Financial One-Shots and Short Campaign Seeds

With a couple of tweaks, filing off the serial numbers, and squinting, tontines are a great inspiration for one-shot, short campaigns, and, in some contexts, longer running story arcs.

The Tontine

“This is a Tontine,” the Transmuter Banker tells the Guild Master as she underwrites the investment vehicle. “And considering adventurers, a terrible idea.” And then she signs the paperwork because, in her mind, Adventurers + Investment = Funny.

Tragedy of the Murder Hobos

Nothing screws up a balanced economy based on a carefully manicured and ecologically pure common resource like 20th level Heroes.

Dragons and the Free Rider Problem

The village stood around and shouted at one another. They assumed one peasant class was going to pay for the other peasant classes, or the rich would pay for everyone. And thus, no one paid for anything.

Dungeon Hazards and Wage Differentials

Murder Hobos are natural risk assessment machines. They will risk their current gains in equipment, XP, and cash if they believe the wage offered to complete the Quest by the Quest Giver matches the right amount of risk/grossness/weirdness they must assume.

Cargo Cults in the Murder Hobo Dark Ages

Wuffa was King of the Wolf People. He claimed a pedigree going back to the old country’s mythical Kings and their God of War and Death. His actual pedigree went back two generations to a strong man mercenary who seized an opportunity to better himself.

What the Orks Want

Do the Orks have a greater reason for their existence? Or, are they merely story filler like so many fantasy packing peanuts surrounding the nugget of the interesting stuff?

Storytelling and Pacing: Why a D&D Movie is Doomed and Could Still Be Awesome

While other companies made their big announcements and rolled out their newest projects at Gen Con last week, the biggest news in RPGs broke on the Monday following Gen Con: a settlement was reached in the proceedings to sort out who had the rights to a D&D-based movie.

Murder Hobos and Empire

Nothing lasts forever unless it exists in a hermetically sealed box. But the Elves are smart and they stack the deck. These particular Elves (good and shining all) built their Empire like so.

The Lost Shrine of the Trickster God: GMing at Conventions

There’s something about running games for complete strangers at conventions that morphs a seemingly mundane tabletop RPG session into an unpredictable and riveting experience worth writing stories about.