Author: Scott Martin


About Scott Martin

Scott is an engineer turned gnome and game store owner. He lies awake at night building intriguing worlds and plotting your character's demise.

Gnome Rodeo

First, a bit of sad news. A great tool for visiting lots of RPG blogs has announced that the RPG Blog Alliance network is ending at the end of April. The RPGBA homepage is a great place to discover new blogs. If you’re looking to add more roleplaying blogs to your RSS feed, swing by while the great content is still easily available. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to game worlds (particularly D&D derived worlds) when you apply real world economic theories, you’ll love […]

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Some game designers, GMs, and podcasters have been discussing racism in fictional worlds. It’s an issue that touches fields well beyond tabletop roleplaying. Your game may benefit from the strategic introduction of racism to the game world, though it can easily go wrong. Below are perspectives on incorporating racism in games, in tabletop and video games. (Note: Discussion of race and handling race can be terribly fraught. I’m not the best guide, but follow the links and you’ll find worlds of perspective to consider.) Recent […]

What’s old is new again, almost magically. Back in 2009, the people around me were falling in love with Pathfinder–particularly for the slimmed down rules contained in one core book. It felt like a reset–a chance to get back to the core of D&D adventure in a way that had been obscured by D&D’s extensive publishing throughout D&D 3.5. Pathfinder’s trying to capture that feeling again, with a new Core Campaign that resets player options to the core rule book. It’s a chance to create […]

D&D’s fifth edition has released all of its core pieces; a standalone starter set, the core three books (a Player’s Handbook, a Monster Manual, and a Dungeon Master’s Guide), a GM’s screen, and some adventures (Hoard of the Dragon Queen and its sequel, The Rise of Tiamat). Mike wrote a final Legends and Lore article about “the end of the beginning”—the core books are out, 5th edition has been fully launched. I didn’t participate in many of the playtests, so the edition was new to […]

Today I got together with friends and played a fun miniatures game, AT-43. The company that created it went into liquidation four years ago. After a brief flurry of interest brought on by fire sale prices, the game settled into its new normal–it slipped from people’s minds. We face this struggle all of the time in roleplaying. Many local fans of 4th edition D&D were disappointed by the coming of 5th Edition–and it’s growing harder to recruit for 4e campaigns starting up now, despite an […]

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Waiting can be hard, but savor it while you can. A few months ago, D&D came out with their Starter Set. For a while, my home group thought Jennifer might get a chance to run it, but she was overwhelmed by life. Finally she turned it over to me, so I spent a couple of days devouring the Lost Mine of Phandelver, built up a mental model of the adventure, figured out how long I thought it would take, and tried to project how many […]

I’m running a table of D&D Encounters on Wednesday night. Encounters is the easy, or at least low commitment, fork of D&D’s Adventurer’s League. D&D Encounters is ideal for new players and runs great with even pre-generated characters. So far, it’s going well, though the experience can be a bit odd from a story point of view. Some players show up consistently, week after week. They’ve got an idea about the storyline and are tolerant about the recap and backfilling for new players when they […]