Republic Day Giveaway From Corvus Belli

Tabletop Gaming News - 2 June 2016 - 6:00am
Gaming really is an international hobby. While all of us mostly just focus on what’s happening down at our LGS, the companies that make our games really are international, and there are millions of LGS’s all across the world. So companies like Corvus Belli celebrate special holidays from all over. Today they’re celebrating Republic Day […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal @ Penn State: #Drupal GovDay: #Purespeed talk

Planet Drupal - 2 June 2016 - 5:36am

This is a recording of a presentation I gave at Drupal Gov Day called Purespeed. There’s many posts on this site that are tagged with purespeed if you want to dig into deeper detail about anything mentioned in this talk. This talk consolidates a lot of lessons learned in optimizing drupal to power elms learning network. I talk through apache, php, mysql, front end, backend, module selection, cache bin management, and other optimizations in this comprehensive full-stack tuning talk.

Categories: Drupal

Simplenews Drush Sanitize

New Drupal Modules - 2 June 2016 - 4:38am

Sanitizes Simplenews Email addresses in exported SQL

Categories: Drupal

Tiny Little Branches: The GameMaster Series - by Marc Michalik Blogs - 2 June 2016 - 12:20am
Axis & Allies and it's siblings. The first hint of the games of the 21st century, and maybe a warning to the modern game industry as well.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Crisis and Community on Kongregate - by Janet Ebsen Blogs - 2 June 2016 - 12:06am
Tips and advice on handling a community crisis without making the whole situation even worse.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Jammin' in the Name of the Lord - by Lars de Wildt Blogs - 2 June 2016 - 12:05am
The life and times of an academic get flip-turned upside down, as he is forced by circumstance to take part in a game jam on his research topic: games and religion. Ooh. Hijinks ensue!
Categories: Game Theory & Design


Gnome Stew - 2 June 2016 - 12:00am

“There’s no board” is a common concern raised by those who’ve never played roleplaying games (RPG). While many gamemasters (GM’s) use terrain, maps, and tiles, there generally isn’t one board like in traditional games. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be: many “Almost RPG’s” like Dungeon and Heroquest use boards quite well. In this article, we’ll look at one process for designing a single board RPG session. The design philosophy will be geared towards newer players. Having a board may make it easier for them to consider playing, which is good for the hobby. Also, a board can provide a visually memorable experience, and make it easier for GM’s to organize their sessions.

The design motif will be based loosely on a Monopoly board, and some of the areas will not be gridded for tactical combat. The image at the top of the article shows the design.


Let’s look at what to include on your board in the order that they may appear. As with everything in RPG design, feel free to change whatever you like.

Town – Imagine the “Go” square of a Monopoly board. However, instead of a big red “GO”, our board will have the image of a medieval town, a starbase, government office building, or superhero lair. Player characters (PC’s) will start here and get their mission specs from a friendly non-player character (NPC) or superior. You may wish to have a card, token, or mini to represent this NPC and a couple of other NPC’s. They may wish to do a little shopping or asking around while they are at the home base.

Roadside Encounter(s) – After leaving town, imagine proceeding along the first few sets of properties in Monopoly. This part of the board will be a roadside encounter with a wandering monster, a travelling merchant, or band of the Big Bad’s minions (possibly even the yellow kind). Also, it could be a chance to fly through an asteroid storm or ford a raging river. The objective in this area is not to kill the players, but to present an opportunity to showcase some of the rules of your system. You may wish to include two or three “squares” here. Perhaps they will have a physical encounter as they fly through space, then a chance for roleplaying once they reach their planetary destination.

Main Adventure Area
– This area occupies most of the rest of the board, including the middle (we don’t need a spot for those Community Chest cards anyway.) This is where you’ll place your dungeon, crypt, or space bandit lair. Players can now get off the railroad. Give them a front and back entrance to choose from. You can include some branching corridors, or guards that they can either fight or bluff. You’ll probably want about three or four rooms in this area. Use as many as you like, but consider what a party can reasonably accomplish during a single session. The board game motif doesn’t easily support megadungeons or huge epics, nor is that the point.

Finale – This area will occupy the Park Place and Boardwalk area of your map. If you are running out of room, you can place the finale on the back. After (hopefully) defeating the major villain or solving the crisis, you can handwave the return journey and bring them back to “GO.” (Whether they get 200 dollars is up to you.)


If you are artistic, you may wish to draw your board yourself. However, don’t feel like you have to, and even artistic types are sometimes pressed for time. You can just use your favorite paint-type program to assemble images and maps to make your board image. Posterazor is a free program to help you print and glue the board together. There are also sites online to help you with this.

Once you have your board, you can use it as a paper map, or glue it to posterboard or foam core. For a longer session, you can use the back of the board for more encounter areas or for a second level of your dungeon, asteroid base, etc…


Using a board can make a game a bit linear. You may wish to have some extra paper handy to draw a quick extra map if the players take a different direction. The board is there to help organize your play, not limit choice.

Unlike board games, you may not want to reveal everything at once. A simple piece of cloth can serve as a “fog of war”, and can be folded back as players advance. I’ve also covered areas with paper.

