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Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio



Lewis Pulsipher

Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio
Worlds of Design: The Chain of Imagination
  • 10
In this article I try to rank forms of entertainment, including tabletop games, in how much imagination is needed and why they don’t always translate across different types of media.
Worlds of Design: How RPG Tools Have Changed
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I was telling my wife about GoDice (which immediately record their results electronically on an app), when she suggested an article about how RPG playing tools have changed since D&D was released...
Worlds of Design: Escaping Tolkien
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In my previous article we discussed technological differences; this article focuses on cultural differences. Perhaps the cultural differences aren’t as clear in one’s awareness, but can be very...
Worlds of Design: When Technology Changes the Game
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Any change you make from the real world will have consequences, possibly massive consequences. If you want your world to hold together, you have to figure out those consequences, which is hard to...
Worlds of Design: What's in a Name?
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Character names and where we might get them from are today’s topics. This is important insofar as we don't want to delay the start of the actual adventure because someone is trying to think of a name!
Worlds of Design: The Lost Art of Running Away
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How often does an adventuring party avoid an encounter, even run away from one? This used to be common in earlier versions of the game, but less so now. What changed?
Worlds of Design: The Cost of Trade
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This is related to world building, and also related to player characters when they choose to invest in or participate in trading activities in your world/campaign. In some rulesets the characters...
Worlds of Design: Making Megadungeons Make Sense
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When D&D originally came out Gary Gygax more or less taught GMs that they should make huge multilevel dungeons that the adventuring party would enter and loot, killing the monsters who were...
Worlds of Design: Is Combat Now Passe?
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In April 2020 my column was titled “Is Fighting Evil Passé?” Readers pointed out that it was a misleading title, and it was: my original title was “Is Fighting Evil the Focus of Your Campaign?”...
Worlds of Design: Medieval Travel & Scale
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We previously established the fundamentals of world-building; with a world’s basic rules down, it’s important to consider how you get around in that world. And travel was very different (read...
Worlds of Design: RPGs as Microcosms of Life
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When I first saw D&D I said “I hate dice games.” But I discovered that it wasn’t a “dice game,” played properly. It is a microcosm of Life: do everything you practically can to avoid having to...
Worlds of Design: Worldbuilding 101 (Part 2)
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We continue our “beginners notes” for world building, answering questions ranging from the gods to magic to transportation and communication.
Worlds of Design: Worldbuilding 101 (Part 1)
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If you want to make up your own adventures, your own campaign, instead of using something someone else wrote, then sooner or later you’ll need to approach world building. This is “beginners notes”...
Worlds of Design: Always Tell Me the Odds
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If GMs (and game designers, and gamers) understand “the odds” they will be able to make better choices and understand why some things happen in their games - and some don’t.
Worlds of Design: The Four Laws of Character Death
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A problem that I have in GMing RPGs, and I imagine a lot of other people have, is reluctance to kill characters that players have become strongly attached to. I'll describe my evolution in how I...
Worlds of Design: Rolls vs. Points in Character Building
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Let’s talk about methods of generating RPG characters, both stochastic and deterministic.
Worlds of Design: Is Fighting Evil Passé?
  • 686
When I started playing Dungeons & Dragons (1975) I had a clear idea of what I wanted to be and to do in the game: fight evil. As it happened, I also knew I wanted to be a magic user, though of...
Worlds of Design: Creativity and the Game Designer
  • 27
What part does creativity play in game design? Novice game designers often have a confused idea that game design is all about creativity, which is very far from the truth. Creativity is important...
Worlds of Design: More Human Than Human
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30-some years ago I wrote an article "My Life as a Werebear" (in White Dwarf #17) that provided rules for player character monster species such as blink dog packs and giants. Nowadays we take...
Worlds of Design: Shooting Magic Missiles from Silly Places
  • 32
A GM once described a game that was going along the way he wanted until one of the players asked if he could shoot his magic missiles from his groin! According to the GM, the game collapsed into...

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