Company Men

Out there, lurking in the deepest jungles, are things. Things waiting for the smart and adventurous to come around and pop them into their backpacks. Things customers pay enormous sacks of gold for.

The HR Problems of Evil

No newspaper circulates with evil want-ads in the back. No Quest Givers sit around in taverns trying to get evil to go on evil missions and join Evil Empires.

Realism vs. Genre Emulation

Why do you suppose the PCs win nearly every D&D battle they have? There’s an illusion of threat, but how often does the party really lose a fight?

The Franchise of Evil

A household evil name is more than a brand. It’s a stamp of evil quality. Murder Hobos know what they’re getting when they run with that brand.

Vignette D&D Play, Part 1: The Technique

When we started a new D&D campaign, my players made it clear: they’d much rather not start at level 1 again.

World Building: Roots

Generation of the world or universe, the setting, is important to numerous aspects of creating media, from novels to games. Careful design can’t be undervalued.

A Study in Collaborative World Building

Our gaming group got together to start planning a new D&D 5e campaign. I went back into my world-building tools and applied methods I talked about in my Index Card Codex series.

The Ring Of Rumours: A Cursed Item Story

And from that point on, I decided that the ring had a low level curse on it. Where people interacting with the characters somehow knew something about an expensive ring.

Game Design by Example: Making an Idea into More

“I have this great idea for a game.” In creative circles, it’s a phrase that gets joked about because it’s often followed by some variation on “…and you should make it for me.”

Magic Patents, Trolls, Scabs, and Open Source Spells

Spells have a special problem: they’re information. Spells are knowledge which, when learned, perform a specified effect.