A Design Framework for Games

How do you know if you’re creating a campaign with enough buy-in and interest with your group? How can you be sure that you’ve given your players enough context on a new gaming system for them to adequately interact with it? The answer to these sorts of questions is far more art than science, but today I’d like to talk about a framework that can help you out.

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Settings with Canon

There are so many games out there inspired by ongoing series from A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying and Adventures in Middle-earth to Star Trek Adventures and Mouse Guard. This is actually one of my favorite types of RPG and the whole system roundtable is based around the idea of playing in a setting that already has an awesome story in it. But how exactly do you make room for your own story in there? Here are a few ideas.

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Character Pitches for City of Mist 2

I’m back with more character sketches based on random articles from the Fairytale Wikiand the Mythology Wiki. It’s really helpful doing these, not really because I’m making characters that I’d like to use in a campaign but because it’s handy to stretch my imagination a little. I encourage you to do it, and to steal these characters if they interest you.

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Character Pitches for City of Mist

Today, I’ve got a few websites that I’ve taken to consulting for City of Mist inspiration. The Fairytale Wiki and Mythology Wiki aren’t perfect, but they do have one feature that makes them great for this purpose: the Random Page option. It’s at the top under “Explore” and it’s a great way to cast around for ideas for your City of Mist campaign. I hit that button two times for each wiki and here’s what I came up with.

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Alignment Alternatives

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about D&D 5e. I love the edition and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons is a pinnacle of the hobby but there are somethings about it that I just don’t love. One of those is the alignment system which I find a little strained and not something that actually achieves what it means to. I don’t ever think it’s in the way of the game (Lawful Stupid and Chaotic Dumb situations aside) but there are definitely ways it could be improved. Here are some brainstorming efforts at achieving just that!

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Ongoing Kickstarters to Jump On

Today I’m going to do something slightly self-serving, but also to spread the word about some awesome projects. There are always tons of Kickstarter projects going on and I know that I hate it when I miss out on ones that I would have loved to back. Today I’m going to tell you about three that I’m currently backing and why. Maybe you’ll jump on too!

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Star Trek Adventures Role Cards

A few weeks ago, I wrote about character roles in Star Trek Adventures and added a few more to supplement some of the roles in various sourcebooks. These were meant to showcase some of the roles seen in Star Trek shows and in fandom (especially the Starfleet Marine Corps which I love). Today, I’ve got a new tool for you to use at your table.

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Throwback Thursday: Family Gaming

Something near and dear to my heart is gaming that includes kids. This is entirely self-serving as I have two kids at home and I’d like to grow up gaming with them. RPGs are for everyone and that includes young players, though that also covers those who don’t want to play a bloodthirsty vampire or a violent warrior. Here you’ll find some of the posts I’ve made about games that fit that mold, games that you can play with the whole family!

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Throwback Thursday: Dark Storytelling

March is a stressful month for me job-wise so I’ve decided to give myself a break on Thursdays and also give some prompts for you, the readers! Today I’m going to be looking at some of the past posts I’ve written about creepy, scary games. Check them out if you missed them, if you forgotten about them, or even if you just want to give them another looksy.

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Improvising As a GM

I recently was talking with my wife, Dr. James, about how one gets to be a “Reactive GM.” That prompted me to pull out a webpage that I’d saved a while ago entitled The Ultimate Guide to Improv. I don’t know about ultimate but it does include 101 excellent tips for being a good improver. I think about this list a lot and there are some tips in particular that really speak to being a GM.

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