Roleplaying Suggestions E-newsletter #1219
Temporary Phrase From Johnn
We performed session #5 of Basilica yesterday. The previous reminiscence muscle groups for Fundamental D&D slowly return, as does the OSR mindset, which I’m actually having fun with. It’s great not turning to the rulebook each time to determine what to do or the way to adjudicate a participant motion. As an alternative, you weigh the present context and say no, sure, sure with a price, or ask for a roll.
I like crunchy methods, however I’m so glad to have an Outdated-College Necessities marketing campaign going to assist me re-build my GMing muscle groups in numerous methods.
We did a Stars & Needs retrospective once more yesterday, and suggestions included:
- Loved roleplaying with elven factions
- Loved attention-grabbing roleplay scenario when the cleric robbed a fallen elf warrior (three votes)
My takeaways listed here are a) the gamers appear to be having fun with the roleplay stuff and I don’t want to chop again or change it up; b) extra world constructing to beef up faction play a bit as that resonated.
- Extra treasure
- Extra elf faction play
- Sustain the present tempo of play
- Streamline fight a bit extra
One thing new final session was utilizing Marketing campaign Tabletop, or CTT for brief. CTT is a straightforward digital tabletop that Jochen’s crew constructed for Wizards of Journey. It’s mantra is KISS. With simply the important options akin to tokens, maps, fog of warfare, and chat, the tech fades into the background and you may freely run on-line periods with out many of the technical encumbrances.
Pictured above is a battle the occasion had with an enormous boar affected by some form of corruption. I’ve bought the token library open on the best as a part of the GM-only toolset.
Anywho, I feel we’ll swap from Google Slides to CTT now as token administration is a lot better for gamers and GM. We’ll nonetheless use Google Slides for character sheets, participant handouts, and numerous marketing campaign reference materials.
As a consequence of Christmas, we play subsequent in early January. I can’t wait!
In This Subject
- Characteristic Suggestions: Flip Journey Into Enjoyable Setbacks – 3 Methods
- Reader Suggestions of the Week
- Getting the Occasion Collectively
- Gathering Up the Heroes
- Learn how to Plan Out Mega Dungeons Quick
Learn how to Plan Out Mega Dungeons Quick
Flip Journey Into Enjoyable Setbacks – 3 Methods
From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com
Stolen, Misplaced, and Broken Gadgets
Nothing is extra irritating than an uncomfortable journey — besides additionally dropping your baggage within the course of. Add the potential of thievery and broken items throughout transportation and journeys change into tough quick. Whereas making character lives depressing will not be the purpose, dropping stock means providing a brand new problem on high of the present quest. We will enhance the problem degree of every encounter by risking stolen, misplaced, or broken gadgets:
Gamers are usually not the one ones with a stealth bonus. Design a journey from one facet of the city to the following and place intentional pickpockets. Trace: don’t let gamers know what is going on and roll in secret. Most pickpockets and con artists are sensible and use their atmosphere to prey on victims.
Pickpocketing can shortly flip right into a chase or fight scene, so use this as a possibility to hyperlink your journey to that encounter.
[Comment from Johnn: We could also use stealthy monsters and beasts for theft encounters in the wilderness. For example, dire squirrels might sneak into camp and steal food and shiny things.
Another idea is reverse theft. An invisible or stealthy foe plants false evidence or stolen goods on the person of a PC to be discovered by guards who receive an anonymous tip…]
It’s exhausting to seek out good assist. Touring on railways, carriages, and airways danger the baggage turning into misplaced attributable to well-meaning however poorly paid and incompetent NPCs. With a quest urgent upon the participant’s consideration, they could should go on with out some essential gadgets.
[Comment from Johnn: Great idea! I’m running a caravan travel sequence right now in my campaign. I could have something fall off a cart, an NPC leave something important back at yesterday’s camp, or temporarily misplace something.]
Contents might settle throughout journey. Any potion might have a shelf life. Fragile gadgets would possibly break throughout a bumpy cart experience. Delicate instruments would possibly bend or worse when a PC takes falling injury. Rations would possibly spoil. Pests would possibly destroy completely pressed diplomat’s robes. Weapons might require upkeep. And water can injury the entire contents of an explorer’s pack (particularly salt water).
[Comment from Johnn: This is a great list of troubles. I’ve enjoyed camping since I was a Boy Scout and can attest to how the elements ruin things. Even storage becomes a hazard from the act of freezing and thawing over seasons that weakens tough materials and parts.
