Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio


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Lewis Pulsipher

Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio
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.
Worlds of Design: Write it Down!
  • 14
Hector Berlioz, the 19th century French composer, said “every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down.” Just as Abraham Lincoln...
Worlds of Design: Game Design Rules of Thumb - Part 2
  • 14
In the first article I outlined some rules of thumb I think are important to keep in mind when designing games. Here's a few more.
Worlds of Design: Game Design Rules of Thumb - Part 1
  • 45
There are plenty of rules for game designers and even more for role-playing games. Listed here are principles, extreme likelihoods, and observations of behavior, including some "laws."
Worlds of Design: The Ways of War
  • 24
I’m going to briefly describe the two major strategic doctrines of warfare, which can be oversimplified to “fight vs maneuver,” then try to apply them to the mostly-tactical nature of many RPGs.
Worlds of Design: What Defines a RPG?
  • 300
It’s a daunting task to try to define and characterize a segment as large and diverse as tabletop role-playing games in just a few words. But here goes.

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