Aliens & Asteroids: Designing Weapons for the Future

Looking into the crystal ball a few hundred years is a challenge. Understatement of the year. But as I look to the future and what humankind has wrought upon our universe, I’m left with one very obvious fact: weapons have to be tough. It’s tough to get replacement parts when you’re light years from the…

Purpose for the Darkness (March 2017 RPG Blog Carnival)

Last time I offered a few ideas on a single dark room in the dungeon, but that got me thinking even further. What are the questions we should ask about those dark places to help inspire more thoughts about their denizens and the encounters our PCs might face in them? Even if we just take a…

Exploring a Dungeon’s Atmosphere

As I wrote up the “Wolves in the Walls” article about crafting dungeons, I realized I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about next. I’d covered ceilings, floors, and walls. A year ago I wrote about staircases. And I have an entire book about doors. What was left? Turns out, there’s quite a…

The Wolves in the Walls

By now we’ve covered ceilings and floors, I think it’s about time to focus on the walls of our dungeon and see how we might view them differently. If you search the collective consciousness (and the insane number of idioms we have in the English language), you can find some interesting sayings or phrases focused…

Where did that come from? (Item ownership)

Every item in a game world has a story. Sure, it might not be an exciting story, but it has a story. And when you go to a blacksmith or a “general store” you have a great opportunity to use an item’s story to help inspire plots in the world – or at the very…

Watch Your Step (Four on the Dungeon Floor)

Last week we looked at the ceiling, so this week let’s check out the floor of our ever-changing dungeon. Unlike the ceiling, I think players (and their PCs) are a bit more cognizant of the dangers that accompany every step in unfamiliar territory. You never know when you might trigger a trap, snap a twig,…

Don’t Forget To Look Up

Whether you’re exploring a cave system, a dungeon, a jungle, or even an urban landscape, one lesson has stuck with me since playing through my first adventures in Dungeons & Dragons: Look Up. Why? You never know what be crawling around on the ceiling! Whether it’s simply spiders waiting to drop down, wrap you in…

A Pair of Tiny Dungeons

Continuing my delving into dungeons dark and random… I’ve pulled together (as I like to do) a collection of random tables. They fall into the following categories: Shape Size Number of Exits Occupants Purpose Traps Age Exit Type And in true Fitz fashion they’re pretty abstract and minimal. I expect to add more details over…

A Random Start To Random Dungeon Design

Whether you go with analog randomizers such as physical dice or coins or their digital counterparts, I’ve been fascinated by the flexibility of the traditional random table. Ever since reading Appendix A: Random Dungeon Generation in the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide way back in the early 1980s, I was hooked. And I didn’t really realize how…

The Revenge that Binds…

Continuing my work with Revenge of the Serpent Queen, I’m always struck by the incongruity of getting PCs to go one way or another in a campaign world. The world of Lost Age Adventures is not quite as organized as something like the Sword Coast in the Forgotten Realms where you have some fairly major…

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