Failure Tolerated is a blog by Sean McCoy, co-founder of Tuesday Knight Games, co-designer of Two Rooms and a Boom, and designer of Mothership. He used to do a weekly podcast about boardgaming, and occasionally writes horror fiction. You can support this blog by donating here.

My Top Five Articles

Why Setting High Stakes Matters

How We Designed Dead Planet

Stop Worrying About Layout Software

Can We Make This An Image? Designing Better Tables

A Small Rant About Investigation in RPGs

All My Articles

February 23, 2024 - When are you ready to crowdfund?

February 15, 2024 - The Bottom Line

February 7, 2024 - Add it to the Key

January 18, 2024 - Environmental Horror Design

November 30, 2023 - High Level Shortcuts

November 19, 2023 - Prep isn’t play

November 9, 2023 - Megadungeons are Anti-Product

November 6, 2023 - Dragons are the Encounter

October 29, 2023 - Hex map encounter levels

October 27, 2023 - My favorite problems

October 23, 2023 - Luke Gearing on Into the Megadungeon

October 7, 2022 - Thinking about Safety Tools in RPGs

June 22, 2022 - Getting Rid of Dogfights

June 6, 2022 - The First Line of Every Edition of Dungeons & Dragons

June 4, 2022 - James Maliszewski: The Tékumel Interview

May 31, 2022 - What I’m Working On

May 8, 2021 - Violent Encounters

August 4, 2020 - Leveling Down

August 1, 2020 - Heating Up

July 8, 2020 - Gradient Descent Dive 07: Anatomy of Bad Session

June 24, 2020 - Learning to Crawl

May 27, 2020 - Gradient Descent Dive 06: Session Report [Mothership]

May 13, 2020 - Gradient Descent Dive 05: Session Report [Mothership]

May 6, 2020 - Gradient Descent Dive 04: Session Report [Mothership]

April 14, 2020 - Gradient Descent Dive 03: Session Report [Mothership]

April 1, 2020 - Gradient Descent Dive 02: Session Report [Mothership]

March 17, 2020 - Gradient Descent Dive 01: Session Report [Mothership]

December 16, 2019 - Mawbreakers, Resource Management, and Combat Centric Gaming

October 31, 2019 - A Crash Course on Marketing Your Indie RPG

August 26, 2019 - Getting Better At RPG Twitter

August 6, 2019 - Where Do We Go From Here?

July 19, 2019 - Mothership, the ENnies, and A Pound of Flesh

March 16, 2019 - Eleven Questions about Layout in RPGs

February 26, 2019 - Mawbreakers: A Weird WW2 Para-shooter RPG

January 27, 2019 - Building Custom Backgrounds for Mothership

January 23, 2019 - My First Shootout

January 21, 2019 - Stop Worrying About Layout Software

January 20, 2019 - Painless Character Creation for a Painful Game

January 14, 2019 - Why Setting High Stakes Matters

December 27, 2018 - How to Create a Criminal

December 17, 2018 - Rey Burtnolds Debriefing Communicades: Session Archive [Mothership]

December 13, 2018 - A Small Rant about Investigation in RPGs

December 7, 2018 - Better Crits for Mothership

December 6, 2018 - Carousing & Stress in Mothership

November 9, 2018 - Critical Hit Tables for Mothership

October 12, 2018 - The End of G+ and an OSR Guide For The Perplexed

August 31, 2018 - Divine Right: Minaria as a D&D Setting

August 22, 2018 - Yanovich’s Inauguration: Session Report [Insurgency]

August 14, 2018 - Prisoners of Hecate Balaam: Session Report [Mothership]

August 7, 2018 - Notes from Gen Con 2018

July 29, 2018 - How We Designed Dead Planet

July 10, 2018 - Screaming on the Alexis: Session Report [Mothership]

June 22, 2018 - Mothership PDF Now On DriveThruRPG

June 5, 2018 - Fire in Hyperspace: Session Report [Mothership]

May 15, 2018 - Escape from Banquo IV: Session Report [Mothership]

May 8, 2018 - Build a Dungeon, Level Up

May 1, 2018 - Crash Landing on Banquo IV: Session Report [Mothership]

April 23, 2018 - Can We Make This an Image? Designing Better Tables

April 17, 2018 - The Connecticut Job: Session Report [Heist]

April 8, 2018 - Mothership: Ship Creation Sheet

March 27, 2018 - Lessons I Learned Designing the Mothership Character Sheet

March 21, 2018 - The Golden Barge: Session Report [LotFP]

March 7, 2018 - Brendan’s Twenty Rules Questions

March 5, 2018 - The Hall of Sweet Mourning

March 1, 2018 - Designing Heartbreaker, My Tactical Card Game

February 26, 2018 - Urban Geomorphs for Cyberpunk Games

February 25, 2018 - Equipment As Prestige Classes

February 24, 2018 - Designing a Character Sheet for Castlevania

February 22, 2018 - Node Based Dungeon Design in Fighting Fantasy

February 21, 2018 - Simple Poison Rules for Old School Games

February 20, 2018 - My House Rules for Weapons in OD&D

February 14, 2018 - From Fighting Fantasy to Troika!

January 23, 2018 - I’ve Got Some Art in Megadungeon Issue 2

January 8, 2018 - Heist: A Smash & Grab RPG

December 21, 2017 - Isaac’s Basement

December 19, 2017 - Battletech: HPS-222 HOPSCOTCH

December 18, 2017 - Battletech: FAL-5A FALSTAFF

December 14, 2017 - What Do The Monsters Want?

December 13, 2017 - d20 Quick Cleric Religions

December 11, 2017 - Running a Siege Against the Keep on the Borderlands

December 5, 2017 - Building Better Magical Components

December 4, 2017 - My Infatuation with 2D Maps

December 1, 2017 - What Are the Guards Doing?

November 28, 2017 - How to Make Treasure Interesting

September 11, 2017 - B/X/R/X: Ape, White

September 7, 2017 - B/X/R/X: Acolyte

September 4, 2017 - B/X/R/X: Remixing the Best Monster Manual

August 22, 2017 - The First Time We Played Mothership

August 21, 2017 - Mistakes We Made at Gen Con 50

July 7, 2017 - My ENnies 2018 Judge Application

June 26, 2017 - Top 20 Twitter Bots for D&D

June 6, 2017 - Survive, Solve, or Save: Pick Two

May 19, 2017 - Removing Agency in Horror Games

April 17, 2017 - A Primer on Publishing Boardgames

March 10, 2017 - Why Buc-ee’s Made Their Bathrooms Their Core Business Offering

February 24, 2017 - Why We Tolerate Failure

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