Category Archives: Series

On the State of Mapping Software

A couple weeks ago there was a conversation about what people use for creating RPG maps. I decided to do a brief rundown of my view of existing software. Available Mapping Software Presented in no particular order, let’s begin. Campaign Cartographer 3 CC3: many people like it, and I admit it is a powerful tool. […]

Ornamentation: The Payoff

Finally, time for the article whose idea prompted this entire series. This is much more detailed than the core “plus 1,200 gp worth of jewelry” entries in the treasure tables… but not particularly different. Wearable jewelry is typically fairly light, all things considered. ‘Heavy earrings’, according to a bit of research, might each weigh about the […]

Ornamentation: Jewelry, Crossing the Streams

I just realized something about my last two posts. If I take the ‘jewelry system’ from the previous post and I modify the exponential values table I see something interesting happen. What if gems scale by one rate and jewelry by another? Specifically, gem value is multiplied by five every six steps and jewelry by ten […]

Ornamentation: Jewelry and Its Cost

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about gems, including how to increase their value (or not) and alternate means of determining their value. Now it’s time to look at jewelry and other items made of precious metal. This will necessarily be greatly simplified; in the real world this is horribly complex. Let’s look at simple jewelry […]

Ornamentation: Polishing Gems by the Numbers

Back in June I wrote some ideas of new rules for gems. I started with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules for gems, which provide standard values and some variation. I wanted a little more detail, though, so I drafted a table that separated ‘size’ and ‘quality’ so they could each be rolled with weighted frequencies (that is, ‘medium’ […]

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 […]