31 Days of Halloween, Day 9

As I continue into the depths of October, it’s hard to believe we’re almost 1/3 of the way through the month already on this mad quest of writing. Each vignette comes from just a few key words and a little context, and I have to say the things my brain tosses out sometimes disturb even…

31 Days of Halloween, Day 4

Here we are at day 4 of my Halloween-themed challenge. Each day, I have been writing up a little vignette that can be used for your horror- or mystery-themed gaming session. Today it was generated using the Little Spaces: Burial Mounds product, which uses a slightly different (more Insta-NPCs-ish) approach with a collection of tables…

31 Days of Halloween, Day 3

Here we are at day 3 of my Halloween-themed challenge. Each day, I will write up a little vignette that can be used for your horror- or mystery-themed gaming session. This time it even seems a bit Doctor Who inspired, so it might fit into a modern or science fiction context or even a fantasy…

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…

Round-up: What’s in the Hole? (June 2014 Blog Carnival)

As you might have noticed, June has ended, which means it’s now time to gather together all the cool posts that folks wrote for the “What’s in the Hole?” RPG Blog Carnival! And boy are there some cool ones! Monsters, maps, and much much more! In each case, be sure to not just stop at…

Phaedrus Friday: Discovered!

My liege, I have failed you and taken refuge among the Waktok. They are protecting me as I make my way home to you. Their migration takes them across the world seeking the lost knowledge of Bede. I have promised them secrets in return for my safety. Please make sure that one of your Lieutenants…

Four Things to Make Your Monsters More Monstrous

What is it about monsters that get us going as gamers? Whether we see them in movies, on television, or read about them in books and comics, every new creature gives us something new to dread, exploit, and plot as GMs… But it’s left me wondering… What exactly makes a monster “monstrous”? I set out…

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…

Design Ramble: Open Spaces and Abstract Thoughts

Lately I’ve been pondering strange questions as a GM and designer, so here’s my latest ramble… Have you noticed that most fantasy worlds are focused on the crowded places? The constructed places? What about the open spaces? If you watch The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings Movies, you see the dwarves and the…

Brick by Brick Design: You Are Here

While working on the upcoming Brick by Brick: Floors product (follow-up to Brick by Brick: Doors), I stumbled across a strange idea. If context is so important for everything in a game encounter, do we sometimes need some sort of inspiration to determine how the PCs have come to a particular place? Arriving at a…

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