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 -
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 -
"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 -
How to Host a Dungeon
is a solitaire pen-and-paper game in which you create an underground complex of rooms, populate them with various fantasy races and monsters, and simulate its history. At almost any time you can stop and have the basis for a D&D campaign. Here's a YouTube playthrough of a game: Part 1
- Part 2 [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Mar 4, 2012 -
It's On The Ceiling!
1. d100 Swords of Damocles
2. City of the Intellectual Bats
3. Manhole-like trap door to maintenance level
4. Tapestry of webs depicting events in spider history
5. Stalactite pueblo dwellers: evil dungeon fairies
6. Adventurers impaled on barbed spikes
7. The furniture: nailed up by prankster
8. Alarming amount of dripping water and muddy seepage
9. Pulsating illumination from strange glass tubes in metal fixtures
11. Eyes (d1000)
12. Hand-chiseled diagram of dungeon level
This and many other useful tables for DM improvisation at The Dungeon Dozen
. New table every day!
posted by JHarris
on Feb 3, 2012 -
is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry
back in 2002 (previously
). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government
, the game starts
by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions
like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom
, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types
like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum
, practice wargaming in International Incidents
, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities
), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly
(so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.
). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki
, which provides a detailed legislative record
, gameplay guide
, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations
, 8,000 player regions
, and countless characters
that currently make up the game world.
posted by Rhaomi
on May 9, 2011 -
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now.
In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego
. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist
-- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro
interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com
offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone
. More: Port discussion group
- Vintage review
- Original game manual (text
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 31, 2010 -
Magical dragon-faeries? Flaxen-hair'd elflords? Dank scary dungeons, reminiscent of Grandpa's basement? Kids' stuff. Whether you're a Camwhore, Emo Kid, or Troll, Forumwarz
everything relevant about the Internet (i.e., Forums and IM) distilled down to a browser-based RPG. Buy warez from shady Russian dealers, upgrade your hacking/whining skills, pwn total strangers by crashing their web sites, and join or fight a shadowy government conspiracy. You have nothing to lose but your dignity.
posted by CrunchyFrog
on Feb 20, 2008 -
is a browser-based, grid-mapped multi-player game where you play the survivor or victim of a zombie outbreak in a quarantined city centre. Tired of playing a pseudo-hero in a fantasy Kingdom of Loathing
? Play a scientist, soldier, or ordinary civilian in a modern city, and try to avoid being infected. Or skip the "avoid" phase, and just play a zombie.
posted by CrunchyFrog
on Aug 1, 2005 -
is an online RPG that's "a simulation of what it is like to be a power player in the movie industry today." Take on the role of studio head, agent, producer, critic, or journalist and make virtual movies
every bit as crappy as the ones that the real Hollywood churns out!
posted by MrBaliHai
on Apr 6, 2003 -
, which although they say it's unfinished, seems pretty functional and very cool.
posted by mikhail
on Oct 4, 2002 -
, beneath the cover of an innocuous-looking retail operation, those with true Power have built a facility to imprison forces man was not meant to know . . . things we were never meant to comprehend... dare you peek inside
posted by zeoslap
on Jul 16, 2002 -