Tag Archives: johnn

Fastest Pathfinder Combat Ever – How We Did It

Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth Two weeks ago I reported on my combat timing and discovered I was taking the longest turns at the table. I vowed the fix this, and Friday’s session bore great results. Here’s the lowdown on how we did so well. Fight To The Death To Lift A Paladin’s Curse The PCs had just finished exploring parts of a mission dungeon. (A mission…

Speed Up Combat By Building Your Own Combat GM Screen

Photo courtesy of sdobie What is the number one way to make combat go faster? For D&D type games, it is mastering the rules. When you can make decisions based on accurate rules knowledge, not only do you have more options available, but you play with more effectiveness and confidence. You also need to make fewer rules references on or between turns. You help other…

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…

City Government Power Bases – Land

What forces govern your city? In many societies, landowners have great power. With all the economic, defensive, military, and strategic benefits land provides, most governments use this as a starting power base for their regimes. For high fantasy games, consider land as an abstract concept that encompasses many possible dimensions. Land can be the ground, the clouds of sky realms, the flames …

City Government Power Bases – Religion

What forces govern your city? Religion, spirituality, and ideology make excellent government power bases because they are powerful sources of influence, prestige, and affiliation. Religion and cosmology varies from campaign to campaign, but it’s likely gods do exist in your world and they imbue certain, devout followers with spells and special powers every day. Even if your current campaign has …

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 – Magic and Psionics

What forces govern your city? We resume the city design series this week with thoughts about how to use magic and psionics to build interesting city government power bases. For the purposes of this article, magic and psionics are treated the same. Your game system might make this thinking incompatible, but hopefully you can take the thinking that follows and apply…

How To Cast A Spell On Your Campaign And Make It Sparkle Like Gold Dust

One spell can change the complexion of a campaign If two people are casting Speak With Dead on the same body, does one get a busy signal? In my Riddleport Pathfinder campaign, an NPC named Halcos was assassinated as the PCs were dragging him away to be interrogated. In reaction, the party plans to bring the body to an allied temple for a Speak …

Undead Foe Generator – and Skull Dice Giveaway

Win a set of these Who says undead can’t have personality? While rank and file skeletons and zombies will get mowed down faster than you can roleplay, you can turn any single undead into a remarkable NPC. To do that, you just need to add a few details beyond the stat block. Today’s generator will help you do this. Skull …

City Government Power Bases – War and Military plus Software Giveaway

What forces govern your city? A strong military is real, solid power. A city with a skilled, well-equipped and well-led army can protect itself, fend off its neighbours, go on a conquering binge, and keep its own citizens under control, though not necessarily all at once or in that order. A politician with a private army can often get away…

City Government Power Bases – Social Leverage, Marriage and Wealth

What forces govern your city? A power base is an asset you can use to achieve goals. It serves as a foundation or tool. You can wield it like a weapon, use it like a tool or draw upon it like a resource. Governments are typically boring game elements. However, design a power base for each government or government agency, and you turn them into NPCs of…

Life and Death in RPG – March 2011 RPG Blog Carnival

This month’s RPG blog carnival theme covers life and death in RPG. When thinking about what I’d write for the carnival my attention wandered to my Riddleport campaign. There, I spotted how death was a theme in at least two plots. Then another plot. And then another. Soon, I was seeing death everywhere. It makes me wonder – could death …

City Government Power Bases – Leadership

What forces govern your city? Popularity Being popular earns a government a lot of power, though it is always a fragile thing. Think of popularity as a form of temporary affiliation . Popularity is often restricted to a subset of urban society – you can’t please everyone. Strengths With a large amount of consent, a government can rule with fewer objections and roadblocks. The will of the people can …

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 …

Johnn’s 2010 Year in Review

How high do you dream? Today I go over my 2010 goals to see how I graded. In part two, in an upcoming post, I talk about my 2011 goals and let you know what kind of posts and products you’ll see from me next year. I believe goals make you more effective, whether you are aiming to improve your game mastering or running a business. Focus…

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…