Category Archives: Work in Progress

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 […]

DCC Funnel, Pathfinder Guidelines

Last night I was involved in a conversation with someone who wanted to run a Pathfinder game on an episodic basis: the PCs as 0-level characters, then third level, sixth, ninth, and so on. Each episode is set a few years after the previous one. There is continuity of character, but each may have things […]

The Keys of Heraka-at: Adventure Background

Just as well I slept on it. The Keys of Heraka-at looks like it went from “single adventure” to “opening of a two-campaign bundle”. I don’t have all the details yet, I’m feeling for the shape of it, but here’s what I’ve got so far. It will be building on and making some minor changes […]

Damage Progression

I’ve been examining damage charts, especially the damage for increasing monster size and weapon sizes. This is post is largely analysis and comparison. I’m not done with this topic. I think I’ve got something (several somethings, in fact) that are better than the RSRD version, but I’m not satisfied yet that it’s done.

Dragons, Part 1

This is likely to take several articles, as the first one or two are going to be somewhat vague as I try to find the shape of things. This is in part because they appear to be under-CRed compared to other monster types. Draconic Hit Dice are better than most Hit dice granted by monster […]

Weapons Guidelines, Part 1

I remember posting a bit about this to, but don’t remember if I included the bits about weapon reach.  This article is a first cut of recapturing that post, with some additional  information.  The rules are generally complete, but some of the weapon modeling needs some adjustment. The model is not a perfect match […]

Failures of D&D 3.x, Part 3

Down to the last set of failures, and can’t say that they are necessarily serious problems for everyone. However, I have seen complaints about them a number of times, so I’ll do what I can to describe them. These are things where reasonable applications of the rules lead to possibly undesirable results. I’m classifying these […]

Failures of D&D 3.x, Part 2

I’ve described perhaps the biggest systemic problems, now for a few things relating to application of the rules. These points aren’t as critical to game balance, but certainly detract from the game experience. Preparation time and complexity, temporary changes, and figuring out just how powerful something is can all be problems.

Failures of D&D 3.x

I think I’ll start my ‘Thing a Day’ series with a description of why and how I think D&D fails. This is likely to be a work in progress, the points below are more or less off the top of my head. I’ve been playing RPGs for almost thirty years, a wide range of them, […]

Nodes of Power

Another idea inspired by fiction, this one is based on the Dance of the Rings series by Jane S. Fancher (I’ve only ever found three books; there’s a fourth book in the works). In this series there are ‘leythium nodes’, places of power. Leythium seems to be a form of plotdevicium, so there really isn’t […]