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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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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Don’t Go Adventuring in D&D

I was thinking the other day about all the Dungeons & Dragons campaigns I’ve done in my life. Whether I was running back and forth through the Dalelands, traversing the scorching sands of Athas, or recovering in Sigil from my latest trek to the Lower Planes things were pretty sweet. My characters were all different in their background but they could find adventure and glory if they put their minds to it. Then I thought: why? Today, I’m going to make a case for not doing that.

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Mass Combat in Middle-Earth

The players in my Adventures in Middle-earth game are messing with me. I’m sure of it. They took a nice, simple campaign of helping people and fighting the forces of Sauron and they’ve made it into some kingdom-building Greyhawk nonsense. So, what is a poor Loremaster to do? Lean straight into it.

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New Gamemasters

Last week I wrote about some tools for making sandbox games easier. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but this fits neatly into Monte Cook Games’s New GM Month, a feature they do every year around this time that is a real benefit to up-and-coming gamemasters for any system. While I don’t really recommend sandbox-style games for the beginning GM, I thought I’d follow it up with some advice for GMs of all levels.

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Designing Missions for Star Trek

There’s a lot of information out there for GMs but I’m writing up suggestions for GMs wanting to try Star Trek games. This is a beloved and unique series, after all, so you want to make sure you hit the right tone. This advice applies to any game really, though, so feel free to use it for whatever you’re playing!

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