I especially like the idea of dire squirrels eating holes through everything in their quest for food and shinies. Every GM needs some dire squirrels in their campaign.]
Hold it Enjoyable with Guidelines
Our purpose with these challenges is to encourage new and attention-grabbing conditions and puzzles for gamers. We need to encourage gamers to assume outdoors the field when fixing upcoming issues, and Stolen, Misplaced, and Broken gadgets can spur that kind of gameplay fairly effectively.
We don’t need to disable characters to allow them to’t do something on their flip. However we must always sign to gamers prematurely that they could have an issue dropping their “stuff.” So trace that, together with character demise, misplaced and broken items could be a actual risk.
To maintain misplaced, stolen, and broken gadgets from turning into a ache at your desk, design a journey hazards desk. Roll at random throughout every hour or day of journey to find out if this unlucky destiny befalls the characters.
Right here’s a instance desk. Roll 1d6:
- Pests eat 3 days rations – however you’ve gotten by no means seen 6 legged rodents.
- The weather injury your weapon, lowering their efficacy.
- An NPC “misplaced” your baggage throughout check-in. Apologies from the supervisor.
- An unseen presence lifts your coin purse.
- The damaged cart causes your mining tools to tumble down the ravine.
- Even assist may be of no assist – your assistant forgot to carry your quiver.
Extra Storytelling Mechanics
In case you are all aiming for a narrative, then utilizing these problems as story factors can carry pleasure to the desk. Discover within the desk examples above how I tried to create a thriller alongside the issue. Not solely rats ate your meals, however six-legged rats. It’s a easy tweak, however can assist gamers keep in mind that it is a fantasy world and no issues are immediately aimed on the characters.
To maintain the sport truthful, use story level tokens and designate a specific amount per sport – some the GM can use and a few the PCs can use. Through the use of a token, the GM then has license to introduce a doubtlessly irritating ingredient within the sport — dropping stock.
Keep away from permitting single cell encounters that exist inside their very own universe. A stolen merchandise may be disappointing, making the gamers really feel like they’re dropping the sport. However in case you join it to the hunt, plot, or story, then gamers will really feel like every little thing issues in sport, together with their reactions to this setback.
Could your story proceed!
Reader Suggestions of the Week
Suggestions, concepts, and inspiration out of your fellow RPT GMs.
Getting the Occasion Collectively
RPT GM R asks the way to herd the cats:
I had by no means had any RPG expertise till I picked up a sport marked as “for all ages” (pondering it needs to be fairly straightforward to choose up) known as Magical Kitties Save the Day. So, my first expertise has been as a GM…and I’ve by no means felt my lack of creativity as keenly earlier than.
Apart from studying the way to construction an journey, one large concern I’m working into is gathering the ‘Kitty Krew’ for an journey.
The way in which the world is structured is that the kitties have a human and stay with them. They’ve a particular spot of their house that the people can’t attain and it permits them to get out and in of the house with out being seen.
For the reason that kitties may be at any given place within the metropolis at any given time, how do you handle to get everybody collectively? And the way do you create a hook that may create the curiosity for everybody that may trigger them to assemble?
I imply, in your put up on creating hooks, you employ examples that focus on a single individual; thrusting and envelope into their hand that has their enemy’s title on it, a service provider pointing to an individual to have them arrested for stealing, and so forth. What in these hooks encourages them to hunt out their fellow occasion members in the event that they aren’t with them?
The sport got here with a starter journey the place one of many kitty’s people has gone lacking, having gone to the library and the misguided good witch librarian had positioned them in magical books that had pocket dimensions. It suggests to have all of their people go lacking if that is their first journey to make it simpler to assemble everybody on the library, and there are clues supplied to guide them there. However all of that takes place earlier than the precise journey even begins.
Although we did have everybody’s people go lacking, it didn’t give any info on the way to lead the others to the library if solely one among their people had fallen sufferer to the librarian’s lure. Even when one of many kitties decides “it is a job for all of us” how do you get the phrase out? And the way do you make it enjoyable quite than tedious? Any enter can be significantly appreciated.
That seems like a enjoyable sport. Right here’s what’s labored effectively for me previously:
- The GM narrates how, the place, and why everyone seems to be collectively. And then you definitely begin the session. I do that rather a lot. The thought of completely happy circumstance is nice, but it surely doesn’t work effectively for our medium the place gamers could make decisions. So I simply inform them.
