Worlds of Design


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Worlds of Design: Making Mechanics Match
Is frequently rolling lots of dice good design for an RPG?
Worlds of Design: Too Much Dice?
Game designers: You don’t need bucketsful of dice in your RPG rules!
Worlds of Design: What’s Your Objective?
What is that game supposed to actually DO for the players?
Worlds of Design: Combat Tactics
These tactics might save your character’s life
Worlds of Design: The Lost Art of Being Lost
If you’ve played tabletop RPGs long enough, you’ve probably been in an adventure where your...
Worlds of Design: Leveling vs. Training
We previously covered why training systems were abandoned in D&D. Here's what replaced it.
Worlds of Design: The Price of Advancement
In AD&D, there was a training requirement to advancement that didn’t reflect how people actually...
Worlds of Design: Golden Rules for RPGs
There are several Golden Rules, really. These are my three for role-playing games.
Worlds of Design: Building a Structural Framework
Years ago I devised a framework that can be applied to “all” games, to help aspiring designers...
Worlds of Design: How Big is Your Army?
For those who prefer "realistic" numbers in RPGs: Inflated numbers of combatants for battles...
Worlds of Design: Spelljammer 2.0
As a big fan of the old Spelljammer, I really wanted to like the new 5e version. But it doesn’t...
Worlds of Design: Lost in Translation
Adaptations of any fiction from one medium to another tend to suffer from unnecessary changes...
Worlds of Design: Are You Consistent?
Like sports fans, RPGers want consistency of GMs rulings. This is both in the “meta” mode, what...
Worlds of Design: The Great Dichotomies of RPGs
A few years ago for an online course about strategic wargame design I devised a list of about a...
Worlds of Design: The Nature of Armies
If you’re building a full-scale world for your campaign, that will likely involve armies. Let’s...
Worlds of Design: RPG Gods - Benign or Malign?
Most RPG settings have some form of godhood. Yet there are some age-old questions that come into...
Worlds of Design: Imposter Syndrome
What is “Imposter Syndrome?” It’s a common problem for “creatives.” In RPGs it primarily applies...
Worlds of Design: Drought!
I’ve written about plague in world-building, now it’s time to discuss droughts. Extended...
Worlds of Design: The Plight of the New RPG—Quality of Writing
Some small publisher/self-published RPG rule sets suffer from poor grammar and syntax. Some RPG...
Worlds of Design: Quality vs. Quantity of RPG Play
I tend to evaluate games beginning with the assumption that most published games are played only...
Worlds of Design: Making an Adventure “Believable”
How believable is your world? Or to put it another way, how much must players suspend their...

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