The Treasure Hunter is out Exploring!

There’s a new hero on the Mazes & Perils scene today. Maybe he’s something like Indiana Jones, exploring the jungles of South America looking for priceless artifacts to include in a museum. Perhaps she’s like Lara Croft, safeguarding the world from items that shouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. But either way, this character is…

Things in the Dark: Light Sources (March 2017 RPG Blog Carnival)

It’s impossible to consider the darkness unless you have a source of light. As a species, we’re simply not equipped to see the types of energy wavelengths that other creatures can. It puts most humanoids at a disadvantage when exploring the dark places. So for this month’s blog carnival (exploring Things in the Dark), I…

Things in the Dark Kickoff – March 2017 RPG Blog Carnival

The darkness. For as long as we’ve been conscious as a species, we’ve tried to chase it away. From the flickering light of a torch and bonfire to today’s daylight-mimicking electric LED bulbs, the goal is always the same… achieve the relative safety of daytime so we can see what’s coming out of the dark.…

Alternate Cantrips in 5th edition (Guest post by William C. Pfaff)

My man Brian Fitzpatrick is seeking some balance between 5E (and 4E’s) at-will damaging cantrips and the poor wizard of yesteryear who would cast sleep and then beg the party to do the same so he could get his lone spell back. I gave this some serious thought and then realized the answer may be…

Revisiting the Past: Trap Detection, Part 2

Last time we talked about three different approaches to detecting traps in a gaming scenario. The Bull in the China Shop, Analysis Paralysis, and the Middle Ground. You can read that post here… In this post, I want to talk a bit more about game mechanics and how traps are handled in Mazes & Perils…

Revisiting the Past: Trap Detection, Part 1

As I’ve gone through the process of revisiting my Old School gaming roots with D&D through Mazes & Perils, I have had to re-examine the art of trap detection. And yes, there is an art to it. Let’s start with the three main methods of trap detection that transcend rules systems entirely: Bull in the…

Revisiting the Past: Insight Checks in OSR

Anybody used to playing older versions of D&D (pre-4e) is probably wondering what the heck an Insight check is. Imagine for a moment that your PC is interacting with a NPC and you want to know whether the NPC’s motives are pure. Are they lying to you? Are they hiding something? Are they being forthright?…

Revisiting the Past: Why Cantrips Bug Me in 5e

Way back when the world was flat and I was playing 1e AD&D in the mid 1980s, a book came out that threw a number of monkey wrenches into our nice, ordered existence… Unearthed Arcana. There were some cool things like Cavaliers and extended item lists. There were some weird things like the new stat…

Revisiting the Past: The Old School Mindset and Roll-Playing

When I started playing D&D in 1982, we were young, naive, and enthusiastic. We took on every dungeon with glee and even fought a few major figures like Orcus and Tiamat as I recall. But it wasn’t “Old School” then — it was just playing D&D with friends every weekend we could get together. By…

Pondering What It Means to Be Old School

Last week I had the opportunity to get into a chat with my good friend Mike. I played as part of Mike’s group for a few years in a couple of campaigns. The first one started in Fantasy Hero and shifted to D&D 3.5. The second one was D&D 3.5 with some Pathfinder elements thrown…

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