Exploring the Future’s Past, Part 1

This week I received some input on A&A from friends of mine from way back… Derek, who I’ve known since college (nearly 30 years now) and Mike, who I’ve known since my days at Sybase (more than a decade). Both offered some intriguing feedback. But first, we’ll take a look at the wacky history that…

Revisiting the Past: Knowledge Checks in OSR

As I get more familiar with Mazes & Perils, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to get “New School” players thinking of things in the “Old School” way. Last time we talked about how the idea of a “Perception check” in OSR systems doesn’t really exist, making players be much more paranoid…

Magick to Go: Strange Alchemy

Since my ideas about Runic Magic didn’t scare you off, it must be time to bring up another fascinating field of wizardry… Alchemy! Like runic magick, the ideas behind alchemy are closer to traditional spellcraft in that an alchemist casts spells designed to affect material things. The whole art of Alchemy revolves around the idea of almost…

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…

What makes up a character with lots of dimension? – Part II

Welcome again fellow adventurers! Let’s take creating characters further yet. In the last article, we discussed backgrounds, personality, and appearance. Now we will discuss some of the other details like objectives, connections, and how to bring it all together. Details, details, details… Objectives You already know a bit about where your character came from and…

What makes up a character with lots of dimension? – Part I

Welcome fellow adventurers! Let’s take the process of on creating characters a bit further. In the last article we discussed length, breadth, depth, convergence, and divergence and how those qualities affect character. Now we will discuss some of those qualities in a bit more detail. Details, details, details… To create deeper characters, first you need…

My Kingdom for a Random Item!

Last week Johnn Four asked around for anyone with a few ideas or resources on how to create some interesting random items. And funny enough, I thought at some point I actually had such an idea buried. (My notebooks are full of ideas I haven’t fully explored yet.) So I sent him a brief PDF…

Three Questions About That Fantastic Item your PCs Just Recovered…

Your PC just located an artifact of immense power while diving into a dungeon on the far side of the world. S/he knows it has fantastic abilities because s/he can feel the power thrumming from within. But you’ve seen other characters burned (literally or figuratively) by the power of such items before and want to…

RPG Blog Carnival: Life and Death in RPGs… – Pt. 1 – Life

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival topic is Life and Death in RPGs (see here for the kickoff article) and shockingly enough in the insanity of my last few weeks, I have some ideas to share… Let’s start with Life, and then we’ll work on Death in the next post. For me, “life” in RPGs is…

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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