Tag Archives: 3.x

Taming The Time Bandits: Some time-saving combat techniques

Synopsis Of The Problem In Johnn’s last blog post, “My Group’s Time Thief Revealed,” he described his discovery that the chief drag on the pace of his combat was the GM, despite his expectations to the contrary. While he did not track the components of his activity, he was able to dismiss a couple of factors out of hand – …

Perfect Skin: Some Musing On The Design Of Monsters

Monsters generally come in three parts: Stat Blocks, Descriptive passages (which some people refer to as Fluff), and Templates, enabling you to add the “monster description” to an existing race – sort of an ersatz Class. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the differing values and usefulness of books on the subject. NB: This is an unabashedly d20/3.x article. YMMV with other game systems. Reskinning…

On The Nature Of Flaws

Disclaimer: This article was prompted and inspired by my receipt of a free copy of Player’s Option: Flaws from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming, but it is largely based on my experience with the Hero System. 4 Winds did not solicit this review and did not recieve notice of the content. /Disclaimer So that we’re all on the same page, let’s start with a quick review of just…

Too Much Life for The Living: March 2011 Blog Carnival

One more article for the Blog Carnival! Next time, I’ll get back to the series on Pulp Genre Conventions, if everything goes according to plan… A Variant Combat System for D&D 3.x Is healing too easy in D&D? Sometimes it seems like Clerics are little more than magical drip bottles, especially in more tactically oriented campaigns and adventures, like the typical dungeon. Only when adventures …

Life, Death, and Life Renewed – March 2011 Blog Carnival

I’ve put the “Reinventing Pulp” series on hold for a week in order to do a short article for this month’s Blog Carnival, which is all about life and death in RPGs. The series will return next week. One of the problems with a campaign that spans multiple game systems is that there are parts of the rules systems that …

Things Done and left Un-done

I keep unfinished article ideas in a text document on my computer. When I first started writing Campaign Mastery, I set up a list containing some seventy-odd ideas deriving from material I had produced for my different campaigns. In the past year, that list has, quite obviously, reduced in size – by all of four entries. In November, I moved apartments, and my computer was …

“How Hard Can It Be?” – Skill Checks under the microscope

Fans will recognise the quote used as the title of this article as something often said by Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear when the trio of presenters are about to attempt a challenge posed by the show’s producers. Since it inevitably turns out that the correct answer is “Very!”, it is usually followed by one or both of the other commentators yelling “Don’t Say …

Let’s Have A Good Clean Fight…

I’ve written on this topic before, but only as part of a larger subject. But I recently had occasion to expand the EL-CR chart that I created for my own use, and decided to share it with our readers – and have written this Blog Post to explain what it is and how I use it. This is a chart …

Pulling That Lever: The Selection Of Leaders In RPG Societies

Nobles from ancient Mede Okay, so for the first time since we started this online magazine/blog, one of us has missed getting a post up. Johnn struck problems with his planned post at the last possible moment, and then tried to rewrite it but missed the deadline; thought that he would be able to get it up a day late, …

Ask The GMs: Rubbing Two Dry Words Together

Why have different languages in an RPG? How can they be used to enhance a story? And what’s wrong with Universal Translators, anyway? I have a question about using languages in fantasy RPGs. There are numerous articles and advice out there on how to create fictitious languages and make them sound realistic or add verisimilitude to the campaign setting, but that’s not my question. My question is…

Sophisticated Links: Degrees Of Seperation in RPGs

.| Network |. by Clix Introduction This is not the post I was originally going to write for today, but a paragraph in one of the books I am reading brought to mind the game that seemed to be everywhere just a few years ago, “Six Degrees From Kevin Bacon”, and social networking in general, and I suddenly saw applicability to RPGs. It won’t…