How did Pathfinder become the only table-top role-playing game ever
to outsell Dungeons & Dragons, outpacing it 2:1? What were the economics of the Open Gaming License, whereby Wizards of the Coast effectively gave away
the rules to its flagship D&D product? Why did the table-top market collapse?
This and more on Episode 73 of the Game Design Roundtable
podcast, with guest Ryan Dancey, architect of the Open Gaming License strategy at Wizards of the Coast, and former marketing exec at CCP Games (makers of EVE Online). Dancey is now the business lead on Pathfinder Online, an upcoming sandbox fantasy RPG broadly in the mold of EVE and Ultima Online.
is usually about game design, but this episode is a fascinating look into the business side of the RPG world, both online and off -- from someone who has been at the heart of the most interesting business cases in the space. The first 30 minutes are all about business history and economics. [more inside]
posted by grobstein
on Apr 2, 2014 -
You don’t sit down to write a game and “add fun” or “make fun.” You make things. You design encounters. You plan plot points. You build NPCs. And you also put together and run campaigns. You hope that somehow, out of the campaigns and the decisions and encounters and plot points and NPCs, fun is a thing that will happen. But you don’t actually try to quantify fun. You don’t think about why fun things are fun. Until today.
In The Eight Kinds of Fun
The Angry DM explores the nature of fun in tabletop roleplaying games, guided by scholarly research on the subject
posted by Skorgu
on Jan 28, 2014 -
Hey! It looks like you're trying to write an original character for your fiction/fanfic/RPG, why not run it through The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test
and make sure you're not actually writing a self-insert wish-fulfillment fantasy.
posted by The Whelk
on Dec 22, 2013 -
Does the world really need another “fantasy role- playing game”? Why take yet another try at improving those old-school adventure rules? Good questions. People who run such games and write about them online tend to kit-build their own rules. On these grounds I decided to present my own game notes in modular form, that people could choose from and use.
52 Pages 1.0
) by Roger the GS
posted by griphus
on Dec 19, 2013 -
Old School FRP
is a tumblr blog with a ton of illustrations and art from the golden age of Dungeons and Dragons and games that were totally not Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by Pope Guilty
on Aug 31, 2013 -
"This [129 question] survey
will determine your ability scores, fantasy race, class, alignment, and character level describing what you would be if you were transformed into a Dungeons and Dragons character."
posted by jedicus
on Aug 13, 2013 -
At several moments during the presentation, I wrote in block capitals, circling and underlining. This is the headline feature. This is something nobody has tried or managed to do before. Then, toward the mid-point, while I was still processing what had already come, lead designer Dave Georgeson demonstrated a feature that changed everything.
Everquest Next’s world is made of voxels and everything in it is destructible.
posted by Elementary Penguin
on Aug 3, 2013 -
Nill Kamui is an independent island caught in a power struggle between the forces of Donatia, the land of Knights and the Church, and Koran, an empire of secrets and the immortal empress Ghost Mother. When the Red Dragon, the ancient protector of the island, goes berserk and starts killing for no reason, a desperate plan is hatched: a team of representatives from each of the three powers is given a mission to find why the Red Dragon went mad and stop him by any means necessary. Red Dragon
is a tabletop RPG campaign with its own trailer
, and that's not all. [more inside]
posted by 23
on Jun 22, 2013 -
Among tabletop RPG players and in particular among Call of Cthulhu players, Masks of Nyarlathotep
is often held to be the gold standard for adventures. A sprawling mystery that begins with a murder in New York City and takes the investigators on a world-spanning chase to London, Cairo, the interior of Kenya, outback Australia and Shanghai, trying to prevent the opening of the Great Gate and the return of the elder gods who will end the world, it does not lack for ambition. Created by Larry DiTillio
with editorial assistance from the late Lynn Willis
, Masks is rated #1 by a wide margin of the 4,254 adventures reviewed on RPG.net
. The Call of Cthulhu website Yog-sothoth.com
, to celebrate the site's fifteenth anniversary, is making available a pdf of the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion
: 570 pages of behind-the-scenes info for running the campaign. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit
on Jun 20, 2013 -
"Rumours have been swirling for years about a possible sequel to Black Isle’s legendary and powerful roleplaying game Planescape: Torment, but the closure of the original studio and the jealous guarding of the Planescape rights by owners Wizards of the Coast seemed to have put paid to any comeback. But with original Interplay boss Brian Fargo very much back in the RPG business with current studio inXile’s wildly successful Wasteland 2 crowdfunding, everything changes. He and his team have come up with a way to make a new Torment game: this is really happening.
" [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Jan 9, 2013 -
Gaming made me
- RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
posted by Artw
on Nov 23, 2012 -
Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff
, a podcast in which writer and game designer Robin D. Laws
, The GUMSHOE system
) and game designer and writer Kenneth Hite
(Tour De Lovecraft
, GURPS Horror
) talk about stuff. Stuffs include: Why vampires are assholes and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
, stopping WWI and Beasts of the Southern Wild
, Margaret Atwood and the difference between a mystic and an occultist
, why no invented setting is as interesting as the real world and Woodrow Wilson
, Gencon and sundry RPGs
, Neil Armstrong, HP Blavatsky and theosophy
, the ebook prcing settlement, what big publishing could learn from RPG publishers, and the many crazy fictional possibilities of Charles Lindbergh and his UFO investigating chums
, and Dungeons and Dragons edition wars and Aliester Crowley
posted by Artw
on Sep 30, 2012 -
RPG Maker 2000 did exactly what its name suggested: it allowed non-programmers to design turn-based RPGs. Translated to English by Don Miguel
, who included his tutorial game Don's Adventures
with the program, it and its subsequent versions are still available for download
. While in recent years the engine has been used for a number of noteworthy titles
, back in the day it resulted in a number of charmingly amateur titles — one of which was the legendary A Blurred Line
, by Lysander86. Part of what made ABL special was its story
, which was crude but compelling; partly it was the gameplay
, which was impressively varied and offered a number of branching story paths based on player choice. A Blurred Line was never finished; there's a Windows download
that includes the first chapters, A Blurred Line and The Line Narrows, but the finale, The Line's End, was never released. Lys86 has claimed he is still working on the game, most recently in 2010
, but it's been over a decade
since its original release, and hope for that final release is slim-to-nonexistent.
posted by Rory Marinich
on Aug 25, 2012 -
... Buckaroo Banzai is paradoxically decades ahead of its time and yet completely of its time; it’s profoundly a movie by, for, and of geeks and nerds at a time before geek/nerd culture was mainstreamed, and a movie whose pre-CG special effects and pre-Computer Age production design were an essential part of its good-natured enthusiasm. What at the time was a hip, modern take on classic SF is now, almost thirty years later, almost indistinguishable from the SF cinema that inspired it in terms of the appeal to modern viewers: the charmingly old-fashioned special effects, and the comparatively innocent earnestness of its tone.
- Danny Bowes [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Aug 19, 2012 -