design ideas


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 […]


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. […]


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: 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 […]


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 […]