Blog posts

What does ‘balanced’ mean?

This causes many disagreements and misunderstandings. Here’s a list of some of the things that balance can mean in games. Lots of the examples are 5e, mostly because its a good lingua franca. I’ve written each explanation from the point of view of somebody who agrees with that concept of balance. Balance in Character Creation … Continue reading What does ‘balanced’ mean?

Some qualities of a souls-like ttrpg

Story-light, lore-heavy Map exploration with loops (Jaquayed dungeons) Deliberate and punishing combat Gameplay mechanics that interact with death Boss Fights A dark/grim overall tone Git Gud – player skill/knowledge increase more important than gear/levelling up If only I could be so grossly incandescent! Solaire of Astora It is entirely possible to make a game with … Continue reading Some qualities of a souls-like ttrpg

Minimalist Modular Magic for 5e and DnD clones

Each of the numerical elements – the radius of the sphere; the range; and the damage – can be increased. Each increase in any of those three areas increases the spell level by one.

Qualitative design and quantitative design are not a dichotomy

First, two definitions guidelines. Quantitative design is design in which the numbers (quantities) change. Example: In 5th edition, a greataxe does 1d12 slashing damage whilst a greatsword does 2d6 slashing damage. They both have the keywords ‘heavy’ and ‘reach’. The only real difference is the dice you roll for damage (though the greatsword is also … Continue reading Qualitative design and quantitative design are not a dichotomy

A mechanism for prophecies in roleplaying games

The problem with prophecies Prophecies don’t work as easily in roleplaying games as they do in non-interactive (or less interactive) fiction. The ‘tactical infinity’ of roleplaying games poses problems. In non-interactive fiction (such as a book, movie or tv-show) the fiction’s creator (for ease I’ll call them all authors) can ensure that any prophecies are … Continue reading A mechanism for prophecies in roleplaying games


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