Brandes Stoddard


Villain Design in Dust to Dust

I’ve talked about villain design in this blog before, but now that the Dust to Dust campaign is over, I want to use them as case studies in that conversation. In my view, DtD’s major villains were one of the most-right things that we did. This is not “in comparison […]


Three Monsters of Salt-in-Wounds 1

I like creepy monsters with unsettling concepts or visuals as much as anyone, so I was thrilled when I was asked to stat out and expand upon the Alchemist Testing Apparatus, the Ledgerman, and the Red Leech Tide. These monsters were designed for J.M. Perkins’s Salt in Wounds Setting; click here to learn […]


Over the Edge 25th Anniversary Edition Playtest

I recently ran a playtest session of Over the Edge’s 25th Anniversary Edition. OtE has been my wife’s very favoritest game since we picked up the 1992 edition some years back, so when we heard there was going to be a new version, of course we were thrilled. This post […]


D&D 5e: Companion NPCs 4

The idea of henchmen NPCs in a D&D party goes all the way back to the earliest games, and was most recently part of official release in D&D 4e. Now, 5e characters are not all that complicated at low levels, but there are still a few more moving parts than one […]


Tyranny: A Review

I recently finished a playthrough of Tyranny by Obsidian Entertainment. I was a huge fan (and Kickstarter backer) of Pillars of Eternity, so once I heard about Tyranny, I knew it was going to be for me. Tyranny also has a lot in common, thematically, with Stardock Entertainment’s Sorcerer King, which […]


Shadecall and the Fist of Tharamon

D&D 5e: Five Magic Maces (And a Talisman) 10

A little while back, I posted a collection of magic spears (and a magic helmet), and a reader requested a similar collection for maces. Another reader requested that I cover magic bows, and that’s also on my to-do list. Some of these weapons I treat as specifically needing to be […]


Game Design Is Input/Output

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a game designer in possession of even a modest audience must be in want of a clever new way to talk about fundamental design.” — Jane Austen, on The Forge, circa 2003, probably. This is one of those abstract-theory posts that might be […]