How to solve the murder-hobo problem

It's a dilemma almost as old as the tabletop roleplaying hobby itself: In a game that revolves around exploring and (often) looting dangerous places filled with dangerous creatures, how does a DM cure players of the seemingly irresistible urge to simply murder and loot literally every living thing they come across? I mean, combat and... Continue Reading →

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Two great offerings from the Mixed GM

First, some awesome ideas on what Dwarves might do with all the other things they dig up. It can't all be jewels and precious metals, you know. What if they used some of their more... interesting... finds to prevent their enemies from digging too greedily and too deep? Read Dwarves and Dinosaurs for a look... Continue Reading →

Maps in roleplaying games: Unexplored opportunities

Tabletop roleplaying is a game that revolves around maps. If you're not placing figurines on a map surface, you're navigating a mental map that has been provided to you by the gamemaster's description. There's a sizable cottage industry in map illustration in the Tabletop RPG hobby. But often, beyond providing the locations of things that... Continue Reading →

A great playtesting opportunity: Devil’s Staircase

Devil's Staircase is a diceless tabletop roleplaying game with a really cool system that uses playing cards to build characters and resolve actions. It's set in the Wild West era, which makes it even cooler. Right now it's open for public playtesting -- and the core rules are available for free during the testing period.... Continue Reading →

Medieval Demographics Made Easy

Medieval Demographics Made Easy is a concise guide to populating a medieval-ish landscape, written especially with tabletop gaming in mind. It's great for writing and general world-building purposes, too. Check it out.

World Anvil – A new worldbuilding tool

Are you a world builder? Writer? Tabletop roleplaying gamer? If so, you need to check out World Anvil. It's an online world-building tool designed to help you create your world and present it to the public. There are also features specifically for tabletop gaming, giving DMs and players a place to build campaigns and share... Continue Reading →

A compact random personality generator

Reading through the Chimera roleplaying system rulebook, I came across this nifty little chart for quickly generating NPC personalities. Two D12 rolls, one on each column, give you a range of random, unique personalities. Roll Outlook Roll Demeanor 1 Bigoted 1 Violent 2 Paranoid 2 Overbearing 3 Bleak 3 Arrogant 4 Fearful 4 Capricious 5... Continue Reading →

An intro to tabletop roleplaying games

Tabletop roleplaying is a very unique kind of gaming. If you've never played a tabletop RPG before (or seen others play one), the terms and concepts can seem disorienting. So, to get you started, here's a quick primer on tabletop roleplaying games—the most fulfilling and endlessly creative kind of game you'll ever play. Tabletop roleplaying games... Continue Reading →

Friction checks: A way to add realism and excitement to your game

It's like the fog of war—but different. Where the fog of war usually refers generally to battlefield confusion, the concept of friction goes a step farther, quantifying the natural unpredictability of human reactions to threat, surprise, and stress. People who study human performance in combat have found that a predictable percentage of people—even trained soldiers—will fail... Continue Reading →

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