Roleplaying Suggestions E-newsletter #1216

A Temporary Phrase From Johnn

Alas, the week received away from me, so this can be a uncommon weekend version of Roleplaying Suggestions.

I’d like to present you one piece of recommendation after which transfer on to right this moment’s villainous suggestions. The recommendation comes from an incredible Zoom session assembly I had final night time with Platinum Wizard of Journey deadshot2021, who gave me permission to share particulars of what we talked about.

deadshot2021 reached out explaining he was having roadblocks prepping his Ptolus 5E marketing campaign. We dug into {that a} bit extra and we noticed that a part of the issue was complexity.

Right here’s the factor. We would like nice campaigns. We would like our gamers to have a blast (actually, within the mage’s case). And we’ve visions of grandeur of how our crafty plots and concepts will unfold.

This ends in extra complexity behind the display. We have now extra stuff to ideate, plot, and construct. We have now extra threads and loops to attach and coordinate. And we all the time have one foot stretched far right into a brittle future we’re attempting exhausting to herd the cats in direction of.

As an alternative, I suggest we begin easy. Gamers, who should cope with far more Fog Of Struggle than ourselves and subsequently have incomplete info to make selections with, will all the time make issues advanced on their very own.

And this multiplies our complexity! If we start with intricate plans and concepts, then our GMing solely will get trickier as gamers stack on their shenanigans.

But when we begin so simple as doable, and reply to participant actions as a substitute of pre-planning them, we make our GMing simpler (and extra enjoyable in my expertise).

As well as, why not give ourselves the most effective probability to succeed each session with ongoing effort to simplify our campaigns:

  • Shut loops as usually as you may
  • Kill an NPC each session
  • Mix participant and character needs with our plots
  • Mix a number of loops when the chance strikes
  • Hold foes and obstacles black and white till they make contact with the get together

By weeding our gardens we assist the gorgeous flowers attain and thrive within the solar and stand out to the attention. So too ought to we weed our campaigns to maintain them so simple as doable so we will give attention to our gamers and reply to character actions.

In case you are feeling overwhelmed along with your marketing campaign, begin trimming. And resist the impulse to make issues advanced. As an alternative, observe simplicity. After which let our gamers tangle themselves up!

In In the present day’s Difficulty


  • 5 Suggestions To Creating A Really Evil Villain

Reader Suggestions

  • Fast Dungeon Guidelines
  • Session Recaps
  • Shiny Blue Half-Masks

Have an incredible weekend!


5 Suggestions To Creating A Really Evil Villain

From Johnn 4 (this can be a refresh of RPT#14)

My favourite villain in actual life is the lowly mosquito. I’ve seen this tiny creature wreak extra havoc than a pageant of deviant halflings. However with one slap it may be slain. And even a slight breeze knocks it off-course. So it have to be a really intelligent villain to trigger a lot chaos.

We are able to take a number of classes from this evil creature and apply them to villains in our campaigns. I’m a bit jaded lately on making villains ever-more highly effective to shore up damaged sport programs or problem good gamers. It’s a refreshing change attempting to punch up with villains.

So utilizing mosquitoes for inspiration, listed here are 5 methods we will have gamers hating on our villains and shaking their fists on the GM display.

1. Quite a few, Non-Deadly Assaults

My new villain doesn’t have the assets to utterly wipe out the character get together and nonetheless hold her different plots and plans going. So she is going to use a number of, non-lethal assaults upon uncovered areas to drive the characters as distant as doable.

Whereas mosquito bites show lethal in components of the world, they most frequently trigger itching, a little bit of bleeding, and a curse or two. However every assault weakens and distracts us slightly extra.

  • Examples of non-lethal villain assaults:
  • Use minions to destroy weaker allies (i.e. these 0 stage villagers the characters appear to like a lot)
  • Assault henchmen and mounts so the get together should carry its personal stuff or go away stuff behind
  • Stop the PCs from getting relaxation and therapeutic (unusual noises, ambushes, forest fires…)
  • Destroy get together provides, objects, and tools
  • Use assaults that impose circumstances as a substitute of deadly injury (confusion, blindness, fatigue…)

2. Anticipated Shock Assaults

That means, the gamers will know the villain’s on the market, however they received’t know when or the place her subsequent assault will likely be till she’s already drawn a pint of blood. Stealth helps us right here, as do diversions, misdirection, and purple herrings.

