Plain and simple, the reason we’re even here is because we like to play games: they’re fun, they offer an escape, they allow us to take our imaginations out for a stroll, they let us strategize and simulate. Sure, there are a lot of nuances as to why we might play roleplaying games, but the […]
Posts by Jerry LeNeave
It doesn’t matter what game you’re playing: you can break all of its rules and go wild with how you want to use or ignore them. Take all of the best bits and run with them. What we’re talking about now is how exactly to begin doing that. Now, there’re no formulae for doing it,
We’ve discussed a lot about imbalance and taking your games off the rails, but before we jump into putting together a how-to for all of this, of course we’ve got to get some disclaimers out of the way. It’s important to know the disclaimers up front rather than as an afterthought. So here they are.
It’s possible to play by the encounter design rules but still use the tools we’ve outlined so far in this series without totally breaking everything. This will likely apply to anyone who is still new or unfamiliar with GM’ing or who perhaps just hasn’t really found their style just yet. It’s totally okay to do
While consumables can have an effect on matters of balance in your campaign, let’s first talk about how they can change the overall fun-level of your game. Potions, scrolls, and other consumables are those things that linger. They linger on character sheets, and they linger in the backs of the minds of the players and
Not only are some of the most popular movies, books, and other media devoid of “balance,” so are our lives. Sure Frodo and the Ring or David vs. Goliath is compelling, but even more so are the actual human stories we can read about on a regular basis. The odds are most certainly never in
When it comes to the 4th pillar of your game, which if you haven’t figured out by now is fun, there are lots of alternative options to traditional XP. We all know that, when players earn XP for the NPCs and monsters they defeat, “defeat” doesn’t necessarily always spell death, but it usually does, hence
Everyone loves to talk about group composition. I feel like the prevalence and popularity of video games have only bolstered these arguments over the years as well. There’s the ever-unavoidable “holy trinity”: classes that primarily take damage (tanks), classes that primarily heal damage (healers), and classes that primarily deal damage (DPS). Even the acronym for
In our last installment, we talked about spicing up your encounters with some actionable dungeon flair, bits and pieces within your environments that players can use to even the odds and make things interesting. Today we’re going to be talking about a few other aspects of imbalanced encounter building, and those are what I like
So when it comes to skipping steps on the encounter budget staircase, a great way to counterbalance your “rule of cool” is within the environs that characters are going to be playing in. After all, why should it only be epic monsters that get lair actions? I’ve always found that one of the best ways
Lots of RPGs in the D&D vein have progression systems based on accumulating XP and balancing systems based on the difficulty of monsters and challenges therein, which grant XP accordingly and keep the wheels of the game turning. Because of this, we often have guidelines on how to create balanced encounters, so players can be
The most interesting stories, the ones we share the most over the years and that stick with us longer than any others, are those that defy the odds. That inherent unfairness is what can make for the most satisfying, beautiful, and rewarding experiences possible. If the stories of David and Goliath or Frodo Baggins and
An ancient immortal creature stalks the Margreve Forest, and an entire village of cannibal cultists worship it as their god. They will gladly use any trespassers as ritual sacrifice to keep it placated. Cult Activity gives you a cult-driven set piece: location, background, hooks, everything you need to build your own adventures in Midgard.
Today we’re going to finish talking about boss battles in your tabletop games, including how you can borrow a few ideas from Diablo 3 and other titles as well. Arenas, Temptations, and Movement: Providing a Memorable and Challenging Environment Another idea to borrow from Diablo 3 when it comes to boss battles is to crank
Today we’re going to talk about boss battles in your tabletop games, including how you can borrow a few ideas from Diablo 3 and other titles as well. Making these climactic encounters a true apex to your adventures is crucial, and they are loads of fun to dream up. Remember, folks, D&D invented the “boss