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Story Mechanisms
by Ken Wickham

Don't write your adventure seed creation—game it!

Play your adventure or world building quickly.

With Flash RPG and supplements, play your entire adventure creation in minutes.

13 tools help with story plots, twists, foes, & themes

Story Mechanisms
 
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Big List of RPG Plots

Big List of RPG Plots


Over the last two decades, The Big List of RPG Plots has been cited, quoted, thanked and excerpted in articles for computer-game design, a book on Hollywood screenwriting, and more than a few pen-and-paper RPGs. I wrote it in 1993 as an article submission for Pyramid magazine (they rejected it). I later tried to shop it to Dragon and Shadis and others...   [click here for more]
Cumberland Games & Diversions   FREE 

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Goblinoid Trinkets and Treasures Vol 1

Goblinoid Trinkets and Treasures Vol 1


FREE ITEM You know that moment when your players have slain the bad guy and his minions? The moment where the normally upright and righteous characters become total fiends and loot the still cooling dead bodies ... well, this is for those moments. And let's face it those moments come along a lot! This list contains 20 trinkets and treasures that will make the pilfering...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  Pay What You Want

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Master Solo Engines: Gain Compelling Adventures by Asking, and Answering, the Correct Questions

Master Solo Engines: Gain Compelling Adventures by Asking, and Answering, the Correct Questions


Master Solo Engines gives you a better understanding of solo engines. Giving you the freedom to make better use of them in your solo RPG sessions. You'll learn: How the GM / PC Turn framework can make asking questions easier. The difference between shallow and deep questions and how each can enhance your game. When to ask multiple questions and how to stop asking too many questions. How...   [click here for more]
Cabbage Games   FREE 

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Preparing Scenes

Preparing Scenes


Preparing Scenes explores my method of preparation and planning as a game master. It is a very concrete description of how I plan my games. I've come to value scene-centric preparation with not only avoiding traditional risks of railroading but actually further maximizing flexibility and ability to improvise. ...   [click here for more]
ThinkDifferent   FREE 

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Siege Weapons and Rules for Demolition; Official DarkMoore Accessory.

Siege Weapons and Rules for Demolition; Official DarkMoore Accessory.


Siege Weapons & Rules for Demolition; Official DarkMoore Accessory. A supplement designed to complement the DarkMoore RPG Players Rulebook. Siege equipment stats, effects, and rules to determine demolition damage. General guidlines for Game Masters to calculate a Demolition Point Value (DP) for almost any inanimate object. This supplement is FREE to download. Please visit my page:...   [click here for more]
Archaic Adventures   FREE 

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The 10 Commandments of Good Gamemastering

The 10 Commandments of Good Gamemastering


The 10 Commandments of Good Gamemastering is the result of over 30 years of experience. It's free to download, copy, distribute and upload to your own site, just tell folks about www.polyhedrongames.com ...   [click here for more]
Polyhedron Games LLC   FREE 

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The Fortune Teller's Guide to Deathtrap Dungeon Design

The Fortune Teller's Guide to Deathtrap Dungeon Design


SVD Press approved! This free ebook is written for and by GMs like you who are designing tournament deathtrap dungeons for any fantasy adventure RPG. Each entry in this ebook spotlights one of the 22 cards in the legendary Deck of Many Things, with each card representing one of the fundamental types of challenges crusaders might face in a lethal tournament delve....   [click here for more]
DDE Adventures   FREE 

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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Universal Instruction Cards

The GameMaster's Apprentice: Universal Instruction Cards


Quick-Reference Cards for the GMA Decks! Note: If you wish to purchase the Print on Demand Instruction Cards to keep with your deck, be sure to combine your order of this product with the deck itself, or order two or more copies of the Instruction Cards! This mini-set is only six cards, and DriveThru will not print orders that small individually. The GameMaster's Apprentice decks...   [click here for more]
Larcenous Designs, LLC   FREE 

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The Pirate GM's Taste of the Treasures

The Pirate GM's Taste of the Treasures


This GM Accessory is compatible with both Pathfinder and Every Editon of the Worlds Most Popular Fantasy RPG. The Pirate GM's Taste of the Treasures Contained within is but a small sampling of the tables and information to be had in The Pirate GM's Right Fist 6 Encounters At Sea 6 Encounters On Land 5 “Unexplored Island” Adventure Hooks...   [click here for more]
Black Shark Enterprises   FREE 

