Many of the rules in Outlive Outdead are uncomplicated. One of our design goals is to keep the rules quick and fluid so players can focus on the game experience. However, distance and movement are vital to a game about zombies and need extra attention. Because zombies can only harm humans when they’re within arm’s […]

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What makes an rpg balanced? And is it something to strive for in game design? I say it depends on what you mean by “balanced” but, for the most part, yes. Let’s take old school D&D. Wizards were complete chumps at early levels–you often could cast 1 or 2 spells per day and you were […]

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The following is not really a review of Dread by Impossible Dream.  Rather, it’s my experience playing the game at GenCon 2011 filtered through the game designer part of my brain. Your mileage may vary. I was impressed with Dread. It’s the kind of impressed that grows the more you think about it. There was one design […]

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The following is not really a review of The Dying Earth RPG by Pelgrane Press.  Rather, it’s my experience playing the game at GenCon 2011 filtered through the game designer part of my brain. Your mileage may vary. Overall, I was not happy with The Dying Earth. The GM was fantastic, as were the players. […]

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I love rpgs. I love designing them too. But I hate artwork. OK, so that’s a little strong. I like artwork in rpg books when it’s done well (Paranoia XP, Pathfinder, CthulhuTech, etc.). And I don’t mind artwork in rpg books that’s not done well (Dogs in the Vinyard, SLA Industries). It’s just that, from […]

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Early on in the process of writing Triune, we had a neat idea: sub-sentient software called digitali that acted like capable pets. For example, the Domo breed would run your home: Regulate temperature, order food, record your shows, announce visitors, that sort of thing. Everyone would have several digitali, like Ebenezers to control your finances […]

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Our upcoming rpg Triune uses a new mechanic called the Effort System. Thanks to a very kind and smart gentleman in the UK, the system just got better. Here’s how it works. At the core, it’s very simple: Roll 1d10 against a target number; equal or lower is success; and higher is failure. This is […]

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We’ve been writing setting material for Triune, including descriptions of nations in the future. Since the game focuses on enforcing the Anti-Church Act that makes all religions illegal, and since players take roles as police, we need to describe how nations deal with all of this. When describing central and west African nations, we tried […]

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In two days, I will begin the first playtest of my hybrid 4E/Paranoia game, temporarily titled Kingdom of Teria. How exciting! How nerve-wracking! Some people have wondered how I can combine such different games. Not easily, I can tell you that.  I started by creating some new roles that focused on how players can screw […]

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Triune is set in the future, so we need to describe how the future looks and works in our game books. But where do we stop? A fantasy rpg setting is pretty easy to describe. People already know what castles, horses, swords, and 10′ poles look like. Yes, you might have to explain what a […]

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