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Jul
31

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 1

Mini RPG Campaign Template: Session 1 After deciding to run a mini RPG campaign templated off the three-act structure, you’ve talked to the players about the type of campaign you want to run, you’ve guided them through character creation or provided pre-generated characters for them, and you’ve even give them personalized story hooks and some background information. Next, it’s time to light the fuse and wait until the Key Event ignites the plot and calls the player characters to participate in the adventure. A great first session accomplishes the following three things: it establishes the baseline for...
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:...
Oct
31

Use a Player Survey to Gauge RPG Players’ Preferences

Use a Player Survey to Gauge RPG Players’ Preferences I’ve talked before about how I believe the main job of the GM—besides having fun, of course—is to elicit or evoke emotion (e.g. fun) in the players. Before we talk about techniques to elicit those emotions in the pursuit of fun, however, you’ll want to use a player survey or otherwise determine what kind of players are in your group and the kinds of things they find fun in tabletop roleplaying games. That way, you can focus your efforts on cultivating certain roleplaying games elements and techniques, saving you time while maximizing the return at your...
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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