Site Overlay


Stars Without Number

Kevin Crawford’s Stars Without Number

Reading Time: 9 minutes Here I was, a full year ago, looking at this cool roleplaying game PDF in an attempt to build a character for myself. I'm just going through some cool character creation features when my eyes land on page 36, and I read "Precognition". My mind starts to whirl as I imagine how this would work in an RPG as I go into reading about my own player future. Stars Without Number and more about how to GM a sandbox. … Continue readingKevin Crawford’s Stars Without Number

John Harper’s Blades in the Dark

Reading Time: 9 minutes Here's the plot: the crew goes on heists, has downtime, hangs out, upgrades their lair, does projects, and slowly becomes more of a family than a party, building memory upon memory together. The characters built this way are less just themselves and more the product of their most desperate moments, where they survived only because they had each other. Some have gained an edge, some have gone soft, but they get the job done and advance. Blades in the Dark is a game about professionals; the ups and downs of their business. … Continue readingJohn Harper’s Blades in the Dark

The Environment as a Player

Reading Time: 10 minutes Kyle Dewey and Miroslav Gavrilov take the previously discussed topic of environmentalism in roleplaying games further. A quick sketch of an idea towards having the environment play a more active role in a game. At the heart of this scenario is a substance called dirtiron: a magic-enhancing metal with a dark secret. … Continue readingThe Environment as a Player

Borrowing Character: Lynchian Suburbia

Reading Time: 11 minutes As game masters, we're tasked with creating worlds. When developing the deep structure, lore and history of a world, it's easy to forget the small-scale, rural aspects of life that permeate that world. This week in Borrowing Character, we won't be borrowing the likeness of David Lynch but rather the innate ability of Lynch to construct mystery of the mundane. … Continue readingBorrowing Character: Lynchian Suburbia

Four Thousand Days

Reading Time: 8 minutes A year ago, I've started following Exponential View, a smart, deep, multifaceted email wondermissive and podcast. The weekly report that Exponential View gives me about the state of our environment inspired me to do some digging into how to introduce ecology into the lore of an RPG. We have 4000 days to react, what do you do? … Continue readingFour Thousand Days

Mazes of Morality

Reading Time: 8 minutes Dungeons and Dragons changed a lot over the years, going from what is basically an over-detailed wargame, through a dungeoneering hack&slash experience, to the open-ended fantasy storybook it is today. Pretty early, an alignment system was put into place to distinguish chaos from order, and later good from evil. Let's consider some improvements. … Continue readingMazes of Morality

Saying the Magic Words

Reading Time: 5 minutes Today I want to explore the details of what is needed for a spell with only a verbal component to be cast. I imagined Silent Gasp, a young kenku rogue, who spent their life around mages. We've previously learned that there are 40-odd spells that fit the verbal-only requirement category, and Silent Gasp surely heard all of them! So, being a kenku, capable of perfectly copying sounds, can they just cast them? If not, what can we do to make it both possible, and fun? Let's dive in and see! … Continue readingSaying the Magic Words