Game Design Hour

Game Design Hour: The 4 most useful RPG design things I know

Do you want to design a tabletop game? I’ve designed a couple of indie tabletop RPG games and a couple of indie board games. I’m in the middle of developing one of those board games, so I’m going through the process I’ve cobbled together over the years. This is part of a series of blog posts … Continue reading »

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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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