Game Design

House of Danger Adventure Book Available To Pre-Order From Z-Man Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 June 2018 - 10:00am
I love the resurgence we’ve seen in the past couple years of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I used to have a couple when I was a kid and loved ’em. So to see them come back for a new generation of gamers is pretty sweet. In this case, you can put your name […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Goblin Mercenaries Available To Order From Forge World

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 June 2018 - 9:00am
Goblins. They’re everywhere. They’re mean. They’re nasty. They’re coming after Frodo and the dwarves in The Hobbit. They’re also available to order from Forge World. There’s a Goblin Mercenary set you can pick up, or go all-out and get a whole Horde (goblins are certainly known for traveling in packs, after all). From the website: […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

WizKids Announces D&D Icons of the Realms: Waterdeep Dragon Heist

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 June 2018 - 8:00am
When playing an RPG, I know that I like to have figures that represent what we’re fighting and for our characters out on the table. Sure, you could just throw anything out there and call it good, but if we’re fighting dudes in armor with mauls, I want minis of dudes in armor with mauls. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Finding The Themes - by Gregory Pellechi Blogs - 8 June 2018 - 7:48am
You got a game, it's got a story but what's your message and how are your themes supporting all of that? Here we'll examine how to find, strengthen and support your themes to make them do more. And make your game memorable as a result.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Releases Available From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 June 2018 - 7:00am
Is is their tradition on Fridays, Warlord Games has opened the flood gates and has a whole new flood of figures available. This time around, we’ve got new German units for Konflikt ’47, several new American releases for Bolt Action (including new bundles), and a new mounted unit for Pike & Shotte. Let’s take a […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Previews Lando’s Falcon For X-Wing

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 June 2018 - 6:00am
For many of you out there, I’m sure you’ve gone to see the new Solo movie (whether you saw it with other people or not). In it, we get a bunch of background on Star Wars‘ most famous smuggler, along with how he got the iconic ship, The Millennium Falcon. Well, back when Lando had […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: NPC aspirations

Gnome Stew - 8 June 2018 - 5:01am

Part of a GM’s job is to provide NPCs and to breathe life into them.

A lot of time is often spent figuring out their distinguishing characteristics. What color hair do they have? Do they wear it short, down or up?  Do they walk with a limp? Do they speak with a certain dialect?

Don’t forget their clothes. Or their makeup. And hey, everyone notices the shoes. Don’t they?

Some setting books have tools to help with this. The 5E Dungeon Master’s Guide, for example, has a d20 chart listing identifying features that can set an NPC apart. It’s a useful tool, insofar as it goes.

But …

Unless your party is tracking down a fugitive NPC, though, a lot of that description goes for naught. It might even be important in the moment — how did you know she’s a silver dragon in disguise? Maybe it has to do with that shimmering evening wear, eh?

But for the long term, what makes an NPC carry a scene or stick with the players is how it expresses its goals, motivations or ambitions.

The NPC, like anyone, wants something out of this world. The PCs aren’t going to remember if Sally wore red socks, or were they blue? But if Sally puts in long hours as a barista to earn enough money to study at the technical college — there’s a better chance of that information sticking.

Moreover, Sally has “utility” from the the PCs’ perspective. Coffee. Education. Relating to customers. Local info.

Such goals inform roleplaying. Is Sally too busy to help the PCs with their mission because there is a line of customers? Will Sally cheerfully help because the player character’s career is related to what Sally wants to study? Does Sally remember the PC fondly/poorly from their high school association, and does she appreciate/resent her current situation because of it?

Motivations and goals roll into how a GM presents information, and makes it fun for the GM too. The GM gets to put on their own roleplay hat and interact with the PCs beyond tracking attack bonuses, hit points and creature damage.

So, as you organize and plan for games this summer, consider spending more time on how your NPC sees the world than what the PCs want from it. When those perspectives meet within the context of your scenario or encounter, you are more likely to have memorable interaction and an NPC whom the players will remember by name.