The mosquito flies at nightfall to make it more durable to see. Its soft-legged touchdown goes unfelt most instances. And its preliminary jab accommodates a tiny little bit of anesthetic so victims don’t really feel the sting.

Some instance villain shock assaults:

  • Bribe immoral villagers and pals to betray the PCs
  • Unfold nasty rumors concerning the characters so they can’t convalesce in close by villages or cities (they carry the plague, are murderous troublemakers, appeal to unhealthy luck…)
  • Ship sneaky minions to sabotage the get together (poison the PCs’ meals, steal priceless objects, sabotage tools, plant a false map…)
  • Carry out false flag operations
  • Give false clues to the get together to ship them into harmful dungeons

3. Make the PCs Do Issues They Don’t Need To

Villains can earn the get together’s everlasting enmity simply by forcing them to alter their plans, modify their habits, and take actions they don’t wish to carry out.

How many people get pleasure from glooping on the chemical compounds to repel bugs? Or what about sitting trapped in our properties on sizzling summer time nights as a result of our tiny villains reign supreme outdoors?

Some methods villains could make characters do issues towards their will:

  • Take harmful detours due to blocked paths and roads
  • Flood the PCs’ dwelling base by damming a close-by stream
  • Wack harmless NPCs as a result of the participant characters have been mislead
  • Gradual the get together down with traps and hazards
  • Scrying or in any other case observing the PCs to damage their plans, keep away from shock, and hold characters busy with anti-detection actions

4. Create An Annoying Itch Afterwards

Think about how you’d really feel in case your worst enemy carried out some heroic deed and all you heard from your pals thereafter is how the villain is a hero, an incredible particular person, courageous, and exquisite?

The mosquito annoys us so as a result of their bites itch. And whereas one chew serves up mere minor irritation, many bites trigger victims to flail round, scratch till they bleed from a number of wounds, and yell.

Some examples of how villains can create annoying itches:

  • A personality’s trusty steed has been branded or marked with insults concerning the PC or get together
  • NPCs received’t supply the get together any items or providers, or belief them with info, as a result of the villain has threatened or tricked the NPCs
  • As an alternative of doing injury, profitable assaults appeal to extra monsters
  • The villain places hefty bounties on the PCs
  • The villain charms a PC or offers them a love potion

5. Deadly Hazard to Characters With out Danger to the Villain

The villain seemingly delivers horrible assaults with impunity. Every failed effort to whack the villain makes the gamers angrier whereas placing beloved characters in higher hazard with every try.

Mosquitoes carry lethal illnesses. That component of danger turns them into true villains. And so what should you kill one? There’s a thousand extra with empty bellies buzzing nearer….

Listed below are some instance of villains infuriating gamers with deadly risks with out private danger:

  • The faction pyramid means the villain can assault with many minions
  • The villain charms or convinces an ally to betray the get together
  • Lengthy-range assaults reminiscent of dropping objects onto the get together from a top
  • The villain builds a superb repute such that nobody believes the PCs once they search assist towards the BBEG and third events as a substitute assault the PCs for the tried smear
  • The villain makes the get together a goal by claiming characters carried out vile acts that the villain truly made
  • The villain or their minions have immunity to assaults that have an effect on PCs reminiscent of immunity to poison or fireplace

Be an Evil Villain

I consider villains that function by way of harassment, get underneath participant skins, and weaken the get together with methods, dilemmas, and penalties are far more enjoyable for everybody than pure fight constructs you solely encounter and run as soon as. Be a villain your self by creating an underdog NPC who should use each benefit they will muster to defeat the Huge Unhealthy Evil Group!

Suggestions From Roleplaying Suggestions Recreation Masters

Have a roleplaying tip you’d wish to share? E-mail it to mailto:[email protected] – thanks!

Fast Dungeon Guidelines

[Comment from Johnn: I stumbled across this post on Goblin Punch and think it has awesome ideas in it. I’ve summarized the checklist below. Check out the post for explanations.]

In the present day I wrote a guidelines of issues to place within the dungeon. The primary couple objects are fairly apparent, but it surely’s nonetheless good to enumerate their utilization.

Learn how to Use This Guidelines

Learn it as soon as earlier than you write your dungeon. Then learn it once more if you’re accomplished, to ensure you received all the pieces.

