Tag: general RPG

Hit Points As Conflict Points

Yes, I know that hit points are not meat points. They aren’t even anything resembling something close to reality. They’re a resource that is consumed–some might say *involuntarily spent*–to stave off character death. Problem is, new school D&D (NSD&D) doesn’t want character death on the table in the same way that old school D&D (OSD&D)…




Death spirals and lethality.

The death spiral is a mechanical system in which those who begin losing in a confrontation rapidly degrade in their abilities, leaving them at a disadvantage that makes it less likely for them to recover and achieve victory. In RPG parlance, you get hurt, take penalties that cause you to get hurt worse, and then…




The Game Must Go On: Lower Your Expectations

This is a guest post by Ryan Burch.  He hasn’t made a username for GeekSpeaker yet because he sucks. My name is Ryan and I have a GMing habit. I’ve been playing games off and on for a couple of decades, and I’ve made a lot of stupid mistakes. Thomas has asked me to write…




Combat, the long slog toward ruin.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I played D&D like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  Abandoning D&D has lead me to new and interesting methods of playing, something for which I am grateful.  That is not…




Some interesting medieval professions.

I love having characters with authentic medieval backgrounds in my RPG.  It’s part of having a grounded character.  No one is born an adventurer, so surely a character has some profession into which he has been raised. Anchorite: An anchorite was a religious hermit who lived in an anchorhold. Bear-ward:  Also known as the “bearard” and…




On the failure of skill lists.

One of my favorite things in theory is a detailed skill list.  It allows for detailed character customization and a “realistic” character.  More specifically, I love the idea of the Bildungsroman.  Playing a fisherman who later ascends to be a grand hero fills me with glee.  There’s a certain joy in having a skill list that…




Say “yesbut.”

I’m unskilled at sloganeering.  Puns, I can do.    Snide comments and witty asides and the occasional quip, I can manage.  As Mark Twain once wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”  A slogan is a short letter to the whole world, and thus slogans elude…




Dread Foes (pt. 1)

What makes a fearsome foe?  It is more than his numbers, and this is a problem. It is a problem because gamers have a tendency to think in numbers for determining how powerful an enemy is.  A dragon has hundreds of HP and his fire breath does 10d6 damage and he has a -10 AC.  All…




Thoughts on the Dragon Age RPG.

There are few good videogames based on movies, and there are even seldom fewer good role-playing games based on videogames.  The Dragon Age RPG (DAR) is no exception.  Green Ronin proudly declares that “A new age of fantasy roleplaying has begun,” but there’s nothing particularly new about DAR.  It’s old ideas repackaged into a pretty…