How I Run Games

“Everything that you wanted I have done. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn’t that generous?” — Jareth, Labyrinth1 I’ve written a lot 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 …

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 …

Yippy Longleaf – a High Crested Forest Gnome- wins Best in Show

As a recurring element of fantasy rpg’s, you have the various humanoid races most of whom can inexplicably interbreed freely.  D&D – as is often the case- laid down the foundations for this in its loving inclusion of everything the authors felt was cool in whatever it was they were currently reading.   So we end 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 …

Dangerous Archaeology, Part 2: Levels & Layers

My previous post on dangerous archaeology explored environmental narrative in the context of the dungeon, but only detailed one area: the recent past. Today, I’d like to build on that, and discuss how multiple layers of time interact in the dungeon. Layers of time are key both to archaeological aspect of dungeon delving, and to Read More …