The Philosophy of Magic: Games

Remember, we're playing a game. It's important to draw a connection between the fantasy of the game world and our real world if only because it's the experience of our players. We want to leverage that experience and familiarity to make our jobs a little easier. In the end, we want our systems and references to... Continue Reading →


Rewards: Purpose

Let's play a game. I initially conceived of this as a traditional role-playing game. I never got to run it and it's been in the back of my mind for years. I can see it being a computer game, given the games we have today, but as I have no knowledge of coding games and... Continue Reading →

More on the interactive story

There's a trend in the "indie RPG scene" embracing narrative mechanics ~ that is, a game rule that gives the player control over the game beyond what their character is immediately capable of influencing. Most character skills or abilities can be summed up as: you have something written on your character sheet; something happens in... Continue Reading →

Rewards: Novelty

This is a tough one. So far, I've been able to offer some advice on addressing the challenges of treasure and magic items in the game. I've chastised the general D&D community for thinking it's possible to give the players too much gold or power. I also threw out some thoughts on how to make... Continue Reading →

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 →


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... Continue Reading →

Rewards: Status

We can offer status to our players (and the influence that comes with it). We can reward them with a title and a piece of land, or maybe a fixed income, though there should be an implied responsibility that goes with it. We can hand out knighthoods and membership in guilds. And we can generally... Continue Reading →

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