On the cursed magic item

Seems that WordPress ate my original post on the identify spell. Not quite sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, meh . . . just a bunch of words and it was one of my earlier posts, so it's not like there's anything too significant in it. On the other hand, it had a great... Continue Reading →

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On the magic of fantasy languages

This story covers a conversation between a player and an animal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVHyY4SVNc0 The relevant piece starts about 17:30. It unfolds much as you would expect: the player uses a power to communicate with an animal and the animal responds with words, phrases and ideas that are less than useful. "Gold? What's that?" squawks the raven. Why?... 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 →

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 need for contribution

In response to a conversation at the Tao of D&D, Matt wrote: . . . in D&D, we need better DMs. We need better tools to teach DMs how to gage [sic] their table, how to open conversations, and how to care for the people around them. But we both know that Paizo and WoTC don't... 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 →

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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