The Worst Dungeon World Game I Played At Gen Con And How It Was My Fault

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Conventions, Fantasy, Play, RPGs, Story | 4 Comments

We’ve talked here before about the worst game sessions we’ve ever presided over as GM. I don’t think this one was my worst ever but it was certainly my worst in recent memory — my worst ever playing Dungeon World, for sure — and it was at a big table of eager players during a […]

At the Feet of Giants

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in Design, Fantasy, RPGs, Video Games | 3 Comments

This weekend I ran the first session of an ongoing campaign-in-miniature set in Middle-earth, using the game rules from Francesco Nepitello’s The One Ring (TOR). In the parlance of play, I’m hacking and drifting this game in bits and bobs to get a certain kind of play out of it. Some of the adjustments I’ve made […]

The Lineup: Predefining Player-Selected NPC Relationships

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 in Design, Fantasy, Play, RPGs | One Comment

I laid out seven cards I’d selected from Paizo’s GameMastery deck, Urban NPCs, in a row at the middle of the table, where both of my regular players could see them. Without any preview or overview, I tasked my players with answering the questions below. (I actually even changed the order of the questions at […]

Review the Game You Got

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in Fantasy, Movies, Musing, Question, RPGs, Video Games | 5 Comments

Again with War in the North. I’m using this game to explore some questions because (a) I am currently playing it and (b) because it’s a relatable property even if you’re not playing it—I feel safe assuming that many of you have seen the Lord of the Rings movies or know of them. War in […]

An Interview with Artist Noah Bradley

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Creativity, Fantasy, Freelancing, RPGs | 3 Comments

[“As Darkness Rises,” by Noah Bradley, © Wizards of the Coast] Will here. A couple of weeks ago, I had a short article published in Dungeon Magazine #189 part of D&D Insider—my first official piece for Dungeons & Dragons, like, ever. (You need a subscription to D&D Insider to get access to Dungeon content.) The […]

Music in the Northsea Saga

Posted by on Mar 31, 2011 in Fantasy, Music, RPGs | 2 Comments

In my most recent D&D campaign, The Northsea Saga, I chose to wear a lot of my inspirations on my sleeve. The thrust of the campaign was essentially this: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings meets Brian Wood’s Northlanders comic book. Humanity, all but abandoned by elves and dwarves, was fighting a losing battle […]

Rob Schwalb Reexamines the Dungeon

Posted by on Sep 28, 2010 in Design, Fantasy, RPGs | No Comments

Did you see this blog post that designer and writer Rob Schwalb made last week? He’s taking a new look at the way we spend the XP budget to build encounters for D&D. The problem he’s out to combat is a repetitive rhythm of play that puts exploration and RPing into “the lulls between encounters” […]

Dragonlance and the Realms as Intellectual Property

Posted by on Sep 22, 2010 in Fantasy, Publishing, RPGs | 14 Comments

Philip Athans has put together a lengthy article contrasting the development of the intellectual property that comprises the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms settings. Extensive discussion with Tracy Hickman and Ed Greenwood provide a great deal of high-quality insight. For example, Hickman writes: Story is the universal conveyor of meaning. Properly deployed story in game settings […]

What About Romance?

Posted by on Jun 29, 2010 in Fantasy, Question, RPGs, Sci Fi | 25 Comments

This question came in via my Tumblr account not long before I left for the Origins Game Fair last week. I offered it up to some of my favorite gaming minds there at the convention, during a bout of late-night game talk in a hotel lobby bar, and we came up with a bout of […]

We, The People of +1 Dexterity

Posted by on Apr 1, 2010 in Fantasy, Promotion | 3 Comments

Earlier this year, I did the graphic design and layout for Hard Boiled Empires: Solara, for Brennan Taylor of Galileo Games. I wasn’t aware of any of the content specifics when I signed on for that job, but when I read through the Hard Boiled Cultures source material (originally released by One Bad Egg, and […]