Catacombs of the Shield Queen

The Shield Queen ruled benevolently over her realm for years, served by her faithful shield maidens. During that time, the land experienced peace & prosperity. Justice extended from the highest courtier to the lowliest servant. But the official records show that an attempted palace coup by a vassal knight led to her death. The squabbling […]

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Goblin Gully at TheLab

So I ran a game at a makerspace in Plano, Texas, not too far from my home. Despite my nervousness, it went pretty well. A few people had already played lots of D&D – one showed up with his original stuff including goldenrod character sheets! – which made me even more nervous. When we finally […]

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Play options in 2016

I didn’t actually play much D&D during most of 2015 for various reasons. This year, I want to do a lot more of that. So I started thinking about how I can do that in ways that work for my life: father of older children, a relatively demanding job with intermittent travel, social anxiety that sometimes […]

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Musing on the implications of the D&D 5e SRD

The main reason I stopped playing D&D Fifth Edition was that it read too much like a set of software requirements (use cases). 5e writes everything out in expansive detail, rather than in a concise “Strunk & White-esque” manner. This drove me back to simpler rule sets like Swords & Wizardry and even Microlite20 or Searchers […]

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Exploring the Ruins of the Undercity

Great success playing with my kids tonight! They’d lost most of their old character sheets, but no problem – we rolled up new ones pretty quickly. My favorite part of old-school gaming is how little time character generation takes. I let them roll 3d6 6 times and assign each as they wished, mostly using Swords […]

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Rooted in make-believe

When I was a kid, seeing a movie meant more than just a couple of hours of entertainment. It meant hours or maybe days of material for playing “make-believe” or “pretend”. After The Goonies or Return of the Jedi or anything else I liked, the ideas and characters and settings and themes would inform my […]

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Losing ruleset weight: evaluating older RPG games

D&D 5e has started to frustrate me. I feel like I spend way too much time looking stuff up when running a game. Some of that comes from poor information organization in the core books. This leads to too much time looking up spells and so forth. Another large chunk results directly from the amount of rules: […]

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