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Achtung! Cthulhu: Plotting Cthulhu Dossier

Achtung! Cthulhu: Plotting Cthulhu Dossier


The 19 page Plotting Cthulhu Dossier helps you construct some truly nefarious Mythos plots set against the backdrop of World War Two. By looking at various inspirational film and television sources it hopes to show how you, the Keeper, can mine them for ideas for your own games. If you are still a bit stumped, there is a comprehensive plot generator to further aid you in your machinations plus a two...   [click here for more]
Modiphius  $0.41 $0.31

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Don't Pay the Ferryman-Destiny

Don't Pay the Ferryman-Destiny


Don't Pay the Ferryman-Destiny is a collection of elements for use with the Don't Pay the Ferryman game. However, the majority of elements can easily be used in Dungeon World or Dungeons and Dragons games. • Six quests in the Sub Tropical region of Kestrek in the nation of Lisanbre. • Three quests on the moon of Vorda, with suggestions of how to get there and how to run quests there. •...   [click here for more]
Blake Ryan  Pay What You Want

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GameMaster's Adventure Planning Template

GameMaster's Adventure Planning Template


Every hectic and harried gamemaster needs a helping hand in preparing for adventures. This little tool should help organize a gamemasters thought and give him or her a physical surface on which to order thoughts, devices and the adventure as a whole. The GameMaster's Template simply provides sign posts in a logical and coherent manner and plenty of blank space to create an outline. ...   [click here for more]
Polyhedron Games LLC  $0.72 $0.50

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EN5ider #77 - How to Play Gothic Horror

EN5ider #77 - How to Play Gothic Horror


In this GM advice article we take a look at the ways a GM can make a gothic horror adventure feel a little more scary. From tragic outcomes to dark secrets, and a new optional rule for Innocence, these tips will help bring your gothic horror sessions to life! This is the 77th article of EN5ider, a D&D 5E Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/ensider/overview). Consider joining...   [click here for more]
EN Publishing  $0.70 $0.53

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EN5ider #78 - Creating Gothic Adventures for High-Level Characters

EN5ider #78 - Creating Gothic Adventures for High-Level Characters


Following up on EN5ider #77: How to Play Gothic Horror, we up the stakes (get it?) with a guide for creating gothic 5th Edition adventures for high level characters which looks at the villain, the setting, and the scope of such games. This is the 78th article of EN5ider, a D&D 5E Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/ensider/overview). Consider joining us for as low as...   [click here for more]
EN Publishing  $0.70 $0.53

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EN5ider #79 - How to Run a Successful Festival

EN5ider #79 - How to Run a Successful Festival


Festivals are staple of the fantasy genre and this article presents over a dozen festival games to spice up your game world. With festival sizes ranging from a village to a worldwide event, and contests including Bop the Rat, Coal Holder, Shot for Shot, and Ring the Bell, your PCs will easily spend an hour or two exploring the show! This is the 79th article of EN5ider, a D&D 5E...   [click here for more]
EN Publishing  $0.99 $0.70

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EN5ider #85 - The War of Numbers: A BIG Table

EN5ider #85 - The War of Numbers: A BIG Table


Some GMs are blessed with a big table that's full of players. However, a large group has its own set of challenges; explore these suggestions for some techniques on managing a crowded game, and how to keep a full roster of players focused and on-track. This is the 85th article of EN5ider, a D&D 5E Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/ensider/overview). Consider...   [click here for more]
EN Publishing  $0.99 $0.70

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10 Tips for Roleplaying Villains

10 Tips for Roleplaying Villains


UPDATED - Sept 2019 New Artwork Revised Descriptions Additional Material Bonus Material Landscape Format To celebrate the update, we are offering this at a 25% discount for September! For all game masters and dungeon masters out there - want to run games more easily and efficiently? Then this is for you! With over 35 years of rpg experience...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  $1.00 $0.75

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20 Quick Aasimar NPCs

20 Quick Aasimar NPCs


UPDATED - Sept 2019 Open for use by publishers* New Artwork Revised Descriptions Bonus Material Landscape Format *Publishers, you are welcome to take and use the magic items in here, for free, when creating adventures or supplements for sale on DMsGuild or elsewhere. All we ask is a written credit. We hope our fellow publishers will enjoying...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  $1.00 $0.75

