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Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio

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Lewis Pulsipher

Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio
Worlds of Design: The Rules of Magic
  • 4
Hard magic systems have clear rules about how they work; they are predictable. Soft magic has no clear “system” and tends to lack any kind of connection between one spell and another—more or less...
Worlds of Design: Putting Up Walls
  • 52
While the typical monumental defensive wall is much less impressive than the Great Wall we see in photographs, they did serve a purpose, and many were built. How might they fit into a fantasy world?
Worlds of Design: Stratagems
  • 70
Use of stratagems goes back at least as far as Odysseus and the Trojan Horse. Fans of Glen Cook's "Black Company" series about a fantasy mercenary company will recognize their preference for...
Worlds of Design: Game Design vs. Story Framework
  • 26
Making a Tolkien-like history for a game can beself-indulgent if you let it get in the way of the game. Making it for written stories is something else entirely.
Worlds of Design: Tough Times at the Top
  • 39
I’ve always thought that combat-oriented Dungeons & Dragons-style tabletop role-playing games become less fun to play as characters reach double-figure levels of power. Here’s why, and how to fix it.
Worlds of Design: Same Humanoids, Different Forehead
  • 186
Fantasy role-playing games, like the Star Trek television series, can sometimes suffer from a lack of differentiation between humanoid species with only slight tweaks to their appearance.
Worlds of Design: Active vs. Passive—Part 2
  • 3
We've been talking about active versus passive players. But how do you tell which style works for your group?
Worlds of Design: Active vs. Passive—Part 1
  • 17
Some games need active players, others passive. There are many implications for game design.
Worlds of Design: When Nations Expand
  • 28
When considering how nations expand beyond their borders in your fantasy campaign, there are several options to choose from.
Worlds of Design: To Move or Not to a New Edition?
  • 111
Many tabletop RPGs besides D&D have multiple editions. How many people stick with older editions rather than move to the new one?
Worlds of Design: Games vs. Novels - Part 2
  • 10
Picking up where we left off in the first article in this series, we review how games differ from novels in points of view, climax and denouement, multiple related stories, "story machines," and...
Worlds of Design: Games vs. Novels - Part 1
  • 11
There’s a big difference between novels and role-playing games. If you want to to make the RPG much like a novel, you remove it from the realm of “game”: that is, something that you can fail...
Worlds of Design: Monsters Can Be Leaders Too
  • 9
The older I get, the more battles I study, the more I recognize how important leadership is to success, whether of a nation, an army, a business concern, or an adventuring group.
Worlds of Design: WANTED - More Game Masters
  • 166
There never seems to be enough game masters to go around, a problem that’s been around for as long as the hobby has existed. So what do we do about it?
Worlds of Design: Human vs. Superhuman
  • 43
The second season of The Mandalorian helped me realize that functional versus emotional modeling applies to both Star Wars and tabletop role-playing games.
Worlds of Design: Pestilence & Plague
  • 26
Plagues have made a big difference in world history, and may in your fantasy world. In the course of studying military and diplomatic history over most eras I’ve encountered a lot about this...
Worlds of Design: How D&D is Like American Football
  • 19
I’m going to describe an analogy between Dungeons & Dragons character classes and American football positions (for the basics, check out this article). I've done this just for fun, though it's...
Worlds of Design: Is There a Default Sci-Fi Setting?
  • 177
The science fiction default setting is less clear than the “Late Medieval plus some Tolkien” fantasy default, but let’s talk about it.
Worlds of Design: Which Came First, the Character or Their Backstory?
  • 58
Should you create an elaborate backstory for a character or should the character’s adventures tell their own story?
Worlds of Design: Death from Above
  • 34
Introducing flight to your fantasy battles? There are serious consequences for how it will affect your world.

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