Category Archives: Series

Echelon Game Design: New Layout Strategy

I’ve talked about my data workflows before, but now I’m going to mumble a bit about layout. In my current workflow I break the game entities (feats, spells, etc.) out by type, then work with them. Each has different rules for rendering. I realized a while ago that from a data modeling perspective they’re actually […]

Echelon Reference Series Spell Books

News release? New releases? Whatever. My books, let me sell you them. It is to my immense satisfaction that I announce that I have completed, for now, the Echelon Reference Series Spell Book line. They are not yet all published, but all have been compiled and laid out. Most are already available at OneBookShelf (DriveThruRPG/RPGNow), the rest […]

Off the Path: City Construction, Part 4: Polyhedral Process

In discussing city wards in my last post, I said that each ward could have up to three qualities. This was partly to keep the total number of qualities in a multi-ward settlement to reasonable levels, but also to prepare for this step: applying the polyhedral process (introduced in Polyhedral Pantheons) to settlement design. It […]

Off the Path: City Construction, Part 3: Wards

So far, the city construction process has really only covered fairly homogeneous settlements. You might describe a bustling port as having lots of commerce (high Trade score and the Mercantile property) but highly-transient population that can get pretty rowdy (low Stability score). This isn’t a lot of detail, but until you need more it can […]

Off the Path: City Construction, Part 2: Qualities

In my last post I talked about the basics of city construction. Settlements have settlement scores analogous to characters’ ability scores, though applied to different purpose; levels analogous to character levels, that influence the size and resources available; population analogous to experience points (which will come into play more in the next article); qualities that […]

Off the Path: City Construction, Part 1: Basics

Deviating from plan (I’d said my next post would be about building a ‘local pantheon’ of small gods), I decided to write instead about alternate rules for developing a city or other settlement. It expands somewhat on the Polyhedral Pantheons Adaptations I wrote about a while ago. Settlement Basics Before diving into process, I’m going to […]

Off the Path: Small Gods

Many campaigns have world-spanning deities whose power reaches everywhere (more or less). They can provide the ‘full range of services’ (i.e. spells all the way up to ninth level, or seventh in some editions of D&D). Very useful from a game play perspective. However, the idea of being able to meet and interact (and deal) […]

Off the Path: HERO Power Construction

A brief diversion on the Words of Power exploration, I thought it worth providing a bit of an overview of how powers are constructed in HERO System. This looks like it will become important soon. Effects Powers in HERO are based on effect, with descriptors added to give flavor and something to hook abilities on. At its […]

Letters from the Flaming Crab Kickstarter

Alex Abel — the Flaming Crab himself — is Kickstarting the 2017 Letters from the Flaming Crab series. These are small (15-20 page), flavorful supplements that explore topics often overlooked in many roleplaying games, topics that help round out a setting and make it more than a murderhobo arena. Topics from 2016 include: Winged Cavalry Welcome to our first issue: […]

Off the Path: Words of Power, Part 2

In my last post I outlined some things I’d like to see in the Words of Power system. Cost based on caster level; Reorganizing the effects; Unified power framework. The unified power framework might seem to be the most ambitious… but I noticed something that might make it a lot less work than I expected. I’ll […]