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Hippogryph Issue Five

Hippogryph Issue Five


Welcome to Issue Five: Quaranzine Part 2 If you haven’t read Issue Four, I need to tell you that this is not an issue packed with advice converting the classic board game Pandemic in to a tabletop roleplaying scenario, nor is it a devoted to Max Max-style post-apocalyptic settings. Sorry. It’s the second of three issues that I’ve put together in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. I’ve...   [click here for more]
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Hippogryph Issue Four

Hippogryph Issue Four


Welcome to Issue Four: Quaranzine Part 1 A bit of clarification before we begin: This is not an issue packed with advice on running modern-day medical thrillers, developing post-apocalyptic fantasies, or rules for deadly viruses. Sorry. It’s the first of three issues that I’ve put together in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. During this period of social distancing and self-isolation,...   [click here for more]
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Hippogryph Issue One

Hippogryph Issue One


in this issue:  fandom as religion - In the past decade fandom has become contentious and un-fun. With the mainstreaming of things formerly relegated to the fringes, is there any reason to continue supporting an increasingly toxic fan culture? novel-style character profiles - A character sheet is only good for the game system it was created for, but a character profile...   [click here for more]
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Hippogryph Issue Seven

Hippogryph Issue Seven


In This Issue: The Soft Reboot Revisiting the Black Box Movement RPG Manual Cost as Barrier to Entry Game Design: The Man in the Arena Do What You Can Black Box: Everything is a Remix Politics in Roleplaying Settings Black Box and Remix Culture Freebies, Trolls, and What Have You Guide Instead of Gamemaster System Rather Than Rules Why “Player” Is In But “Game” Is Out Dancing Lights Press Forums Current...   [click here for more]
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Hippogryph Issue Six

Hippogryph Issue Six


Welcome to Issue Six: Quaranzine Part 3 If you’re experiencing a bit of deja vu, then you’ve already read Issue Four and Issue Five. Thanks! For those just tuning in, this “quaranzine” special is not an issue packed with advice recreating the 1995 medical disaster movie Outbreak at your tabletop. Nor does it delve into the possible armor class protection offed by hazmat suits. Sorry. It’s...   [click here for more]
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Hippogryph Issue Three

Hippogryph Issue Three


in this issue:  The Necessity of Kindness - Rather than write about horror as originally planned, I decided to focus on being pleasant to one another instead. There is no tabletop roleplaying without people. Play nice.  Paladins Revisited - We think of paladins as holy warriors, but what if we came at them from a more romantic perspective? Rather than devotion...   [click here for more]
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Hippogryph Issue Two

Hippogryph Issue Two


in this issue:  why do a wrestling issue? - If you don’t care about professional wrestling, why are you reading this issue? Well, it’s about unarmed combat, improvised weapons, character development, and storytelling. That’s RPG material right there. characters: wrestler archetypes - How to make RPG characters inspired by professional wrestling. Whether you’re...   [click here for more]
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Hippogryph Issue Zero

Hippogryph Issue Zero


In This Issue: Welcome to Issue Zero - It’s a game system! It’s a zine about tabletop roleplaying! It’s both! An introduction to the Hippogryph project, what to expect in this issue, and what you can look forward to in future issues. How to Create Things - From characters to magic items to worlds, a unified system for creating all of the elements that go into...   [click here for more]
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Adventure Generator Vol. 1

Adventure Generator Vol. 1


Adventure Generator: A minimalist 96-page toolkit for creating memorable stories usable with any tabletop roleplaying system or setting. This Adventure Generator is a reusable toolkit for any tabletop fantasy roleplaying system or setting. With only a few die rolls you’ll have an outline for an exciting story with clear objectives and a distinct beginning, middle,...   [click here for more]
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Adventure Generator Vol. 2

