Category: Genre Advice

Where to Draw the Line on Horror Gaming

Please consider the following content warnings before proceeding forward with the article. I will touch upon real-life trauma and tragedy as I explore “the line” in horror gaming.     In this think piece, I’ll be exploring “the line.” What’s the line? You know the line. That line in horror...

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Like horror? Try this little guy on for size: It’s a real creature, the 25mm promachoteuthis sulcus, a squid found a mile below the surface of the Atlantic. (Here’s its Tree of Life entry.) But in a different size, or sticking out of someone’s stomach, or in place of an otherwise...

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Fear Checks: Always a Bad Idea

Without exception, in every RPG I’ve ever played that used a fear check mechanic — a roll players have to make to keep their characters from running away — that mechanic is always incredibly frustrating. “Fear check” is a general term that covers morale checks, horror...

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Making the Gods Matter in Fantasy RPGs

Most fantasy RPGs feature a variety of gods, and those gods tend to play a prominent role in the world. There’s a spectrum, of course, ranging from settings where the gods are in the background to worlds like the Forgotten Realms — where, in the form of their avatars, the gods...

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Dungeonomicon: Rethinking a Fantasy Staple

My friend Sam, who I game with every week, pointed me to this saucy little minx (thanks, Sam!): The Dungeonomicon, a lengthy thread on the WotC forums that attempts to justify, explain and tweak dungeons, along with a variety of other fantasy RPG staples. It’s broken down into sections, but...

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Flowchart for Espionage Games

Courtesy of Jeff’s Gameblog, a flowchart for espionage missions from Top Secret designer Merle Rasmussen. This chart originally appeared in Dragon #40, and while (as Jeff points out) it does lack Bond girls, it more than makes up for that omission in cleverness. (Via RPG Blog.)

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Spy Games are All About Paranoia

This guest post by Patrick Benson (AKA VV_GM) is the fourth in our continuing Genre Advice for GMs series. In this post, Patrick shares a few secrets for driving your players nuts — in a good way. – – – – – Espionage games are one of the more difficult genres of...

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Sci-Fi RPGs: Handwaving and Color

When you’re running a sci-fi RPG, how much the game world differs from the present day will depend on how far into the future the game projects — but given the rapid pace of technological advancement in the past hundred years, an awful lot is likely to have changed. This can lead to a...

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