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Encounters Seeds Formula – Part II

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0715 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: Finally, I offered bonus points if […]

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The Potion Factory for Fun Faction Finagling

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0724 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 […]

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Plot Your Dungeons with This Simple Grid System

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0720 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 […]

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45 Master Characters – A GM Resource Review

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0825 Roleplaying Tips reader Jim B. sent this great overview of a GM resource I thought you might be interested in. Thanks Jim! Hi Johnn, I’d like to suggest a good resource book for GMs: 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, 2011. The book is […]

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Add Spikes Of Danger To Get Deeper Campaigns

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1084 An RPT GM asks about a design technique from my Adventure Building Workshop: Hey Johnn, I was reviewing the links in your 2019 Compilation and saw reference to “Spikes of Danger”. What is that referencing? I googled around and couldn’t find anything. Thanks, Paul I replied to Paul directly, but thought […]

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Deep World Building Using The Estates Method

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1050 A beloved RPG, Ars Magica, splits its setting into three estates: the Church, the Nobles, and the Commonfolk. Wizards are outcasts. Hunted, exiled, or slain for blasphemies and politics. Players run Magi in the Mythic Europe setting. Forced to hide and handle a delicate power balance between the three estates, play […]

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

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1037 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 […]

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67 Questions To Make Your Players Roleplay More

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0991 Here’s a great technique to get your players roleplaying more. Have NPCs ask them questions. But not just any questions. Yes/No questions, for example, don’t get players talking or thinking much. Good NPC questions provide another boon: they give you ideas to steal for later use. While the players answer the […]

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Campaign’s Pillars: How To Pacing Your Game’s Exciting Moments

Manage pace during sessions instead of scripting it. This lets you react to your game as it unfolds and is one less strict plan you must track. But, leaving pace to encounter-level decisions burdens you with yet another thing. Until you’ve made pacing a habit and can spot opportunities to switch energy up mid-session, it […]

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