Archive for the ‘Roleplaying’ Category

XP for death and failure; and other interesting uses for Experience Points

I recently came across an interesting post at Gothridge Manor about one of AD&D’s weirder rules: experience for death. The 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide rules that a character who dies and is subsequently brought back to life earns 1000 experience points (XP). In old-school D&D, you generally got XP for defeating monsters and gaining […]

Stormbringer is mine!

I had the chance to catch lunch with Ed earlier this week, and he was kind enough to pass an item from his game library to me: Stormbringer, the roleplaying game based on Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné novels. I’m really glad to get my hands on it; Stormbringer is one of those classic RPGs […]

Making Man vs. Nature work in RPGs; or, nobody ever dies of scurvy in Dungeons and Dragons

In the last few months, I’ve read two riveting books about humanity’s drive to survive (and thus “conquer”) the most inhospitable environments on the planet. First up was The Lost City of Z, a historical account of the explorer Percy Fawcett‘s expeditions into the Amazon. The second was Dan Simmon’s The Terror, a fictionalized (complete […]

Behind the scenes of Planescape: Torment

Via Gnome’s Lair, a great interview with Chris Avellone on Planescape: Torment. Lots of interesting tidbits here, although if you haven’t yet played through the game, there are some spoilers: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWEl0IQm670&fs=1&hl=en_US] Well worth reading in conjunction with this interview is Avellone’s original vision document for PS:T (massive spoiler warning this time). It’s interesting to compare […]

Putting D&D in its place

My local Barnes and Noble has finally found the proper niche for Dungeons & Dragons products: So… is D&D Humorous, Helpful, or Odd? Or is the sign suggesting that it’s all of the above? I could live with that. by

The walls of this 10×10 chamber are adorned with…

When my wife and I finally made the choice to became real Americans (i.e. go tens of thousands of dollars into debt to buy a house), one of my requirements was that said house have some sort of subterranean chamber which I could convert into a basement game room. One year later, my game lair […]

My love-hate relationship with random encounter tables

Of all the skeletons in my GMing closet, perhaps the darkest is this: I almost never use random encounter tables, even when running games with a deliberately “old-school” vibe. Why do I ignore this staple of roleplaying? Well, my experience with using random encounters can be summed up in these two memories, both of them […]

Scimitars and flying carpets: what "Arabian Nights"-style roleplaying games exist?

I just saw the mediocre Prince of Persia, and now I want to play a roleplaying game with flying carpets and sinister viziers. Where should I look?

Exploring the wreckage of a more interesting age: when game backstories overshadow the actual game

Have you ever played a game whose backstory was more interesting than the game’s actual current setting and plot?

Getting Tolkien into the sandbox, cont'd

Randall at RetroRoleplaying has written an interesting post on doing “save the world” fantasy in a sandbox setting in response to my own post on the subject. He argues that it can be done, and lays out how to do it. Go give it a read! by