Category Archives: Series

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 […]

Off the Path: Words of Power, Part 1

The first Off the Path series will take the Words of Power system from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic and make it more to my taste. The general approach is good, and I see room to add a lot more to it. Words of Power Overview Words of Power in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game are pretty straightforward. There are […]

Off the Path: Exploring Different Ground

I’m starting a new series, “Off the Path”. Off the Path takes an idea currently implemented in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and changes it — much like the old ‘KJD-ALT‘ posts I used to make to Much of my design is influenced by my work on Echelon. I mostly talk about Echelon at my other […]

I Blame GreyKnight

Today GreyKnight tagged me in a G+ post regarding some machine-assisted mapping software by Martin O’Leary (Uncharted Atlas on Twitter). Well, I say ‘machine-assisted’, but it looks like the software does most of the work. It’s also frighteningly close to some ideas I explored about fifteen years ago, but Martin made it work much better than I did… and this gives […]

Taxonomy and the Echelon Reference Series

In the last couple of posts it’s pretty clear I was wearing my geek hat. Time to lower the flaps and tie the strings under my chin, because this is going to get busy. Taxonomy Straight from taxonomy [tak-son–uh-mee] noun, plural taxonomies the science or technique of classification a classification into ordered categories: a proposed […]

Next Generation of the Echelon Reference Series

In my previous post I wrote about the evolution of the Echelon Reference Series. So far there have been four stages: Raw copy and paste aggregation. Ultimately not useful to me because it threw away so much information without gaining me much. Aggregating by source document, marking up in Word using styles specific to the […]

Evolution of the Echelon Reference Series

After I finish releasing the RAF versions of the Echelon Reference Series, I’ll be rebuilding my workflow for data capture. It will be simpler and more abstract, and more powerful. I thought it might be interesting to show how this has evolved. Origin of the ERS The ERS started as a set of research documents for […]

Ornamentation: Polishing Gems… and Cutting Them

My last post refined the generation of random gems, introducing variance to the size and quality of the stones. One of the first comments I got regarding the post suggested ‘uncut’ as one of the low-quality entries. I hadn’t previously considered gem cutting because I was focusing on the end result, but I do have some […]