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Jan
13

Choose Your Way to Better RPG Session Prep

Choose Your Way to Better RPG Session Prep The Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and The Witcher video game series have all made names for themselves by forcing players to make important choices throughout the game. Although decision points in tabletop roleplaying games aren’t bound by a studio’s limitations the way video games are, many game masters (myself included) don’t capitalize on our medium because we don’t consciously consider giving players meaningful choices while we plan a campaign. Instead of preparing an adventure by assembling a series of encounters, game masters can design their narratives around...
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...
Oct
17

Craft Sizzling Social Intrigue Encounters with these Five Tips

Craft Sizzling Social Intrigue Encounters with these Five Tips If you’re like most game masters, you probably got your start running dungeon crawls. But after a dozen or so sessions, when the player characters are ready to emerge from the darkness and step into the limelight of society, the skills you’ve used to run dungeons don’t quite translate to court scenes. Crafting a compelling social encounter is a different challenge, but with a little bit of practice and preparation, you can add Game of Thrones–style intrigue to your tabletop RPG sessions. Read more at Geek &...
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...
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...

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