Posts tagged “rpgs”

July 19, 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,...

March 16, 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,...

January 27, 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...

January 23, 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...

January 20, 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...

January 14, 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...

December 27, 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...

December 17, 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...

December 13, 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:...

December 7, 2018 Better Crits for Mothership - I spent a little time working on my previous crit table and formatted it for easier use, see below. Update Crit Table for Mothership There are a few...

December 6, 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...

November 9, 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...

August 31, 2018 Divine Right: Minaria as a D&D Setting - Minaria, as far as I’m concerned the best hexmap every made. So, I’m starting to put together a new D&D campaign for my niece and nephew to play...

August 22, 2018 Yanovich’s Inauguration: Session Report [Insurgency] - I recently got to play in Christian Kessler’s game, Insurgency where you play as a rebel cell fighting against a future version of the US called...

August 14, 2018 Prisoners of Hecate Balaam: Session Report [Mothership] - I’m finally back from Gen Con. Dead Planet is being reprinted and packaged for sale on the website and it’s pdf is up-and-selling, so I finally got...

August 7, 2018 Notes from Gen Con 2018 - Just got back home from Gen Con, which is always a little like getting back from summer camp. Historically, my con scheduled used to slow down after...

July 29, 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...

July 10, 2018 Screaming on the Alexis: Session Report [Mothership] - It’s been a little bit since we got to play, but last night everyone mysteriously showed up ready to game - it just so happens that we’re trying to...

June 22, 2018 Mothership PDF Now On DriveThruRPG - We sold about 50 copies of Mothership at Origins 2018, which was way more than I was expecting, so I am really grateful and humbled by that. The...

June 5, 2018 Fire in Hyperspace: Session Report [Mothership] - Today was one of those no prep needed days, which are always great. Everyone showed up ready to play and the sort of self-made hijinks just kicked...

May 15, 2018 Escape from Banquo IV: Session Report [Mothership] - Last night my home group had their second session of Mothership (my third playtest overall), they’re really starting to get into it, which has been...

May 8, 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...

May 1, 2018 Crash Landing on Banquo IV: Session Report [Mothership] - Last night I had my second playtest of Mothership, which is far too few for how long I’ve been working on it. This time I played with my regular...

April 23, 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...

April 17, 2018 The Connecticut Job: Session Report [Heist] - So, I got to run Heist for my friends over at Board With Life for their podcast, you can listen to the first part here, they go over character...

April 8, 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...

March 27, 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 Zak’s post on information design in RPGs and cool things like Sam...

March 21, 2018 The Golden Barge: Session Report [LotFP] - Note: This is an old session report (I’m posting it two years from its original posting) from an old blog of mine I dug up, I figured I might as...

March 7, 2018 Brendan’s Twenty Rules Questions - From Necropraxis, this makes things semi-easier. This is specifically for my Nilvein campaign. Ability scores generation method? 3d6 in order....

March 5, 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...

February 26, 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...

February 25, 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...

February 24, 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...

February 22, 2018 Node Based Dungeon Design in Fighting Fantasy - I got a small lot of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks in from eBay today and I cracked open the first one, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain to play over...

February 21, 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...

February 14, 2018 From Fighting Fantasy to Troika! - I’d read a couple of Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid1, but if I’d known about the Fighting Fantasy series of books, man that...

January 8, 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:...

Heist - Note: This doc is a work in progress. As I make changes to the game, they’ll be reflected here (literally every time I save!). There will be...

December 21, 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...

December 14, 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...

December 13, 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...

December 11, 2017 Running a Siege Against the Keep on the Borderlands - Started a new campaign yesterday for my regular group, with some new scheduling restrictions. Everyone is too busy for a weekly sandbox campaign, so...

December 5, 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...

December 4, 2017 My Infatuation with 2D Maps - Inspired by Jeff Rient’s Vaults of Vyzor and Natalie Bennett’s Sewers of San Draso, I’ve been working on a new megadungeon campaign for my B/Xers...

December 1, 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...

November 28, 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...

September 11, 2017 B/X/R/X: Ape, White - The B/X/R/X series is a remix of the monsters from the Basic & Expert D&D sets by Moldvay and Cook, inspired by similar work by Zak S. and...

September 7, 2017 B/X/R/X: Acolyte - The B/X/R/X series is a remix of the monsters from the Basic & Expert D&D sets by Moldvay and Cook, inspired by similar work by Zak S. and...

September 4, 2017 B/X/R/X: Remixing the Best Monster Manual - There’s something really magical to me about Moldvay & Cook’s Basic/Expert boxed sets of D&D. From a product design standpoint they hold up...

Mothership - The Alpha Zine Edition of Mothership Mothership is a sci-fi horror roleplaying game where you and your crew try to survive in the most inhospitable...

August 22, 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...

July 7, 2017 My ENnies 2018 Judge Application - EDIT: Thanks to everyone who voted for me, I can now say that I am a judge for the 2018 ENnies - I’m super excited and feel incredibly honored to...

June 26, 2017 Top 20 Twitter Bots for D&D - About a year ago I decided to see how hard it would be to make a twitter bot. Apparently it’s not that hard depending on what you want to do. I...

June 6, 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...

May 19, 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...

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