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 →


The Philosophy of Magic: Schools

Given that cultural progression, in social developments and technology, come about both within the isolated sphere of a given culture and as a direct result of exposure to other cultures (through exploration, trade and conquest), it's difficult to say which of the eight classic schools of magic came first. Obviously there's a connection between the... Continue Reading →

On the hierarchy of illusion magic

If the reader will recall, I wrote before about the need to categorize magic according to principles drawn from modern observations and scientific understanding. A counter-argument came to me that I want to explore. We might argue that the literature ~ in fantasy fiction, mostly, but also in RPG products ~ doesn't support this approach. Further,... 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 →

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 →

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