I like Numenera, especially the setting (even if it is a bit canon-heavy). But the Cypher system has some weaknesses, and I want to talk about how to improve them at your own table.
Some thoughts on giving information to players, spurred by a Discord conversation with friends.
After some reflection, I have decided to mark some posts private and thereby make them unavailable. In the interests of transparency, I want to document the reasons why. Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash First, I have removed access to my list of free D&D 5e adventures. The traffic to that one post overwhelms everything … Continue reading Marking some posts private
Musing this afternoon on @benlaurence1's older blog post "Pleasures of the OSR: Secrecy and Discovery". The thing I like about this play style (and I like many!) is precisely the surprise of what happens when random tables drive play. Making sense of these seemingly unrelated bits of ephemera (random encounters, generated NPCs, found objects) means … Continue reading Random Tables in RPGs
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash The podcast "Fear of a Black Dragon" does the thing that yields my highest praise in gaming media: it makes me want to stop listening and go play a game! The episode on "Times That Fry Men's Souls" is especially good, in large part due to the deep discussion … Continue reading Implied setting
As my first full season of Blades in the Dark comes to a close, I took some time to write down my thoughts on John Harper's fantastic game. For clarity, this represents only my personal opinion, and on balance this remains one of my very favorite role-playing games in both mechanics & setting. I will … Continue reading Lessons Learned in the Dark
Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash When somebody tells you "this space is closing down", there are basically two things you can do. You can fight it, or you can accept it. There are a million variations on those themes, but at some point you have to pick one. Even if it feels like absentee … Continue reading My final statement on Variant Roles
At one of the PAX Unplugged panels on racism in TTRPGs this weekend, something was said that sort of crystallized some thoughts I've had floating around in my head about making sure my games aren't all white folks. it's not enough to do an "open call" - I need to reach out specifically to folks … Continue reading Thinking about active invitations
NB: The following is based on a comment I wrote on The Gauntlet forums. That thread has other people's advice as well and is worth reading! Photo by Isis França I do very little prep for my Blades in the Dark campaign, Doskvol Dalliances. Before the game, I take a look at any existing faction … Continue reading Blades in the Dark preparation
If nobody in the game world wants anything, why even play? Player characters usually have some sort of motivation, whether that's "save the blacksmith's daughter" or "get treasure" or "seal away the ancient horrible evil before it can be unleashed upon the world". NPCs and monsters need to want things, too. What are the owlbear's … Continue reading NPCs with motivation and agency