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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
 
 Hottest Any system / system-agnostic, Game Master Rule Guides, English
 
 Newest Titles in This Section
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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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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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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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Act Ten Directors Reference (evolve)

Act Ten Directors Reference (evolve)


The best evolving resource for the Act Ten Director! This special release through Drive Thru RPG, the Directors resource, Will give you access to all these features: Evolving documentation. With every source book that comes out in the Act Ten first edition line, this document, as well as the included Directors Screen files will be updated to stay current. Free updates! This product will always...   [click here for more]
Act Ten Game Studio  $10.00 $4.99

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Adventure Seed Engine [BUNDLE]

Adventure Seed Engine [BUNDLE]


This special bundle product contains the following titles. The six charts, besides Minimalist Adventure Seed Engine, are also found in Story Mechanisms. Foe Generator Regular price: $1.00 Bundle price: $0.70 Format: Watermarked PDF angel or demon, fate, blade weapon, malaria ... It is intended to be a paid upgrade to...   [click here for more]
Ken Wickham  $7.00 $4.90

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Adventure Theory

Adventure Theory


Create adventures with compelling stories, character development opportunities, and worldbuilding moments! Any System! Any Setting! Plenty has been written aboutencounter design, a lot of it system-specific. This book is about story. The only sort of “game balance” you’ll find referenced herein will refer to balancing the needs of the gamemaster,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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ALONe: A Solo Game Engine BETA

ALONe: A Solo Game Engine BETA


(BETA-Get involved and shape the game!) Some tales best unfold ALONe. ALONe (A Lonesome October Night) is a solo game engine designed specifically to support role playing with only one player and no Game Master. Whether you want to play a cunning streetrat surviving by their wits, a demigod raising an immortal army to storm the walls of heaven, or a mercenary warrior who just wants to live through...   [click here for more]
Larcenous Designs, LLC  Pay What You Want

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Arcane Theory

Arcane Theory


Using Arcane Magic to develop Characters, Worldbuilding, and Adventures Arcane magic is a foundational element of tabletop fantasy. Whether you’re drawing upon the concepts of Vancian magic as interpreted by Gygax and Arneson, or embracing pseudo-historical tradition of Hermeticism, the ability to manipulate supernatural energy and cast spells is an important part of the genre. With no arcane...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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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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Building Characters [Black Box Edition]

Building Characters [Black Box Edition]


Create memorable characters with great story potential! At the heart of all great stories are strong characters. It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading a short story, writing a novel, or watching a play. The characters found in TV series, comic books, and games are more alike on a creative level than they are different. The symbiotic relationship between character and story...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $5.99

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Character Theory

Character Theory


Create characters with relevant connections to worldbuilding and storytelling. Any System! Any Setting! You’ve created fantasy roleplaying characters before. Odds are that the focus of the system you used was on the crunchy bits. The process tacked background details on at the end that may not have been relevant to the adventures you played. Most of the time, your character’s...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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Cleric Theory

Cleric Theory


Using Clerics in Worldbuilding and Adventure Design Any System! Any Setting! Clerics bring a sense of mythology to a fantasy world. They validate the existence of deities. Their beliefs reflect the morals and ethics of their religion, if not the broader cultures of the setting. The magic they utilize is different because it is divinely bestowed for faithfulness...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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Culture Theory

Culture Theory


Using Fantasy Cultures and Races to develop Characters, Worldbuilding, and Adventures In the context of a fantasy world, culture can mean a lot of things. Often people reduce it to what tabletop games traditionally call race. Elves are magical, learned, and like nature. Dwarves are sassy, temperamental, and like to party. It’s not so much a collection of cultural markers, or even ethnic markers,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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Divine Theory

Divine Theory


Using Divine Magic to develop Characters, Worldbuilding, and Adventures Divine magic is an element of tabletop fantasy with that’s seen a lot of changes. Originally intended to help emulate vampire hunters in Hammer Horror films (seriously) by allowing characters to turn and disrupt the undead, it’s grown to encompass a whole spectrum of real-world religious influences, mythology, and...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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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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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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DungeonLord's LogBook

DungeonLord's LogBook


DungeonLord's LogBook What is a DungeonLord? A Game Master's Game Master. DungeonLords are the most prepared and best organized game masters at any table. They use a quality logbook that allows them to quickly pull up details about their world and all characters/monsters that dwell upon it. Their NPCs have personalities, and their cities/towns have economies, shops, laws and realistic random events....   [click here for more]
Stainless Steel Dragon  $9.95 $7.50

