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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

A Voice for Silent Wizards

Reading Time: 7 minutes Over the past weekend, one discussion led to another, and soon I was knees deep in the problem of making a mute wizard character in D&D. It was a long ride that involved reading about the inherent ableism that survives in games like D&D, writing scripts for light data analysis (not the point and not detailed in this article), figuring small semantic loopholes in the rules-as-written that every spellcaster loves to (ab)use so much and seeing if they can work in our favor. … Continue readingA Voice for Silent Wizards