GM Tips – Running a sea/river/ocean based campaign revisted

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One of the most special campaigns I first ran in Pathfinder was Skull and Shackles. And, through it, I fell in love with water based campaigns. These campaigns bring a special flare to fantasy RPGs. Water based campaigns introduce new skill uses, professions, encounters and challenges.

Sailing from Isle to Isle or underwater adventures to lost cities (a nod to the new Pathfinder Adventure Path upcoming based on the lost Azlanti Isles), it is a rush to GM these terrains. Having your parties encounter storms, pirates, merchant ships, lost civilization ruins on remote islands, tribal encounters, dinosaurs and more.

I take time in this 24 minute GM Tips video to discuss ideas in designing a memorable sea/river/ocean campaign and considerations a GM/DM needs to ponder on. I hope you run some water campaigns upcoming and share the joy of them with all of us in the Fantasy RPG communities!

GM Ric

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GM Tips 11 – Helping Your Players Create Their Characters More Effectively for New Campaigns

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Have you ever started a new campaign as a GM and have your players shock you by having:

  1. No background
  2. One or two dimensional character play
  3. Classes that in no way will help them with the current campaign
  4. Min/Maxing of stats and powers that drives you nuts as a GM
  5. Frustration on your part helping game play go even near to what the party and you want 

 

In this new GM Tips video, I discuss several points about how we as GMs can help players with the character creation. So often, we may try to help, but not provide truly effective areas that will benefit a player’s idea or concept for their character design.

 

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GM Tips #10 The Dark webs of the Drow Elves and Duergar Dwarves in a RPG Campaign

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How has your encounters with dark elves and dwarves been in your campaigns? Do you see these races as twisted parodies of their lighter cousins? Do they strike fear and helplessness in your players? Have their houses risen to infamy in your world setting?

The Underdark/Darklands has spawned many strange creatures in its hidden depths. However, the Drow and Duergar were more warped by the presence that spawned by it. Twisted through catastrophic events that lead to their retreat to this dark underworld.  Demons, dark gods and goddesses and alien races influenced them and helped to warp them from creatures of good and light to sadistic slavers and fleshwarpers.

The progenitors of driders, dark magic and twisted demonic contracts, the drow and duergar houses rose to pinnacle murderous rulers of the underdark and darklands of many world settings. How do you portray drow and duergar in your campaigns? My current GM Tips video discusses using them in your campaign setting.

 

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GM Tips #9 – Fey Creatures in your Fantasy RPG

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Have you utilized the Tricksters and royalty of the First World Realm in your campaigns as a GM? Do your players cringe at the madness, evasive nature and etiquette of the Fey Kingdoms? Are redcaps a creature of fear in your campaign? Are dryads the regal and artistic royalty of the wooded groves of your world? Do Pixies and Sprites spy on your parties? In this GM tips, I discuss Fey, their nature and how to effectively run them in your campaigns.

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GM Tips #8 Lycanthropes in your campaign

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Are Lycans/Lycanthropes feared in your game? Are they the powerful creature of legend and ferociousness that they should be? Are they power packs that drive the party to be on the run as the hunted versus the hunter? Or are they more a creature that silver harms? Lycanthropes, Skin Walkers and true Were creatures are to be feared. They are the hunters and shadows of legend. GM Tips takes a deep dive into making your campaign Lycan Scary.

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GM Tips #8 How to use downtime in a game to create great memorable experience

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How do you handle downtime in your campaign? Do you just try to speed through it to get to the next set of quests? Or do you encourage your players to do downtime activities and make these into who campaign experiences? I talk on ways to use down with your players to build new and constructive experience. I also talk about specific ways to use downtime to benefit their characters and the campaign overall.
I discuss the merits of this in more detail if you want to tune in: https://youtu.be/g0SHg7qDv7I

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GM Tips#7 Variety is the spice of expanded roleplay

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Sullivan Female from Artstation.com

Variety is the spice of expanding your roleplay. Players and GMs, try new races, classes and playing the opposite sex if you haven’t before. It will expand your Roleplaying experience and add to your skills. GMs,including a variety of NPCs for the players to interact with of different races and classes will make a location more exotic.

i often use different accents, voice tones, expanded masculinity or femininity in my voice to help distinguish each NPC and monster as unique. The players enjoy it, laugh and try it with their characters as well.

Its variety in roleplay that can keep a game system fresh.

 

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GM Tips #6 Theism or Non-Theism in Game

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Iconic art from Paizo Publishig art team

Use of theism, anti-theism, agnosticism and atheism in a campaign can create great fun and challenges for the pcs. Get to know each and use it to spark deeper character development, roleplay and obstacles.

AntiTheist characters or NPCs see religion and gods/goddesses as meddlesome trouble to be removed from their lives. Agnostic characters see not enough proof to believe in the pantheons. Athiestic pcs or NPCs deny the existence of the pantheons. Each has unique roleplay and challenges for a campaign.

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