Actual Plays, Reality Shows, and What’s Next

I’ve been immersed in three different shows over the past several weeks: Critical Role, Skin Wars, and The Magicians. Sure, I know I am literally years behind many of you in seeing these, but it helps a lot to experience them all together, because I think the synthesis of these […]


Photo Friday – Venetian Carnevale

One of the happiest times in my life was my honeymoon with Kainenchen in Venice, the week before Carnevale. The mascherari stores were open everywhere, selling stunning masks, and people were starting to go around in full Carnevale costumes, but the crowds weren’t yet overwhelming. Sure, we were both miserably sick […]


LARP Design: Apprenticeship and Cabals 2

This post is a bit different from most of my LARP design talk, because I’m thinking through how to handle something from the player side. In this particular case, there’s neither Plot direction nor formal game mechanics at stake. In Altera Awakens, magic has just reawakened after quite a long nap, […]


D&D 5e: Loyalty Track 4

I’m always interested in new condition tracks, and in this post I’m proposing a Loyalty track. This modular rule is for two kinds of campaigns. The first is the deep old school, where a small number of PCs lead one or more NPCs each for dungeon delves (and the NPCs […]


Villain Design: The Rise of Tiamat 1

In this post I’m returning to my series on villain design and implementation, this time to talk about The Rise of Tiamat. It is, of course, the follow-up to Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but it’s also quite sensibly presented in its own book, because the two arcs are entirely dissimilar in […]


D&D 5e: Necromancer Rework 4

In the Reborn campaign, I have played a cleric from 1st level to 12th, and because of how clerics work in that campaign, I also got the full boat of features from the Necromancer wizard tradition. What I discovered is that the Necromancer tradition almost never did anything useful for me. […]


A Seventh Year of Blogging

It’s almost hard to believe that I’ve completed seven years of writing in this blog. I mean, yes, it’s a ton of writing and it FEELS like a ton of writing, but still. Seven years is almost as long as my whole career in the video game industry to date. […]


LARP Economics: Collectibles

This post comes out of countless conversations with Kainenchen about Flight Rising and other, similar games with active economies. I’ve written about trying to build functional game economies for LARPs before, and though that post is somewhat dated now, it’s still a foundation for this one. The point of this […]


D&D 5e: Five Magic Bows (and a Magic Arrow) 9

As part of my intermittent series of magic items, this time I’m presenting five new magic bows, ranging (heh) from rare to artifact. Aethershred comes from the Dust to Dust campaign, while the stormbow, bone bow, and Baron Ystorin’s spine bow all come from the Wildlands South campaign. Whisper is a sort of convoluted cross-campaign […]


Design Diary: 5e Domain Rulership 13

If you followed my History of Domain Rulership over in Tribality, which ran from March of 2016 to January of 2017, I mentioned there that I was going to try to build my own ideal domain rulership system for 5e. In this post, I’m showing the work as I go. […]