RPG a Day 2023 – Favorite RPG of All Time

A spine view of a bunch of Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition books ... which is not my favorite RPG of all time.

Rather than just go with my gut instinct for “favorite RPG of all time”, I decided to run the numbers. The numbers are, admittedly, a bit skewed. D&D 3rd Edition includes a bunch of d20 supplements (at least, those who survived my 3e purge) including hardcovers and splat books. I don’t have nearly as many … Read more

RPG a Day 2023 – Favorite Published Adventure

The words Forge of Fury and a black dragon

Forge of Fury is my favorite published adventure, for sheer playability through two generations of gamers. The first time I encountered it, the Forge of Fury formed the foundation of our dwarven Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition campaign. We all played dwarves intent on reclaiming the forge for our clan, eventually re-establishing a hidden dwarven … Read more

RPG a Day 2023 – Most Memorable Character Demise

A humanoid defends the entrance to a dungeon.

My most memorable character demise was Zilanderan, at the hands of the resurgent Fire cultists of the Temple of Elemental Evil. He was a starting character in the Blackrazor’s Redshirts campaign, in which we all played first-level characters who belonged to the Blackrazor Guild (our fictional adventuring guild in the world of Greyhawk). We had … Read more

#RPGaDay2018 – Describe how your play has evolved

A close up view of the spines of numerous role-playing game books.

As a group we’ve become more tolerant of non-standard character concepts, especially when it comes to the World of Greyhawk. When our Dungeons & Dragons campaign started 20 years ago, we were diehard devotees of Greyhawk canon (there is a reason, after all, why the biggest Greyhawk fan website is called Canonfire). We had holy wars over whether you … Read more

#RPGaDay2018 – Wildest character concept?

A close up view of the spines of numerous role-playing game books.

There was once a Blackrazor redshirt named Zilanderan. A strange man, Zilanderan claimed to be part of a larger, near-infinite multiverse of alternate realities. He’d excitedly talk about how this multiverse interacted with this, the Prime Material Plane, boring his cohorts to tears until something happened to break the tension. Alas, the eccentric warrior-mage was … Read more

#RPGaDay 2018 – How has a game surprised you?

A close up view of the spines of numerous role-playing game books.

I played the best convention game of my life at GenCon 2000. It was a multi-round RPGA event called “Barbarian Lives”. It used the newly-released Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition rules to tell a soap opera-inspired tale of romance, heartbreak, and monster hunting. At the time, the Role-playing Gamers Association (RPGA) was still a notable … Read more

#RPGaDay2018 – What gives an RPG staying power?

A close up view of the spines of numerous role-playing game books.

Imagination + good rules + group buy-in. Those are the elements that fueled our longest running games, even if the campaigns the RPGs were powering jumped from ruleset to ruleset. Our Blackrazor Guild campaign, now in its second decade, has seen numerous prequels, sequels, and spin-offs. It’s been run using Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition, … Read more

#RPGaDay2018 – What do you look for in an RPG?

A close up view of the spines of numerous role-playing game books.

My answer today is very different from my answer 20 years ago. There was a time when I loved a good, crunchy RPG, with a ton of splat books and optional rules (in short, Dungeons & Dragons 3.x). Implicit in the crunchiness was a love of customization and the flexibility that came with it. Now … Read more

Nuke(m)Con 2016

Plastic miniatures of the frog-like monsters known as slaadi stand on a battlemap. In the background can be seen several figures representing player characters.

Nuke(m)Con. It’s my gaming group’s homegrown convention which was first held in 2004 as an alternative to going to GenCon. It’s schedule was never formally defined, but for a while we had an every-other-year schedule going with conventions in 2006, 2008, and 2012. Then came the convention drought. It wasn’t for a lack of trying … Read more

Finding the Path back to Fantasy RPGs

In hindsight, we played Dungeons & Dragons for too long. Our World of Greyhawk campaign lasted 12 years, included dozens of characters, hundreds of plots, and forays into Castle Greyhawk, the Temple of Elemental Evil and our own homegrown creations. It spanned the 2nd and 3rd editions of the game and saw us buy hundreds … Read more