Categories: Game Theory & Design

Facebook launches new program for gaming streamers just starting out

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 7 June 2018 - 2:42pm

Facebook announced the launch of its Level Up program today, designed to help new and aspiring streamers foster a community using its platform. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Five New Books For Legacy: Life Among the Ruins Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 2:00pm
Modiphius is not sitting back and just waiting to get you some books for Legacy: Life Among the Ruins. They’ve got a quintet of new ones available in their webshop. If you’ve been wanting to expand your collection, this is definitely the time to do so. Let’s take a look at what they’ve got. Your […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Forbidden Games Posts New Raccoon Tycoon Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 1:00pm
In just 12 days, Forbidden Games will be rolling out their Kickstarter campaign for Raccoon Tycoon. The game puts players in charge of building and maintaining trade networks of goods. It’s a boom time in the kingdom of Astoria, and everyone wants to get a piece for themselves. But, in the end, only one will […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Austrian court ruling could hold YouTube liable for copyright infringing content

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 7 June 2018 - 12:46pm

The preliminary decision means that, if upheld, YouTube, and potentially other major platforms, are legally accountable for the content posted by users on its platform. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Announces Heroes of Terrinoth Card Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 12:00pm
Those dungeons aren’t going to delve themselves. Those goblins aren’t going to just stop raiding the local towns. Those monsters aren’t just going to decide they don’t want to smash everything in existence. Those evil wizards aren’t going to suddenly decide to not take over the world. That’s why Terrinoth needs heroes. And that’s just […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Thursday Terrain Corner

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 11:00am
The work week continues along. We’ve made it to Thursday. We can make it the rest of the way. I’ve been realizing the last couple days that I have absolutely nothing planned for this weekend. Which, after several that were pretty busy, might be just up my alley. I’m sure I’ll fill the time up […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steamforged Previews Veteran Sakana For Guild Ball

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 10:00am
So, we had the Exiles, the various Union members that left for other Guilds. The next set coming for Guild Ball is The Faithful. They’re players who stuck with their teams (for the most part, there’s Spigot in there). In this case, it’s Sakana. A pirate’s life is for him (yarr arr yarr. I loddie […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Free Nations Live Launch Weekend Starts Tomorrow

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 9:00am
Time Zones are a funny thing. When it’s an hour or two, it’s just kinda like, “yeah, whatever.” But then you hit that point where there’s people already in tomorrow when you’re still in today. As Battlefront is over in New Zealand, they’re well ahead of those of us in the US and UK, and […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Heroes and Mini Boss Coming For Super Dungeon

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 8:00am
Next week, a pair of new heroes and a new mini-boss will go on sale for Super Dungeon from Soda Pop Miniatures/Ninja Division. The first hero is the Celestial Healer, great for making sure that your other heroes don’t die. Though it’s a little too late for the Gloomborn Champion. He’s already dead, but he’s […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Structured Path to Making an Online Game - by Charlotte Walker Blogs - 7 June 2018 - 7:13am
From simulation to adventure games, making an online game can be a lot harder than it seems. With the right process, you'll be able to break the entire project into small, incremental steps, reducing the amount of redundant work that needs to be done.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Plaid Hat Games Previews Shadow Clan For Crystal Clans

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 7:00am
I… I’m attacking the darkness! In this case, that’s not such a silly saying, as Plaid Hat Games is looking to expand your options in Crystal Clans with the Shadow (The Shadow! The Shadow!) Clan. But what do these sneaky rogues bring to the battlefield? In this preview, we get an in-depth look at just […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Previews 1.4 FD Laser Cannon And E-Web Blaster For Star Wars: Legion

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 6:00am
The Battle of Hoth scenes in Star Wars introduced a lot of new elements to the universe. In the opening salvos, we saw the Rebels defending their base using the 1.4 FD Laser Cannon (even as its shot did basically hit an AT-AT in the knee and seemingly do nothing at all). It then blows […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Rockets Away!: Sophonts of the Solar System

RPGNet - 7 June 2018 - 12:00am
Converting aliens to 5e.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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