Ritual Driven Adventures: Rites of the Bards (or “We’re Bigger than Gilgamesh”)

What if… rituals were long, drawn-out feats of magic that could produce effects that rivaled magic items? rituals were so long, and required so much of the caster, that casting them became the stuff that a whole arc of a campaign might be based around? the arcane rites carried out in a ritual had some…

Adventurer’s Team-Building Retreat

I heard a story on public radio several years ago that NASCAR had surpassed hockey as the fourth most watched “sporting event” in American television viewership. The commentator theorized that this trend might stem from a shift in American values from team sports to individual sports. Now, leaving aside… that public radio news commentators might…

Ritual-Driven Adventures: The Rites of the Druids

When Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition introduced the concept of ritual magic, I thought, “Cool!” When I actually played around with it, I thought, “Cool concept, but it needs some work.” What if… rituals were long, drawn-out feats of magic that could produce effects that rivaled magic items? rituals were so long, and required so…

Steal This Idea: Broken Squares

I’ve been through more team-building classes and leadership development seminars than I really care to count. While I’ve taken some valuable things from them, I’ve never really stopped to think how the lessons I’ve taken away might be applied to my gaming life. This changed recently when I was describing an exercise from one of…

2d4 Bardic Belts

Rolling now. A 4 and a 1. Some adventurers are fierce take-no-mercy dungeon-delving veterans. They can look in the eye of a blue dragon without flinching, and can laugh off the profane threats of a vampire. These characters unthinkingly throw themselves into heroic actions, trusting both the need for justice in the world and their…

Dr. Strangegame (or How I Learned to Stop GMing and Abuse my Players with Dice)

Rolling dice is fun, there is no doubt about that. At our gaming table, I’m “that guy” with a dice-bag made of the bottom half of a pair of cutoff jeans from when I was in 5th grade.  It contains over 1 pound of dice, including a thirty- and hundred-sider. I remember with glee both…

Intwischa’s Vitruvian RPG Character Sheet

I love coming up with an elaborate character backstory. I suck at remembering it in play. Thus, my character sheets end up a study in marginalia: scrawled near the top of the sheet is the reminder that this character is characterized by a wise laziness and always seeks the most effective path of least resistance….