- Ask gamers to let you know. The reverse of the above. This might work effectively as a result of everybody is aware of your modern-ish setting and will collaborate, versus some darkish fantasy world they know nothing about.
- Solo pre-sessions. Every participant will get personal time with you to tune their character and play out current occasions which have introduced them to your session start line. “I want to finish with you reaching the library. Okay? However let’s begin with the place you have been born. Any concepts?” These are nice, however can change into time-intensive main as much as a primary session.
- Secret backstories. You give them a public purpose for being with the opposite PCs, however you give them a secret mission, too. This makes virtually any form of contrivance acceptable, as a result of there’s a secret motivation to satisfy and group collectively, so any public/floor purpose is normally ample.
- A mysterious occasion. Like moths to a flame, every PC will get drawn to the marketing campaign begin time and place due to a particular occasion. Maybe all of them had the identical dream. Or a patron in a masks hires them. Or every character is handed a enterprise card with a time and deal with written on the again.
I hope there’s an thought in that checklist that helps you out.
You may additionally take a look at these tips about “The Occasion Unification Occasion” for extra concepts.
And some particular concepts:
- A beforehand unknown characteristic of their collars alerts and guides them. Possibly there’s even a “this collar will self-destruct in 5 seconds” on the finish.
- Cat whistle. One solely cats can hear, and sure ones at that.
- Every will get a letter from their human who suspected one thing and created an insurance coverage coverage in case their suspicions have been true.
- An agent of the villain summons them – however as an ambush.
- A mysterious rat affords mentorship in alternate for assist defeating an important evil.
Gathering Up the Heroes
Wizard of Journey deadshot2021 asks the same query:
I’m about to start out a brand new 5e marketing campaign in Ptolus. My gamers need to do their very own begins so nobody is aware of one another. I’ve two who’ve grown up within the metropolis and two which might be newcomers, however one is coming by land and one is coming by boat. I’m actually fighting a approach to collect the heroes in a method that is smart. Any concepts?
For getting the group collectively, I like to start with the top in thoughts. Creating a fast plotline makes some choices higher than others.
Some random concepts:
- Press ganged => offers them an on the spot purpose and early villain.
- Lottery => They every gained the identical alternative.
- Volunteer => Assist needed!
- Esoteric => Shared desires, divine intervention by indicators, or another inexplicable connection.
- Quest => In medias res, they’ve all come to Ptolus for a similar purpose: deceased relative talked about them of their will, invitation to a celebration or particular occasion, subpoena, and so forth.
I hope this helps! If not, please let me know.
Learn how to Plan Out Mega Dungeons Quick
RPT GM Maurice asks:
I’m at present engaged on a Darkish Souls/Elden Ring type marketing campaign, and I’m making an attempt to determine the easiest way to make a extra freeform type mega dungeon with out totally mapping out 15+ areas.
5 Room Dungeons are a incredible selection for that.
I’ve finished megadungeons utilizing 5RDs and so they work superior.
My tough recipe:
- Work out the theme, backstory, villains, most useful treasures, and function(s) of the megadungeon.
- Sketch out the degrees or broad areas of the megadungeon.
- Give every space a robust gameplay and visible theme so gamers know once they’re transitioning to a brand new space and to maintain the sport contemporary over time.
- Cut up every space up into sub-areas. For instance, the lava space may need an enormous lava chamber, a river of lava, a maze-like space of previous dry lava tubes, and an exit to a caldera and lake on the floor.
- Some areas change into single 5RDs and a few areas I cut up into a number of 5RDs.
- Begin outlining encounters — 5RD “room” encounters and standalone encounters.
That’s how I usually plot out my massive crawls utilizing 5 Room Dungeons. Then it’s a matter of including particulars to areas and encounters.
To your mapping level, I draw thumbnails of maps first. These are simply blobs on paper about 3 inches or so vast. It takes solely a minute to make a thumbnail sketch.
In 10 minutes, I’ll have a number of improved iterations and a extremely good thought of the place, form, and dimension of every space.
Mixed with my plotted define above, I don’t want map particulars for something apart from the place the gamers would possibly discover subsequent session. But, I’ve developed the ten,000 foot view of the megadungeon to forestall collisions and logic errors.
I hope this helps!