Roleplaying

Five Magic Mechanics That Break Their Systems

A classical painting of an alchemist working with potions.

Roleplaying mechanics can be difficult to balance, and magic can be difficult to balance, so it’s no surprise that when you combine the two, you get serious fireworks. I’m talking about powers and abilities that aren’t just overpowered; they can bring entire games to a … read more »

How Do I Balance Time in the Spotlight?

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Good afternoon! I have a roleplaying question. But first, some context: I’m a DM and my party of adventurers is about to visit Candlekeep (like a giant library in Faerûn). One of my players put a lot of work into his backstory, describing how he … read more »

Building a World for Treasure-Seeking Campaigns

Indiana Jones staring at the idol from Raiders of the Lost Arc.

Venturing out into the unknown and digging up treasure has a long history in RPGs, stretching back to the beginning of Dungeons and Dragons itself. For decades, players have delved dungeons, defeated dragons, and been rewarded with glittering gold pieces for their trouble. While this … read more »

Six More RPG Mechanics That Must Go

Roleplaying design is highly sensitive to context. Some rules work really well in one system and really poorly in another, and it all depends on what each game is trying to achieve. But then there are mechanics that don’t work well in any system, and … read more »

Five RPG Systems With Downtime Mechanics

A painting of a sleeping soldier.

Downtime is an important concept in roleplaying games. It represents whatever time passes between adventures, whether those adventures are old-school dungeon crawls or awkward socializing on prom night. While the narrative focus may be off, PCs are intelligent beings with free will, and players will … read more »

How Can I Make a Recurring RPG Villain Work?

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I’ve been thinking of running a TTRPG campaign where the PCs are being accidentally dragged through many alternate worlds by the Big Bad. This allows for an episodic structure where they can foil a different plan in a different world each adventure, but also means … read more »