Tag Archives: features

9
Jul

The Initiative Ritual

Composing Your Counting Customs

In the old Final Fantasy JRPG video games, there was a moment before the beginning of a battle where the screen would flash, an 8-bit sound effect would play (which may or may not have been trying to imitate the sound of clashing swords?), and the image would shift from a top-down overworld view into a statistic-heavy side-glance at the battle scene with all its menus and short, memory-frugal names. It is a video game sequence that elicits a Pavlovian response of joy/dread in those of us who ground out our childhoods (and some of our adulthoods) in the pixelated playlands of old. It was also a brief moment for mental preparation – a subconscious shifting of gears from “explorer” to “warrior.”

You can do something similar when it’s time to roll combat initiative in your game. Treat it like a formal rite and customize it to fit your group’s needs. Elevate it from simple bookkeeping into a ritual summons – drawing attention and setting the mood you wish to set. Conduct your initiative ceremony with the same care that you give to other parts of your game and you will reap the roleplaying rewards.

5
Jul

Group Beta #32 — Blood Bath

2
Jul

Five-Minute Languages

J.R.R. Tolkien spent years developing his fantasy languages and then wrote a handful of books to test them out (you’ve probably never heard of them, they’re pretty obscure). Klingon and Dothraki were developed for film and TV – carefully encoded over time with great care. But you’re you. You need to crank out some gobbledygook for game night and you need it fast. Well, hold on to your diphthongs and protect your predicates because we’re doing a crash course on fast-and-dirty language creation.

 

28
Jun

Group Beta #31 — Physics Lesson

25
Jun

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Using Food to Gain Hit Points

My gaming group just started a new d20 Modern table-top game based on the Fallout series of video games, in which, you eat food to heal. Our GM kept this mechanic in place and it works brilliantly – eat a TV dinner and gain a couple of hit points (and a teeny tiny bit of radiation, too). So, I pose the question: Can you use food-for-healing in other tabletop games?

24
Jun

Group Beta #30 — Double Painbow

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