Ten NPCs You Bump Into In A Crowded Tavern

So you have devised the perfect location, plot, or adventure for your next game session but need a cast of characters to make the setup complete. Your brain has other ideas however and is rebelling. Here’s a quick way to kick your creativity into high gear to describe somebody. Step 1: Roll a d6. On…

Little Spaces Design: Creepy Copses

As a writer, the word “copse” has always evoked a sense of dread as a description for a group of trees or shrubbery, almost as though a copse was similar to a corpse but of a vegetal variety. Because of this, I’ve always tried to work it into my own work somewhere. Thus, Little Spaces:…

Little Spaces Design: Traipsing Down the Horrid Hallways…

Why do we have so much trepidation about hallways in the movies? Is it the fact that they seem to be haunted in horror films? Or that sometimes they stretch to infinity when we know we should be reaching the end? Or running to the end of a hallway only to be presented with another…

Errant Paths: Inspired by Danger

Sometimes ideas come into my brain and I have no idea quite what to do with them… this is one of them. As adventurers, we thrive on danger. Whether we are causing danger to others or ourselves or saving someone or something from danger, it’s one of those constant companions heroes have. But what happens…

Story Seeds Design: A Polti Plots Approach

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve chatted with Keith J. Davies more than a few times about some of my encounter/story seeds design questions – from the content to the presentation. It’s been quite helpful (thanks Keith!) And it’s forced me to reexamine a few things, which is always good. 🙂 But one of…

Game Fodder: Five Odd Hooks

Though I’m still working on a number of product ideas, I try to get in a little free writing every day I can. The other day I came up with these five strange ideas that you may be able to leverage in your games… In the seaside town of Luro, a ghost has often been…

Encounters Design: How Many Columns?

So I sat down this weekend to work on a layout for a new product and discovered I was ambivalent about the number of columns I used in a particular page layout. That made me wonder… What is better? Single or multi-column layouts? I’ve seen both all over the place in gaming PDFs and there…

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…

Encounter Design: Six Elements and More

What do you remember most about your favorite campaigns? I bet it boils down to one of three things… characters, plot, or encounters. Maybe setting could go into that pot as well. And of course none of it is possible without friends to play with. But mostly it’s those three key pieces. I’ll probably talk…

Encounters Design: One Approach to Road Encounters

Like with all projects, this one seems to be taking over my brain, so let’s take a look at some ways we can potentially structure these encounters to not only be functional, but fun, on both sides of the screen. Let’s take a road encounter. Instead of a social engagement, it’s more of an interruption.…

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