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…

Designing Better Encounters

As I’ve begun work on yet another product idea, I’ve wondered at the different elements of RPG encounters. What are some of the pieces that make some encounters successful and others less so? For myself (and most gamers) I suspect that the biggest piece of the puzzle is engagement. Are the PCs involved? How do…

Ten Ways to Introduce a NPC…

As GMs, we always have a cast of characters rotating around the PCs to help us tell the story, but sometimes it’s difficult to get NPCs into the story. Here are ten possible ways to do get your PCs to sit up and take notice… Have the NPC collapse just outside the party’s campsite. Send…

Magazine Review: Kobold Quarterly Summer 2010 Issue 14

Yahoo! The Summer 2010 issue of Kobold Quarterly is overflowing with chewy gaming goodness. And if you’re just in the mood for some amazing art, cover to cover is full of spectacular full color and black and white art, starting with “The Paladin’s Treasure” on the front cover. We all knew Paladins were adventuring for something . . . → Read More: Magazine Review: Kobold Quarterly Summer 2010 Issue 14

PC Therapy?

A concept came up in discussion a couple of weeks ago about how to resolve inter-party issues. We’re not going to try it ourselves, but I wanted to write about it a bit to share it and ponder the idea a bit. It’s simple really… For each other character in the group, a player will…

Is it time to ask your character some questions?

Yes, I’m probably going out on a limb here by asking you to talk to a fictional character – which can be further construed as asking you to talk to yourself. (Though recent articles say that talking to yourself isn’t necessarily a bad thing – see here.) Characters are rarely just numbers and words on…

Who has the power in a game?

Odd topic, but power is a funny thing. In real life, those who have it typically want more. Those without want some. And it’s not always what you think. In a roleplaying game, you’d think the GM held most of the power. And to a point, you’re right. But without players, what good is a…

How do you make module-driven games seem less railroaded?

Hi all… Yes, it seems that nearly every time I post anything these days, it’s asking a question. But before I ask, let me provide some context… We have a very small group (currently 2 or 3 players depending on the week and a GM) playing a D&D 3.5e adventure set in one of the…

RPG Blog Carnival: NPC Show and Tell…

I’m coming late to the RPG Blog Carnival this month, but better late than never, right? Image via Wikipedia NPCs are an area where I either go very deep or very shallow. For example, a common theme I have in running a game is putting an Inn/Tavern in every town and there always happens to…

Starting Over… Further tweaks

Hi all… Image via Wikipedia Chuck and Mike have thrown a few good comments my way that I’ve been pondering a bit since my last Starting Over… article, so I thought I’d address them before moving on… A couple of things came to light, including: The need for a more static or passive defense number…

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