The Guidelines

  1. One thing to Steal
  2. One thing to be Killed
  3. One thing to Kill You
  4. Totally different Paths
  5. Somebody to Discuss To
  6. One thing to Experiment With
  7. One thing the Gamers Most likely Gained’t Discover
Graphic of section divider

Session Recaps

From RPT GM Valentino

re: How To Create Partaking Session Recaps To Get Gamers Prepared To Play

One method which works very well for me is to let the gamers do the recap. Then I add essential info which the participant may need forgotten however not the PC.

I begin the in-game session by describing the “scene” and emphasizing what they will see, hear, odor, and even really feel, if relevant (as a lot senses as doable).

After that I all the time say: the stage is yours.

Graphic of section divider

Shiny Blue Half-Masks

From Platinum Wizard of Journey ronaldolmoura by way of the RPT Discord

[Comment from Johnn: I’m always a sucker for sentient magic items. When ronaldolmoura posted this homebrew item for The Demonplague, I asked for permission to share it with you as I thought you might find a great use for it in your campaigns.]

Graphic of section divider

Shiny Blue Half-Masks

(Impressed by this Reddit put up.)

Wondrous Merchandise, very uncommon (requires attunement)

This ominous wanting masks was damaged in half. Both half can be utilized individually, or they are often put collectively to make it one single merchandise once more.

The masks has an beautiful texture whose faint darkish blue shine displays with nice depth when uncovered to gentle. It adapts to the wearer, merging in an ideal match to half of their face, requiring an motion to be placed on or eliminated.


Your injury bonus is doubled in each profitable assault made whereas carrying this half masks.

As well as, it has the next properties:

Smile within the Face of Loss of life

You could add your Charisma modifier to your loss of life saving throws.

In Excessive Spirits

You’ve benefit on all Knowledge saving throws.

Deadly Enthusiasm

You rating important hits on assault rolls of 19 or 20 on the d20.

Price of Life

Carrying the masks causes the wearer to expend bodily, emotional, and psychic vitality. Often that displays into 1 stage of exhaustion for a couple of minutes of use. Nevertheless, on the DM’s discretion, that exhaustion will be elevated or decreased, based on the importance or effort employed on utilizing the masks.


This masks is a sentient merchandise of True Impartial alignment, with INT of 12, WIS of 14, and CHA of 16.

The merchandise communicates each by transmitting feelings to the creature carrying or carrying it, and by talking by way of the wearer. It could converse, learn, and perceive Abyssal, Widespread, Dwarvish, Elvish, and Goblin.


This masks presents itself as a really educated and useful being with a optimistic ‘can-do’ angle. It’s considerably needy, yearning for firm and a focus, however it is usually wanting to compensate its wearer and their allies with all the assistance it may possibly present. It speaks of its function to serve, explaining it was cursed by an envious sorcerer with that harming property (‘Price of Life’).

If given an opportunity, the masks will inform, affect, instruct, and attempt to persuade the wearer to quest for its different half, promising that when each halves are introduced collectively, and a specific ritual is carried out, the curse will likely be eliminated. Then, it can grant even higher advantages with out inflicting the exhaustion ranges in its wearer.

(True Sentience)

This masks accommodates (is the jail of) the soul of an historical sorcerer of True Impartial alignment, with INT of 16, WIS of 18, and CHA of 20.

(True Character)

This historical sorcerer was led to the Luna Valley in an unscrupulous quest for forbidden information. After years of search and examine with just a few fellow magic wielders, (s)he began plotting a scheme to take immense energy, drawing from a supply trapped beneath the valley. The chums found the plot and judged that (s)he was past salvation at that second. Unable to easily kill their buddy, they determined to lure her/his soul into the masks and cut up it into two. They hid the items not too distant from one another and dedicated to return after some time to (possibly) reverse the punishment, if that point disembodied proved adequate to carry her/his senses again.

The chums by no means had an opportunity to return. The items of the masks have been discovered and utilized by totally different adventurers throughout the centuries, but it surely has by no means been profitable in convincing its wearers to seek out the opposite half and carry out the ritual that can carry her/him again to life into somebody’s physique. That’s the final word goal of this soul and it’ll attempt to deceive its wearer to perform that purpose.


%d bloggers like this: