Author Archives: Brent

About Brent

21st Century Renaissance Man. My gamer resume: http://brentnewhall.com/rpg/doku.php?id=brent_s_gamer_resume

Faction Friday: The Gatekeepers

Every city attracts a wide variety of religious believers, from the established to the fringe. The Gatekeepers are a canonical example of the latter. Using only heavy white caps as symbols of their fraternity, the Gatekeepers gather at various spots around the city which they’ve identified as “universal nexus points,” or “gates.” According to their … Continue reading »

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You cannot build a perfectly challenging puzzle for D&D

In most traditional RPG campaigns, PCs face broadly three kinds of challenges: physical combat, social conflict, and intellectual puzzles. The rules of the game usually cover physical combat in plenty of depth, and most groups can navigate difficult conversations without complex rule systems. Puzzles, meanwhile, beguile us. We imagine an ingeniously interconnected set of traps … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Whip Vines

Whip vines drink blood. They look simply like long, very thorny green vines, but they conceal a round sac, buried deep in the ground or kept high in the air, that acts as a simple “brain” for the organism. Whip vines sense movement with great accuracy. Any movement nearby causes the whip vines to animate, … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Flesh-Eating Darkshade

This carnivorous plant (about 3 meters/yards tall at full height) disguises itself as a normal tuberous plant, typically growing in the wilderness and occasionally in overgrown dungeon environments. When prey nears, it reaches out with its “arms,” which secretes a numbing poison (and can swallow tiny creatures whole). Then its large, serrated mouth lowers onto … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: The Wild Ones (Sasquatch)

Deep in the woods live a reclusive race of humanoids. Large and very hairy, they wear no clothes and live simple, peaceful hunter/gatherer lives. But these are not simple creatures. They are as intelligent as any human, and just as capable of speech and thought. They deliberately live “in harmony with nature,” as they put … Continue reading »

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Star Wars Risus Post-Mortem

This week, only 2 of my players showed up, so we ran a Star Wars one-shot using the Risus rules. We had a blast, and these are a few recommendations if you want to do something similar. (For those not familiar with Risus, in brief: your character is made up of a few short, descriptive phrases called … Continue reading »

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200 Word RPG of the Week: Go On Without Me

Some games are silly. Some games have hidden depths. Some games do both. Such is the case with Wyrdsmith‘s 200 Word RPG Go On Without Me. Three or more players play characters in a stereotypical action/horror movie who are trying to sacrifice themselves. Each player identifies his/her character’s strengths and weaknesses (plus a dark secret, of course). A … Continue reading »

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200 Word RPG of the Week: Laughter or a Lit Flame

Jonathan Cook’s Laughter or a Lit Flame is a haiku game. Apparently, games centered on writing haikus are relatively common within the microgame scene, but whenever I’d come across the concept in the past, the game basically just told you to write haiku. Laughter or a Lit Flame provides structure to those haiku, but in an intriguingly non-competitive … Continue reading »

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Game Design Hour: How to Incorporate Play Test Feedback

Once you’ve completed play test, you’ll have all sorts of suggestions and advice gathered from play testers. Some of it wil be helpful; some of it won’t. However, how much of your play test feedback will actually improve your game? In other words, play testers sometimes give the wrong advice. So how do you sort that … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Gaxxog the Incorrigible

Some monsters are simply beasts — strange, perhaps, but fundamentally no different than a panther or hyena. Gaxxog is an abberant creature, a thing seemingly escaped from the depths of the hells. Those who encounter Gaxxog and live to tell of it describe Gaxxog as an alternately lethargic and savage creature. It often curls up and … Continue reading »

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