Roleplaying

Building a World for Treasure-Seeking Campaigns

Indiana Jones staring at the idol from Raiders of the Lost Arc.

Venturing out into the unknown and digging up treasure has a long history in RPGs, stretching back to the beginning of Dungeons and Dragons itself. For decades, players have delved dungeons, defeated dragons, and been rewarded with glittering gold pieces for their trouble. While this … read more »

How Do I Know When to End an RPG Scene?

questions and answer talk bubbles

How do you, as a player and as a GM, know when a scene in an RPG is over and it’s time to move to the next one? I ask because I’m going to be running an Anima Prime game soon, and while it isn’t … read more »

Six More RPG Mechanics That Must Go

Roleplaying design is highly sensitive to context. Some rules work really well in one system and really poorly in another, and it all depends on what each game is trying to achieve. But then there are mechanics that don’t work well in any system, and … read more »

Five RPG Systems With Downtime Mechanics

A painting of a sleeping soldier.

Downtime is an important concept in roleplaying games. It represents whatever time passes between adventures, whether those adventures are old-school dungeon crawls or awkward socializing on prom night. While the narrative focus may be off, PCs are intelligent beings with free will, and players will … read more »

Why You Should Fudge the Dice to Avoid PC Death

A group of well dressed Renaissance soldiers playing games of chance.

Unplanned character death is one of the worst things that can happen in a campaign. It ruins at least one person’s evening and damages the narrative as a whole, so it’s no surprise that we offer a lot of advice for how to avoid it. … read more »

Why D&D-Style Hitpoints Aren’t An Abstraction

A classical painting with a man who's been stabbed and hacked with a sword.

It should be obvious by now that hitpoints like those found in D&D, Pathfinder, and similar games don’t make any sense. Characters can take a dozen hits or fall from a great height and walk away unscathed. Normally, there’s no reason to harp on how … read more »

How Can I Make a Recurring RPG Villain Work?

questions and answer talk bubbles

I’ve been thinking of running a TTRPG campaign where the PCs are being accidentally dragged through many alternate worlds by the Big Bad. This allows for an episodic structure where they can foil a different plan in a different world each adventure, but also means … read more »

206 – The Illusion of Death in RPGs

The Mythcreant Podcast

Players don’t just want to win. They want to win by the skin of their teeth. They want to feel like the dragon could have eaten them and they just barely got away. So how do you create that feeling without actually killing any characters? … read more »

Seven House Rules for Torchbearer Campaigns

A painting of a boy holding a torch and a girl in a blue cloak.

Torchbearer is a great game. It makes the environment feel dangerous and ensures every stash of copper pieces feels like a wondrous treasure.  Torchbearer has even revitalized my interest in dungeons, something I thought was dead forever. But like any game I play a lot, I … read more »

Ten Lessons From Playtesting Our Torchbearer Expansion

A scientist helping an inventor by making their invention transparent.

Arr, me hearties, after a mere four years of development, Rising Tide is finally released for sailors and officers alike to enjoy. The time we spent on this Torchbearer expansion involved a lot of writing, rewriting, and of course, playtesting. So much playtesting. Looking at … read more »

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