Roleplaying Ideas Publication #1221

d12 Methods To Shock And Delight Your Gamers And Their Characters

Pleased New Yr!

I hope your holidays had been nice. I spent mine consuming manner an excessive amount of scrumptious baking. I want I’d requested Santa for an even bigger belt.

The New Yr all the time seems like a recent begin. So I’m curious what your gaming plans are.

If in case you have a second, let me know through this fast ballot.

Me? I’m persevering with with my Previous College Necessities Basilica marketing campaign. I’m additionally beginning a Pathfinder 2E marketing campaign. And I’m planning some one-shots primarily based on my lengthy bucket checklist of video games I need to attempt.

Right here’s to a enjoyable and game-full 12 months for us all!


In This Problem…


  • d12 Methods To Shock Your Gamers & Their Characters

Reader Ideas of the Week

  • d12 Methods of Delivering Potions
  • Add Interactibles to Your Maps
  • Use Maps Strategically
  • Revealing Marketing campaign Spoilers is OK
  • One-Hour Session Ideas

d12 Methods To Shock Your Gamers & Their Characters

From Johnn 4

Taking time to collect surprises, craft delights, and have a good time your folks offers everybody the warm-and-fuzzies. Small presents, no matter financial worth, make folks really feel seen and revered. This improves group morale, will increase engagement, and makes it straightforward to share how you’re feeling about others with out the awkward dialog.

Listed here are d12 methods to shock and delight your gamers and their characters:

d12 Participant Surprises

  1. Give out do-it-yourself cookies, baking, or different deal with midway by way of the session to signify the treasure hoard simply earned. Bonus factors for those who embellish your baking with in-game content material, like a large +1.
  2. Use fidget toys to signify magic gadgets and different treasure. Gamers not solely get cool treasure, however you arm them with focus instruments as nicely. Right here’s the precise bundle I bought from Amazon (affiliate hyperlink) and I’ve been having fun with the marble-in-mesh one greatest thus far.
  3. Create a scroll for each participant. Use them for precise scrolls in-game if desired. However the primary shock right here is you’ve written three issues they do nicely or explanation why you’re grateful they’re your good friend.
  4. Use assigned seating and tape one thing beneath every chair to be revealed when discovered in-game. Examples: handouts, treasure, clues, puzzles.
  5. Write out notable participant quotes you’ve recorded in the course of the marketing campaign in large crayon writing and mount them in image frames or grasp the sheets across the play space.
  6. Rent an area or on-line artist to attract every character. Bonus: in future have drawings for hirelings, companions, and familiars.
  7. Get some previous trophies and switch them into session rewards. Greatest Roleplaying, Greatest Techniques, Greatest Teammate may be good candidates in your group.
  8. File participant birthdays and group-join dates. Have a good time every with a tune, speech, one thing on this checklist, or only a easy acknowledgement and expression of gratitude.
  9. Get previous magazines or heat up your printer. Minimize out issues representing get together, character, and participant objectives and glue them to a big sheet of paper. Mount the paper within the recreation space to supply reminders and assist gamers focus.
  10. Make or give every participant a cool or humorous hat or prop that ultimately represents their character.
  11. Write a brand new inspirational quote, RPG model, on a whiteboard or mirror earlier than every session.
  12. Create a desktop wallpaper of the get together or different issues gamers would get pleasure from.

d12 Character Surprises

  1. Free gold/credit/money. Ever discover cash on the bottom? It’s a terrific feeling. I discovered $20 in my winter coat final September when getting it out of storage. Whoop whoop!
  2. Free treasure. By treasure I imply gadgets that aren’t cash. Allow them to discover potions, scrolls, weapons, an deserted ship, and so forth. If doable, make the treasure a one-shot or restricted time merchandise (i.e. 3 fees left, low on gas, and so forth.) to guard recreation steadiness.
  3. Assist them make a brand new ally. Usually characters have to show the world the wrong way up to earn the respect of their friends. Allow them to make a brand new ally by way of a pleasant dialog or easy deed.
  4. Maintain a “final dinner” feast within the get together’s honor earlier than they hit the dungeon. Have NPCs rise up and inform every character one factor they respect about them.
  5. Let characters discover or make an excellent deal. Possibly a retailer has a wanted piece of apparatus and it’s half-price. Maybe a uncommon merchandise is found on the market. Mayhap a service provider offers them an excessive amount of in change. Or, gasp, the PCs pay for an merchandise and uncover it’s of upper than regular high quality.
  6. A brand new member of the family, or a long-lost one, contacts a PC. Make this member of the family pleasant and helpful to the get together ultimately.
  7. Create a balloon avalanche to have a good time after a significant victory.
  8. Give a PC a free, helpful, non-annoying companion. All people likes a servant, helper, and gopher.
  9. In related style, let the get together earn a helpful agent who can care for a few of the boring in-game duties like guarding house base.
  10. Have the BBEG make a mistake within the PCs’ favor. Or maybe an sudden boon offers the get together a bonus over their enemy.
  11. I requested my spouse for concepts on shocking gamers. She doesn’t roleplay however amongst her ideas, a few of that are above, was to present the characters pig snouts so they may snuff out truffles. Er, nicely, make of it what you’ll however I made a decision to incorporate it for completeness.
  12. And right here’s the grand-daddy of all of the comfortable, sudden participant surprises: their plan works.

