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Jan
23

5 Tips for Gamemastering an RPG System for the First Time

5 Tips for Gamemastering an RPG System for the First Time Inspired to try your hand at running a new roleplaying game for the New Year? Approaching an unfamiliar ruleset can be daunting, but with the right tools you can learn the mechanics more quickly and easily, making for a smoother first session when you finally have a chance to play! Here are my five tips for teaching yourself a new RPG system. Tip #1: Equip Yourself with a Beginner Game, Starter Set, or Quickstart Product Publishers have tried to make it easier than ever to pick up and start playing their games. Rather than starting out by reading the whole core...
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...
Dec
19

Split the Party without Dividing Interest

Split the Party without Dividing Interest Tucked away on the copyright page of the fifth edition Player’s Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons, the publisher writes, “Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, […] or saying yes when the DM asks, ‘Are you really sure?’” In dark dungeons that are designed for full-strength parties of adventurers, splitting the party almost always leaves the groups too weak or ill-equipped to combat any monsters and hazards. Splitting the party can be dangerous to the player characters, but it represents another deadly...
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 &...

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