Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio


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Lewis Pulsipher

Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio
Worlds of Design: The Lost Art of Being Lost
  • 159
If you’ve played tabletop RPGs long enough, you’ve probably been in an adventure where your party got lost. Yet it’s much less likely to happen nowadays.
Worlds of Design: Leveling vs. Training
  • 69
We previously covered why training systems were abandoned in D&D. Here's what replaced it.
Worlds of Design: The Price of Advancement
  • 31
In AD&D, there was a training requirement to advancement that didn’t reflect how people actually learn. In this column I’ll talk about how the real world works in this context.
Worlds of Design: Golden Rules for RPGs
  • 39
There are several Golden Rules, really. These are my three for role-playing games.
Worlds of Design: Building a Structural Framework
  • 3
Years ago I devised a framework that can be applied to “all” games, to help aspiring designers of board and card games. Let’s see how it applies to RPGs.
Worlds of Design: How Big is Your Army?
  • 56
For those who prefer "realistic" numbers in RPGs: Inflated numbers of combatants for battles litter history books, derived from wildly inaccurate contemporary histories. We can do much better in...
Worlds of Design: Spelljammer 2.0
  • 170
As a big fan of the old Spelljammer, I really wanted to like the new 5e version. But it doesn’t fix some of the problems of the old version.
Worlds of Design: Lost in Translation
  • 22
Adaptations of any fiction from one medium to another tend to suffer from unnecessary changes, including tabletop role-playing games. Unfortunately, what’s necessary and unnecessary is often a...
Worlds of Design: Are You Consistent?
  • 18
Like sports fans, RPGers want consistency of GMs rulings. This is both in the “meta” mode, what characters do aside from adventures, and adventures mode.
Worlds of Design: The Great Dichotomies of RPGs
  • 25
A few years ago for an online course about strategic wargame design I devised a list of about a dozen dichotomies between warfare and games. The paradox of wargames is that warfare and games are...
Worlds of Design: Modern vs. Medieval Maps
  • 27
Moderns are accustomed to cheap and readily available maps that show distance as well as road connectivity. That kind of map is rarely going to exist in a low technology/Medieval setting.
Worlds of Design: Types of Armies
  • 12
Last time I talked about the nature of armies. Let’s discuss particular types of armies and how they might interact.
Worlds of Design: The Nature of Armies
  • 62
If you’re building a full-scale world for your campaign, that will likely involve armies. Let’s discuss what happens in the real world so that you can avoid straining the disbelief of your players.
Worlds of Design: RPG Gods - Benign or Malign?
  • 209
Most RPG settings have some form of godhood. Yet there are some age-old questions that come into play as you create religions.
Worlds of Design: Imposter Syndrome
  • 15
What is “Imposter Syndrome?” It’s a common problem for “creatives.” In RPGs it primarily applies to game designers, but some homebrew GMs will also recognize it.
Worlds of Design: Drought!
  • 2
I’ve written about plague in world-building, now it’s time to discuss droughts. Extended drought, and consequent famine, is a common major reason for the failure of empires and civilizations.
Worlds of Design: The Plight of the New RPG—Quality of Writing
  • 46
Some small publisher/self-published RPG rule sets suffer from poor grammar and syntax. Some RPG creators need someone to edit their writing for quality of communication as well, especially for...
Worlds of Design: Quality vs. Quantity of RPG Play
  • 26
I tend to evaluate games beginning with the assumption that most published games are played only one to three times before gamers move on to the next game. This is a consequence of the thousands...
Worlds of Design: Making an Adventure “Believable”
  • 36
How believable is your world? Or to put it another way, how much must players suspend their disbelief to enjoy the game?
Worlds of Design: Improvising the Adventure
  • 10
When it comes to gamemastering, are you focused on improvising the world or making it believable? Let’s discuss the first.

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