Power Curves

After writing about dwarves and elves and orcs, I started musing about halflings. Since I don't treat them as a race and can't comment on halfling "culture," I thought I would explain my process for character generation, and how the player might be a twin and get to play two characters at once, or he... Continue Reading →


More About Dwarves

Where I have recently adjusted my view on elven physiology, I'm now considering a similar adjustment to dwarves, but to the exact opposite extreme. What if dwarves, unlike humans, were born with clearly defined gender characteristics? Furthermore, let's assume that dwarves experience no variation in gender identity or sexuality. Dwarves are either male or female,... Continue Reading →

More on Behavior

Some will realize that I've already been building up a system that guarantees the player can do a large variety of small, skill-based things, which I call my sage system.  I might have already created a "gambling" ability that included "being able to buy into a game." Some have realized this and some have begun... Continue Reading →

More About Elves

This whole series ~ examining the way that racial traits could define, in small ways, a race's culture and society ~ really started when I read this post and this one. The latter made me wonder why it is that we tend toward over simplifying our depictions of fantasy races; the former made me say, "Great,... Continue Reading →


Orcs in my world have the following traits: Ability Scores: +1 Strength and -1 Intelligence. Scent: Orcs can detect and follow odors much like a dog or a pig. Orcs benefit from the Senses I skill regarding their ability to detect odors. They automatically detect the presence of creatures within 1d6-2 hexes. Finally, this ability also allows an... Continue Reading →


Let's look at elves. Elves in my world have the following traits: Ability Scores: +1 Dexterity and -1 Constitution. Improved Vision: Elves can see four times as far as a normal human under similar conditions. Line of sight to the horizon is limited by factors such as obstructions or the lay of the land, but... Continue Reading →


Let's start with races in our fantasy worlds. Fantasy races have always been a stand-in for real world race relations. Whether we agree with that assessment or not is immaterial; the fact remains that our audience will see some element of the human condition in the fantasy we present to them. If they don't, we've... Continue Reading →

Race and Culture

There's something that has always bothered me about fantasy literature and gaming: the narrowness of race and culture. At one time, we conceived of fantasy races ~ elves, dwarves, orcs, fairies, goblins, etc. ~ as idealized forms of human attributes. This makes sense: our only experience of this world is through the lens of humanity,... Continue Reading →


I've been puzzling how to handle social interactions in the game. When a player approaches an NPC, it's often with a specific objective in mind. The players aren't out there to make small talk or to socialize or engage in pleasant niceties. While some of us aim to recreate these interactions, the reality is that... Continue Reading →

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