When we started a new D&D campaign, my players made it clear: they’d much rather not start at level 1 again.
Our gaming group got together to start planning a new D&D 5e campaign. I went back into my world-building tools and applied methods I talked about in my Index Card Codex series.
Working as a part-time RPG freelancer is a proverbial rollercoaster ride. Sometimes it is thrilling, and other times the reward at the end of the ride is that you get to stop.
A stack is a great inspiration tool when you’re looking for what happens next, especially when you run a no-prep style game. When you’re thinking about what comes next in play, just pick up your stack and go through it. You might find something that inspires a whole scene, especially if you keep up-to-date notes.
I’ve been using index cards as a GMing tool a lot this last year. In July, I posted about using them to create adventures in your downtime. I’ve since found new uses for them and brought everything together in this post.
While I read the newest Monster Manual, I could feel the monsters coming together in and around dungeons and world events. There is easily digested lore for every monster in the main part of the book, and each of the 2-3 pieces of lore has something a GM can sink their teeth into and turn into a piece of an adventure.
I had to adapt my approach to prepping. I needed a way to do a little amount of prep whenever I had a short break: during lunch breaks, long meetings or at home. I got the original idea, of all places, in a task management book called From Zen to Done.
Last week, I was scrambling to prepare for my bimonthly 13th Age game session. We’d just completed the campaign’s first story arc, one I’d run with tight narrative control (That’s fancy jargon for “railroading”). I wanted the next arc to be more episodic in nature and allow players to chose where to the story would go. I am, however, well aware of the chaos and paralysis that can occur on both sides of the proverbial gaming screen if the GM opens up the world and waits for the players to do something. As I was brainstorming to find a good compromise, I stumbled on an idea.
The dust has settled, the Phoenix has risen from the ashes, and now he’s very confused how he’s going to run a D&D session because he is a bird doesn’t know how to communicate either verbally or through writing.
One of the best things about tabletop roleplaying games is that, in many cases, we find ourselves week after week weaving together a long story. In turn, one of the best things about a long story is that the tale can take its time and simmer, locking in all the delicious flavors. And, like a stew, most stories have villains and/or carrots. Savory fall-off-the bone simile aside, a carrot in it for the long haul usually has an amazing tale to tell. Unless you’re one of those weird people that doesn’t like villain stew, in which case, I’m not sure why you’re even here.