The Bone Marshes Kickstarter is live!

I’m doing the design work for my good friend David Schirduan’s new Kickstarter, Bone Marshes!

David’s been a supporter of my Patreon for a LONG time – you have him and his group to thank for the classic adventure, The Planarch Vault.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared – it’s a big responsibility (my first time as a major designer for a Kickstarter) and I’m thankful to David for giving me this opportunity. read more

Dragonmeet 2018 Write-Up

This is my 4rd (or 5th?) time there, and it was Amy’s 3rd (or 4th?) We got there late because we both overslept. I put this down to 2 factors: playing Red Dead Redemption 2 way too much, and a subliminal anxiety about meeting lots of RPG design peers and not having anything new to show. (Relevant: I released a supplement for Into the Odd last year. Also relevant: I got married in between last year’s con and now, which is far cooler than having something new to show, so eff my anxiety I guess.) read more

A Night at the Golden Duck review

On a whim I picked up A Night at the Golden Duck by Patrick Stewart and Scrap Princess and enjoyed it. The format is sick and I will be stealing it – an A2 page folded down like one of those pocketbooks.

The book part (ie what it’s like how it’s folded) details the characters and some other useful bits inside the inn, which it’s implied you’ve come to at random upon some baleful night. There’s a mystery to solve which is given through the descriptions of the characters, which is then confirmed when you unfold the whole thing, revealing a map and details about the place. read more

UCP: Intro

[[ Welcome to the Rue-de-le-Ronde, Section 19, Citibrite-884.

It is the year 20×8. Earth is a neon and oil ruin. Humanity is a skin-and-silicon mess. Look at a person, it’s hard to tell where the human ends and the robot starts.

You wish you lived out there – the outer reaches, where life is simple. But you don’t. You live down here, where only three things matter: the MAN, the GOV, and the CREWS. read more

20 Campaign Setting Questions

SPOILERS – if I’m running a game for you right now, don’t read any more.

Funny story: this is my second attempt at writing these. The first pass felt really constricted, and kind of based on a load of stuff I’d already established in the setting. Writing these answers down felt like an opportunity to provide more info about the world, for myself and my players – so I had another go. I’m much happier with these results. read more

Orcs, Ogres, and the Pecking Order of Dungeons

Tolkien made no difference between Orcs and Goblins, but I grew up with Warhammer. I’ve read some great ideas about goblin biology over the years (the Goblins from Goblin Punch: manic, masochistic, utterly alien biology.) But while I was thinking about all that, my mind wandered to how goblins, orcs, whatever, all fit in my understanding of threat in a dungeon system. IE: How likely am I to go “oh crap” depending on what I’m facing? read more

The End of Google+

“So how do you market your stuff, Joe?”
“Well, I have a Patreon, which is a bit like Kickstarter but works on a monthly basis. And I usually post my stuff on Google Plus.”
“Google Plus? That’s still going?”
“I know, right? Anyway yeah for some reason it’s where all the RPG people go. It’s alright. There’s a bit on Facebook too but I don’t really use that either.” read more