Reader Ideas of the Week

Ideas, concepts, and inspiration out of your fellow RPT GMs.

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

d12 Methods of Delivering Potions

From Jesse Cohoon

It’s as much as you to resolve when “imbibing” the potion whether or not the supply technique is consumed or decreased, or if characters can quest to “refill” the merchandise for reuse.

  1. Short-term tattoo through a tattoo pen or quill
  2. Cigarettes, pipe, vape
  3.  Tablets
  4. Sweet, gummies, gum
  5. Important oil
  6. Meals condiment or sauce
  7. Ceramic runestones that break after use
  8. Nanites – thank your native artificer
  9. Mud that’s inhaled
  10. Runes whittled into wooden, carved into stone, etched into metallic
  11. Dwelling crops, seeds, seedlings
  12. Bandages, particular fabric, or clothes
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Add Interactibles to Your Maps

From RPT GM Triston

I like so as to add interactive objects to my maps.

For instance, a chilling temple map with frozen ice crystals and a blizzard. A cool set piece to make certain! However contained in the crystals are looming and unusual shadows, distorted by refracted mild….

Have some helpful or attention-grabbing gadgets contained contained in the crystals. Or much more devious, monsters. Have some empty crystals as nicely. You possibly can even make a roll chart to find out what’s inside.

What actually sells it to me is when NPCs or monsters work together with the objects you’ve added to maps. Because the yeti defends its lair, it smashes a crystal, showering the gamers in shards of ice, and releasing the article inside.

Will the gamers obtain a useful merchandise? Or will an ice mephit be part of the battle as a substitute? Drama ensues!

Better of luck and good gaming!

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Use Maps Strategically

From RPT GM Ben Lucas

I discover myself solely pulling out the maps when fight really begins. I usually add an image of a focal point in some rooms or areas, however for essentially the most half I take advantage of descriptive textual content as my most important technique of conveying data. It’s most likely extra behavior from my early D&D days, however I discover that maps are greatest used solely when you actually need to know precisely the place the PCs are.

After all, since as a rule when the map comes out one thing occurs, my gamers know to count on motion at the moment. I’ve used this a couple of occasions out of fight as nicely simply to maintain the gamers on their toes. I created maps for dungeon (a cave system) solely to have zero fight or map-required encounters inside. The true fight was as they left the cave, and by that stage they had been so used to the map popping out that the bugbear ambush caught them fully off guard.

My recommendation for different DMs who use maps on a regular basis and have gamers not investigating sufficient is identical for others who’ve that concern even with out maps.

Have somebody or one thing undergo the place the PCs have completed with afterwards and uncover treasure or pleasure. Have a narrative on the town of one other group of adventurers that explored the identical ruins solely to search out them empty (as a result of the gamers killed or chased all the things off) however then uncover a secret treasure room or hidden enemy.

You’ll be able to even use this strategy to re-use a map set with new pleasure if the opposite get together uncovered a secret space and unleashed new enemies they needed to flee from. Now the PCs are more likely to return to complete what they began and thought that they had completed. Those self same maps will now be investigated a lot nearer.

One other technique is having enemies come from a spot the PCs thought of secure, reminiscent of by way of a secret door they didn’t seek for. Have this occur only some occasions and they’ll spend extra time wanting round simply in case.

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Revealing Marketing campaign Spoilers is OK

From Wizard of Journey Morgan Joeck

Based on this text, spoilers make you benefit from the story extra:

Do you rewatch motion pictures or reread books? However you already know the ending! Do you want them much less the second time by way of? In all probability not or else why would you’ve gotten learn or watched them once more?

I don’t need my gamers spoiling issues for others who don’t need to know, and I don’t need my gamers metagaming the enjoyable out of it. (Although, what if the get together goes within the unsuitable path or going to overlook out on a cool facet quest? If a metagaming participant offers somewhat unobtrusive nudge in that path, is it an inherently dangerous factor?)

However I’m superb in the event that they’re going to get pleasure from it. My pleasure in working issues isn’t having the ability to shock all my gamers on a regular basis. That’s enjoyable typically, and I’ll nonetheless get that with a few of the gamers anyway. It’s actually attention-grabbing meals for thought.

[Comment from Johnn: Great tip, Morgan. If I had to choose, I’d rather players be armed with more information than less, as well. Gameplay means no one knows yet how things will turn out, and that’s where the majority of our fun exists – making choices and seeing what happens.]

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One-Hour Session Ideas

From RPT GM Paul Martz

I’ve been working an hour-session month-to-month marketing campaign for greater than a 12 months. It is rather difficult since you need to give the gamers significant selections, but in addition really feel like they’re getting someplace. Fortunately, my gamers are extra into having enjoyable than advancing.

If I had been to present three items of recommendation:

  • Let gamers know the place issues stand when the session begins. Allow them to know the place they left off, what their present objective is, and the place that matches into any bigger objective they’re pursuing.
  • Make fight scary, fast, and significant. Don’t fill your treasured minutes preventing unimportant filler kobolds the way in which you would possibly in an extended recreation.
  • Don’t use xp. Degree the gamers up after a significant achievement.

A minimum of that’s my expertise.

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That’s it for this week’s e-newsletter.

If you wish to chat with fellow RPT GMs about at this time’s ideas or ask me questions, be part of the dialog right here at my discussion board.


Johnn 4
Have extra enjoyable at each recreation!