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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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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 #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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Everyverse Rpg

Everyverse Rpg


EVERYVERSE RPG is the COMPLETE role-playing game. It features: As You Like it: 5 methods of character generation Standard Distribution: Uses the same scale as used in measuring real-world IQ for more meaningful information at a glance Cascades: tree-like arrays of skills from general to specific The Attempt: a single method to resolve all outcomes. Lets you keep your nose out of the book System...   [click here for more]
Debra Hoenig Parizek of ParDen Us Gaming  $15.00

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Fighter Theory

Fighter Theory


Using Fighters in Worldbuilding and Adventure Design Any System! Any Setting! The appeal of the fighter is that it’s the most generic of character classes. It plays to the most basic rules, regardless of what system you’re using. There are no complicated and esoteric exceptions to be learned, making it perfect for new players. For those interested...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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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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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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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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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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Gamemastering Secrets

Gamemastering Secrets


Gamemastering Secrets In Gamemastering Secrets, Aaron Rosenberg and guest contributors cover everything about running a roleplaying game, from choosing a game system to closing out a long-running campaign. They give tips on how to handle various situations, pointers on potential dangers and how to avoid them, and advice on how to get the best gaming experience for everyone involved. If...   [click here for more]
Grey Ghost Games  $17.95

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Genre Structure Vol. 1: Horror

Genre Structure Vol. 1: Horror


Add more terror and suspense to your horror adventures! Horror Stories (Genre Structure Vol. 1) helps you to develop and tell frightful tales of dread and darkness. It is an essential sourcebook for creating fiction and tabletop adventures. Written for writers and roleplayers, with clear step-by-step instructions, you can: Determine which horror genre elements you wish...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99 $2.99

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Genre Structure Vol. 2: Science Fiction

Genre Structure Vol. 2: Science Fiction


How can you add more excitement and bold vision to your science fiction adventures? Science Fiction (Genre Structure Vol. 2) helps you to develop and tell tales of discovery and possibility. It is an essential sourcebook for creating fiction and tabletop adventures. Written for writers and roleplayers, with clear step-by-step instructions, you can: Determine which science...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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Genre Structure Vol. 3: Fantasy

Genre Structure Vol. 3: Fantasy


How can you add more wonder and enchantment to your fantasy adventures? Fantasy Stories (Genre Structure Vol. 3) helps you to develop and tell spellbinding tales of magic and imagination. It is an essential sourcebook for creating fiction and tabletop adventures. Written for writers and roleplayers, with clear step-by-step instructions, you can: Determine which fantasy...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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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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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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Level UP: A Book of Fantasy Gaming Lists

Level UP: A Book of Fantasy Gaming Lists


Do you feel a bit intimidated by Dungeons & Dragons? Would you like to impress your gaming group and feel more confident when playing? Then check out Level UP: the fully illustrated fantasy gaming book of lists, answering all of D&D's most pressing questions. Why do wizards live in towers? What are the biggest news stories in the history of Dungeons & Dragons(r)? What don't you know...   [click here for more]
Hack & Slash Publishing  $9.99

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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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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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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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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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On the Non-player Character

On the Non-player Character


"Problems with your players being frustrated at your non-player characters? Looking for the hidden social combat system that's been part of classic fantasy role-playing for over 30 years? Do you want your social encounters to be navigated by player skill, rather than by what's on the character's sheet or how good the player's personal charisma is? Are you looking for the fast way to generate memorable...   [click here for more]
Hack & Slash Publishing  $21.99 $19.99

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Party Theory

Party Theory


Leverage the party concept for character development, worldbuilding, and adventure design! Any System! Any Setting! In the past four decades there have been millions of words written about character creation. There are scores of books on worldbuilding, and notable volumes on fantasy adventure design. For some reason, though, little has been written about the nature of parties....   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.99

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Pilots' Almanac: Maritime & Piloting Rules

Pilots' Almanac: Maritime & Piloting Rules


The vocation of pilot is a perfect career for roleplaying. It provides an excellent and natural rationale for travel, exploration, and adventure. With this module, it becomes possible for PCs to go to sea and follow a career as pilot, pirate, or maritime trader. Of course, the distinctions between these occupations may be academic, since many PCs will dabble in all three. This module, a republishing...   [click here for more]
Columbia Games Inc.  $39.98 $27.99

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