I design and write; mostly sardonic, mostly games, mostly geek counterculture.

The blog’s purpose is to orient, structure and inspire my creative work. The current aspiration is to keep up with a weekly newsletter, and to crank out the occasional essay on more significant topics.

The writing polls are there to discover which of my varied interests interest you as well; please vote to help me decide what is worth our attention.

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New on Desk #60 — Sodcutting on Muster - Featuring a vapid update on how Muster's doing. Just fine, writing's just not the most scintillating at times.
New on Desk #59 — Astral Adventure - Featuring low-level astral adventuring in the Coup campaign.
New on Desk #58 — Lapfantasy AAR - Featuring an after action report on "Christmassy Lapfantasy", our refereed wargame scenario.
New on Desk #57 — Off-Genre in Greyhawk - Featuring some observations about horror and other off-genres in D&D.
New on Desk #56 — PvP the Entertaining - Featuring some remarks on our recent PvP adventures in the Coup campaign.

Newsletter Archive

The Sacrament of Death - Some RPG theory about the way simmy games with high character lethality adapt to grief.
Treatment for Muster, the old school D&D primer - A detailed writing plan for an introductory book about old school D&D.
C2020 Redux: Character Creation - I'm revisioning the classic rpg Cyberpunk 2020 in a series of articles. This one's about character creation.
Observations on GNS Simulationism - "Simulationism" is one of three creative agenda modes posited by GNS theory. It is generally considered the least understood of the three. Let's see what we know about it.
C2020 Redux: Core Mechanics Pt. II - A follow-up about C2020 Redux, my attempt at revisioning a classic roleplaying game. This article has more core game mechanics required before moving on to more specific topics.

Essay Archive

[September 2020] What should I write about in more depth?

  • [theory] A Big Model overview (65%, 22 Votes)
  • [theory] old school D&D campaign structure (18%, 6 Votes)
  • [development] Overview of the Coup Basic D&D chassis (9%, 3 Votes)
  • [theory] the numinous genius of GMing (3%, 1 Votes)
  • [development] Many Faces of Amber (3%, 1 Votes)
  • [design] more C2020 Redux (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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  1. You mention OD&D (by which I mean the 1970’s boxes without the Greyhawk rules, but using the optional combat resolution…

  2. Another excellent essay and well worth the wait! I’ve managed to get my group to more or less accept the…

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The blog’s essentially a varietee show starring me, so the topics do wander a bit. It’s probably about tabletop roleplaying for the most part. Here are some greatest hits you might want to look at to figure out whether this is for you:

We played a tactical shootout rpg where everybody played James Bond. I thoughts it showed some promise, and the premise of having Sean Connery shooting at Timothy Dalton was amusing.

I’ve been remaking Cyberpunk 2020 in celebration of the year of cyberpunk. It’s basically an article series about seeing how I’d write an ’80s style traditional roleplaying game.

I can apparently convince myself that the SM horror franchise Hellraiser is inherently compatible with magical girl anime. The vision is crystal clear, I just need to write a novel that showcases it for other people to appreciate.

And, a few oldies from the ’00s that people seem to like:
Challenge-based Adventuring
What GNS theory claims
The pitfalls of narrative technique in rpg play