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.

Corporate Contracts in the Far-Off Future Dystopia

Violence makes things messy and inconvenient. Corporations like things neat and convenient. And bureaucratic.

Game Design by Example: Introduction

When I started designing games 4-5 years ago, I used to post all of my designs in public as I was working on them. As my life got busier, I started doing that less and less. I’ve recently realized that I need to do it more.