Things in the Dark Wrap-up – March 2017 RPG Blog Carnival

We kicked things off back on March 1st with a simple call for the RPG Blog Carnival, inviting the community to write about the “things” lurking in the dark. Maybe a creature. Maybe an encounter. Maybe an item. But whatever it was, shed a little light on it and share it with the world. After…

EncounteRX… More than just 2d4 wolves…

Session planning is more of an art than a science sometimes. If you like coming up with stuff on the fly, it can be as simple as pulling together some basic maps, encounter descriptions, monster stats, and treasure into a pile and you’re off to the races. But sometimes you want a bit more, even…

Staging a Scene vs. Detailing a Location

Last Friday I took apart a great Dungeon Crawl Classics module from Goodman Games and attempted to put it in terms of production elements. Words, pages, artwork, etc. Today I want to approach it from a different point of view. IMHO, the OSR movement seems to swing the design pendulum from story- and character-motivation-heavy modern…

10 Hooks For Things in the Dark

As I continue work on theĀ Big Book of Little Spaces: Haunts, I’m constantly coming up with new examples for plot hooks, events, and encounters… Here are ten I came up with over the weekend based on the elements list inĀ Little Spaces: Scary Basements and expanded lists of sensory descriptors. Though you can’t see into the…

How’s Them Road Apples?

As a player I often wondered how much time we actually spent on the road between locations. In some campaigns we seemed to ALWAYS be on horseback or foot, camping by the roadside, holed up in some creepy inn, or stuffed in the stacked hammocks aboard a ship… We never really complained all that much,…

Little Spaces Design: Gruesome Graves

As I work towards my first “big little” product in a few weeks, I’m working on filling in the spaces between what I already had. One of those spaces is graveyards. There’s something spooky about old graveyards… the markers, mausoleums, and macabre shapes are enough to give you the creeps. And somehow our PCs just…

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…

Building Block Encounters

Last week I talked about encounter design a bit and the keys to both making sure that players are engaged and the GM has measurable goals in the end. But let’s continue that thought a bit more. If we design a few general encounters, we potentially have some tricks up our sleeve in case we…

Expanding Little Spaces: Fancy Meals to Create Encounters

The Little Spaces series of products has been quite popular. These short inspiration generators offer a quick way to shake up the creative spirit and quickly come up with a few ideas in a specific context to write about. Though a few examples are provided in each product, I wanted to come up with a…

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