Roleplaying

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?

questions and answer talk bubbles

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 »

Seven House Rules for Torchbearer Campaigns

A painting of a boy holding a torch and a girl in a blue cloak.

Torchbearer is a great game. It makes the environment feel dangerous and ensures every stash of copper pieces feels like a wondrous treasure.  Torchbearer has even revitalized my interest in dungeons, something I thought was dead forever. But like any game I play a lot, I … read more »

Learning From Successful Combat Systems

Three figures fighting a duel in Victorian London.

In this series’ first entry, I looked at how RPG combat can serve the story. Next, I talked about why the vast majority of RPG combat doesn’t. In this final entry, we’ll consider how RPG combat can do better. For our purposes, “combat” refers to any … read more »

Why RPG Combat Is Broken

A painting of Viking Age warriors engaged in battle.

Gather round, all ye game masters, designers, and RPG enthusiasts: it is time for part two of this series on extended conflict-resolution rules in roleplaying games. We refer to these rules as “combat” for brevity’s sake, even though they often include rules for car chases, … read more »