The Cathedral and the Scaffold: Using (and not using) Balance in your Game

A few weeks ago, I made some glib comments about “balance” and how GMs should just “forget it.” This advice is less-than-helpful because it almost wholly lacks nuance. Today, I hope to expand my “forget balance” comment by providing advice that may well extend far beyond the realm of gaming. The Cathedral and the Scaffold…

Get Off My Foot: A Fix for Overlapping Skills in D&D 4E

I didn’t realize this until reading a review of Tomb of Horrors, but a problem I’ve had with D&D 4E (and, to a lesser extent, 3.5E) is “overlapping skills.” In other words–the phenomenon of two or more characters both trained in the same skill who get in each others’ way during skill checks. This was…

Thinking About Systems

Reading Charlie’s commentary from last week got me thinking about how mechanics affect role playing.  Most RPGs are fairly complex games.  As such, they can be enjoyed on many levels.  This is where the old Gamist/Narrativeist/Simulationist discussion would come in, but that’s really not the point of this post.  What is the point, however, is that…

Play By The Rules: Random Character Benefit Generator

Guided by a firm belief that the books are just the beginning, we here at Intwischa are pleased to present “Play By The Rules”, an ongoing series that will provide custom mechanics for your favorite RPGs!  These posts will strive to give players and storytellers alike original, creative, game-ready ways to add spice and texture…

Rage Against the System

For a RPG geek, there’s an undefinable allure to game systems.  There’s just something about understanding the rules, how the mechanics fit together, and the consequences they have upon play. As Charlie has mentioned, however, there’s no silver bullet.  He has written about how FATE is great for story, but not so effective for detailed…

Play by the Rules: Random Character Flaw Generator

Guided by a firm belief that the books are just the beginning, we here at Intwischa are pleased to present “Play By The Rules”, an ongoing series that will provide custom mechanics for your favorite RPGs!  These posts will strive to give players and storytellers alike original, creative, game-ready ways to add spice and texture…