The Levels of Zelda

I think I’ve mentioned before that I consider the original The Legend of Zelda an almost perfect example of a game design. The game flows beautifully, challenges the player, and provides lots of rewards for exploration. It’s also one of the finest dungeon crawlers of all time, despite a surprisingly small number of clones to 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 …

A simple ritual magic system for classic Dungeons & Dragons

For an upcoming game, I wanted a simple ritual magic system to let magicians and clerics stretch beyond their spell lists. Note that this assumes a magic point pool where MP = Wisdom + 1d6/level. Do your spells need more power or pizazz? Rituals allow adventurers to perform magic beyond the abilities of a conventional Read More …

Another (back)stab at a thief

The Thief The thief is centered, well-meaning, and devoted to the common good, spreading enlightenment by the lightening of purses. Not without commercial skills, however, the thief has a nose for gold and a touch to match. Where other adventurers laugh in the face of danger, the thief smiles at the back of danger’s head, Read More …