Roleplaying

Five Magic Mechanics That Break Their Systems

A classical painting of an alchemist working with potions.

Roleplaying mechanics can be difficult to balance, and magic can be difficult to balance, so it’s no surprise that when you combine the two, you get serious fireworks. I’m talking about powers and abilities that aren’t just overpowered; they can bring entire games to a … read more »

221 – Mechanics That Broke Our Games

The Mythcreant Podcast

Plenty of RPGs have unbalanced rules or abilities, and sometimes those broken powers get so out of control that they bring the entire game to a screeching halt. This episode we’ll tell our own stories of RPG destruction. We’ll talk about magic systems that go … read more »

How Do I Balance Time in the Spotlight?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Good afternoon! I have a roleplaying question. But first, some context: I’m a DM and my party of adventurers is about to visit Candlekeep (like a giant library in Faerûn). One of my players put a lot of work into his backstory, describing how he … read more »

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 »

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