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Oct
7

5 Tricks to Make Any Campaign More Grimdark

5 Tricks to Make Any Campaign More Grimdark Image Credit: CDProjekt It’s finally October, which is the perfect time to cue up a dark, moody playlist and work on some RPG adventures to match! (Might I recommend my Dark Lakes, Dark Gods playlist on Spotify?) If you’ve played any Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Dark Heresy, or Witcher games, you know there’s a distinctly grimdark, gritty feel to those games. With a few tricks, you can bring some of that depth and despair to your own games. But GM beware: it’s a fine line to walk between simply punishing your players and making a game with...
Aug
11

Crafting RPG Adventures from Scratch

Crafting RPG Adventures from Scratch Whether you’re writing a one-shot for a convention or an adventure for your home campaign, sometime between when you wrangle a group and when you start playing, you have to create said adventure! There are many components that go into roleplaying game adventures—encounters and maps, non-player characters and stat blocks, the list goes on—so beginning to tackle all those things at once can be daunting. By popular request, I’ve turned my method of crafting an RPG adventure from scratch into a step-by-step process you can bring to your own prep routine! The following...
Jan
8

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 3

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 3 Welcome to Session 3 of the Mini RPG Campaign Template, our own Empire Strikes Back of the universal hero cycle. You’ve introduced the PCs to a supernatural/powerful mentor or ally in the previous session, and after the PCs traveled to the first new location they tackled the first of three subplots (or side quests). Having been introduced the world, the conflict, the actors, and the stakes, we’re headed into Act 2 territory. A word of caution as we proceed: the second act is notoriously difficult to plan and prep. You might have experience with the slog that is the...
Nov
8

How to Integrate Character Backstories into RPG Campaigns

How to Integrate Character Backstories into RPG Campaigns Your players have sent you their character info for your next campaign and, as their game master, you want to incorporate their backstory elements, but you’re not sure where to start. Here’s how to break down their histories into managable pieces and utilize them throughout your campaign in a way that resonates with players. Create Obstacles Between the Characters and Their Goals One of the ways to make an RPG campaign that truly engages players is to craft a story that features their goals as subplots, sidequests, or even the central story arc. First, however, you...
Aug
21

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 2

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 2 Last session, as GM you introduced the players to the world just before setting it on fire. You gave them a glimpse of the villain’s plans and showcased the stakes of failure. Now, you’ve set the Player Characters loose in a brave new world so they can begin to get or learn what they need to oppose the villain or change who they are. No matter whether you’ve given them a linear quest line (A then B then C) or will let them choose between pursuing three different options (A, B, or C), you can keep the following tips in mind to nail the major beats of the second...

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