Posts Tagged by mechanics


They are a necessary part of most games, and as GM’s something that we frequently have to deal with, either to address a shortcoming, plug a hole, or meet an unforeseen need. While a great many GMs are skilled behind the screen, that does not necessarily translate to their being adept at system modifications. So consider these guidelines when adopting your own house rules. The Fiddly Bits I’ve met GMs in my time who—like myself—love to understand and debate the interoperability of game mechanics; dive […]


Today’s guest author is Mike Nystul, Lead Designer at Castle Nystul Games. Mike’s game design career goes back decades, and as you may have guessed the D&D spell “Nystul’s Magic Aura” is named for him. He’s currently running a Kickstarter campaign for Cairn, a fantasy RPG where the PCs play woodland animals, and when he offered to write a guest article about one of the game’s eminently drift-friendly mechanics, Harmony, we were excited to share it with you. Thanks, Mike! When writing my new game […]


Who put their card game in my RPG? It may not be a question you’re asking yourself today but it could be a question you’re asking yourself a year from now. The “deck building RPG,” Genesis Aspyrias, is currently in development and puts a new twist on the evolution of RPG mechanics. Previously I’ve discussed the collectible card RPG and some general trends within the industry, as well as their potential impact as a GM. One of those games we’ve unboxed here, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay RPG by Fantasy […]

At Marcon this year, aside from making $100 dollars for charity the hard way, I played in a playtest of a game called curse the darkness (lowercase, as if it were being whispered). It is being created by Matt McFarland and you can find more info about it on the curse the darkness  homepage or its kickstarter. You can also see the post about our game session here. I’m going to do a review of the game based off of my play experiences and the […]


Legend is a reimplementation of the d20 System core rules from Rule of Cool — a d20 fantasy RPG that does things differently. It’s as much of a change from core d20 as d20 Modern was from D&D 3.0. Through January 14, 2012, it’s available for a pay-what-you-like donation to Child’s Play. If you have the slightest interest in d20, it’s well worth checking out (see my recent post on Google+ for a bit more about why), but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here […]


Last month, one of our readers, bonao94 made a suggestion: A round-up of awesome and/or innovative indie RPGs from the last few years that people who are trying to broaden their role-playing horizons should try out.   Being the most System Promiscuous Gnome in the Stew, I thought I would pick a few of my favorite games to share. I am always hesitant about the term “Indie” when it comes to RPG’s, since there is no single definition of what is indie and what is not. So […]

Hot Buttons

Every gaming system handles magic a little differently, but one thing holds true in any gaming system that has a magical component. At some point it is going to be used to move the narrative along. When magic becomes a McGuffin, it’s going to break the rules. “I’m sorry Vansha. While you can clearly see the princess is in this castle, she is protected by a magic force field that can only be breached with the sword of Armun.” “This poison is very strong, and […]