Posts tagged “rpgs”

8 May 2021 Violent Encounters - One the easiest traps to fall into as a new referee in tabletop rpgs is to treat violence the same as video games do. Video games are particularly...

4 August 2020 Leveling Down - I don’t think Mothership needs levels anymore. I don’t think they serve the game in any meaningful purpose. Here’s a few things that I think could...

1 August 2020 Heating Up - Last night Gen Con Online held the 2020 Annual ENnie awards. A Pound of Flesh walked away with a Silver ENnie for Best Layout/Design and a Gold...

24 June 2020 Learning to Crawl - So you might have heard that last week we released Dissident Whispers, an anthology of 58 original rpg adventures in support of Black Lives Matter,...

16 December 2019 Mawbreakers, Resource Management, and Combat Centric Gaming - Shortly before Langston was born I was reading a lot of Hellboy and I found myself wanting to play a paranormal WW2 game with some Wolfenstein or...

31 October 2019 A Crash Course on Marketing Your Indie RPG - A lot of indie tabletop designers feel real discomfort when talking about marketing and advertising, and I understand why. It conjures up an images...

26 August 2019 Getting Better At RPG Twitter - “TTRPG twitter is a mess,” is a thing you’ll hear everyone in ttrpgs say at some point. The broad strokes are that people talk past each other, that...

6 August 2019 Where Do We Go From Here? - Last night Mothership against all odds won two highly coveted ENnies: the Gold ENnie for Best Game and the Silver ENnie for Best Adventure for Dead...

19 July 2019 Mothership, the ENnies, and A Pound of Flesh - This is pretty incredible. Mothership has been nominated for four ENnie awards. The Player’s Survival Guide is nominated for Best Rules, Best Game,...

16 March 2019 Eleven Questions about Layout in RPGs - One of the big stumbling blocks people have with RPG design is layout, I’ve talked about not worrying about layout and instead focusing on content,...

27 January 2019 Building Custom Backgrounds for Mothership - Saker Tarsos is crowd-sourcing some background skill packages for their amazing Mothership Character Generator. I absolutely love this. One of the...

23 January 2019 My First Shootout - I’ve been playtesting Heist for awhile now, but we haven’t had many long shootouts. After tweaking the combat rules somewhat, I decided to run just...

20 January 2019 Painless Character Creation for a Painful Game - I’ve been working on this Rap Sheet System for Heist for a little bit, and one of the big pieces of feedback I’ve gotten is that it requires too...

14 January 2019 Why Setting High Stakes Matters - I’ve had a lot more success recently describing Old School RPGs as “high stakes” instead of “high lethality” and here’s why. A lot of my new players...

27 December 2018 How to Create a Criminal - Awhile back, I wrote up a Rap Sheet system for character creation in Heist (and called it the lifepath system, which I think sounds lame and kinda...

17 December 2018 Rey Burtnolds Debriefing Communicades: Session Archive [Mothership] - One of my favorite players, alias Odysseus Jones, real name [redacted] writes up these amazing AARs for his Mothership games (run by Jarrett...

13 December 2018 A Small Rant about Investigation in RPGs - I posted the below thread to twitter the other day and it went off pretty well. So here it is in full so that it’s easier for me to find later:...

7 December 2018 Better Crits for Mothership - I spent a little time working on my previous crit table and formatted it for easier use, see below. There are a few terms, bolded on the left hand...

6 December 2018 Carousing & Stress in Mothership - One of the big things we’re tooling around with in Mothership is adding Carousing as the primary way of gaining experience. Right now, you currently...

9 November 2018 Critical Hit Tables for Mothership - A lot has been going on in the mothership world recently. First off, we got two major mentions: one was a small mention by Matt Colville on his...

31 August 2018 Divine Right: Minaria as a D&D Setting - So, I’m starting to put together a new D&D campaign for my niece and nephew to play in and I want to do it up with Megadungeons and Hexcrawling. I...

29 July 2018 How We Designed Dead Planet - At Gen Con we’re going to release the first module for Mothership, Dead Planet. Donn Stroud, Fiona Geist, and I wrote it and it’s got some beautiful...

8 May 2018 Build a Dungeon, Level Up - Let me just start off by saying, this is not going to work for everyone. Top-level fighters (Lords and above) who build castles are considered...

23 April 2018 Can We Make This an Image? Designing Better Tables - I’ve been working more on Mothership in an attempt to get a limited run of the Player’s Handbook done in time for Gen Con this year. I talked to...

8 April 2018 Mothership: Ship Creation Sheet - Continuing on my journey to re-work the graphic design in my RPGs, I’ve tried to fit all the rules for designing a ship in Mothership onto one...

27 March 2018 Lessons I Learned Designing the Mothership Character Sheet - I’ve been revisiting a lot of my graphic design chops recently, as a result of cool things like Sam Mameli’s 5e character sheet that attempts to put...

5 March 2018 The Hall of Sweet Mourning - is a One Page-ish Dungeon. Download it here. Here’s the breakdown: Page One: Map (below) made using Gridmapper (which is...

26 February 2018 Urban Geomorphs for Cyberpunk Games - Null.hack is a cyberpunk RPG that I’ve been working on. You play as a character in a Robocop, Akira, Blade Runner, Neuromancer type world - and less...

25 February 2018 Equipment As Prestige Classes - The base classes in Nilvein are Fighter, Thief, Magic-User, Cleric, and they are meant to prioritize very specific playstyles. From combat to...

24 February 2018 Designing a Character Sheet for Castlevania - If you haven’t read Brendan’s post over at Necropraxis about ablative armor then you should do so. I’ve been looking for something like this for...

21 February 2018 Simple Poison Rules for Old School Games - Poison has a rating the same as the HD of the creature that it came from (ie. a Purple Worm has an HD 15, so its Poison is strength 15). If the...

8 January 2018 Heist: A Smash & Grab RPG - So here’s something that I’ve been working on for awhile now, Heist the roleplaying game. What is Heist? Here’s a quote from the introduction:...

21 December 2017 Isaac’s Basement - is a one page dungeon that’s meant to be dropped into your campaign near a mountain, or forest, or any area where the PCs will be...

14 December 2017 What Do The Monsters Want? - One of my favorite tools in D&D is the Reaction table. It’s incredibly simple (three sentences of description) and if you want, it can adjudicate...

13 December 2017 d20 Quick Cleric Religions - New clerics in my games roll on the following table and develop the religion as they see fit. Notes on their religion are passed down to future...

5 December 2017 Building Better Magical Components - When it comes to casting spells in my D&D games, I like the tactics of oldschool Vancian magic (preperation, one time use, powerful spells, wide...

1 December 2017 What Are the Guards Doing? - In preparation for my new campaign, I’ve had to scrounge together a lot of random tables from old notes. Here’s a list of 20 things that the city...

28 November 2017 How to Make Treasure Interesting - I’ve been preparing for a new campaign recently and so broke out a bunch of my old notebooks to harvest ideas that went unused in old campaigns, and...

22 August 2017 The First Time We Played Mothership - At Gen Con this year, I finally got to run a one-shot session1 of my sci-fi horror RPG, Mothership. We had a good spread of players: two were really...

6 June 2017 Survive, Solve, or Save: Pick Two - Last night, I was reviewing Mothership with some close friends while complaining about Alien:Covenant and my friend Nick said something that’s stuck...

19 May 2017 Removing Agency in Horror Games - Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about Saving Throws in RPGs. Essentially, they are the opposite mechanic from a lot of things we’re used to as...