You may have to limit the size of your board. Many convention game take place on folding tables that are only about two feet wide, so you can’t make it too big. This may be difficult for games that require tactical combat grids. Also, you don’t want to make it too large and difficult to carry.

Making a board takes time. However, hopefully you can reuse the board for other sessions, or use it again for online play. After all, no one throws away their board games after only one session.


Though we used Monopoly to help guide our design, it is certainly not the only option. Imagine a mystery or horror game based on a mansion like Clue (or even using the actual Clue board). A game involving a long journey through a world like Middle Earth might use a board like that in Life. And if you want to design something like Mousetrap, go for it. Considering your favorite boardgames from childhood may spark your imagination in new and fun ways.

Is using a board too limiting, or can it be a way to include new players? What other design motifs can you come up with? Let us know below, and watch out for Colonel Mustard. He’s wicked with that candlestick.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tales from the Rocket House: The Elephant in the Old-School Renaissance Room

RPGNet - 2 June 2016 - 12:00am
The massive amount of material that's easily accessible for old D&D games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kromlech Children’s Day Special

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 3:00pm
Today is Children’s Day in Poland. As such, the folks at Kromlech/Bits of War have decided to have themselves a little special this week on their website. You know, so you can celebrate your own, inner child. We are mostly playing with toy soldiers here, after all. Anyway, this special is that from now until […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ironwatch Magazine Issue 46 Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 2:00pm
Can’t get enough gaming stories during the day? Want to get even more? Are you a big fan of Mantic games? Well, this is the story you’ve been looking for. Issue 46 of Ironwatch, the Mantic fanzine is available now for your downloading and reading pleasure. Learn how to sculpt your own titanic dwarven earth […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

RN Estudio Revenants vs Ancestrals Fantasy Football Teams On Indiegogo

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 1:00pm
Well, we know that Blood Bowl will be making its way back to gaming tables in relatively short order. So it’s a good time to get set with a new team (or 20) for when that drops. RN Estudio has made many teams in their day, but they’re never satisfied and want to make even […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Don't Miss: Mastering the art of composition in level design

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 June 2016 - 12:04pm

A timeless rundown of what goes into creating first-person shooter levels for a sense of visual composition -- and what that means in terms of guiding players to experience your gameplay best. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

FAITH: A Garden in Hell – Boss unveiled

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 12:00pm
If you’re going to have an evil organization, you’re going to have those that are in charge of that evil organization. Such is the case even with the Ravagers, the insect-like race that are the main enemies in FAITH: A Garden in Hell. It’s a look at the artwork for one of these bosses that […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Midweek Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 11:00am
Steady as she goes, everyone. We’re halfway through the week. The weekend will be here soon enough. *hears someone call out, “That’s not soon enough!”* Hush, you. Anyway, we should push on ahead and keep going until we hit Saturday. But to get there, we’ll need to stock up on some bite-sized gaming stories. Good […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Brigade Games Frostgrave Gnickstarter – Into the Breeding Pits Launches

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 10:00am
Brigade Games and NorthStar are bringing you their 8th Gnickstarter campaign (or is it “Nickstarter”? I dunno, the page uses both. So take or leave the “G” as you please). This time around it’s a new Frostgrave expansion: Into the Breeding Pits. What’s a (G)Nickstarter? It’s the special pre-order program that the companies have. So, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acquia Developer Center Blog: 10 Tips to Make the Command Line Your Fast and Efficient Friend

Planet Drupal - 1 June 2016 - 9:15am

If there's anyone who has command of the command line, it's Dave Myburgh, a senior engineer at Acquia.

So we asked him to share how he works with the CLI -- to help us all improve the way we work. Here are the top ten command line tips that Dave suggested. Check them out, and increase your speed of development.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Drupal

GDC Europe: Learn game design tricks to keep players immersed in a story

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 June 2016 - 9:02am

At GDC Europe, longtime game designer Mata Haggis will deliver an intriguing talk on the many small design choices made to amplify the narrative of Fragments of Him through player interactions. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

SiXeS and Elevenses for One Games Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 9:00am
Eagle-Gryphon Games is doing a double over on Kickstarter, running a campaign for two games at once. There’s SiXeS and Elevenses for One, great for whether you’re involved with a whole group of people or just enjoying a game by yourself. SiXeS is a party game for 4 to 40 people where you come up […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star Expansion Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 8:00am
Xia: Legends of a Drift is getting itself an expansion. Yup, there’s new systems to explore, resources to gather, and ways to upgrade your ship… heck, there’s even new ships. Any real space-jockey is always interested in checking out new ships. The game’s for 1-5 players where you’re free to search all across the galaxy […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

WizKids Previews Coldblood and Bullseye for Marvel HeroClix

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 June 2016 - 7:00am
Well, everyone, today’s the day you can start going out and getting your Civil War HeroClix action on. … Uh, that’s Marvel’s Civil War, that is. There’s no Sherman or Lee or Grant in this set (though, now that I think about it, that’d be pretty cool). WizKids has always been really good about having […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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