Tag Archives: game design

The Ubiquitous Perception Check

It’s gotten pretty tedious how often Perception Checks are called for in actual plays, games I GM, and games I play in. The party is passing by an interesting place in my open world? Everyone roll a Perception Check. The … Continue reading

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Low-Impact Actions and the Cost of the Action Economy

I’m hoping this is a short one, as I have to admit I don’t know exactly what I intend to say with this post. It comes back to my recent experience with the speed and density of combat in 1e. … Continue reading

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Game Masters and the Aesthetics of Play

This is a presentation I gave live at LTUE 2020. I quite liked it and thought I should record it for everyone as we approach LTUE 2021 this weekend. I’m on several panels and I’d love to see you there:

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Lazy… And

Like many people, when I heard the concept of “yes, and” that improv was bringing to the RPG community, I saw the value. I could remember lots of enjoyable experiences from when I or another GM took a player idea … Continue reading

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Aesthetics of Play and the Hook

Readers of the blog know that I like to think about how to use individual game elements in RPGs to serve the core aesthetics of play. In the past, I’ve addressed traps from this perspective and dived into Fellowship pacing, … 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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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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