Author: John Arcadian

About John Arcadian

John Arcadian is the head of Silvervine Games, a freelance writer and art director, a website developer, a builder of sonic screwdrivers, and a purveyor of kilted mayhem. When he isn't out causing trouble in his kilt... Well, no, that is pretty much what he does when he isn't running RPGs or or trying to take over the world.


Recently I was a judge of the Two Page Tabletop Contest over at Top Secret games. The parameters of the contest are simple – create a complete tabletop RPG with setting in 2 8.5 by 11 pages. Someone has to be able to pick it up and be able to play it without referencing rules somewhere else and it has to have a setting of some sort. Not an easy task by any means, but the contest got just under a hundred entries and judging […]


As is often the case, inspiration for my articles comes from things that happen in real life. The latest event in my life was a cross country move from Oxford, Mississippi to Columbus, Ohio. It was stressful, compacted into a few days, and throughout the whole thing I kept imagining myself in different situations to keep up motivation. You know what I mean – imagining that you are piloting a Drayman from Wing Commander while you are mowing the lawn to stave off the boredom […]


Origins is coming up this week, and all of the gamers who will be there are going to be presented with a slew of new games to try and products to purchase. There are a ton of new things to try out and to be tempted by. When I’m in this position, I always come back to one core question every time I’m presented with a pitch: Why should I, me personally, be interested? Why should this grab me. What about this connects with the […]


Whenever I read through a splatbook and read something like this: “The righteous order of the God of light is dedicated to eliminating evil throughout the land. The clerics and paladins of the order travel the roads and seek out the undead, the unrighteous, and those who work in the name of darkness. The members of this order start at rank…”   I always wonder a bit if the organization being depicted really, actually exists how it is written. In the real world, we hear […]


I’ve been on a bit of a realism kick lately. Not an “elves couldn’t exist” type of realism, but a realism based on the logic of the story that is being told. One thing my musings and discussions with other gaming friends has brought up is how essential the idea of healing is to a game. Have you ever seen an action movie where the hero gets hit, but of course it is in the shoulder and they just kind of continue on. Or wrestling. […]

"Secrets to Success" by Celestine Chua Some Rights Reserved

Whenever I run a game, I want to make sure it is the best possible game I can run. I want players walking away talking about it and ready for the next session. Maybe 1 in 5 games goes this way, even when I wing it, but it is always rewarding when it all comes together. The other week I was talking to a friend of mine who is getting into GMing. He was lamenting the lack of positive response to his games. We talked […]


When my gaming group and I see that a game is going to fall through because some people didn’t show or the Game Master wasn’t feeling it that night, we default to a card game called Sentinels Of The Multiverse. One of the biggest draws of this game is that it is cooperative. No one has to run it, the enemies actions are controlled by drawing from a terrain deck and a villain deck, determining what happens and what damage is dealt based on the […]