I just realized I never posted this here, but here are my generic rules for overland travel and encounters for D&D-like games. The overloaded encounter die is pretty similar to the one Gus L uses in HMS Appolyon. Checking for Events Each day there are at least two checks for events: one during the day and […]Read More Overland Encounters
Here’s a handy little chart showing the difference between a linear distribution like rolling a d20 and a bell curve distribution like 3d6 when it comes to rolling versus a target. The first column is the d20 roll, the second is the approximate percent chance of rolling that or less on d20. That’s pretty obvious, but […]Read More Bell Curve vs. Linear
C.R. Brandon, In a recent post on his blog, entitled Sacrifice, talked about some of the changes he’s contemplating for the revised edition of Heroes & Other Worlds. I left some thoughts on them on his blog, but I think blogspot ate the comment. Or maybe it’s just stuck in moderation. So herewith: Not really thrilled with […]Read More HOW to Sacrifice a Shield?
When people badmouth realism in RPGs, they’re usually complaining about one of two things: unwarranted complexity or endless arguments over the facts of the matter. Sometimes both, tossing in nobody actually wants it anyway, or it’s pointless to discuss realism in games where there are things like dragons and magic. Reality, though, is the bedrock […]Read More Realism in RPGs Redux
Player Agency is when as a player, your decisions matter… they have weight and consequences, and play out into the future in the game. Narrative Control is when the player can control what goes on in the world, including what the consequences are or whether to accept them. As I view them, they are incompatible despite the […]Read More Player Agency vs. Narrative Control
John Wick’s post Chess is not an RPG: The Illusion of Game Balance is making the rounds of the RPG blogosphere (I stumbled across it when Michael “Stargazer” Wolf wrote about it here) . I started to write a comment, but it blew up into an entire post. I was suspicious when I saw Wick start talking […]Read More Chess isn’t an RPG, but D&D sure as Hell is
Over on his Hack & Slash blog, blogger C argues that realism and “making sense” are terrible and always make games worse. Far from being terrible, realism and making sense are essential for fun. Even in such an abstract game as Tetris, the pieces have to “realistically” fit where blocks of that shape in the […]Read More Start Making Sense: On why Realism and “Making Sense” are Essential
Here’s a quick take on doing commerce in Zap! Space Trucking For simple “Take this cargo and deliver it” runs, roll the Cargo Bay power of the ship vs. Difficulty 13 for how far (how many scenes) you have to travel before you deliver the cargo and get 1 Wealth Point payoff. You can use […]Read More Commerce… in Spaaaace!
Since Dan’s interested in changing his Warhammer 40K setting using SavageWorlds over to Kapow! I need to get cracking on writing up a minimal set of the genre-specific rules for changing it from supers to space opera. Broadly I think these are the areas that need tweaking: Equipment For superheroes, equipment other than vehicles is […]Read More Zap! or Kapow in Spaaaace!
Last night wasn’t scheduled to be a Kapow! session, but since there was some confusion due to skipping last week’s session to finish Russell’s Gradulfiad arc, Dan didn’t bring his game, so Kapow! it was. Since both Redline’s and Public Defender’s players were absent, I sidelined their plot threads; also, because the players were starting […]Read More Kapow! Quick Hit