Game Fodder: The Brothers of Rasil

Lately I’ve been working on a new Insta-NPCs product about bandits and have been using it to inspire some writing. Though these aren’t your traditional bandits, the brothers cause a certain amount of philosophical trouble on the roads and I wanted to share… I used the product to create the following collection of terms: Purpose:…

Using Scarcity, Abundance, and Enough to Inspire Settings and Encounters

Recently I had an opportunity to ponder how economics plays into the development of an area. It was a thought that first occurred after reading Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond many years ago – but I hadn’t really been at a point where I could ponder how it applies to game mechanics or writing…

Twelve Offerings to the Gods Guaranteed to Gain Favor

Occasionally we consider making offerings to the gods. Perhaps we as players seek to appease the gods of die rolling. Perhaps our characters seek to gain favor for some upcoming adventure. Perhaps an evil NPC seeks fiery vengeance upon his (or her) enemies. These offerings are only heard occasionally by the forces in question… when…

This Train is Bound for Story… Part 1

Two things lately have had me thinking about trains in the context of telling stories at the game table. First, there’s the Zeitgeist adventure – Always on Time from EN Publishing and designer Jacob Driscoll. We’ve been playing the 4e version for a few sessions now and I have to say it’s been interesting to…

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…

Ten Hints about Coming Change in the Penned Forest

Far too often, the world around us changes slowly. But in the case of the Penned Forest, observant folks might notice a few things before the rest of the world. It’s been nearly 1,000 years since the forest was locked away and suddenly it appears to be gaining a life of its own. There have…

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…

Creature Creation 101

For some reason, I’ve had creature creation on the brain of late. It started out as pondering a way of randomizing mutations and morphed into something better… Every world has its distinct flora and fauna. We’re still discovering new species of plants and animals all around the world and you have to wonder what sorts…

Time for some magic mushrooms?

When your heroes are out in the wild and they run out of food, what do they eat? Maybe they are lost and alone. Maybe bandits or goblins stole all their supplies from camp while they were out exploring. Who knows? As a GM, I thought it might be fun to come up with some…

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