How to make D&D really scary

DM: “The frost giant’s ice club smashes down, crushing the very life out of you for (rolls) 40 points!” Bored Player: “Eh I still have 29 left, so after the Cleric does his healing I’ll be good as new.” DM: (sighs) One of D&D weaknesses is how damage- whether from combat, traps, or miscellaneous things like … Read more

Ask a Dungeon Master: How can I make my games scarier? – Empathy

During this Halloween season, inject fear into D&D.  After all, going into a dungeon should be a scary thing as it involves life or death decisions.  Plus the monsters are real. And while I’ve written a previous column on making your games scarier via the 5 senses, there’s another technique. Empathy. I find that players … Read more

Behind the Gear-spun Curtain: A Purely Steampunk Look at Game Design

Designing a campaign setting isn’t all about world lore and locations populated by classes, races, and monsters. You need to have things for those classes, races, and monsters who populate your setting to do. What we’re talking about here are staples of play in d20 system games — feats — and how to avoid some … Read more

Behind the Gear-spun Curtain: A Purely Steampunk Look at Game Design

As the leaves turn and the skies grow cloudy, we turn our minds toward All Hallows’ Eve and things of an often creepier, spookier, or more macabre appeal. Let us turn our minds then toward a sweet sample of the garish gallery to be found in the westerly lands of the Pure Steam™ Campaign Setting. … Read more