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DM Tips for Improvisation

DM Tips for Improvisation


UPDATED - Sept 2019 New Artwork Revised Descriptions Bonus Material Landscape Format To celebrate the update, we are offering this at a 25% discount for September! For all game masters and dungeon masters out there - want to run games more easily and efficiently? Then this is for you! With over 35 years of rpg experience behind...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  $1.00 $0.75

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Tips for Being a Great DM

Tips for Being a Great DM


UPDATED - Sept 2019 New Artwork Revised Content Additional Content Bonus Material Landscape Format To celebrate the update, we are offering this at a 25% discount for September! For all game masters and dungeon masters out there - want to run games more easily and efficiently? Then this is for you! With over 35 years of rpg experience...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  $1.00 $0.75

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EN5ider #38 - Drinking & Dragons: The World's Greatest Fantasy Drinking Game

EN5ider #38 - Drinking & Dragons: The World's Greatest Fantasy Drinking Game


Include some fun diversions from the serious rules and throw some chaos into a special one-shot session or adventure! This article includes five drinking games and four recipes for fantasy themed drinks, three of which can be made alcohol free if needed. This is the 38th article of EN5ider, a D&D 5E Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/ensider/overview). Consider joining...   [click here for more]
EN Publishing  $0.99 $0.82

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EN5ider #75 - Magical Laws

EN5ider #75 - Magical Laws


This EN5ider article takes a look at the ways a fantasy society would regulate and legislate the use of magic. From registration to mandatory service to guild enforcement, these ideas can help add verisimilitude to your game and create new plot ideas! This is the 75th article of EN5ider, a D&D 5E Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/ensider/overview). Consider joining...   [click here for more]
EN Publishing  $0.99 $0.82

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EN5ider #27 - The Right Way to Fudge

EN5ider #27 - The Right Way to Fudge


When and how should the GM fudge an encounter? New and experienced GMs alike will find the advice in this article useful. In this system-neutral article Jeremy Lewit discusses the reasons and the methods, and provides advice on the right way to fudge. Should you alter the enemies, change the goalposts, or add new challenges? This article may include references to different game systems as a cross-system...   [click here for more]
EN Publishing  $0.99

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Story Design: Change Stories

Story Design: Change Stories


How can you add more inner conflict, fear or change, and wonder of discovery to your transformation adventures? Story Design Volume 12 - In a change story something upsets the protagonist’s life in a significant way. The character then has to adapt and come to terms with that change. It can be something normal yet tragic, like the death of a loved one or being diagnosed...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Coming of Age Stories

Story Design: Coming of Age Stories


How can you add more character focus and a slice of life to your adventures? Story Design Volume 13 - In a coming of age plot, the protagonist gains maturity. This is often literal as the character moves from one stage of their life to another, like from childhood to adolescence, or young adulthood to middle age. It can be metaphorical as they embark on a new career, learn...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Curse Stories

Story Design: Curse Stories


Add a sense of alienation to your metamorphosis stories and adventures. Story Design Volume 11 - In a curse story the antagonist feels that the protagonist has done something wrong. Maybe they have, and the antagonist’s actions are justified; maybe they haven’t, and the antagonist’s wrath is misplaced or unfair. As a result of the antagonist’s need...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Decline-and-Fall Stories

Story Design: Decline-and-Fall Stories


How can you add more empathy and suspense to your story of tragic descent? Story Design Volume 20 - In a decline-and-fall story, the protagonist starts out in a high position, possessed of fortune and glory, having everything they could ever desire. This could be literal or metaphorical; they might have moral or ethical riches rather than money and possessions. The protagonist...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Obsession Stories

Story Design: Obsession Stories


How can you add more danger and tragedy to your story of wretched excess? Story Design Volume 18 - In an obsession story the protagonist goes too far with something, and bad things happen as a result. The object of their excess can be an actual physical or psychological problem like alcoholism or drug addiction; it could also be an unhealthy fascination with a goal, a person,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Payback Stories

Story Design: Payback Stories


How can you add more retribution and gratification to your revenge adventures? Story Design Volume 6 - In a payback story the protagonist, or someone close to them, has somehow been wronged by the antagonist. Seeking to balance the scales or settle the score, the protagonist goes on a mission of revenge. It’s a story about a person seeking justice by taking the law...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Rags-to-Riches Stories

