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Weekly Expenditure Adventure: Week 3

(Updated to include bills paid on Wednesday.) Saturday $41.84 Fence posts for garden Sunday $37.60 Gas, groceries, and a passport photo Monday $8.39 Dinner at a Chinese restaurant Tuesday $39.30 Gas and food at a farmer’s market Wednesday $1,200.99 Fruit and vegetables, mortgage bill, power bill, iPhone bill Thursday $12.75 Lunch and dinner Friday $46.55 […]

Three Hearts and Three Lions cover

Giving Up on Three Hearts and Three Lions

A friend of mine recommended this Poul Anderson fantasy novel, Three Hearts and Three Lions a while back. I’ve finally been working my way through it. I’m not going to finish it. It’s about a guy who wakes up in a fantasy world, and can mysteriously speak the language and ride a horse and fight (quite well!) in armor. And he’s trying to figure out how he got here, and why. So he’s […]

On Developing a Tabletop Game Openly

This is a tough one to explain. A few days ago, the Chatty DM tweeted about the need for a revival of Car Wars. If you’re not familiar with it, Car Wars is a tabletop car duelling game from the 1980’s, in which you drive a gun-laden car around a post-apocalyptic arena or road, blowing […]

Never Let Me Go

It’s difficult to review Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go without resorting to reviewers’ favorite candy phrases: heart-wrenching, melancholy, tragic, and the one that I always shudder at, tour de force. This is partly because of its deceit. For its first few chapters, it appears to be nothing more than a woman reminiscing about her […]

Weekly Expenditure Adventure: Week 2

Friday feels like a good day to record and analyze my expenditures from the past week, though perhaps I should wait until later in the day. Ah well. Here, I lay my soul (and wallet) bare: Saturday $74.50 Role-playing books and taxi rides at GenCon Sunday $77.73 Includes $50 for airport parking Monday $32.37 Groceries […]

Weaselly Role-Playing

So, a while ago, I noticed a Twitter RPG design competition. You had to pitch and describe a tabletop RPG system in 140 characters or less. A fun little challenge. I’d just been reading the Mouse Guard RPG system, where the main villains are tricky weasels, and they struck me as interesting characters. So, an […]

Weekly Expenditure Adventure: Week 1

I’m trying to live within my means. This blog post is the first record of how much money I’m spending each week. I only started recording my purchases on Wednesday of last week, but even so, here are my purchases: Wednesday $40.00 Thursday $88.75 Friday $70.00 Saturday $74.50 Total $273.25 This is due mainly to […]

DM Imagination: Lacking

(Note: I haven’t forgotten about my previous plan to post about my finances and books! I’m just having trouble collecting the data. Should have something up here in a day or two. Meanwhile….) While I was at GenCon, I went to a panel on higher-level adventure design. I noticed a disturbing trend: The DMs asking […]

Humans Don’t Grow In The Dark

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about throughput. I think we all understand the concept: how much stuff can be forced through a particular channel at once. Humans have throughput limits, too. I currently have a stack of books teetering next to the leather chair in my studio. This stack has towered over 2 feet […]

The Perfect Light RPG?  Dread.

The Perfect Light RPG? Dread.

  Role-playing games exist in a problematic black hole. Existing role-players play RPGs, but the hobby isn’t attracting a lot of new players (though D&D 4th Edition appears to be changing that somewhat). So how to attract new players to the hobby? Well, last Sunday, I had the chance to run a game of Dread, and it was a revelatory experience. It might be the answer, or at least point the way towards the answer. Dread […]

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