S.C.O.R.E. (Not Your Father’s Tabletop)

I’m not satisfied with my RPG gaming experience. And I don’t just mean that I haven’t had a game in over a year. I mean even when I’ve got a game together I’m not satisfied with the experience. There is, and almost always has been, something missing from my game table. And I think I’ve found a solution. But first I’ve got to lay the foundation. Continue reading “S.C.O.R.E. (Not Your Father’s Tabletop)”


A GM’s Guide to Practical Looting

Let’s face it: your players are thieves. Sure, they may wait until after they murder someone to take their shit, but take their shit they will, and afterwards they’ll complain that the shit they took was barely worth the effort to commit those murders. Worse yet, players have a tendency to view any loot they acquire like prepaid debit cards. Each with it’s own gp value and easily stored in a backpack or bag of holding Continue reading “A GM’s Guide to Practical Looting”

The Bargain Box (Of Magic Rings)

Years ago I had the good fortune to meet an incredible young DM. And as social rejects often do, we swapped war stories. Of course, I suck, so for the life of me I can not remember his name. But I do remember his excellent summary of one of his campaigns.

Near the beginning of his campaign the low-level PCs paid a visit to a small magic store where they happened to notice a small box of silver rings “on sale”. When one of the party asked the shopkeeper about it he informed them that these were practice pieces made by the local elvish wizard apprentices. Enchanted, but flawed– Continue reading “The Bargain Box (Of Magic Rings)”

Enhancing Your Replay Value

So you’ve played 1,000 hours past your favorite title’s content. You’ve exhausted every quest line, every side mission, every combination of character build. You’ve exploited every cheat code, looted every hidden level, and acquired every inane achievement. And yet it will be months, years even, before the next great title hits the shelves– I’m looking at you Elder Scrolls VI. The truth of the matter is that quality video game consumption always outpaces quality video game production. So what is a social reject console addict to do? Continue reading “Enhancing Your Replay Value”

Theoretical Interstellar Engine: AKA Why a Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

So the boss was mumbling something about more content for the blog. Or at least I think it was something like that. I wasn’t really listening. I was too busy thoroughly enjoying my new  Durchbruchswagen in World of Tanks.

Pictured: A World of Awesome

Now for the interstellar engine… I will, of course, include the mandatory digression. Because digression is what I do. Continue reading “Theoretical Interstellar Engine: AKA Why a Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing”

Not your father’s Axis & Allies (3 Home-Rules to Spice Up Your Game)

I never could just leave things be. Once you become a rule tinkerer, sooner or later every rule set becomes a victim of your perverse attention. So rather than learn something that would be useful in life (like underwater basket weaving) I wasted a good portion of my youth pushing plastic soldiers to their death.

I refer, of course, to Axis & Allies Continue reading “Not your father’s Axis & Allies (3 Home-Rules to Spice Up Your Game)”

What I (eventually) Learned From Shadowrun

There is no doubt Shadowrun is an acquired taste (Ewww! You got elves in my cyberpunk!) with clunky, some even say broken mechanics. And although Shadowrun 1st edition was not my first RPG it is still the standard by which I measure all others. Why Shadowrun? Because Shadowrun was arguably the most successful game to ever hit our group’s table. Continue reading “What I (eventually) Learned From Shadowrun”

Mess With Your Players

No plot survive contact with the enemy– I mean players. They mess up your perfectly planned adventures, missing vital clues, and killing vital NPCs by stabbing them in their vital organs. What’s a GM to do? Mess with them right back! Symmetry is a grand thing, is it not? Here’s a few evil ways to mess with your players: Continue reading “Mess With Your Players”

Never tell me the odds…of my defective dice

So, as much as it pains me to do it, it looks like I owe the D20 system an apology. For years (well, decades now- eek!) I have disliked the D20 family of RPGs. Having cut my fangs on Shadowrun and GURPS the idea of classes and levels never set well with me. I never liked hitpoints. I downright hate rolling a single die at a time (regardless of the type) and the D20 rolls like a beach ball Continue reading “Never tell me the odds…of my defective dice”

7 Deadly Sins of Gamemastering

I can’t confirm that there is an everlasting punishment that awaits us in the afterlife for committing these sins, never the less I implore you to take heed. I’m giving you the opportunity to avoid suffering an eternity of Candy Land. Here then are the 7 Deadly Sins of Gamemastering. Commit them at your own peril! Continue reading “7 Deadly Sins of Gamemastering”