After five months of playtesting, I'm finally calling Grave (more or less) done. This game offers a minimalist D&D-inspired rule set for soulslike fantasy adventures, built on Ben Milton's tried-and-true Knave. Like Knave, it only offers hints of an implied setting, so it works best when paired with "Old School Renaissance" (OSR) adventure modules and … Continue reading Grave 1.0 release notes & alternate rules
My second game jam submission in a week (and, well, ever) is Aetherway, for the delightful Goon Jam featuring hacks of Nate Treme's Tunnel Goons . It's meant to be a companion and/or conversion for Troika!, but I think it's potentially useful to anybody who would like d66 tables of strange travelers and otherworldly portals—and … Continue reading Aetherway: Tunnel Goons meets Troika!
Here are 45 snippets of lore that probably aren't making it to the final text of Grave, but that I could imagine making use of someday. I figured I'd put them here rather than just leaving them on the cutting room floor. This list came out of an attempt to provide d50 Dark Souls-inspired "Rumors, … Continue reading Rumors, Legends & Lies for a soulslike campaign
I've been wondering aloud for months about how (and whether) to fix the rules for my soulslike game, Exhumed—but learning that its working title is taken by yet another metal band may have been the final straw. ("Titles that inadvertently turn out to be taken by metal bands" may be the only consistent thing in … Continue reading Grave: Hacking Knave for soulslike adventure
I recently wondered aloud whether I'd be better off rethinking my soulslike game Exhumed as a Knave hack, especially given that my earliest pre-playtesting version of Exhumed unwittingly looked quite a bit like Knave. (I ended up using much of those rules in in a Fallout hack instead.) Now, I know the smart move is … Continue reading Design Diary: Grave Knave
I'm still sorting through the trickiest design issues in Exhumed, my soulslike tabletop RPG: how frequently characters act, and the options available to them when they do act, as I wrote awhile back. I got to try some ideas in my last playtest, and have been approaching various problems with different kinds of actions atomically, … Continue reading Exhumed design diary: Action-packed minutiae
Do game designers get writer's block, or some equivalent thereof? I'm very curious how you other designers, hackers, and homebrewers experience this (or not). Me, though? When I get stuck on a game, it feels like the exact opposite of writer's block. With writer's block, I just stare at the page blankly, trying like hell … Continue reading Designer’s block