Category: GMing

Skills and Sensibility

I’m still poking and prodding at the OSR, trying to “get” a few things. I’m currently toying with the following idea for a skill resolution mechanic. TL;DR Version: Roll 2d6, +1 for a high relevant ability score or -1 for a low relevant ability score. On a 7+ you do it, on a 6 or…



Crunch and Fluff, Some Piecemeal Thoughts

I’m a man with two hearts. The first is the party of me that likes leveling up and getting bigger numbers. The second is the part where I recognize that numbers are meaningless. All RPGs boil down to complicated games of “DM May I.” The player asks, “DM, may I do X?” and the DM…



The Difference Between Hard and Challenging

Difficult fights suck. We’ve all sat at tables as the GM “challenged” us with unhittable/unkillable foes that blasted us with tons of MEGA!!! damage. Once the players blow their resources, they spend these battles chipping away at the enemy’s life. If I wanted to watch a healthbar slowly deplete, I could play a video game….



Lessons From BASHCon (3/3)

Two games behind us, one ahead. After last night’s relatively successful Witch Hunter game, we were in high spirits. We were signed up for Bonekeep, a Pathfinder game of adventure, exploration, and murder hobos. Nothing like a good dungeon crawl to finish off the trip, right? When we arrived at the Pathfinder room, we spoke…


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Lessons From BASHCon (2/3)

After fleeing our first game, Ryan, Ben, and I went to our hotel to check in. The Ramada toledo was alright. Not great, not terrible. The hotel staff was polite and friendly. Our rooms were fairly nice (and clean), but the hotel needs a facelift. Its also situated claustraphobically close to a nearby apartment complex….


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Lessons From BASHCon (1/3)

As mentioned in the previous post, Ryan and I spent last weekend (the 21st) at BASHCon. We took one of our friends, Ben, on the trip with us. Ben was something of a “con skeptic,” and we were determined to show him how great RPG conventions were. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Most things that…


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XP is a gift of the DM, not a reward for awesome roleplaying (lest any player should boast).

Let me tell you a quick tale of the Bard of Waterdeep.  He shared a writing course with me.  During this time, he earned the name by writing a poem about slaying a dragon, signed “the Bard of Waterdeep.”  That alone should clue you in on how much the Bard loved D&D.  At one point,…



Attack of the Dread Jerk-adin!

Alignment week part deux!  This week, I’ll have two more dead horses to beat as I take on the dread jerk-adin and the horrors of a mixed-alignment party.  I’ve seen a couple of articles about paladins over at Saving Throw Show (one by our own Tom V.), and I feel obligated to add my two…



I hate evil campaigns.

This is “we have opinions on alignment” week. I’m sure that  some of you are groaning because few RPG topics have been debated more than the much-maligned system of player character alignment.  This is not a primer.   I’m assuming everyone reading this has a basic understanding of the principals and concepts of alignment.  Nor…



Four truths about Stealth and Perception.

Told ya it was hateweek. In the modern RPG, there are two skills that I abhor more than others: Stealth and Perception.  You might know them by other names, such as “Hide in Shadows” and “Move Silently” and “Spot Hidden,” but their function remains the same: to aggravate DMs and players with kludgy rules. The…