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…

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…

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…

Instant Art (or Artists)… just add dice (and imagination)

When filling your game worlds with people, places, and things, how often do you think about the art on the walls or in the halls? How about the artists who created such pieces? This is an area of world building that is often glossed over and completely missed as a source of opportunity. Imagine a…

Encounter Design: A Couple of Examples of Story Seeds

Wow. I really can’t let this encounter thing go at the moment, so we’ll ride it to see how far we get. Using a couple of different approaches, I’ve come up with these two story seeds. Really I’m not describing individual encounters as much as I am the ideas for an adventure or series of…

Pre-made Art for Independent Publishers

Let me start out by saying that I am definitely not an artist. My artistic skills peaked when I was 12 or 13 and have had plenty of time to regress since then. But I understand the importance of artwork in roleplaying materials. Text by itself, even when you play with layouts, fonts, and lines…

Typography or “How a font can redefine an idea…”

Image via Wikipedia Have you ever noticed that advertising people are totally in love with fonts to express their messages? Have you ever wondered why? Ok, me either. I typically tune out commercials and skim past ads in magazines and on web pages… But I recently saw a couple of posts about typography that made…

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