Things in the Dark: Light Sources (March 2017 RPG Blog Carnival)

It’s impossible to consider the darkness unless you have a source of light. As a species, we’re simply not equipped to see the types of energy wavelengths that other creatures can. It puts most humanoids at a disadvantage when exploring the dark places. So for this month’s blog carnival (exploring Things in the Dark), I…

Revisiting the Past: Spells — Slow and Haste

Apologies for the longer post today, but I think it’s an important topic for rules design and combat. Recently we had a group playtest one of our upcoming adventures for Mazes & Perils and Bill, the GM, ran into a few issues. Many of those issues were with spells: Missing duration for Shield, Slow, Protection…

The Treasure Hunter: What motivates them to do what they do?

I’m still hung up on this Treasure Hunter class for Mazes & Perils. Last time we talked about one way to create some possible plots around treasure. This time I want to talk a bit about what drives these characters (possibly) to do what they do. I suspect each is motivated in a slightly different…

The Treasure Hunter: But what is treasure, anyway?

As we begin work on our next new class for Mazes & Perils — the Treasure Hunter from Vince — I’ve begun doing a bit of brainstorming to see what exactly “Treasure” may be. I suspect that, like trash, it’s different for everybody. In role-playing games, we tend to focus on the treasure you can…

Revisiting the Past: Trap Detection, Part 2

Last time we talked about three different approaches to detecting traps in a gaming scenario. The Bull in the China Shop, Analysis Paralysis, and the Middle Ground. You can read that post here… In this post, I want to talk a bit more about game mechanics and how traps are handled in Mazes & Perils…

Revisiting the Past: Insight Checks in OSR

Anybody used to playing older versions of D&D (pre-4e) is probably wondering what the heck an Insight check is. Imagine for a moment that your PC is interacting with a NPC and you want to know whether the NPC’s motives are pure. Are they lying to you? Are they hiding something? Are they being forthright?…

Revisiting the Past: Squishy Wizards

Apparently my last post struck a nerve with some folks. I had a great conversation on Facebook with a bunch of folks with comments like: “It’s a different world. The sooner you come to grips with that, the easier it’ll get for you.” (Rob) “But can be used to cause damage. Like to light a…

Revisiting the Past: The Old School Mindset and Roll-Playing

When I started playing D&D in 1982, we were young, naive, and enthusiastic. We took on every dungeon with glee and even fought a few major figures like Orcus and Tiamat as I recall. But it wasn’t “Old School” then — it was just playing D&D with friends every weekend we could get together. By…

Revisiting the Past: Knowledge Checks in OSR

As I get more familiar with┬áMazes & Perils, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to get “New School” players thinking of things in the “Old School” way. Last time we talked about how the idea of a “Perception check” in OSR systems doesn’t really exist, making players be much more paranoid…

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