Adventure Generator Vol. 2


Adventure Generator 2: A minimalist 96-page toolkit for creating memorable stories usable with any tabletop roleplaying system or setting. 10 More Adventure Outlines! This second volume Adventure Generator is a reusable toolkit for any tabletop fantasy roleplaying system or setting. With only a few die rolls you’ll have an outline for an exciting...   [click here for more]
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Building Adventures

Building Adventures


Building Adventures: A minimalist 96-page guide to creating memorable stories for any tabletop roleplaying system or setting. Like any other form of fiction, a tabletop roleplaying adventure works best when there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. Player characters can pursue a goal without being railroaded into one specific way of achieving it. That same goal prevents characters...   [click here for more]
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Building Characters

Building Characters


A toolkit for creating tabletop roleplaying elements for any system, setting, or genre.    Building Characters explores what goes into crafting memorable and enjoyable tabletop roleplaying character backgrounds. The book looks at how they influence, and are influenced by, the worldbuilding, adventures, and rules of a tabletop roleplaying game. By the end you’ll have...   [click here for more]
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Building Monsters

Building Monsters


Building Monsters: A minimalist 96-page guide to creating memorable adversaries for any tabletop roleplaying system or setting. Books filled with pregenerated monsters are a staple of tabletop roleplaying. Not just for fantasy, either. Modern horror needs its share of terrifying creatures. Science fiction needs aliens and extradimensional beings. Even superheroes get their share of strange mutations...   [click here for more]
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Building Theme

Building Theme


Building Theme: A minimalist 96-page guide to creating memorable stories for any tabletop roleplaying system or setting. When discussing any other form of storytelling, the concept of theme will eventually come up. It doesn’t matter if the medium is a novel, a film, a television series, even a comic book or a song. The people having the discussion might be writers, readers, critics, or academics....   [click here for more]
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Building Worlds

Building Worlds


A minimalist 96-page guide to help you create memorable settings for any tabletop roleplaying system. Worldbuilding can be a lot of fun. Whether you're planning a campaign, designing your own tabletop roleplaying game, or just exercising your creativity with no set purpose in mind, developing a setting of your very own is deeply satisfying. You can spend hours, days, or years adding details and creating...   [click here for more]
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Building Worlds 2

Building Worlds 2


A minimalist 96-page guide with prompts to help you develop settings for any tabletop roleplaying system. Worldbuilding can be a lot of fun. Whether you're planning a campaign, designing your own tabletop roleplaying game, or just exercising your creativity with no set purpose in mind, developing a setting of your very own is deeply satisfying. You can spend hours, days, or years adding details and...   [click here for more]
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Bullet Journaling for Gamemasters

Bullet Journaling for Gamemasters


Advice on adapting the popular organizational tool for tabletop roleplaying games. Bullet Journaling for Gamemasters provides you with tips for using the popular dot journal method to organize and run tabletop roleplaying games. Like roleplaying itself, what you get out of it is a matter of how much you put into it. Take what works, ignore the rest, and use...   [click here for more]
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How to Gamemaster

How to Gamemaster


A manual for running any tabletop roleplaying game using any system, setting, or genre. My first experience with tabletop a roleplaying games was as the gamemaster. It was 1979, and my friends and I had pooled our money to buy the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set. None of us had ever played before. There was no one else to run for us, or teach us how things were...   [click here for more]
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Names and Their Meaning

Names and Their Meaning


Please read this product description carefully. Look at the preview. It's probably not what you'd expect it to be based on the title. Tabletop roleplaying has instilled in me three things: a love of history, a love of words, and a love of lists. While other people gravitated toward Appendix N, what I loved most about the 1st Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide were...   [click here for more]
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Phrases and Names

Phrases and Names


Please read this product description carefully. Look at the preview. It's probably not what you'd expect it to be based on the title. Can we just take a moment to reflect on what an amazingly pulpy name Trench Johnson is? It sounds as if he should be fighting crime alongside Doc Savage or the Shadow, or getting beaten up in a rain-slick alleyway by Mike Hammer or Sam Spade. I can’t...   [click here for more]
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Building Series Toolkits [BUNDLE]

