Tag Archives: advice/tools

How To Fall In Love With GMing Again + iPad App Review of Daily Notes

Write down your ideas when they come to you. This core GM tip gets repeated often in the Roleplaying Tips newsletter for good reason. If you do not record your ideas, they could get lost or fuddled, and I find nothing more frustrating when my brain pumps out a super idea only to ignore or forget it. How To GM More Often Writing…

My Group’s Time Thief Revealed – Chronology iPad App Review

Chronology for iPad helps me time combats I was curious to see how long combat encounters last in my Riddleport campaign , and how long my group takes on each turn to do our actions. I surfed around for a long time, looking for the right timer software, and then I finally found it, for the iPad. This is a review of how long we took to play out our…

8 Easy Ways to Organize Your Dungeon Tiles

This month’s RPG blog carnival is about cartography and mapping. So, I thought I’d talk about D&D tiles, of which I have several sets, and I like them a lot. If you own more than a couple sets of D&D tiles you understand the challenge in organizing them. The tiles are double-sided, so you want to see …

City Government Power Bases – Law and Affiliation (plus NBOS software giveaway)

What forces govern your city? In the introduction last week I covered the goal of this series, which is to use the idea of power bases – where do fantasy governments, government officials and factions get power and influence? – to make your cities interesting places to adventure. Each part in this series will cover two or three power bases in detail…

City Government Power Bases – Overview

What forces govern your city? The topic of city government causes GMs big yawns. Other than picking a government type, you find it a difficult city element to make interesting for game sessions, adventures and city design. However, it is an important part of urban environments that should not be ignored. And it does not have to be a difficult or boring thing. The key is …

Drow Generator & Dice Giveaway

Drow are soon to make their appearance in my Riddleport campaign. They are part of The Great Game being played out in the background as the characters struggle for fame and power in the pirate city. To help me GM the dark elves I created the following tables and references. Maybe they would be useful for your campaign too? Following are tables I crafted for drow generation. 100 Names &#…

The Perfect Monster Manual – A Wishlist

Yesterday I put Pathfinder Bestiary 2 in my shopping cart. I need to wait for a few Christmas bills to get paid before I order it, though. I also happened to meet with one of my players for coffee, and we got to talking about monster books. He is not a fan of them. Why? Waste of money, he says, because he only uses …

Help Me Take Your GMing To The Next Level

What new GMing knowledge would you like to master next? It is time for you to get selfish here and get some GM advice customized just for you . What ebook would you like me to write next that you would use to make your GMing better, easier, more fun? I am wrapping up the editing on my latest product. It’ll be released…

Nezumi Tribes

There are several Nezumi Tribes listed in the new Enemies of the Empire book. Since Sarah and I are both playing Nezumi, I wrote up a quick sketch for the different tribes. My character is (natch) a healer — shaman in this game setting and I thought a Nezumi would be fun to play. We are using the Oriental Adventures book from …

Nezumi Tribes

There are several Nezumi Tribes listed in the new Enemies of the Empire book. Since Sarah and I are both playing Nezumi, I wrote up a quick sketch for the different tribes. My character is (natch) a healer — shaman in this game setting and I thought a Nezumi would be fun to play. We are using the Oriental Adventures book from Wizards for …

Enemies of the Empire – A Review

The fine folks at Alderac Entertainment Group sent me a review copy of their newest L5R rpg book – Enemies of the Empire . It is a combination monster manual, history book and GM resource. And, somehow more than all of those things, too. As with the first book of the new 4th edition , it is beautiful. These people really know their …

This Survey For New Players Ensures A Good Fit

New player surveys are a worthwhile time investment Roleplaying Tips reader Zerfinity sent me a campaign survey he used to build his new group. A friend once told me the best finishes have great starts. So it is with great campaigns, and one key is getting a group of like-minded, enthusiastic people around you each game night. Zerfinity’s survey offers a …

25 Cleric Character Hooks

Continuing the hooks series, today we have a bunch of priestly ones for your holy edification. Many came out as missions rather than internal character struggles or personality quirks. More actionable than character-revealing this time around. Use these for PCs or NPCS. Sensing his wanderlust and noting his independent manner, the church has asked him to become a holy bounty hunter. There is a long list …

Plot flowchart example

Reader Yong Kyosunim sent in one of his plot planning documents. This was in response to Campaign Mastery’s recent post on plot flowcharts . Check it out: An example plot flowchart You can download the plot flowchart in better quality as PDF if preferred. Yong created the chart using Excel. Thanks very much for sending this in, Yong!

Game Master Tool Illustrated: Plot Flowcharts

Today I want to share a simple and fast way that makes planning easier. I was going through old gaming papers recently and came across a partially crafted plot flowchart. This would be a short plot in Myste Cryk, a home-base type campaign that ran 2005-2006. As the blog carnival for September covers preparation, I thought I’d roll out a picture of this…

High Elf Generator + Dice Giveaway Contest

Win a set of Elven Rune dice – details at end of post Q-Workshop sent me a set of orange elven dice. The design and graceful script on their faces would give great luck to any elven PC or NPC, I’m certain. Very nice dice. Continuing on with the series started last month with a random political plot generator , this month…

iPad App Review: RPG Cartographer

Like growing your own food, creating your own maps is rewarding I took the picture to the right last night just before we ate them. They came from the first garden I’ve had in about a decade, and the first garden veggies we’ve grown since moving to Edmonton. A minor theme in my Riddleport campaign is handling most of the creation ourselves, as a group. The rules (Pathfinder)…

Ask The GMs: How to survive political games with paranoia and intrigue

Lilith Laing asks the GMs: “Recently I started playing in a Vampire: The Masquerade Old WOD game. Even after one session, it is probably the best game I have ever played in (or even run), but I have never played this sort of political game before. Do you, the GMs, have any tips for how to deal with political games like Masquerade, that is, the paranoia …

Action Trumps Description

Wise words for game masters. Authors are advised to always show, never tell. So too it is with gameplay, where more fun comes from playing things out than listening to a GM drone on. Next time you are about to start a monologue, stop and put the game back in player hands. Do this by setting a scene and giving…

[meta] Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition RPG

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I got an email from Alderac Entertainment Group. Their new edition of the Legend of the Five Rings RPG was out and they asked if I wanted to review the book. I jumped at the chance! After spending over two years in Cauldron and then the last half year in The Black , I’m eager to visit…