Story Design: Rags-to-Riches Stories


How can you add more hope and excitement to your story of dreams and aspirations? Story Design Volume 19 - In a rags-to-riches story the protagonist starts out poor, unknown, and without any power or authority. This could be literal or metaphorical; they may be intellectually or spiritually poor, rather than without material wealth. Over the course of the story they rise...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Revelation Stories

Story Design: Revelation Stories


How can you add more action and conflict to your story of discovery? Story Design Volume 17 - In a revelation plot something is discovered that has serious implications for the protagonist. It may mean also have a serious impact on a supporting character, or the world. The actual discover could be something good or something bad, but it is startling and disruptive to the...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Romance Stories

Story Design: Romance Stories


How can you add more conflict and characterization to your love story? Story Design Volume 14 - A romance plot features the protagonist falling in love with a supporting character or even a co-protagonist. The antagonist doesn’t want this to happen, and conspires to keep the lover apart. There is often some misunderstanding or miscommunication that creates a rift in...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Sacrifice Stories

Story Design: Sacrifice Stories


How can you add more drama and pathos to your story of selfless heroism? Story Design Volume 16 - A sacrifice story finds the protagonist pursuing some noble cause or higher purpose. In order to accomplish their objective, they will need to give up something of great personal value. This might be other goals, a close relationship, or even their own life. They may survive,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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Story Design: Taboo Stories

Story Design: Taboo Stories


How can you add more intrigue and danger to your forbidden love story? Story Design Volume 15 - In a taboo plot, the protagonist becomes involved in a forbidden romance. From the start everyone knows that the affair will fail because social forces don’t approve of the pairing; what makes the relationship unacceptable will vary with the genre, place, and time of the...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $0.99

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20 Quick Drow NPCs

20 Quick Drow NPCs


Welcome to the finest collection of quick NPCs that you will find this side of the Nentir Vale! DROW NPCs - culturally insular, xenophobic and vicious... What happens when they are stranded far from home and have to get jobs and make their way in the world? The NPCs inside will show you how 21 of them turned out. Released just prior to...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  $1.00

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20 Quick Half-Orc NPCs

20 Quick Half-Orc NPCs


Welcome to the finest collection of quick NPCs that you will find this side of the Nentir Vale! Do your players catch you out sometimes by suddenly expressing an interest in some random NPC who you never planned out because they weren't important? Do you sometimes struggle to come up with names for all the NPCs you are populating your setting with?...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  $1.00

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Foe Generator

Foe Generator


angel or demon, fate, blade weapon, malaria ... It is intended to be a paid upgrade to work with Flash RPG and Plot Generator most directly. This table shows threats with twelve foes for each category including vs monster, vs creature, vs natural disaster, vs ND & epidemics, vs supernatural, vs paranormal, vs enemy personality, vs enemy career, vs society, vs self, vs technology weapons, and...   [click here for more]
Ken Wickham  $1.00

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Minimalist Adventure Seed Engine

Minimalist Adventure Seed Engine


This is a minimalist adventure seed engine to help randomly roll story seeds for gaming or writing. One-page, easy, standard d6 dice system that may be used with any core system. It is small and compact. It's just this black cover page and one written page. It can, however, be expanded by using the 12x12 plots, foes, themes, motivations, mood-emotions, and twists generator charts. It is uses...   [click here for more]
Ken Wickham  $1.00

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Minimalist Descriptive Coniferous Forest

Minimalist Descriptive Coniferous Forest


The adventurers approach a dreamlike rocky fir forest with a cloudy sky. This is a minimalist descriptive coniferous forest generator to help randomly roll a forest setting for gaming or writing. (coniferous = evergreen) One-page, easy, standard d6 dice system that may be used with any core system. It is small and compact. It's just this black cover page and one written page. It can,...   [click here for more]
Ken Wickham  $1.00

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Minimalist Descriptive Deciduous Forest

Minimalist Descriptive Deciduous Forest


The adventurers approach an enchanted mossy hickory forest with a cloudy sky. This is a minimalist descriptive deciduous forest generator to help randomly roll a forest setting for gaming or writing. (deciduous = shed leaves in fall) One-page, easy, standard d6 dice system that may be used with any core system. It is small and compact. It's just this black cover page and one written...   [click here for more]
Ken Wickham  $1.00

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Minimalist Descriptive Grassland & Shrubland

