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 →

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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 →

Gaming tip: Making good use of “session zero”

Even if you've never heard of a "session zero," you've probably participated in one before. Basically, session zero is a gaming session (or part of one) in which everyone discusses the options and agrees on what kind of game play they'd like to have before the players finish making their characters and before the DM spins... Continue Reading →

36 ways to create an exciting game

My favorite roleplaying campaigns are the ones where my players have been really invested in their characters. Not just raising levels and accumulating powerful trinkets (although that's fun too), but building characters who have their own personal reasons for doing things. As a gamemaster, I love it when players come up with at least a rudimentary backstory for... Continue Reading →

A quick way to build colorful NPCs

As a gamemaster, you're responsible for narrating and describing the world your characters inhabit—but players often take sharp left turns into places you didn't expect them to go. Sometimes this can severely tax your ability to think on the fly and keep things interesting. So how do you avoid having your characters wander a landscape... Continue Reading →

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