Building Series Toolkits [BUNDLE]


This special bundle product contains the following titles. Adventure Generator Vol. 1 Regular price: $4.99 Bundle price: $3.99 Format: PDF Adventure Generator: A minimalist 96-page toolkit for creating memorable stories usable with any tabletop roleplaying system or setting. This Adventure Generator is a reusable toolkit for any tabletop fantasy roleplaying system...   [click here for more]
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Adventure Design Guides [BUNDLE]

Adventure Design Guides [BUNDLE]


This special bundle product contains the following titles. Bitter Rivals: Adventure Design Guide Regular price: $1.99 Bundle price: $1.60 Format: PDF In a Bitter Rivals adventure, the player characters will be called upon to compete against an adversary that is their equal in nearly every way. The nature of the competition can...   [click here for more]
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Story Design Volumes 1-10 [BUNDLE]

Story Design Volumes 1-10 [BUNDLE]


10 Best Selling Titles to Help You Plan and Structure Adventures! Use classic, time-tested plot structures to create your own stories! Works with any system, any setting, and any genre! Each volume walks you through building a different type of story! Only pay for titles you haven't previously purchased! This special bundle product contains the following titles. Story...   [click here for more]
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Story Design Volumes 11-20 [BUNDLE]

Story Design Volumes 11-20 [BUNDLE]


10 Best Selling Titles to Help You Plan and Structure Adventures! Use classic, time-tested plot structures to create your own stories! Works with any system, any setting, and any genre! Each volume walks you through building a different type of story! Only pay for titles you haven't previously purchased! This special bundle product contains the following titles. , Story...   [click here for more]
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Game Group Management

Game Group Management


When I first started roleplaying, the rule book showed me all about using the game mechanics. I learned how to create incredible characters, balance challenging encounters, and put together fantastic adventures. In spite of the fact that roleplaying is social in nature, it didn’t tell me how to organize a game group. There was no information on how to deal with interpersonal conflicts, or manage...   [click here for more]
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Story Structure [1st Edition]

Story Structure [1st Edition]


Use time-tested story structures to create better adventures! This is the first edition. You can find the second edition here.  All great stories need a beginning, a middle, and an end. On that basic structure writers and storytellers throughout the ages have woven variations and created masterpieces. We keep coming back to the same foundations today for one very good reason: those...   [click here for more]
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Setting Design [1st Edition]

Setting Design [1st Edition]


Design dynamic settings that support telling great stories! This is the first edition. You can find the second edition here.  Setting Design helps you to assembling the critical details that you will need in order to tell a story. More than mere worldbuilding, this book shows you how to save prep time by focusing on just the elements you'll need and use. With clear...   [click here for more]
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Bitter Rivals: Adventure Design Guide

Bitter Rivals: Adventure Design Guide


In a Bitter Rivals adventure, the player characters will be called upon to compete against an adversary that is their equal in nearly every way. The nature of the competition can be nearly anything, but is centered on the types of abilities and challenges that the PCs are meant to be the best at. During the course of the adventure, they will have to not only do their best, but find new ways...   [click here for more]
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Hot Pursuit: Adventure Design Guide

Hot Pursuit: Adventure Design Guide


In a Hot Pursuit adventure, the player characters will be running for their life to get away from some person, organization, or force that’s chasing them. During the course of the adventure, they will have to run, hide, and do everything they can to slow doing their pursuer and stay ahead in the chase. By the end, they should safely escape, either by resolving the issue they’re...   [click here for more]
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Long Strange Trip: Adventure Design Guide

Long Strange Trip: Adventure Design Guide


In a Long Strange Trip adventure, the player characters will set out to see the world. They know that fortune and fame await them, but it won’t be found at home. It’s a type of adventure that’s more a showcase for your worldbuilding than it is a vehicle for character development. That doesn’t mean that the player characters can’t learn and grow, but it’s...   [click here for more]
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Rescue Mission: Adventure Design Guide

