Category Archives: Design

Is Failure an Option?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to set conditions for failure in a tabletop RPG. On the one hand, tabletop RPGs lend themselves well to total and final failure in a quest because, while we strive to achieve our … Continue reading

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Social Pacing

Tabletop Roleplaying Games are largely social games. While focus on other core gameplay aesthetics (Narrative, Fantasy, Challenge, Discovery) vary from table to table, Fellowship is almost always a big part of why we gather round the table each week to … Continue reading

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Tyranny of Mundanity: Retrospective

The Tyranny of Mundanity campaign has recently finished, and it did not go as planned, so I thought it would be interesting to look back on how it played out. This is also the first time I’ve run a campaign … Continue reading

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Extrinsic Game Costs

I like puzzles in my games. I’ve mentioned before, however, that they present a challenge of design for to their reliance on player ability and not so much character ability. In my previous post, I gave some tips based on … Continue reading

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Real-Time Jazz Band

For a year now, I’ve been running a real-time, jazz band campaign in my Haven setting, so I thought now might be a good time to sit down and think a little about how it’s gone. To start with, let … Continue reading

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The Pacing of Fear

I’ve been meaning to do some more writing on game design topics for Game Masters, having touched on aesthetics of play (specifically with traps) and negative possibility space in the past. One aspect of game design I’ve been focusing on … Continue reading

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Running Puzzles

Puzzles are understandably controversial as tools in roleplaying games. Some people love puzzles, some people hate them. The more relevant dilemma is the extent to which puzzles are a staple of dungeon design and fantasy settings, while at the same … Continue reading

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Negative Possibility Space at the Table

I’ve recently described being a Game Master (specifically those of us who built our own world and write or own campaigns) as similar to being a game designer, a game designer whose resources are extremely limited, whose content only gets … Continue reading

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Durlag’s Tower Level 2-CPNR

Before you watch the video below, you should take a look at the Extra Credits series introducing the CPNR method of dungeon design by applying it to level 1 of the tower. I don’t do anything to explain the purpose … Continue reading

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Why Traps?

The purpose of this post is to finish working through my thoughts on what purpose traps have in tabletop RPGs. I started the process with a rambling video a couple weeks ago, and this week I mean to say some … Continue reading

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