@ghost_bird One solution my players have expressed appreciation for: Set out an actual, physical timer on the table. Tell them that they have, say, 15 minutes to figure this out before Something Bad Happens, and start the timer counting down.

Are you sometimes flummoxed by Medieval culture in your tabletop RPG? Do you sometimes wonder how exactly justice worked with no permanent police force, or how long a fair would run, or how old an "adult" was?

I'm working on a booklet on this topic, not to make games historically accurate, but to make them more grounded where that's useful.

I could use beta readers. Interested?

Monday: Occult Owl

Occult owls are about twice the size of an ordinary owl. A strange third eye glows in the middle of an occult owl's forehead, leading to legends that magical researchers use them to store and recall obscure knowledge. Indeed, those who encounter occult owls often report hearing voices in their heads.

More here: geekarchaeology.com/blog/2018-

Monday: Dryad Flower

The lovely manga Delicious in Dungeon features the monster I'm about to detail, and while your PCs can cook and eat a dryad flower after defeating it, just like the characters in the manga, they don't have to.

Dryad flowers are plant creatures that, upon defeat, explode in pollen that blinds and exhausts enemies.

More here: geekarchaeology.com/blog/2018-

Friday: Sages of Twilight

The Sages of Twilight are a mysterious organization that collects only lore related to ancient civilizations. They seem particularly interested in societies that collapsed suddenly and violently. Perhaps they seek knowledge of what toppled them.

More here: geekarchaeology.com/blog/2018-

Friday: Gaxton's Garrison

Some factions are created by an environment. So with Gaxton's Garrison, the soldiers that patrol Wintershold Castle in the coastal city of Blackcrag. Unusually for this part of the country, only half are peasants fulfilling part of their duties to their lord by serving in the castle for a month. The other half are professional mercenaries who've traded in the uncertain life of pillaging for a smaller but more stable income.

More here: geekarchaeology.com/blog/2018-

Monday: Mack the Knife

Been itching to create a fast assassin NPC. This one can choose his own position in initiative every round and gets advantage on attacks against his favored enemy. Pretty darned nasty.

This might be overpowered. But then, it's an assassin.


Some may have noticed that I haven't been posting monsters or factions recently. Apologies; I've fallen behind on that and other commitments, and I've been using this week to catch up.

I'm planning to get back to the regular posting schedule next week. More monsters and factions to come!

@brennen :insert obligatory reference to xkcd "we need one unified standard" comic:

@nickwedig So you're saying that all players will unquestionably pick the best die out of the bag? That it's impossible for players to grab whatever they feel first?

@nickwedig Eh, to me that's like asking, "How do you keep players from secretly changing their stats?"

If the players want to cheat, that will become clear when they're pulling out d10s and d12s every time, at which point you'll have a conversation with them.

Now, if you're playing with (say) children who aren't responsible enough to avoid temptation yet, you can start them with d6+6 luck points.

"Excellent luck" is an interesting twist. I think I'm going to use a variation on the Fudge/Fate Ladder for number. In this system, instead of Hit Points, you have Luck, which starts randomly every session at 6, 8, 10, or 12 by pulling a random die out of a bag of d6s, d8s, d10s, and d12s. (As you level up, d6s are removed from the bag, then d8s.)

I'm concerned about the extra cognitive load of remembering that "excellent" means "10," but I think it's worth it for the naturally memorable words.

I'm working on a pulp system for a Star Wars game. I've been playing around with a "narrative character sheet," meaning that an English-language description of your character can fully describe your character mechanically.

"Jax is an aggressive, intimidating, sharpshooting Rhodian scout with excellent luck" literally is the character sheet. "Aggressive, intimidating, and sharpshooting" are Jax's three traits, "Rhodian" and "scout" are his species and career, and "luck" is for another toot.

Building a new world and need a map of your continents? Load this webpage: azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-G

Building that world and need a map for a city? Load this webpage: watabou.itch.io/medieval-fanta

Need a map for a dungeon? Load this webpage: donjon.bin.sh/fantasy/dungeon/

@EyeofPoseidon That's one reason I find the Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour so insightful. You get to see how one of the lead designers of the game approaches it, where he knows full well all those expectations and the fact that the game *can't* satisfy everyone.

@EyeofPoseidon Yeah, I think a lot of people would live much happier lives if they truly accepted that other things weren't built specifically to satisfy their tastes.

D&D is a thing. It does some things well and other things poorly. Like everything.

@EyeofPoseidon Yeah. I'm working on a one-sheet summary that has ~6 headers highlighting major differences in this setting, and a paragraph or two under each header explaining those changes.

That's usually enough to orient players, and they can ask questions from there.

Last night's Star Wars game was cancelled. 😦

Fortunately, that means I'll have more time to flesh out the timeline and figure out how best to express it to the players. There's a *lot* to explain, and an infodump on the players almost never works.

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