Rescue Mission: Adventure Design Guide


In a Rescue Mission adventure, the player characters will be called upon to locate and save an important non-player character. It might be someone important to the setting, like a member of a royal family, a popular celebrity, or a beloved figure in the community. The kidnap victim could be a close friend or part of the player characters’ family. During the course of the adventure,...   [click here for more]
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Retribution: Adventure Design Guide

Retribution: Adventure Design Guide


In a Retribution adventure, the player characters will suffer some injustice. It might be something done to them, or to people they care about. This requires them to right that wrong in creative and emotionally satisfying ways. During the course of the adventure, they will have to locate the people responsible, plan how they want to get payback, and gather together the resources to pull it off....   [click here for more]
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Story Design: Breakout Stories

Story Design: Breakout Stories


Have you ever wanted higher stakes and deeper meaning in your escape adventures? Story Design Volume 5 - A breakout story involves a protagonist trying to escape from a situation that’s not of their choosing, and possibly not of their making. Their captivity can be literal, like being locked in prison or stranded on an island. It may also be figurative, like an abusive...   [click here for more]
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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]
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Story Design: Chase Stories

Story Design: Chase Stories


Have you ever wanted more danger and excitement in your pursuit adventure stories? Story Design Volume 3 - In a chase story, one character is pursuing another. The antagonist may be after the protagonist, or vice versa. The person being chased is often in possession of something valuable or important, has committed a crime and is fleeing justice, or believes...   [click here for more]
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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]
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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]
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Story Design: Dark Horse Stories

Story Design: Dark Horse Stories


How can you add more heroic struggle and vicarious thrills to your underdog adventures? Story Design Volume 9 - In a dark horse story, the protagonist and antagonist are not evenly matched. The odds are stacked heavily in favor of the antagonist. Initially no one takes the protagonist seriously, but over the course of the story they shake off their underdog status to become...   [click here for more]
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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]
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Story Design: Duel Stories

Story Design: Duel Stories


How can you add more conflict and suspense to your competitive adventures? Story Design Volume 8 - In a duel story, the protagonist and antagonist are competing against one another. They may be fighting to obtain the same objective, or simply trying to insure that the other doesn’t get what they’re after. The rivalry might be a sports competition, a race to make...   [click here for more]
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Story Design: Journey Stories

Story Design: Journey Stories


How can you put more action and excitement in your traveling adventure stories? Story Design Volume 1 - In the journey plot, the protagonist travels and has an adventure. It’s a simple as that. There’s no deeper meaning or existential crisis underlying the trip. There’s hidden message, or a need for the character to experience personal growth. It’s...   [click here for more]
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Story Design: Mystery Stories

Story Design: Mystery Stories


Add more thrills and dramatic tension to your mystery adventures! Story Design Volume 7 - The word mystery carries a lot of cultural baggage. From a genre point of view, it’s typically associated with murder. The story goal is to discover who did it, although more modern variations focus on figuring out how it was done, in order to prove who did it. A mystery doesn’t...   [click here for more]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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Story Design: Rescue Stories

Story Design: Rescue Stories


Have you ever wanted more suspense and peril in your rescue adventures? Story Design Volume 4 - A rescue plot is an action-heavy structure where a supporting character (the victim) is being held against their will by the antagonist. The protagonist’s job is to locate the victim and escort them back to safety. There are variations possible, but the core of a rescue story...   [click here for more]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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Story Design: Search Stories

Story Design: Search Stories


How can you add more emotional resonance to your quest adventure story? Story Design Volume 2 - In the search plot, the protagonist is looking for something. It might be an object, a person, or a piece of information. The thing they’re searching for might be real, or it could be metaphorical. It doesn’t actually matter, because this is really a character-driven...   [click here for more]
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