Game Day: Scales of Truth

Sometimes, you need to get a little weird … and Scales of Truth, my current lunchtime campaign, is a lot weird. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Scales of Truth is a D&D 5e-powered game that relies heavily on the tropes of weird fantasy. It draws inspiration from Gamma World, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Numenera, though its still has a … Read more

Getting Lost in a Hexcrawl

An example of a hexcrawl map, featuring beige hills, grasslands, a large lake, and a volcano.

My current lunchtime game is Scales of Truth, a hexcrawl set in a post-apocalyptic science-fantasy setting. Think of a mashup of Thundarr the Barbarian, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, and Mad Max: Fury Road, powered by Dungeons & Dragons. So what’s a hexcrawl? It’s a style of RPG campaign in which the game master populates … Read more

Off the Bookshelf: The Unicorn Project, Bone Silence, Arcana of the Ancients

Nuketown’s summer reading list for 2020 is in full effect. In May and June, I finished two books – The Unicorn Project and Bone Silence – and picked up Arcana of the Ancients, a hefty new science fantasy RPG  sourcebook for my new lunchtime campaign. The Unicorn Project The Unicorn Project (Amazon), Gene Kim’s follow-up to The Phoenix Project … Read more


A far-future landscape.

Several years ago the Gamer Working Group — my lunchtime gaming crew — chose to playtest Numenera. I created the wandering town of Walkabout for what I expected to be a short campaign, but alas, the game never really clicked with the group. That was largely because of the lack of literal world building; the game was all … Read more

#RPGaDay2018 – How can we get more people playing?

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

For those of us with kids, the answer’s easy: teach them how to play. I started teaching my son and his friends how to play three years ago during our annual summer vacation on Lake Champlain. Two years ago, our gaming group started scheduling “D&D Kids” sessions and running our children through the classic B2 … 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

Numenera 2: Time to Give Weird a Second Chance?

Two explorers investigate a mysterious hatch in the middle of a swamp.

The Numenera 2 Kickstarter just launched. It has me thinking about my gaming groups’ own experiences with Numenera, why we stopped playing it, and how Numenera 2 might get us playing again. A few years ago I backed the Numenera kickstarter and, as my core rule book arrived, I was excited to try out this science fantasy game set in a ruined, weird world a … Read more


Several RPG books fanned out across a table.

RPG-a-Day is an annual event in which bloggers spend a month talking about different aspects of role-playing games. Rather than spread this out over several blog posts, I’ve rolled up my entries into one mega-post. Day 1: What published RPG do you wish you were playing right now? Dungeon World (or one of the other … Read more

Game Day: Lunchtime Numenera

Inverted pyramid-like stone monoliths float in the ping-blue mists of a mountainous region.

My lunchtime campaign has transitioned from Dragon Age to Numenera. Two of us backed it in the Kickstarter, and the others were sufficiently intrigued to want to playtest the game. As I wrote before, my regular gaming group ran an extensive playtest of Numenera that involved two adventures spread out over several real-world months. With … Read more

2014: A Year of Transitions

A red dragon prepares to breath fire.

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival topic is “Transitions”, and it’s particularly appropriate for my group in 2014.

One of our players just took a job out of state and another welcomed his third child into the world. We’ve just started a Savage Worlds playtest, which might lead to our first non-d20 campaign … ever. Dungeons & Drgaons 5th Edition is looming over August, and I expect we’ll at least do a playtest once it’s released.