Game Design Hour

Why you should playtest

I’ve run across a surprising number of people who will design a tabletop RPG, then publish it without doing any playtesting. I’ll admit it: I was one of them. To be clear, I’m not talking about folks who throw together a simple RPG, then publish it on their blog as an early draft for feedback. … Continue reading »

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How curved distributions can drive you mad

Let me tell you the story of a tabletop RPG designer…a designer driven mad. This designer, let’s call him “Chris,” was tired of the standard RPG mechanic of rolling a die, adding or subtracting a few modifiers, and comparing it to a single target difficulty number. He didn’t like how swingy it is. He didn’t like … Continue reading »

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Slimpunk, a simple cyberpunk tabletop RPG

Joshua Kubli on Google+ wrote, “I keep thinking I want to run Shadowrun, and then my enthusiasm tapers during planning. [The art below] is basically what I want from Shadowrun. Less near-future spy stuff, more punk and urban shamanism/modern magic stuff.” I hear you! So here’s a simple system for that: If attempting something risky, like jimmying open … Continue reading »

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