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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Borrowing Plot Hooks and Adventures
There's an excellent and free source for DMs with writer's block: fiction books and video games. A certain non-obviousness is needed to throw your players astray, though. How can you keep the flavor without cuing your players into exactly where the story is going? Read on to find out.

Party Leadership and Alternative Options
Each group needs their leader. Some leaders really drag the group down, though. How do you decide which player should take the hot seat? Arbitrary selection rarely fixes the issue. Through examining what the leader is supposed to do this article offers a short and sweet solution for your party.

Villain Motivators and Antagonist Intentions
When you've reused the same villain for three adventures, your players might get bored. How can you come up with fresh material? Well, if you start with the basics the reason they are villains it's pretty easy to branch in different directions. Here's five common roots for evil villains.

The 3.x Open Game License
Do you need a new system for your group? Have you encountered the "Open Game License" from Wizards of the Coast? This one's free and has a whole lot of "Open Game Content." Here's an introduction to how the license works and a simplified explanation of product identity.

Writing Adventures for Variable Levels
Making adventures for one specific group of adventurers lacks the versatility of making more general ones. What happens when the group doesn't take that path at that level or the game ends prematurely? Through keeping out some details such as level, you can increase the usefulness of your prep.

Role-Playing Games and Social Intelligence
Role-playing games are good for more than a pastime. Valuable life skills such as social intelligence are gained from role-playing. From anticipating the appropriate thing to say all the way to appreciating differences in values, the experience we gain from this hobby translates to our lives.

Understanding Where Characters Come From
Where did that villain idea come from? Why do players keep pretending to be the same heroes? If you've ever wondered where these constructs come from then you're in the right place. Or, if you're having trouble making a character, here's the list of sources we all draw from.

Moving the Story Along
There's more to being a Dungeon Master than being a rules encyclopedia. Drama, suspense, intrigue the show must go on! Here's some tips on how to remember what to do when the rules detract from the story itself. Remember: the rules serve the story and not the other way around.

Dice and Skill Modifiers
What's with those numbers on the character sheet? Is this a role-playing game or a math quiz?! There's a good reason numbers, dice and RPGs go so well together: probability. Games involving dice simulate facets of the world we live in, including randomness. Here's an analysis of how that works.

Grains of Sandbox Plot
Adventure plot and sandbox games might seem contradictory. These two things can actually be reconciled, if you're mindful about it. Generalization, improvisation and more are important when giving your sandbox RPG flavorful plot. Here are some short-and-sweet tips for how to pull that off.

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