Author Archives: Brent

About Brent

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

Monster Monday: Komodo Researcher of Tarakona

The savage continent of Tarakona, where draconic races battle for supremacy! The studious komodos explore the ancient ruins that cover Tarakona in groups of 5 to 10, typically made up of rangers, investigators, and tamed hunting drakes, who then report back to a team of researchers in a komodo stone city. Researchers are rarely encountered … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: The Caravan of Death

Pity Callahan’s Caravan. Pity, or fear it. Wherever these metal-working merchants go, somebody dies. Callahan’s Caravan of Death is a faction that can be used either as a friendly ally and source of adventure, or as a foe to be fought. It consists of two dozen people (twelve adults and twelve children) spread across nine wagons. They spend the spring … Continue reading »

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Semi-Monthly Map: Demons’ Tower

Long ago, a now-lost civilization carved several platforms on this natural upthrust tower of stone. Steep, straight ramps lead up to each oddly level platform. All traces of the past civilization’s activity are lost except for a perfectly circular depression on the top platform, in which faint runes can just be discerned. Recently, a demon cult learned that the … Continue reading »

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“Okay, How Do You Do That?”

Players often get caught up in the game mechanics of what their character is doing and don’t think through the fiction of what they’re doing. A classic example is a rogue who says he “stealths” across a bare field in full sight of an enemy. The GM can check this with a simple question: “Okay, how do … Continue reading »

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The Treasure Table: This is What You Get?!?

About five months ago I signed up for The Treasure Table, a monthly subscription box aimed specifically at Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition DMs. The first box was supposed to arrive in February. No box. I received an email from the guy behind this, explaining that he was having problems with his shipping company. Apparently he’d never used … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Hunting Drake of Tarakona

The savage continent of Tarakona, where draconic races battle for supremacy! The studious Komodos explore the ancient ruins that cover Tarakona in groups of 5 to 10, typically made up of rangers, investigators, and tamed hunting drakes, who then report back to a team of researchers in a Komodo stone city. Drakes make for vicious … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: The Desert Goblins

The Desert Goblins can be used either as a friendly faction that sends the PCs out on a mission, or as a foe that the PCs must overcome. This band of goblins was defeated by a dwarf adventurer, Balrin Darkhollow who decided to lead the group instead of destroy them. As a friendly faction, a party of unsuccessful dwarf adventurers … Continue reading »

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Game Design Hour: How Polished Should My Play Test Materials Be?

So you’re writing a tabletop RPG, and you’re going to run a playtest with a couple of friends. What do your playtest materials need to look like? I’ve already covered the three phases of prototyping, so let’s look at those recommendations and dig deeper. At this point, I replace the low-quality materials with something better, but … Continue reading »

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My Go-To RPG for Any Genre

You come across a cool movie, TV show, or book, and you think, Man, I want to run a tabletop game in that world. But there’s no RPG designed specifically for it. What system do you use? Unless another system fits particularly well, I always default to Risus. Why? The entire Risus system can be described in … Continue reading »

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Game Design Hour: How to Schedule a Play Test

Let me introduce you to Sonja. Sonja wrote a cool little tabletop RPG. She wants to playtest it, running it with a few people to get a feel for the game, but her attempts to scheduled a game have so far met with failure. She came up with a two-pronged, systematic approach. First, she identified … Continue reading »

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