Essay Archive

Some indexing of blog contents under top-level keywords.

RPG Theory Stuff

“RPG theory” is philosophizing about roleplaying in the abstract. I do a lot of it as a side product of designing games, though I write essays on theory topics fairly rarely. Selectively, I should say. I wouldn’t particularly recommend this stuff to anybody; you know if it’s for you, and if you don’t, then it’s not. (RPG theory is only useful for hobbyists at specific stages in their development, whence the reluctance here.)
Challenge-based Adventuring — An old essay I wrote about how to play Gamist D&D.
Observations on GNS Simulationism — A summary of my theoretical understanding of Simulationism
Point-buy Play and Design — An overview of a common rpg mechanical technique and how to use it right.
The Pitfalls of Narrative Technique in RPG Play — An old critique of a common erroneous conflation between “narrative” and “narrativist”.
Sacrament of Death — Some observations about treatment of character death in Simulationist games.
Storyboarding and Performative Play — A quick look at a curious technique and associated creative agenda family.
What GNS Theory Claims — An old essay attempts an overview of a widely misunderstood rpg theory.

The C2020 Redux Series

A series of articles describes my thoughts about revising the classic roleplaying game Cyberpunk 2020 for modern needs. Highly technical game design cruft for the most part, dedicated to cleaning up an ’80s trad game.
Introduction — A strategic overview of the revision
Core Mechanics pt. I — Task resolution, Skill training
Core Mechanics pt. II — Stats, modifiers, Perks, etc.
Character Creation — LifePathing, growing old, etc.


Blood Bowl RPG: Setting — An overview of the setting for our BB roleplaying campaign.
Project treatment for Muster — An overview and outline of the Muster old school primer.