Minimalist Descriptive Grassland & Shrubland


The adventurers traveling over hilly grassland, under a cloudy sky, approach an war-torn, constrictor snake-filled savannah. This is a minimalist descriptive grassland & shrubland generator to help randomly roll a descriptive setting for gaming or writing. (grassland & shrubland = prairie, steppe, savannah, shrubland, meadow, and serpentine barrens) One-page, easy, standard d6...   [click here for more]
Ken Wickham  $1.00

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Minimalist Descriptive Wetlands

Minimalist Descriptive Wetlands


The adventurers traveling in the floodplains of a river, under a cloudy sky, approach an enchanted, milkweed-filled bog. This is a minimalist descriptive wetland generator to help randomly roll a wetland setting for gaming or writing. (wetland = marsh, swamp, bog, fen, bayou, and lake/pond/beaver dam) One-page, easy, standard d6 dice system that may be used with any core system. Although...   [click here for more]
Ken Wickham  $1.00

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Religious Trinkets and Pocket Finds Vol 2 (5e)

Religious Trinkets and Pocket Finds Vol 2 (5e)


You know that moment when your players have slain the bad guy and his minions? The moment where the normally upright and righteous characters become total fiends and loot the still cooling dead bodies ... well, this is for those moments. And let's face it those moments come along a lot! This list contains 100 trinkets and pocket find curiosities that will make the pilfering...   [click here for more]
The Grinning Frog  $1.00

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Murder Most Random

Murder Most Random


FEED THE DARKER SIDE OF YOUR IMAGINATION... Murder Most Random contains 12 collections of tables, each set designed to let Game Masters randomly generate the key elements of a murder mystery—who was killed, how they were killed, who did it (as well as a pool of suspects), and why. GMs can even randomly determine who what murder case the player characters are charged...   [click here for more]
NUELOW Games  $1.99 $1.49

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Gostor: Bandits

Gostor: Bandits


Gostor is a Grumpy Old Schooler's Take On Rules. A series of product aimed at providing, simple yet robust rule additions to expand your game. Gostor:Warriors of the Americas presents a light, system-agnostic framework to create unique and interesting bandits groups. This book is usable for game systems set in any era, genre or location. ...   [click here for more]
First Ones Entertainment  $1.50

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Game Mechanics for the World of Calidar

Game Mechanics for the World of Calidar


This booklet provides the necessary instructions to help convert system-agnostic game statistics expressed in the Calidar books. It also gives an introductory overview of the Calidar Universe and its "known world," the Great Caldera. In a fantasy setting designed without core rules from a specific role-playing game, there lies a challenge in describing creatures, spells,...   [click here for more]
Calidar Publishing  Pay What You Want

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Game Master’s Guide to Friends

Game Master’s Guide to Friends


Snatches of conversation, laughter, and the thud of mugs rumbled around the smoky room. Durnick leaned back in his chair and waited for the waitress to finish placing their mugs on the table and heading off to the next customer before leaning forward and continuing the conversation. “You heard about Oliver?” “No,” Kor said as he picked up a mug....   [click here for more]
New Realms Publishing  $1.99

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Mitheguarde

Mitheguarde


An open role-playing game, where YOU are in control of everything! This is a set of rules, that you can add your own characters, your own dungeons, and your very own created weapons, and ven your own world! The power is in your hands!...   [click here for more]
Blacksmith Games  $5.00 $2.00

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RAGING HEARTS: Passion on the Battlefield

RAGING HEARTS: Passion on the Battlefield


RAGING HEARTS is a system-agnostic PVP minigame meant to be incorporated into a ongoing campaign in other systems. Sometimes two of the player characters just can’t get along and the only solution is to battle it out! This game will require a commitment to roleplaying on the part of both fighters - it’s intended to replace crunchy, numbers-driven battles with a more structured...   [click here for more]
tanoreth  Pay What You Want

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Stakes For Tabletop Roleplaying

Stakes For Tabletop Roleplaying


Stakes For Tabletop Roleplaying gives a listing for a variety of actions that characters might undertake in a game, a complex of possible interesting outcomes for those actions, and sample 'perks' for the specialist. It is intended mainly for the following: For Tenocha, Shamblington, and other games from Levi Kornelsen, these are ready-made expansions to the action available....   [click here for more]
Amagi Games  Pay What You Want

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