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Hi!

It's great having you here! I'm Andrzej and it's my place for sharing the hobby of tabletop RPG games, mainly from the GM perspective. If you are new to them and think about starting as a Game Master, you'll find plenty of my first-hand learning experience and hopefully some useful tips here. And if you're interested in some inspirations or session reports for your games, there's that too.

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
Adventures in Middle-earth 5e

RPG Handouts in My Brown Lands Campaign & How to Make Them

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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Thanks to my custom weather generator for the Forbidden Lands RPG, the times when someone went missing while going off to look for water proved to be fun and challenging. And a threat of too much thirst adding a thrill to the game.
Forbidden Lands

RPG Weather Generator – Harsh Summer in the Forbidden Lands

When Mara, Bruni, and Hrod set out with Grulf into the Thynde Range, they were probably readying themselves to meet deadly monsters or hostile characters like warriors or sorcerers. B t I suppose that they didn’t expect who their primary opponent would be for a good part of the campaign. Harsh weather can be as let al and fearsome for RPG characters as demons and warlocks – and fun, too, if you’ve got a sound generator for it! Mine is a single thing that I’m most proud of.

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Corruption mechanic helps players role-play in RPG. Describe in just a handful of words what the characters feel as they see a terrible sight or regret a misdeed and you'll see how they flesh it out.
Adventures in Middle-earth 5e

Shadow/Corruption mechanic in RPG – What is it and what it’s not? Foreshadowing in Emyn Muil

When I was running my first RPG in Middle-earth, I only vaguely understood the importance of the Corruption (or Shadow) mechanic. Along the way, I’ve learned how to use it and what shouldn’t I confuse it with. Though it was a bit bumpy way, the experience I gained in the session you’ll read about below helps me to GM almost every game I run now.

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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.
GM's tales

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

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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Forbidden Lands

Exploration in Sandbox – Following The Legend of Long-lost Fire Wyrm’s Arrows

The company of aspiring ruin pillagers sets out under Grulf the Ailander. The challenging mountains of the Thynde Range are closing in above the horizon. Thus, the central part of most sandbox games begins — the exploration. I love how the Forbidden Lands mechanics really bring that out. And with just a few additions of my own, it quickly became the primary plot-driver.

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I wrote notes to make a tension-rising intro and make the party run from confrontation. While on the run, they were going to finally find a series of clues for the bigger picture.
Adventures in Middle-earth 5e

Awesome Notes I Wrote for RPG Session – Scouting in the Dreary Hills

The bodies lying on the ground, the groove around you, the long evening shades… – this whole situation suddenly seemed familiar to you. For a few heartbeats, you’re standing motionless, your thoughts whirling in an elusive feeling of danger. Something is… Caw! Caw! – the rook’s cry above reminds you of your dream. You turn to the way you’ve come, feeling icy sweat at the recollection of that scene. Soon, in just an instant, from around the creek’s turn, a hooded rider will burst out. In the falling silence, you subconsciously wait to hear the sound of hooves. I had learned the hard lesson on mingling physical dangers to the characters with puzzles and hints for the players. For the start of our next RPG session, I wrote one of my best notes ever. The above is the first excerpt.

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