What Do RPG Mechanics Do?

What is the purpose of rules in an RPG? Like individually, what do they do? On one level they define the reality of the fiction, if you know what I mean. For players to make decisions, formulate plans, and help imaginary communities (or whatever your story is about) the fiction needs to be consistent. Rules […]

Rolling Dice and the Myth of the Perfect System

I’ve been thinking about dice rolls, how they work, what they represent, why we can’t agree on what makes a good dice mechanic. Let’s start simple, a Thief picking a lock, one of the oldest skill checks in gaming. If the Thief player rolls less than or equal to their Pick Locks percentage, they pass […]

2d6 Is All You Need

I was flicking through T4 aka Marc Miller’s Traveller this morning and it got me thinking about dice mechanics. If you aren’t slightly obsessive about different ways of combining Stat, Skill and 2d6, like I am, then please ignore me. Classic Traveller really landed on something pretty special with its 2d6 rolls. I almost called […]

Fighting Fantasy and Character Advancement

There are a few issues I often find with rules-light RPGs. Some have easy fixes, others are simply compromises that you have to live with if you want to minimise your mechanics. The one I’m thinking about today is character progression. Watching your character develop as they achieve their goals and survive their failures can […]

Magic to fit Fighting Fantasy

As discussed last time, In my update of the original Fighting Fantasy RPG, I want adventurers to have some ability to use magic. That being said, I don’t want it to be complicated and I don’t want it to be boring. I run my main Monday night game for a group of thirty-something players who […]

My Wee Orange Adventure Game

Buoyed by the positive response to my previous post I am still thinking through the practicalities of my alternative take on an RPG based on the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. I am writing up a playtest document which I intend to share soon. I’m using the working title The Wee Orange Adventure Game. Naming things is […]

Ditch the wilderness maps!

I love maps, I really do. I wish I could cover my walls in all sorts of different maps. I could happily cover my sitting room walls in different maps of the world, my bedroom in all the fantasy maps full of endless forests, and my toilet with favourite dungeons. The thing is though, I […]

A Satisfyingly Messy Finale

It was the finale of my Edge of the Empire campaign last night and I’m still on a bit of a high. It has been a 24 session sandbox set across seven planets and a couple of space stations with the PCs getting involved in theft, refugees, droid modification, treasure hunts, giant snakes, various Hutt […]

Concept Concordance

I love it when a plan comes together. Although in this case I’m talking about when three little ideas you’ve had bouncing around in your head for a while suddenly coalesce into one bigger awesome one, rather than a surprise tank. (If my players are reading, please look away now.) Idea #1 A prehistoric campaign. […]

Brian’s OSR Overview: Settings

(Part 1, Part 2) I was going to write about the various Swords & Wizardry games today but then I had a better idea. Before I burn away all the goodwill my OSR introduction post earned me I want to tell you all about the best bit of the OSR. OSR products are mostly small […]