RPT GM Tony shares a random quest generator in Mad Libs format. What I like most about his plot generator is it creates a named and enumerated quest purpose. You could use this template to create legends, world wonders, artefacts, Spikes of Danger, and other nifty […]

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Mad Lib Template for Hook, Line & Sinkers

The other day I talked about a classic GMing technique called Hook, Line & Sinkers. Use this three-part method to generate encounter skeletons fast. I remember first coming across this method in the Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine. Each issue would have a few to inspire your game. Victor Diaz recently posted about them, […]

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The Hook, Line & Sinkers Method Will Inspire Your Encounters

Here’s a great way to create encounter seeds for your next game via RPT Reader Victor Diaz. It’s  called the Hook, Line & Sinkers method. From the RIFTS Adventure Book, page 38: Hook, Line & Sinkers ™ is the popular Game Master’s tool created by Jolly Blackburn. The idea behind it is simple — give […]

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Encounters Seeds Formula Part II

In a recent Musings email [Panicked Prep For Next Session] I talked about a formula to create encounter seeds fast: What if? + one source of inspiration = one encounter seed. I also provided three example sources of inspiration: The Monster Manual The News Random Page Finally, I offered bonus points if you connect encounter […]

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The Potion Factory for Fun Faction Finagling

The Potion Factory for Fun Faction Finagling On theme with this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, here’s an idea for arming your next faction without destroying campaign balance. We began my Murder Hobos campaign as a playtest of the D&D 5E rules using the adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver included in the Starter Set box. In […]

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Plot Your Dungeons with This Simple Grid System

The Nine Sector System of Dungeon Design I saw Castle Oldskull ~ CDDG1: The Classic Dungeon Design Guide ~ Book 1: Forging the Underworld (yup, that’s the full actual title) by Kent David Kelly in the Amazon Kindle store and on a whim purchased it. The book is a couple hundred pages of dungeon building […]

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