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Advice on Homebrewing RPG Adventure: From a Seed To a Scenario

How to proceed from an initial seed-like theme or scene to a core of a scenario?

| Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

This week’s post is different. I’m writing just a few lines and then pass the floor to three RPG writers, authors of my some favourite modules. I’ve asked them for advice on homebrewing an RPG adventure or scenario.

What are the key points in homebrewing a good RPG adventure? How to proceed from an initial seed-like theme or scene to a core of a scenario?

So, let’s go straight to the point and see what they think on the matter!

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When an RPG Campaign Doesn’t Work – Grim Ending of My Call of Cthulhu 1900

An RPG campaign that doesn't work is a campaign that you won't play. It may be a wonderful idea but if you're not able to run it in real life, it may be more frustrating than rewarding.
An RPG campaign that doesn’t work is a campaign that you won’t play. It may be a wonderful idea but if you’re not able to run it in real life, it may be more frustrating than rewarding.

If I only had read the Angry GM’s Dream Game Dilemma advice when I started running Call of Cthulhu set in the Tsar-occupied Warsaw of year 1900, things would’ve gone different. I’d probably haven’t started the campaign at all. But here I am, finally letting my nostalgia for this wonderful idea go. So, if you haven’t clicked the link above yet, read at least the line below – read and take it seriously. And if you’re curious how I’ve ended up admitting that my RPG campaign doesn’t work, keep on reading.

The campaign you will run is the campaign you are able to run, not the one you want to run.

The Angry GM, How to Start Starting a Campaign: Preplanning the Premise / Don’t Tell Me About Your Story
Read More »When an RPG Campaign Doesn’t Work – Grim Ending of My Call of Cthulhu 1900

Between Prep and Improv – Two Sides of GMing an RPG – interview with Andreas Lundström

This is an interview with Andreas Lundström, RPG Game Master, podcaster, and music composer. His Sweden Rolls podcast was recently chosen as The Best Actual Play podcast of 2021 in the EN World poll. On the show, he has GMed Forbidden Lands, Tales from the Loop, Coriolis, D&D, and Vaesen – along with a handful of shorter episodes with other systems. He also produces music for several settings – he’s the one behind the official scores for Forbidden Lands – Bitter Reach, Vaesen, Twilight: 2000, and Cthulhu Sverige. You should definitely take a look around his Soundcloud profile! Today, he’ll share with us a good deal of his experiences and reflections from being a GM.

You’ll find in this interview:

  • How you transit from being an RPG noob to being a great GM (in a short time)?
  • What are the basics of the sucessful GM’s prep routine?
  • How to get better with improvising skills and why is that vital?
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RPG Handouts in My Brown Lands Campaign & How to Make Them

In various ways and in different media, I prepared engaging handouts to flesh out my Middle-earth RPG campaign. | Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash
In various ways and in different media, I prepared engaging handouts to flesh out my Middle-earth RPG campaign. | Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

What I love about running an RPG in Middle-earth is, among dozens of others, delving into its fascinating lore – and preparing handouts for sessions requires amiably a lot of that. Luckily, I had a lot of free time for both when I ran the Ghosts of the Noman-lands. Last time, the companions finally got on the trail of one of the intertwining threads. The Gondorian ruins were one piece of a puzzle. Solving it was the whole point of the campaign, so I was more than eager to drive it home. And right when I write this post, The One Ring RPG 2nd ed. Kickstarter fulfillment is taking place, so there’ll be no better time for discussing physical props in Middle-earth. See my three ways of making those – with some great tools!

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How To Be a Better GM – Most Helpful Game Master Blogs

Inspiration and learning how to be better are great asset we, GMs have access to. Today I'd like to introduce you to my favorite bloggers you may improve from reading.
Inspiration and learning how to be better are great assets we, GMs, have access to. Today I’d like to introduce you to my favorite bloggers you may improve from reading. | Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

When I was starting to run RPG as GM back in the high-school, I was pretty much on my own to figure things out. All I’ve had was a few stories from an old buddy and a couple of friends eager to try playing. Now, we, the Game Masters, have a great comfort of having tons of blogs, vlogs, forums, and groups about GMing and running RPGs, as well as actual play podcasts and streams. Today I’d like to hint at a few people that I refer to most often when looking for a solution to a particular problem. They help me greatly when I want to be a better GM.

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Before I Run Tabletop RPG As a GM, I Had To Move Past These 5 Things

runing tabletop RPG as a GM can seem like a long and hard hike to a remote summit
Running a role-playing game as a GM seemed always a very distant goal, requiring too much time and experience.
Photo by Mukuko Studio on Unsplash

The Remote Summit of GMing an RPG

I always wanted to run tabletop RPG as a GM rather than participate as a regular player. Telling engaging stories, inciting the imagination of others and sharing creative inspiration gave me great satisfaction and drive since I can remember. Yet, up to a day not so long ago, I never actually run a single session as a GM – even though I knew it for years. The more I thought about GMing, the more I felt like it was something I wanted to do. So, why it took me so long to finally run an RPG as a GM for the first time?

Read More »Before I Run Tabletop RPG As a GM, I Had To Move Past These 5 Things