What’s in that shiny box?

Though most of my articles deal with generating ideas for encounters, NPC, or place descriptions, I’m thinking this approach could also be used to help create some unique treasure parcels for our heroes to find. Things beyond the traditional “bag ‘o’ gold” and “big heavy chest.” So let’s start with sizing our box (roll a…

Deconstructing My Anti-Hero, Part 2 of 2

Ok, now that we’ve taken a look at Didius in the last post, let’s see what we can do with those details. Let’s take your typical NPC… What’s their role? Protagonist (plays a major role, potentially helping the characters)? Antagonist (presenting a challenge or obstacle to the characters)? Foil (offers a contrast or other point…

Let Local Lawbreakers Do Your Leg Work

How do you bring your towns and cities to life? By populating them with people and events that your PCs can interact with! But sometimes coming up with those events can be difficult. When you’re looking for inspiration, where do you turn? I’m going to suggest something you may not have thought of previously. Your…

Seven Fools and How To Find Them

Though I’m not really a fan of April Fool’s Day, I like to think I appreciate the fools that exist in our stories. Clowns and jesters all have a place. But where is it? And how can we use those characters? Fools have a part to play in all great historical endeavors. Some have had…

How’s Them Road Apples?

As a player I often wondered how much time we actually spent on the road between locations. In some campaigns we seemed to ALWAYS be on horseback or foot, camping by the roadside, holed up in some creepy inn, or stuffed in the stacked hammocks aboard a ship… We never really complained all that much,…

Quick! I Need a Village!

As GMs and world builders, we have a lot of shoes to fill. From the guy that gives your PCs all their jobs to the walk-on role that barmaid has just delivering their evening meal and everyone in-between. Some of those shoes are more colorful than others. And some change over time from lowly flip…

Ten NPCs You Bump Into In A Crowded Tavern

So you have devised the perfect location, plot, or adventure for your next game session but need a cast of characters to make the setup complete. Your brain has other ideas however and is rebelling. Here’s a quick way to kick your creativity into high gear to describe somebody. Step 1: Roll a d6. On…

Little Spaces Design: Abandoned Places

Our created worlds (mostly fantasy, with a smattering available in modern or futuristic settings as well) are full of strange little forgotten places. Whether it’s cans of gold coins buried during the California Gold Rush and found in someone’s back yard, a hidden shrine to some forgotten god, or a place of antiquity holding tightly…

Story Seeds Design: A Polti Plots Approach

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve chatted with Keith J. Davies more than a few times about some of my encounter/story seeds design questions – from the content to the presentation. It’s been quite helpful (thanks Keith!) And it’s forced me to reexamine a few things, which is always good. 🙂 But one of…

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