Does your villain have what it takes?

Villains. Without them, what’s a hero supposed to do? Han Solo needs his “wretched hive of scum and villainy” to be discovered in. The Dread Pirate Roberts wears a mask and at best will kill poor Westley in the morning. And who else is going to cut a man’s heart out with a spoon than…

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…

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…

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…

Designing Better Encounters

As I’ve begun work on yet another product idea, I’ve wondered at the different elements of RPG encounters. What are some of the pieces that make some encounters successful and others less so? For myself (and most gamers) I suspect that the biggest piece of the puzzle is engagement. Are the PCs involved? How do…

Brick by Brick: Doors is Now Available!

Every dungeon has doors. Each door has a story. More than that, every door offers a transition from one thing to the next. Some transitions are easy (no door at all or it’s unlocked). Some transitions are hard (locked or trapped). Some turn out to be dead ends (blocked or jammed). Do you ever find…

Ten Ways to Introduce a NPC…

As GMs, we always have a cast of characters rotating around the PCs to help us tell the story, but sometimes it’s difficult to get NPCs into the story. Here are ten possible ways to do get your PCs to sit up and take notice… Have the NPC collapse just outside the party’s campsite. Send…

RPG Blog Carnival: Life and Death in RPGs… – Pt. 1 – Life

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival topic is Life and Death in RPGs (see here for the kickoff article) and shockingly enough in the insanity of my last few weeks, I have some ideas to share… Let’s start with Life, and then we’ll work on Death in the next post. For me, “life” in RPGs is…

New Review on GKR: 650 City Encounter Seeds & Plots

Hi there! Just wanted to let you know that a review of 650 City Encounter Seeds & Plots from Johnn Four at Roleplaying Tips went live early last week on Game Knight Reviews… 650 City Encounter Seeds & Plots offers what you’d expect – a list of 650 thought-provoking ideas to help when planning a city-based…

Join the Patreon!

Want more great Aliens & Asteroids content? Become a patron today!