Author Archives: Brent

About Brent

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

Where is the Story Load in your game mechanic?

You roll dice to find out what happens, right? OK, how do you determine the parameters for “what happens?” When you roll dice in a tabletop RPG, you’re generally comparing the roll to one of three things: A target difficulty number that varies according to either the rules or the GM’s decision during play (as in D&D, where the … Continue reading »

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True Tiles: Next Generation Terrain?

I own a fair amount of “standard” dungeon terrain, the kind with 1″ squares and walls appropriately sized for standard D&D minis. I break it out most days, and players “ooh” and “ahh,” and then after a little while, something happens: They start to forget where things are. I deploy terrain precisely so that players won’t forget where things … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Agents of the Library of Time

Time travel is messy, and it always rewrites history. Someone has to keep track of all those changes. And so, the Library of Time serves as a collection of books about history, all history, including the histories that no longer happened. However, a book that tells of an alternate timeline can be a powerful weapon in the wrong person’s hands. The very … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: The Library of Time

Time travel is messy, and it always rewrites history. Someone has to keep track of all those changes. And so, the Library of Time serves as a collection of books about history, all history, including the histories that no longer happened. However, a book that tells of an alternate timeline can be a powerful weapon in the wrong person’s hands. The very … Continue reading »

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Dungeon World-style Fronts for other Fantasy RPGs

Dungeon World includes a wonderful mechanic called fronts, which describe larger-scale threats that the PCs may face: a cult, a horde of orcs, a powerful wizard, a natural disaster, etc. Fronts have quite a few moving parts, though: Scale (campaign-level or adventure-level) Dangers (people, monsters, traps, unstable artifacts, etc.) An impending doom for each danger … Continue reading »

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Semi-Monthly Map: Chothun’s City Home

This map works well for a murder mystery, political intrigue, or other urban storyline in a fantasy world. Chothun, a successful silk merchant, maintains this lavish home in the capital. Made of locally quarried stone adorned with blue and white tapestries and silk curtains, the house exudes luxury without feeling overly ostentatious. Entrance through the main door … Continue reading »

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4 Mistakes Players Make When Creating New Characters

When you create a character in a tabletop RPG, you should focus on creating a character that’s interesting to you. The most balanced party will grow dull and gameplay will become rote if half the players have been coerced into playing characters they don’t care about. (“Who’s going to play a cleric? C’mon, somebody has to play a … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: The Ooz of Unnatural Silence

This formless mass of flesh can tear small animals apart with its tentacles and consume an adult human in less than a day. But that is not why it is feared. Most adventurers assume this is just a normal ooze. But the Ooz emits a magical, sonic aura that creates a deathly silence all around it. … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: Tolman’s Smart Trolls

Tolman is a halfling with a sense of justice. An ex-adventurer, he now fashions jewelry in a quiet part of a small city. During his adventuring days, he chafed at the sight of other adventurers leaping to kill every creature they stumbled on, ferocious or docile, and the crude jokes they told about the less “civilized” … Continue reading »

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When to use a “DM PC”

Let me introduce you to Dale. Dale’s a new Dungeon Master, six sessions into running his first Dungeons & Dragons campaign. He’s a nice guy, who wants his players to have fun. Dale has a problem. He needs to introduce an non-player character (NPC) who will stick with the party for a while. However, he’s … Continue reading »

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