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Playing games: when not to roll

When you're playing a game, there are times you don't want to roll.

Playing any version of an RPG, such as Dungeons & Dragons, there are things that you need to accomplish and things you want to accomplish.

The things you need to accomplish are the things that make sure everyone has fun and feels supported.

When I say 'fun' I don't mean that their characters win. I mean that they are able to be in a social situation with friends that makes them feel comfortable and like they'd want to return.

When I say 'feels supported' I mean that they should be able to express how they feel about the game and the way they are able to interact with the other players.

When I play a game, I do it to share an experience with others. If they're not my friends at the start of the game (probably because this is the first time we've played together), I treat them like I want to be their friends by the end. I've made some mistakes doing this. They've mostl…
Recent posts

Dragon's Pool

Here's a pitch for a new game setting for D&D I'm working on. First, I recommend you read Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I'm enjoying it a lot; it's a fantasy Japan with a lot of great characters and fun over-the-top fantasy.
The Dragon's Pool is an Asian-inspired setting that focuses on the mystical and magical. Long-term goals are to zoom out and see the lands of China, Korea, Mongolia and southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia). Short-term, Dragon's Pool will focus on a mythic Japan and the sea that surrounds it.

Some of the homebrew topics I'm dealing with are the yokai (monster) races of Kitsune and Tanuki and a lot of mapping D&D Classes and Archetypes to Asian tropes. You can follow along for more and also check out the World Anvil page at

Cypher Mon - Monster Battling Cypher Hack Premise

I'm taking the long way around to another Cypher System hack. There is a lot to love about the Cypher System; in this case I want to emphasize the ease of creating NPCs and other entities by level.

The Cypher System uses levels to abstract everything outside of player characters. They're generally rated 1-10 with 10 being the best. When you compare 2 things and they have different levels, the one with the higher level wins.

You can make quick decisions based on that system or do things in a more granular fashion using these same rules.

So here are some things I want to lay out in Cypher System for a monster battling setting.

1. Easy monster creation and ways to classify weakness/strength based on type. This would be something like:

Splash (Level 3 Water Mon)
Water Type is Strong against Earth types and Weak against Wood types.

2. Character Types based upon Monster Battling. Revising the default types of Cypher (Warrior, Adept, Explorer, Speaker) to be based around Monsters.


New 3d Printer, New 3d Prints!

I was lucky to get a new 3d printer for Xmas! It's a Creatlity Ender 3.

I had asked for this when I saw the Ender 3 was on sale on Black Friday. I wasn't planning on putting it together on Xmas (3 meals to cook and Legos to build), but my wife encouraged me and I'm glad she did. It took 1 hour and 45 minutes to put together. That included looking at an assembly video by Fat Dragon Games on YouTube and doing basic calibration.

My previous printer took 2 nights (6 hours?) to assemble the first time, half that time the second. The Ender 3 comes with lots of pre-assembled parts and it very solid. Easy to put together, probably even for a first timer, though the video is very helpful.

The quality has been great. The features on the printer are great. Looking forward to doing more with this new printer. I'm especially excited by the number of hobbyist 3d mini and terrain printers that use the Ender 3 and share their profiles (printer settings) on…

Stakes - A Short RPG

Stakes Save the world or survive the night A game for 2 or more players, 1 acting as Guide. The other players are Survivors, describing how they work to survive.
The Guide describes the Results of their choices.
The formatting on this as a webpage is terrible, so if you prefer to read on Google Docs, you can do so here: Playing a SurvivorWhen you play a Survivor, you are stuck in the woods far from civilization. You have a simple goal: survive. There are eldritch
horrors at your heels and not enough time to finish all that must be done. To win the game, you need to Get Out. What you haveYou have 2 hands so you roll 2 dice (normal six-sided dice). Roll them at the same time. If you get a odd number, you get a mysterious occult item. If you get an even number, you get a practical powerful item. If your dice match, you get to have one more item than usual. Roll again with 3 dice. If all 3 dice match, yo…

Level 0 Characters for 5e

Level 0 characters are a topic I didn't know I wanted to write about until @DnDEdition tagged me in a post describing a homebrew approach to Level 0 characters.
While I like the creativity they put into their Level 0 character generation process, here are my thoughts on using Level 0 characters.
Level 0 character generation Follow the steps described in the Basic Rules/Player's Handbook as follows:
Choose a Raceskip Choose a Class. Your base Hit Points are 6.Determine Ability ScoresDescribe Your CharacterPlay the game. Race Your choice of race will influence your Ability Scores and Skills. At Level 0, this can be especially important. A magical Cantrip is a potent spell and a Skill Proficiency is something most characters will not have.

If you use Variant Human rules including Feats, you should grant the Feat at this stage. It may not have the same effect for a Level 0 character as for a standard Level 1, but that seems appropriate.
Skip Choose a Class The major difference be…

3d Printer Dungeon Tiles

After having a 3d printer for a while and getting deep into printing 3d dungeon tiles, I've finally gotten around to printing a pretty good number of them.

These are Fat Dragon Games brand Dragonlock 3d tiles. They are available on DriveThruRPG and they have a free set you can try.

For a general cost breakdown, the printer I use cost $175 with shipping and required assembly.
Printer filament is about $20 per 1kg spool.
The models are typically $9.99 per file set.…