How Else Could the Die Roll?

Failure can be interesting if it encourages creativity; when players can't do the first thing that enters their heads, so they're forced to pursue alternate paths. But. What if, instead of success/failure, you rolled to determine one of two different outcomes? Or a range of outcomes? I'm sure there are systems that do this (like... Continue Reading →

Building a Dungeon in Classic D&D

This is the last part of my ongoing series dissecting early Dungeons & Dragons, and building the retroclone Dungeon Raiders out of it. For simplicity's sake, what follows is the entire article that I wrote in Dungeon Raiders about dungeon design. Here's the secret to creating an exciting, dangerous dungeon: A dungeon is a series of scenes.... Continue Reading →

Treasure in Classic D&D

This is part of my ongoing series dissecting early Dungeons & Dragons, and building the retroclone Dungeon Raiders out of it. Treasure's a very important element of early D&D. In OD&D, as your character leveled up, you rolled for extra HP, and if you played a spellcaster, you got to choose new spells. That was it. No... Continue Reading →

Monsters in Classic D&D

This is part of my ongoing series dissecting early Dungeons & Dragons, and building the retroclone Dungeon Raiders out of it. Early D&D relished its monsters. To avoid drawing the ire of Wizards of the Coast's lawyers, Dungeon Raiders' bestiary is simply a list of classic fairy tale monsters, accompanied with stats. The stats for these monsters... Continue Reading →

RPGs for Kids: The Savage Peanuts

The Savage Peanuts is a role-playing scenario for kids, in which the players must rescue a boy who has been kidnapped by feral peanut people. I use the term scenario deliberately. This is not an adventure; the story is not linear (well, except for the set-up). This article describes a problematic situation and the characters... Continue Reading →

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