Failures That Hurt a Game

No matter how many bonuses a character possesses, the dice will eventually turn against them. They will fail an important roll at a critical moment. This can be a good thing, because success means nothing without the possibility of failure. Unfortunately, it can also be … read more »

The Problem With Multiple Viewpoints

Many storytellers enjoy looking through the lens of more than one character. In speculative fiction, multiple viewpoint characters are often used to show different places in the world, or illustrate a conflict that is epic in scale. Unless the story involves a device that is … read more »

Four Dice Pool Systems All Gamers Should Know

In my last post, I talked about dice pool systems and why you might use them. With the basics explained, it’s time to examine a few specific roleplaying systems and see what they did with the idea. Each of these systems exemplify a different way … read more »

Should You Game With an Open or Structured World?

The first choice I make when I start a new campaign is which type of world to set it in. Setting a campaign in an open-ended world fills it with mystery and rumors about what lies over the next ridge. It’s ripe for unbound exploration. Building a … read more »

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dice Pool Systems

Dice have been an integral part of tabletop roleplaying games since the beginning. After all, how else can someone know if their black arrow will hit the dragon in his secret weak spot, or if it will miss terribly and then said dragon will eat … read more »

Acting With Clear Intent Improves Roleplaying

A common stumbling block in tabletop roleplaying games occurs when trying to arbitrate the results of a social interaction between characters. There are several clear layers of rules for most mechanics that provide guidance for the results of a roll, like attacking an enemy or … read more »

How Metagaming Can Improve Your Campaign

One of the more frustrating habits a roleplayer can have is metagaming too much. The frequent metagamer can alienate the game master and other players if they start to feel that the metagamer is so concerned with winning that they are no longer playing in … read more »

Leaving the Dungeon Crawl Behind

When an uninitiated friend or relative asks what I do on Saturday nights, I will sometimes tell them that I play Dungeons & Dragons to save time and explanations, even if the actual game in question is Vampire: The Sparkling. Read more »

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