For my new playtest of Agents of the O.D.D., I'm running a series of one-shots and short arcs, linked into a campaign. Some of that is my own material (like the intro adventure from the currently available edition of Agents), but most of it is adapted from published adventures, including several from Michael Prescott's excellent … Continue reading On a mission from O.D.D.
This week I released a new game for the Eclectic Bastion Jam titled QZ, short for "quarantine zone." It's a science-fiction RPG inspired by Roadside Picnic and Annihilation, designed to send modern-day scientists, soldiers, and scavengers on expeditions into an area where the laws of nature no longer apply. QZ is by far my longest … Continue reading QZ: Welcome to the Quarantine Zone
I love the simplicity of Electric Bastionland and Into the Odd and "foreground growth" in place of advancement, but I also understand the appeal of detailed character upgrade options. For a lot of players, getting to plan out and optimize their character trajectory is an essential part of the fun of RPGs. There are, of … Continue reading How to learn spells in Bastionland
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
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 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.
Last weekend, I ran my first playtest of Nighttide (and the Gauge system on which it's based), a diceless gothic horror game inspired by Bloodborne and Castlevania. It was a lot of fun! Also, it didn't work. That session did suggest that it could work, though, and that this game may be worth developing into something more detailed than a page-long scenario … Continue reading Metatopia Design Diary: Nighttide