Sep 122017
 
Shadowrun Anarchy - Using Node Maps (the way to go)

Shadowrun: Anarchy (hardcopy, PDF) is the narrative-heavy, shared-storytelling, alternate ruleset for Shadowrun. Among other differences, it has a non-traditional, abstracted movement system that lends itself to “theatre of the mind” style encounters, more-so than a lot of other RPGs. The GM and players don’t need to know how many meters/squares away a shooter is; she is either Close, Near, or Far. During a player’s Narration, [Read the article]

Aug 282017
 
Foreshadowing through Nightmares...

You’ve got a big boss fight lined up. You want it to be scary as hell, with the players fearing for their character’s lives, while still invested enough to take on the beast. Any player who has glanced at the Bestiary or Monster Manual probably isn’t going to be amazed when you drop a description and tell them to roll initiative. That all changes when [Read the article]

A Horror Mechanic for Non-Horror RPGs

 Posted by on August 14, 2017  Filed as: Better Gameplay?  No Responses »  Topic(s):
Aug 142017
 
A Horror Mechanic for Non-Horror RPGs

There are role-playing games (RPGs) designed to take horror as the main theme, similar to horror novels. These games are designed around the concept that there are events and things making people jump, or squirm, or go mad. Elements of horror are important in storytelling because they help in creating the mood for the people experiencing the story as it unravels to them. A problem [Read the article]

Aug 032017
 
Valerian, and how to make the same mistakes in your RPG

I was watching Luc Besson’s new movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets… “In the 28th century, special operatives Valerian and Laureline work together to maintain order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the minister of defense, the duo embarks on a mission to Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where diverse species gather to share knowledge and culture. When a dark force threatens [Read the article]

Jul 052017
 
Twist Your Encounters So Your Players Don't Recognize It

Avid role-playing gamers are known to learn about the monsters they expect to encounter, especially players who also are game masters (GMs). This has made for a steady market of expansions for new monsters. But, then the race is on once again as the players get a hold of the expansion and soon know about the new monsters. However, there are some tricks a GM [Read the article]

Jun 192017
 
Enhance your game.  This time, with DOORS.

Doors. Every dungeon has them. Rules governing traps and locks have made them an essential part of every dungeon crawl. Unfortunately, the narrative influence of doors on a given game’s events is a sadly underplayed phenomenon. Ask any adventurer about what they remember most in a campaign and it will likely be an enemy, a critical fail, a cleverly role-played moment, or some other non-door [Read the article]

The Use of Language In RPG Scenarios

 Posted by on June 12, 2017  Filed as: Better Gameplay?  2 Responses »  Topic(s):
Jun 122017
 
The Use of Language In RPG Scenarios

Your party enters a tavern in the distant land they have spent weeks travelling to. The human fighter walks up to the innkeeper and asks about rooms. The innkeeper responds, but in a different language. The wizard steps forward and addresses the innkeeper in a number of different languages he has learned from traveling to other kingdoms. They find a common language, but because of [Read the article]

Apr 212017
 
12 Unlikely Places for PCs to get Equipment and Supplies

Have these situations ever happened to you? You’re in a dungeon and because the enemies were a bit tougher than you thought that they would be, the PCs either have to retreat back to town to restock up on supplies or get equipment that would make it easier to defeat them. Or the PCs are at the end of a dungeon and find the clues [Read the article]

Apr 172017
 
To equip, or not?  That is the question.

Your party has been tracking down the dragon across the wilderness. Traveling over the plains took a long time. The forest was full of minions who harassed and ambushed you. Now, mountains loom ahead as you near the location of the creature’s lair. Blocking your way is a deep gorge you need to cross and you are running short on time. The wizard has assessed [Read the article]