June 4th, 2019

In the original D&D game, there are certain things that cause instant death for PCs, such as poison and reaching 0 hit points.

You take enough damage, or you fail a save, and it’s game over. Roll up a new character. Long experience has show me that this is not fun if a player is attached to that character, as most players are, and increasingly so with the time invested. At the same time, in a game where survival and mortal danger are core components of play and centrally-focused by the rules, simply excluding character death is unsatisfactory. Is there a way to have both?

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Sixty-Five Million HP
April 14th, 2019

The perennial perceptual sticking point for many folks in OSR-type games: how do you imagine hit points as a component of the game’s imagined fiction?

This aged and hoary frustration arises from the increasing number of hit points as characters gain levels and as monsters increase in Hit Dice, since, past a certain point, hit points don’t make sense as a representation of physical damage taken. For if they represent physical damage, the players must imagine as characters increase in level they take less damage from sword thrusts and strikes, and that cure spells become less able to heal even tiny wounds, where once they healed major wounds.

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Does That Make it Scolfish?
March 23rd, 2019

I’ve been messing around with predictive text and Markov chains for my campaign, to come up with a quick name list reference to use with one-off NPCs. The players decided, in a fit of whimsy, that the king of the elves was named Scott. Scott Eddington. Fine, I says to myself, the elves are Scottish. Ach. We have Scottish elves.

However, we’d already thrown around a bunch of elf-ish sounding names for other elves and locations in their kingdom, so I couldn’t just borrow straight from a Scottish name list. Hence my playing with language dissection tools — I needed to make the choices work with each other.

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Patreon Project Down!
March 10th, 2019

After quite some time of attempting to encourage and grow interest in the Patreon project, including altering the Patreon towards producing battlemaps and paper minis for tabletop and electronic gaming and such in order to broaden the project’s appeal, and yet still gaining no foothold in terms of interest or financial benefit, I have decided to end the experiment as having less value than the time being put into it.

The various items produced for my patrons are now unavailable to the general public and will remain so. For those of you who provided patronage, I thank you for your interest and support!

Adventures in Downtiming
March 7th, 2019

Downtime. It’s what adventurers do between mighty quests of derring-do and limb-endangerment. Anything from working at their profession, to carousing, to adventuring. It also lets the characters spend all the gold and riches they’ve acquired.

The activities available to characters in my game during downtime are based on 5E’s Downtime rules, but I added other options of significance to make it potentially just as fun and interesting as any other kind of activity at the gaming table. Based on our prior session, it appears to have worked well!

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