Get Backstory Cards

Backstory Cards help you and your friends create vibrant backstories for roleplaying games, no matter the system or genre. More »

Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 1: Welcome to Darkest Vancouver

Live the dream of 90s roleplaying! Wander around Darkest Vancouver as Immortals with katanas in hand and trenchcoats twirling. More »

Get Mythender!

Get the critically acclaimed tabletop game about killing gods and avoiding your own apotheosis! The electronic edition is free and released under a Creative Commons license. The print-on-demand edition is available now. More »

Cornucopia of Fate Thoughts

As one of the designers on Fare Core and the Dresden Files RPG, Ryan has been posting thoughts about the Fate system over the years. If you’re a Fate designer or fan, check them out! More »

 

The Good Fight Against Micro-Frustrations

There’s more to writing user documentation (which includes game text) than just conveying information and confidence in using that information. Docs also ideally prevent micro-frustrations, especially in cases where the users

Rating the Four Fate Actions Themselves

Many adventure game systems use the same model for creating opposition: make stats that look like PC stats, and play the rules otherwise as written (except where you don’t because you’re an NPC). We do that in Fate Core, along with the “make an abridged character most of the time.” I cut my teeth on

Using Questions as Headers

The longer I work with instructional text, whether for software or games, the more I’m convinced that we should at times use users’ questions as headers. For instance, imagine if we’d written this about situation aspects in Fate Core: How Long Do Situation Aspects Last? The short answer: aspects are true until they aren’t. Situation

The Goal of Making Readers Feel

Anyone can write procedural instructions on a topic they understand. Maybe not write well, sure, but they can put some bullet points to paper for someone else to attempt to follow. Part of what separates a pro tech writer from someone someone stabbing together bullet points is an understanding that we aren’t writing to ourselves. We know how to take

Let Some Quiet In

Over the last two weeks, I put aside any attempt or thoughts on non-day job work. That’s part of what lead me to evaluating why I do what I do (which partly lead to the last blog post of 2015, on creator nostalgia). Taking that time “off”—letting some quiet into my life—also gave me a chance to

Creator’s Nostalgia is a Sweet Poison

Nostalgia is a strange sort of beast. It has us celebrating past enjoyments and longing to relive past glory, which isn’t inherently horrible. But nostalgia looks only backward, never forward, so if we hold to nostalgia too strongly we bumble around—not unlike someone who would walk backward throughout the day. I was conversing with an old friend recently,