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

#RPGaDay2018 – Which game do you hope to play again?

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

Star Wars. I’d love to run the legacy follow-up to our Shadows of the Force campaign. Set in the Dark Times following the Mandalorian Wars, it would feature the descendants of our earlier campaign struggling to survive after the collapse of the Jedi Order. It would take place 30 or so years after the end of the previous … Read more

#RPGaDay2018: What art inspires your game?

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

It varies greatly based on the game we are playing and the campaign I’m running. Typically at the start of a campaign I’ll set out to find art that either matches my vision or helps inspire me. This is particularly helpful when launching non-fantasy game as it helps people grok the tone, atmosphere, and/or vibe … Read more

#RPGaDay2018 – Describe a failure that became amazing

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

It’s been an exceedingly long day at work and home, so to avoid falling behind on #RPGaDay2018, I’m going to point to a blog post I wrote about the life and times of the Aeon Harrier, one of the signature starships from our Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic campaign. Its flight through a protostar nebula (a … Read more

#RPGaDay2018 – How can GMs make the stakes important?

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

By getting the players and their characters emotionally invested in the world … and then leveraging that investment. Both of my RPG entries for #RPGaDay2018 — “Most memorable NPC” and “Favorite recurring NPC” — used this technique. Damocles Everton worked because the players were already heavily invested in the Blackrazor Guild, having saved it from the … 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

Game Day: Ten Years Later

Role-playing book covers. Left to right: Numenera, Dragon Age, Set 2, Knights of the Old Republic, Savage Worlds, Day After Ragnarok

While revisiting the past as part of November’s RPG Carnival, I realized that Nuketown’s Game Day column debuted February 2007. I was stunned to realize I’d been writing it for over a decade, and that I’d written 110 entries in the series. That makes it the longest-running and most prolific column in the ol’thermonuclear burg’s history. There … Read more

Rethinking Encounters and Defeating the Routine

Green and grey dice rest on a page from Volo's Guide to Monsters

“Rethinking Encounters” is the theme of February 2017’s RPG Blog Carnival, hosted by Table Top Terrors. It’s something I’ve contemplated a lot over the last few years as my gaming group returned to playing Dungeons & Dragons and I struggled to come up with thoughtful and interesting fantasy encounters. That’s because for most of the Blackrazor … Read more

Star Wars: Scavenger’s Guide to Droids

A spider-like mining droid climbs down a tunnel.

Scavenger’s Guide to Droids is the definitive droid source book for Star Wars: Saga Edition, introducing a new chassis-based system for creating droids, a new streamlined “protocol” format that lets players run droids as equipment rather than NPCs, new droid manufacturing traits and personality quirks and a 96 page codex containing dozens of droids.