About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, the Geek's Dream Girl.

Project Paradigm: Making Magic


In a game where everyone uses magic, magic becomes the cornerstone of design. This is one of the big areas that makes Mage: the Ascension different from Sorcerer from a Harry Potter RPG.

Project Paradigm: Some Thoughts on a Mage-Inspired Fate Game


I’ve written before about my love of Mage: the Ascension. I even went and hacked another game system to play it in a way I really enjoyed, and have run it that way multiple times now. I’m not the only one who wanted to bring Mage back with a modern system. Ryan Macklin also wrote up the hack he was playing with. Now we’re joining forces on it.

D&D Next to Release in Summer 2014


Wizards of the Coast today announced that the highly-anticipated new rules system for Dungeons & Dragons will release in summer 2014.

“The 5×5 Method” Dragon Magazine Article


I have an article in the 2nd to last (for now) issue of Dragon, and it’s a redone version of my most popular article on Critical Hits. It was also my first paid piece in my RPG designer career.

Review: “Lords of Waterdeep” for iPad & iPhone

Lords of Waterdeep Cover

Lords of Waterdeep for iOS brings together two things I already like, so you can probably predict the result. So to say I was excited about these two coming together, announced months ago, would be an understatement. And thankfully, the end result is as good as I’d hoped.

Metatopia 2013 Schedule


Metatopia is a unique convention, added to the roster of Double Exposure conventions. Metatopia covers games of all kinds, from board/card/party games to roleplaying games to live action games. As someone who has interests in all those areas, I’ve been happy to be at Metatopia every time they’ve put the convention on, including this year.

The State of D&D, Post-Gen Con 2013

My invitation to the Murder in Baldur's Gate D&D party

I feel like this post should start with a Star Wars crawl: “It was a time of great change in Dungeons & Dragons…”

MODOK’s 11: A Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Event


This is an event for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, based on the comic mini-series Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11 by Fred van Lente and Frances Portela. MODOK recruits a gang of D-list villains to steal a powerful prize from a formidable adversary, while the superheroes of the world have their attention drawn elsewhere. It is designed for […]

2013 Gen Con Preview: What to Watch For


Once again, Gen Con is upon us. You can check out my schedule if you’re so inclined. More importantly, there are games to check out and buy. This is not a comprehensive list: if you want a bigger look at what board games are available there, I recommend checking out the Board Game News list. […]

Interview: Amanda Valentine, Developer of “Little Wizards” RPG


I’ve worked with Amanda Valentine on multiple projects before (including Marvel Heroic Roleplaying), where she served as a lead editor, helping to make the books as best they could be on every level. Amanda has a lot of experience working at every level of game design across multiple game lines, and so I was very […]