Don’t Fence Me In

Last month we had a chunk of fence blow down in our back yard and we’re finally working on getting it repaired/replaced. Unfortunately it is going to take a couple of months because we’re not alone in needing a new fence, and our contractor is a good one so he’s overwhelmed with work. Sigh. (No,…

A Glimpse of Giants

Every now and then I’m left in the morning with the barest glimpse of a dream from the night before and I scramble to collect the pieces and discover if it’s a thread worth following. This week I had one of those experiences and was left with a strange image of a giant statue leaning…

Denizens in the Dark

We’ve talked a bit about the physical properties of dungeons, but what happens when we need to populate those structures with inhabitants? Last week I brought up the idea of the original “purpose” for the dungeon and I’d like to expand on that a little. Let’s take the history of an old dungeon as an example……

EncounteRX – NPC Makeover, SyFy Face Off-style

Some of you may be addicted to Syfy’s Face Off competition series where they pit aspiring makeup and effects artists against different solo and team challenges in insane time frames. If not and you’re interested in some of the movie magic that goes into creating some of the creatures you find on television and the…

EncounteRX… More than just 2d4 wolves…

Session planning is more of an art than a science sometimes. If you like coming up with stuff on the fly, it can be as simple as pulling together some basic maps, encounter descriptions, monster stats, and treasure into a pile and you’re off to the races. But sometimes you want a bit more, even…

Encounter Time: Ships Passing in the Night…

Let’s try this on for size as a system-neutral, almost genre-neutral (easily suitable for fantasy or western worlds)… The Scene You’ve been on the road for a few days on foot and have only seen a few people traveling either direction. The people you’ve met so far have been taciturn, keeping to themselves and moving…

New Products! Insta-NPCs! (*Just Add Dice)

During the creation of the Big Book of Little Spaces: Haunts (available soon!), I added a couple of ideas as appendices for NPC creation that turned out not to fit very well in the scope of that book. However, I’m not one to waste a good idea. So I spun those two ideas into a new product…

Let Local Lawbreakers Do Your Leg Work

How do you bring your towns and cities to life? By populating them with people and events that your PCs can interact with! But sometimes coming up with those events can be difficult. When you’re looking for inspiration, where do you turn? I’m going to suggest something you may not have thought of previously. Your…

10 Hooks For Things in the Dark

As I continue work on the Big Book of Little Spaces: Haunts, I’m constantly coming up with new examples for plot hooks, events, and encounters… Here are ten I came up with over the weekend based on the elements list in Little Spaces: Scary Basements and expanded lists of sensory descriptors. Though you can’t see into the…

How’s Them Road Apples?

As a player I often wondered how much time we actually spent on the road between locations. In some campaigns we seemed to ALWAYS be on horseback or foot, camping by the roadside, holed up in some creepy inn, or stuffed in the stacked hammocks aboard a ship… We never really complained all that much,…

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