Category Archives: Role-Playing Games

Drawing Mild Consequences from a List

When I see rules like conditions in Mouse Guard and Lady Blackbird, or stress in Smallville/Cortex Plus Drama (which I expounded upon years ago), I see something of strong value: a concrete list of statuses that focus action and play. Then I think about consequences in Fate, and for the most part I enjoy their open-ended

KLANG! Attack-as-Defend in Fate

I did an experiment in Katanas & Trenchcoats as a way of remodeling flows of conflict: I allowed attacking as a blocking response to attacking, with whoever winning inflicting

What Are Your Must-Play RPGs?

I was talking with a someone yesterday evening about what tabletop roleplaying games to play in order to better understand the hobby. I said I would send them a list of games I think they should play. But I’m just one person with a perspective that, while educated, is still singular. You know what isn’t singular? A

The Power of “No, But…”

It’s very easy in the story/indie game community to embrace and fall into the cult of “Yes, and…” and the improv idea of accepting offers. I mean, I certainly have, because it’s a more fun mode of GMing and playing than the traditional refusal. But there are times—maybe not often, but still they happen—where saying

Furious Seven & Technocratic Vulgarity

If like me, you’re a Mage: the Ascension fan who likes playing with more Technocratic ideas and modes of play over Traditional ones, you see that technomagic is basically a hack to the original magic system that is mostly complete, but not entirely. One of the places it’s lacking is in explaining what a Vulgar

Other Humor Games!

You may have caught Ed Grabianowski’s article on io9 about various April Fools Day tabletop games, featuring my own Katanas & Trenchcoats. I want to point out some humor games that weren’t mentioned in that article—though you should totally read the article, or at least check out K&T’s uncle-who-could-be-its-dad, Dudes of Legend. The two full games I mention