RPG a Day 2023 – Smartest Game You’ve Ever Played

The giant eye of a beholder looks at a gold fish.

From a marketing and design perspective, Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. After 4e split the fan base, 5e reunited it by streamlining the game, resurrecting elements that people loved, and bounding the math so that bonus stacking (and the GM/player arms race it forced) was no longer a thing. It runs fast at low, mid, … Read more

RPG a Day 2022 – What is a great introductory RPG?

A view of two dozen role-playing game books.

The answer to what makes for a great introductory RPG depends on what your goals are. Are you looking to get people hooked based on a well-known brand? Are you looking for exciting game mechanics to draw them back to the table? Are you looking for a straight forward game mechanic that’s easy for non-gamers … Read more

Game Day – Learning Roll20

A screenshot of the Roll20 virtual desktop featuring several character icons and a turn tracker.

My lunchtime Dragon Heist campaign is powered by Roll20, not because we’re playing remotely, but because we need a virtual tabletop to maintain state between sessions. With only an hour to play each week, we didn’t want to spend time setting up and tearing down the battle map. I purchased the Dragon Heist module for the system, giving me ready access … Read more

Game Day: Blackmoor

A close up view of blue/black dice and a tiefling warlock. In the background is an old-school style character sheet.

After the end of our long-running Obsidian Frontier campaign, we decided to venture to a little-explored region of Greyhawk: the Archbarony of Blackmoor. Inspired by Dave Arneson‘s legendary campaign setting of the same name (one of Dungeons & Dragons first-ever settings), Blackmoor promises a mix of ancient magic, weird technology, and the strangeness of the Egg of … Read more

Spellcrash

A fantasy map of the planet Terminus

Spellcrash is a gonzo Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting I’m building featuring dying gods, trapped demons, impossible worlds and the most bizarre monsters the game’s ever known. It’s built around the cursed star system of Star’s End, which unerringly draws the lost and insane to it like bees to nectar. The Star’s End System My … Read more

Game Day: Weird Summertime

Four kids with bikes look at the looming shapes of cooling towers peaking through the mists.

It’s summertime. And things are getting weird. The slipcase two-volume edition of Delta Green arrived in early June after two years of waiting for the Kickstarter to make its production run. After reading lots of positive reviews, I picked up the Tales for the Loop RPG, which features kids on bikes investigating mysteries in a … Read more

Game Day: Illuminated Character Sheets

Drawings of a magic ring, a blue and purple explosion, and a fire elemental.

I get distracted during game sessions. Like many gamers today, I can find it hard to resist the itch to check my phone, rationalizing it with something like “oh, I’ll just look up this one thing and be done with it”. It’s never one thing, and the itch never goes away. It’s even worse with … Read more

Nuke(m)Con 2017

A close-up of a Dungeons & Dragons character sheet. A doodle of a sword, wreathed in flame, appears to the right.

Another Nuke(m)Con is in the bag. Held September 29-October 1, the latest Nuke(m)Con continued a reinvigorated tradition that began in 2006. Family and work emergencies played havoc with attendance this year as a broken water heater, a sick baby, and a super-sized work project kept three players away from the table. A family birthday and … Read more