Some Space to Think Archive

  • The Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game rolled out today. It's awesome, simple as that, but I wanted to take a moment to throw up my own version of the credits page.That said, if you're on this, and want your descriptor changed, add a comment, and it will h...

    How I See The Credits

    The Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game rolled out today. It's awesome, simple as that, but I wanted to take a moment to throw up my own version of the credits page.That said, if you're on this, and want your descriptor changed, add a comment, and it will h...

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  • Curiosity was expressed regarding how I come up with stuff, so here are a few pages from the notebook I'm thinking in, representing a few thoughtful days..

    Notebooks

    Curiosity was expressed regarding how I come up with stuff, so here are a few pages from the notebook I'm thinking in, representing a few thoughtful days..

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  • Not sure I buy into this, but a mention on twitter of WOTC's 3 pillers of RPG (Exploration, Roleplaying and Combat)  popped it into my mind. (EDIT: Dave rightly points out that Wizards views these as the three pillars of D&D, a subtle but important...

    WOTC’s 3 Pillars

    Not sure I buy into this, but a mention on twitter of WOTC's 3 pillers of RPG (Exploration, Roleplaying and Combat) popped it into my mind. (EDIT: Dave rightly points out that Wizards views these as the three pillars of D&D, a subtle but important...

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  • For a friend's birthday this weekend, a request was made for a game to be run, and given a combination of short notice and assessment of the taste of all players involved, I ran Two Guys With Swords.2GwS has a somewhat fantastic self-selection process....

    More Guys With Swords

    For a friend's birthday this weekend, a request was made for a game to be run, and given a combination of short notice and assessment of the taste of all players involved, I ran Two Guys With Swords.2GwS has a somewhat fantastic self-selection process....

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  • Ok, so if you're not going to do damage types (or even more complicated things like weapon versus armor type tables) then how should you go about meaningful weapon differentiation?Well, first off, why would you want to?  Isn't that a pretty finicky ide...

    Tags and Axes (and Axes)

    Ok, so if you're not going to do damage types (or even more complicated things like weapon versus armor type tables) then how should you go about meaningful weapon differentiation?Well, first off, why would you want to? Isn't that a pretty finicky ide...

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  • There's an interesting question over at Rob Schwalb's D&D blog about whether weapon damage should be typed.  In practice this would mean that weapons might do, say,

    The Golf Bag Tactician

    There's an interesting question over at Rob Schwalb's D&D blog about whether weapon damage should be typed. In practice this would mean that weapons might do, say, "slashing" "bludgeoning" and "piercing" damage, and implicitly removing entirely th...

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  • We respond instinctively to archetypes, and a lot of shysters take  advantage of this.  Yes, there's a lot of interesting, useful stuff about them (Hero With A Thousand Blah Blah Blah) but the reality is that if you come up with a list of, say, 3 or mo...

    Archetypes and Planting Flags

    We respond instinctively to archetypes, and a lot of shysters take advantage of this. Yes, there's a lot of interesting, useful stuff about them (Hero With A Thousand Blah Blah Blah) but the reality is that if you come up with a list of, say, 3 or mo...

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  • I believe that when you design a game, it helps to have an audience in mind, the more specific the better. Trying to make a game for everyone seems noble, but it's unlikely to challenge you as a designer, and it's more likely to produce something that'...

    The Five People At My Table

    I believe that when you design a game, it helps to have an audience in mind, the more specific the better. Trying to make a game for everyone seems noble, but it's unlikely to challenge you as a designer, and it's more likely to produce something that'...

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  • Fred has opened the door to pitches for a book of Don't Rest Your Head hacks, which is a fantastic idea.  You can find out more details, you can check out his post, and if the idea appeals to you, I strongly encourage you to consider writing a pitch.I'...

    A Pitch In The Dark

    Fred has opened the door to pitches for a book of Don't Rest Your Head hacks, which is a fantastic idea. You can find out more details, you can check out his post, and if the idea appeals to you, I strongly encourage you to consider writing a pitch.I'...

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  • Today, I want to talk about elves.When you sit down to make your own fantasy setting, whether for publication or just for your own game, the simple reality is that you stand under the twin shadows of Tolkien and D&D.   They set an expectation for what ...

    About Those Elves

    Today, I want to talk about elves.When you sit down to make your own fantasy setting, whether for publication or just for your own game, the simple reality is that you stand under the twin shadows of Tolkien and D&D. They set an expectation for what ...

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  • I made a reference to something in comments on Friday which I realized is not an actual colloquialism, so I want to unpack it a little bit, since I think it's a powerful, useful idea.I am not a huge jazz fan.  There's some stuff I like, but it's never ...

    Jazz Rules

    I made a reference to something in comments on Friday which I realized is not an actual colloquialism, so I want to unpack it a little bit, since I think it's a powerful, useful idea.I am not a huge jazz fan. There's some stuff I like, but it's never ...

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  • I've always found the idea of feats more compelling than the reality.  As I conceive them, I expect them to have a strong signature. That is, I expect them to really be strong differentiators, something that really calls out a clear distinction between...

    Feats and Faces

    I've always found the idea of feats more compelling than the reality. As I conceive them, I expect them to have a strong signature. That is, I expect them to really be strong differentiators, something that really calls out a clear distinction between...

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  • Want a quick litmus test for the health of your game? Ask one of your players how many NPCs they can name.  If that number can be counted on one hand, that's a red flag.This may seem counterintuitive at first - after all, games are about the characters...

    Counting Noses

    Want a quick litmus test for the health of your game? Ask one of your players how many NPCs they can name. If that number can be counted on one hand, that's a red flag.This may seem counterintuitive at first - after all, games are about the characters...

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  • One of the jokes about older versions of D&D is that there was nothing more deadly to a wizard than a bag full of housecats. It's a double edged joke (made utterly unfunny in explaining) that highlighted both the fragility of wizards, who had trivi...

    A Bag Full Of Cats

    One of the jokes about older versions of D&D is that there was nothing more deadly to a wizard than a bag full of housecats. It's a double edged joke (made utterly unfunny in explaining) that highlighted both the fragility of wizards, who had trivi...

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  • Every now and again someone gets it in their head that they want to do a sport-based RPG.  It's a logical instinct - there's lots of great, classic sports stories out there, and they hit a lot of the same notes that make an RPG fun.  I have nothing but...

    The Sports Paradox

    Every now and again someone gets it in their head that they want to do a sport-based RPG. It's a logical instinct - there's lots of great, classic sports stories out there, and they hit a lot of the same notes that make an RPG fun. I have nothing but...

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