On the narration of combat

Your players might react to narration during combat. They might react more consistently if you apply clearly defined rules to your narration.


On the combative negotiation

I come across this idea every now and then, and it always piques my interest. It makes sense: D&D has always had a solid combat system (it's one of the few things it does well), and there's a benefit to rule systems that break complex scenarios into bits and pieces that the players can manipulate... Continue Reading →

On the problem of the fantasy language

I use Birthright as the basis for my world. It has a strong resemblance to our own world in terms of culture and language, and it's one of the reasons I like the setting. Interesting fact: Birthright started when Lorraine Williams (a manager at TSR) requested a setting based on Czarist Russia (she had a... Continue Reading →

On the hierarchy of intellect

How do we represent different intelligence ratings in NPCs and monsters? I wrote before (briefly) about defining monster intelligence ratings. It was in reference to defining a system or process for writing magic spells, and didn't spend too much time on it. It's been percolating around my brain since then, inspiring pieces this like but... Continue Reading →

On the baseline for mental health

I was going to hold off on a post about dominate and mental control magic, being that I'm still working through my spell lists, but I came across a forum thread that put forth an interesting notion: what does it take to produce extreme mental trauma? EDIT: The rule concerning Morale was originally written incorrectly.... Continue Reading →

What I Want

Shelby Maddox at for h in hexes has been plugging away at a project that's only been the barest sliver of an idea in my mind. For the past three or four years, I've been mulling over the ideal mapping program. For me, it's a pipe dream. For Shelby, it's reality. He's not making it... Continue Reading →


Disclaimer: This will not be a useful post. The reader should approach the following content with a grain of salt. You may be entertained by this material but you should, in no way, interpret it as a game design recommendation. I'm not being self-deprecating ~ I want to acknowledge that what I'm about to write... Continue Reading →


Seriously, does anyone actually use this mechanic? "... the entire mechanic comes down to being a device to encourage the players to play the way the DM wants." Yeah. That sums it up. And that's the general feeling I get about 5e as a whole ~ here's a bunch of rules that you can choose to... Continue Reading →

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