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Author Archive | S. W. Shinn

Low Prep RPG Games: Part 6

One really easy to run format is a Triggered Mission. These games follow this format: Opening Mission — Initial scene where the PCs are assigned a mission. It could be to fight an evil villain in his lair, rescue someone, or pull off a heist. The key concept is there is a location that the […]

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Low Prep RPG Games: Part 5

Continuing my series on low-prep RPG games, this morning I’ll talk about the Fantastic Four technique. One great way to get player-generated ideas for adventures and campaigns is to ask the Fantastic Four questions. Hand out four cards to each of your players. Each card should have one to three sentences describing a person or objective. […]

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Low Prep RPG Games: Part 4

Continuing my series on low-prep RPG games, this evening I’ll talk about Villain Flashback and Custer’s Last Stand techniques. Villain Flashback Start the game with an unexplained battle. Perhaps the villains ambush the PCs. Maybe you set up the scene as the players attacking the villains in order to obtain the contents of a large chest, or […]

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Low Prep RPG Games: Part 3

Continuing my series on low-prep RPG games, this morning I’ll talk about the Inspirational Interlude and Player Punch List techniques. Inspirational Interlude Ask for a volunteer who is willing to narrate a bit of background story for a reward (be it experience points, a Fate Point, or D&D 5e Inspiration). Have the player roll a d4 […]

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Low Prep RPG Games: Part 2

Ad Lib Adventures Ad Lib adventures follow a fill-in-the-blank approach. Start the game without planning. Read the setup to the players. Ask questions and use the answers to collaboratively build the adventure. Usually it is best if you just ask one question at a time. Once there is a satisfying answer to that question, then […]

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Low Prep RPG Games: Part 1

I’m writing a series on ways to run a game with little or no prep. Published adventures with dozens of pages may take hours to read. Writing your own adventure from scratch can also take a significant time investment. What about when you want to run a game, but have little time to prepare? Let’s […]

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Stan’s Favorite Systems Compared

I’ve played and read dozens (or maybe hundreds) of RPGs over the decades. For the last two years, I’ve settled on these as my current favorites. They each have distinctive features so I’d thought I’d compare each of them. Some of these observations are subjective, but they’re based on what I’ve seen in the games […]

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The Great Wylie Apocalypse

It’s been a rough month! I’m ever so thankful for everyone’s concern and support. Here’s a quick recap on the notable apocalyptic events of recent weeks. March 24 I live in Wylie, TX. My wife Janine and I wake up around 10:30pm to hear what sounds like a freight train bearing down on us. Hail was […]

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Spinward Frontier Theme Music

Listen to the official Theme Music of the Spinward Frontier! [“Martian Cowboy” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0] Also see the alien races of the Spinward Frontier.

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Hex Mapping Middle-Earth

Author’s note: this page has a lot of high-res images. Be patient as they load. Don’t forgot to scroll down to see all the images and comments! I’m doing some long term planning about an epic, multi-year Middle Earth RPG campaign. One key element my game group guys want is Kingdom building rules, so we’ll […]

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