Anon GM wrote in with this request about seeds and hooks: I need your help with something embarrassing. I have been DMing for years now and realized there is something that seems to be foundational to game play and I kind of don’t know anything about it.
I have read your tips and have read in multiple places about seeds and hooks. What are they and how do I use them?Continue reading
With the Encounter Intensify Technique you increase the stakes during an encounter to give your players a jolt of adrenaline. Just when you think it can’t get worse or more desperate, it does.
A reader asked me how to avoid wiping the party, because I advised picking a moment when encounter outcome seems dubious. Pick a low moment for the PCs to ramp up that intensity.
It’s just like in the movies. Something bad happens to the hero. As the hero struggles, something even worse happens, putting the audience on the edge of its seat.Continue reading
Static RPG encounters become predictable. We roll initiative. PCs choose their targets. Grind until the last hit point. However, there’s a concept I’ve penned in my upcoming 5 Room Dungeons book called Intensify. Use this technique to make encounters come alive, surprise the PCs, and keep your players thoroughly entertained.Continue reading
RPG adventure themes are the rug that ties the whole room together, man. Get theme right, and you intensify your adventures, players’ experience, and stories. Here’s an example: the hanged man.Continue reading
Last Musings I spoke of explosive sessions starts. After social time, inject energy right away so the session feeds off that the rest of the night. And, it turns out, the quality of how your session starts depends a lot on how your last session ended. Who knew? If you can’t end on a cliffhanger, […]Continue reading
Here’s how to take an existing planned encounter and ensure it has spice for an explosive session start.Continue reading
For my recently started MMO (moderately multi-player offline) campaign I have been looking for a format which eases on my GM workload and still provides an entertaining experience for my potentially changing player and character audience. Luckily, Johnn Four shot me a link to his 5 Room Dungeons which was exactly what I have been looking for.
On top of the format, managing a changing audience that potentially crawls the same dungeon more or less concurrently asked for a tool that allowed fast, easy and effective note-taking while I am moderating the table at the same time. Enter Campaign Logger…Continue reading
What I like now are encounters with more than one interesting aspect. Used to be I was satisfied with a monster and some treasure. But not these days. I want my cheese and pickles too.
So I’ve come up with a draft of a technique I’m calling Encounter Triangles. Here’s the gist of it. Let me know what you think.Continue reading
When I have the major elements of my Loopy Plots figured out, I need to dig into certain details to get gameplay going and plug holes.
A tool I use to do this is my Next Action Method.Continue reading
Upon reflection, one of my biggest challenges is listening to the game. I’m not paying enough attention to my players. For example, how many plot hooks did I pick up from my players last session? Zero. The trick to being a happy game master is being present during games. Being in the present. If I’m […]Continue reading
An RPT Reader asked for tips on how to deal with a perfectionist player. Someone who “enjoys really thinking out moves and plays to make sure they picked the right one.” The player also has the “classic new player fear of doing it wrong.” “The new player part is not what I’m worried about. I […]Continue reading
In a recent Musing 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 seeds to each other so your plot […]Continue reading
RPT Reader Juaquine Silveira offers this great tip and tip request: I am a fairly new GM, and while I have some skill I still have a lot of questions. We all know people have short attention spans. So if you are going to get people excited about your gaming session you have to grab […]Continue reading
Today, I’d like your advice and tips on how to handle split parties. Daniel S. writes: “How can I make everyone happy when groups are split in their decisions for destinations and plans?” One tip I have is to go around the table and give each split-off player or sub-group a bit of spotlight time. […]Continue reading
RPT Reader Devon Creamer asks: I was wondering how I could do a chase scene in one of my campaigns. My dilemma is that chase scenes are supposed to be fast and action packed, no dull parts or slow parts. But with Pathfinder’s usual movement rules, it’s too boring and my players lose interest. Thanks […]Continue reading
A couple weeks ago I sent out a Reader Tip Request for the spouse of a GM in need. The game master was having problems reacting to in-game events. He needed to think faster – or different – on his feet so he could handle unexpected player decisions and actions better. Here’s the request from […]Continue reading
Martin Ralya at Engine Publishing sent me a preview of his latest book, Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep. (Thanks Martin – the book looks great!) Written by Phil Vecchione, the 127 page book is carved into three main sections: Understanding Prep Prep Toolbox Evolving Your Style There are also meta […]Continue reading
One of the most frequent help requests I get is from GMs frustrated with problem players. If there is conflict in your group, your games will suck. And that’s a shame because role-playing games can be so rich and enjoyable when everyone is working together, on the same wavelength, creating amazing moments. Danny Iny of […]Continue reading
by The Roleplaying Tips Community Lots of great tips from subscribers in this Flash Back Friday submission,covering everything from being sick of gaming to having writer’s block. I hope the cure for you lies herein! Note on Navigation: To quickly move between readers’ emails, use your application’s Find or Search feature and look for @@@@@@. I have purposely […]Continue reading
by Heather Grove When you create your own campaign there’s so much you could spend your time on. Should you write up non-player characters (NPCs) with rich backgrounds? What about scenes you expect will take place in game, and speeches spoken by NPCs? Should you detail the background of a plot, or the things you think […]Continue reading
by Chris Buono Chris polled members of the GMMastery Yahoo group for benign urban encounter ideas and then added a few of his own to come up with this awesome list you might find useful for your own campaigns. Editor Isaac and I added a few more as well. Thanks Chris, Telas, and GMMastery contributors! […]Continue reading
By Gareth Hodges The Aaargh factor Technically, a bureaucracy is designed to help a government or large group deliver services in a timely, efficient and effective manner. Traditionally however, they are viewed as mockeries that frustrate, delay and ultimately fail to produce results. The first step in creating a bureaucratic system for your gaming world […]Continue reading