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Aug
7

How to Create RPG Campaign Subplots

How to Create RPG Campaign Subplots “I like to call [subplots] supporting plots. They are there to support the main plot.” – McDonald, Brian. Invisible Ink (p. 100). Libertary. Kindle Edition. Subplots in roleplaying games are the side quests you go on to help accomplish one of your goals. When the NPC you need to talk to has gone missing, or when the NPCs asks you to travel to do some task or collect some item for him before he’s willing to help you, that’s a subplot. They’re the bread and butter of video games and roleplaying games alike. The conflict added to the story by subplots both provides...
Apr
10

5 Tips for Writing Social Drama RPG Campaigns

5 Tips for Writing Social Drama RPG Campaigns For my next roleplaying game campaign, I’m writing the foundation for a social drama campaign that I’ll then pass off to a co-GM who does a much better job at portraying Non-Player Characters and figuring out the logical (not just conventional) implications of choices. I lamented on social media that writing up the campaign so that someone else can take it and run with it is much more challenging than writing up a traditional, linear story adventure. This post deals with my approach to tackling those difficulties and provides tips for prepping social drama campaigns...
Jan
9

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 0

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 0 Technically the first “session” in my nine-part mini RPG campaign template, I like to call this part “Session 0“: it doesn’t actually involve running the game yet, but it does entail everything you need to get started. This post covers the things you as the GM will be facilitating the first time you gather all the players in one place, as well as the things you’ll want to prepare ahead of time. Those things are the hook, the cast of characters, the character backstories and/or individual quests, and the inciting incident. The Hook:...
Dec
2

The 3-Act Formula as a Mini RPG Campaign Template

The 3-Act Formula as a Mini RPG Campaign Template Type in “novel structure” to the nearest search engine and you’ll find a smorgasbord of templates and spreadsheets to help you plot your novel, and the three-act structure is one of the most popular there is. With a couple of tweaks (and borrowing slightly from the Universal Hero Cycle), you can adapt the three-act formula into a mini RPG campaign template. The end result is nine sessions with one for character creation and prep, two for the first act, four sessions for the middle/rising action, and two for the finale/climax. This template works...
May
31

Day 27: Sharing the World with a Co-GM

Day 27: Sharing the World with a Co-GM Lately I’ve been gearing up to run my Knights of Dragoneia campaign (not that Dragonia), which is essentially a Legend of the Five Rings homebrew game heavily inspired by such animes as Magic Knight Rayearth, Escaflowne, Fushigi Yuugi, Twelve Kingdoms, and even Madoka Magica (to an extent). The story centers around the twelve Dragoneian Knights of legend, one for each of the twelve “zodiac signs” in the setting. Originally I had intended to run an episodic-style game with a large cast rotating in and out, but then my friend and coworker, Matt,...

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