I initially released Agents of the O.D.D. with a list of 20 magic items, or "arcana," but admitted right out the gate that I felt it needed a lot more. So, here are a lot more. The first 20 are rituals, which take longer to perform safely; you might only be able to do them … Continue reading 100 O.D.D. items
I love roleplaying games with tons of weird little magic items and strange oddities. They're the secret sauce in games like Into the Odd, Numenera, and (since I realized what those games were doing that I liked so much) my own in-progress game Odd Luck Charms. I think those sorts of things work even better … Continue reading Collecting magic items with a day job
I'm running Agents of the O.D.D. tonight for the first time since Metatopia, and looking to playtest some changes. (Please feel free to grab a free "community copy" of the earlier edition if you're practicing good social distancing or performing essential services during the pandemic, by the way.) We likely won't even get to all … Continue reading Change Agents of the O.D.D.
I tend to design relatively short RPGs because I'm more likely to get them done, and because the intended audience (myself, my personal friends, and fellow longtime hobbyists) doesn't need much more than the basics. I'm working on a couple longer games now, though, one of which is explicitly written to welcome newcomers both to … Continue reading (Un)written rules of play
In September of this year, after much hemming and hawing about where (or even whether) to share my games, I started publishing games on Itch.io. For the benefit of anybody out there wondering what taking that plunge looks like, I thought I'd share a little bit about what the first few months of hobbyist self-publishing … Continue reading Pretendo’s first 4 months self-publishing on Itch.io
Awhile back, I blogged about a work-in-progress RPG tentatively titled "Down Town," a hack of Into the Odd about modern-day urban spelunkers delving into the weird underworld far beneath the streets. I think this game will be super fun to run, so I keep getting distracted thinking about it—but I have more pressing projects, and, … Continue reading Down Town draft: Into the Odd meets Blue Blazes
I love making games, and I’ve been happier and more productive than ever before since realizing it’s “just” a hobby for me. After switching career tracks out of the game industry, however, I felt a bit confused about what the end goal should be of all my hobbyist design work. Back when I assumed I … Continue reading When does it make sense for a hobbyist to publish?
I like RPGs to move fast. I only have a few hours per session, only once every month or two. I want stuff to happen. I don't want to get bogged down too much in exposition or referencing, so I tend to run games with simple, easy-to-remember rules, and very little required setting knowledge. Exhumed … Continue reading The more you know
Please pardon me while I take a break from obsessing over game design long enough to obsess over graphic design. Specifically, typefaces. If one of my students had turned in a 40-page book in a novelty typeface back when I was teaching design classes, I would've docked their grade for it. I gave myself a pass … Continue reading Fonts of wisdom
I ran two sessions of Agents of the O.D.D. at Metatopia, a convention geared toward playtesting games in development. The feedback was a mix of things that made me go, "Great, I was planning on doing that already!" and things that made me go, "Hmm, I'm really going to have to think about that." Some key takeaways: More … Continue reading Metatopia Design Diary: Agents of the O.D.D.