Miniature Spelljammer – WIP

For anyone unfamiliar with the Spelljammer expansions, back in 1989 the writers of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons decided that a magical middle-earth fueled by the dreams of nerds and libraries of modules wasn’t expansive enough. So they took us to space.

Dungeons and Dragons…in space. Just let that sink in. Illiterate barbarians operating complex space-faring machinery. Sorcerers throwing fireballs into the dark depths of the cosmos. Bards no longer limited to creepily hitting on wenches from their home planet. It was beautiful, and it was ridiculous. Continue reading “Miniature Spelljammer – WIP”

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)”

The Cups Game (A Mind-Melting D&D Puzzle)

Usually when I write puzzles for my game it’s to entertain the players. But sometimes, on rare occasion, I throw a puzzle at the party that’s so dangerous, so devious, and so rewarding, that they can’t not resist it. They squirm and sweat and curse, trying to choose a course of action, when in reality there is no way to know what the correct path is. These hair-pulling puzzles are not to entertain the player. These enraging, crazy-making games of sadism are all for my enjoyment.

And here is just such a puzzle, so you can torture your players too. Continue reading “The Cups Game (A Mind-Melting D&D Puzzle)”

Life After Death (In D&D)

Somewhere in the world today, a tabletop player got his or her favorite character killed. The chasm was too wide to jump. The gelatinous cube wasn’t edible. The dragon wasn’t really sleeping. The Orcs apparently take offense to making ‘Handle Animal’ attempts on them. For whatever reason the player is no longer the owner of a proud, courageous denizen of middle earth, but an arrow-riddled corpse and whatever equipment the party is willing to pass on to their new character.

Character death is usually dealt with like a child’s backstroke goldfish. Unceremoniously discarded, and replaced before anyone feels any real loss. Players are quick to throw up their hands Continue reading “Life After Death (In D&D)”

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)”