Not as I do: Organizing an RPG

“What’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.” – The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil” I’m looking at the structure of game books right now, and I really think (especially as someone who’s been doing it a while myself), that there’s room for improvement. The default model seems to be: Some kind of Read More …

The First Estate

“Vatican II led to many changes in the Catholic Church, notable ones being the use of mother-tongues – instead of Latin – for parts of the mass, the empowerment of the laity, and allowing priests to use bladed weapons in combat.” – Critical Miss #8 I suppose I’d know who the cleric was, if I’d Read More …

Little Hearts Like the One in Me

“Hello, my name is Jimmy Pop and I’m a dumb white guy, I’m not old or new but middle school, fifth grade like junior high.” – The Bloodhound Gang, “Fire Water Burn” 1984. My uncle leaves a party. I ask my Mom where he went. “To play Dungeons & Dragons,” she says. I ask her Read More …

What makes a thief?

(In which, as a remedy for an unquiet mind, I begin designing a thief class for my Swords & Wizardry/Labyrinth Lord/Rules Cyclopedia game.) The thief is my favorite fantasy character class. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are my favorite fantasy heroes. My definitive edition of Dungeons & Dragons is the Rules Cyclopedia, which prominently features Read More …

Race, Class and type in the evolution of D&D

Today’s familiar model of class in fantasy games works like this: Pick a race, determining base characteristics and/or available classes. Pick a class, determining the majority of your character’s abilities and advancement path. That’s the model Gary Gygax created for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the late 1970s. Although there have been variant models over Read More …