Five Moons RPG cover

Five Moons RPG: It’s a Team Game

One of the things I like most about roleplaying games is that they’re a cooperative experience: the players are working together for a common purpose. Each character might excel in a particular area, but the “win condition” for the game is “we complete the story,” not “I have to do better than everyone else who…

Five Moons RPG

Learning Spells vs. Learning Fighting Styles

For the purpose of this blog post, a “fighting style” is a combat-related martial ability you can learn, such as Power Attack, Combat Expertise, Dodge, or an actual fighting style feat from Ultimate Combat such as Snake Style. And a “spell” is… a spell, just like what you think it means in PF/D&D (fireball, magic missile,…

blue wizard

A Different Take on Wands in D&D/PF

Part 1: The History of Wands in the Game Wands and staves in Basic, Expert, 1E AD&D, and 2E AD&D were pretty similar: there were a few with detection effects (like a wand of enemy detection, magic detection, or metal detection), a few that were specific attack effects (fire, frost, or magic missiles), a few that were just…

covers of the Basic and Expert D&D Box sets

Looking Back at Basic and Expert D&D

I started playing D&D with the original 1981 Basic box set edited by Tom Moldvay* and “graduated” to the 1981 Expert “blue box” edited by David “Zeb” Cook. My cousin David and I played the hell out of those games when we were kids. The hints of mystery and adventure hidden in the very rulebooks. The…

greet fighter drawing

Ex, Su, and Martial Characters

Let’s talk about the classification of character abilities as extraordinary (nonmagical) vs. supernatural (magical). Some definitions from the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, page 554: Extraordinary Abilities (Ex): Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical. They are, however, not something that just anyone can do or even learn to do without extensive training. Effects or areas that suppress or…

skilled drawing of Nightblade

A Different Way of Handling NPC Treasure

There’s a horrible wealth disparity between PCs and NPCs. At 4th level, a PC has twice as much gear as an NPC, and by 11th level this increases to five times as much. There’s a reason for this: if NPCs had as much treasure as PCs, winning an “even” battle between four PCs and four…

Designer Talk

Designer Talk: Freebies for PCs

I talk about giving “free” things to characters in your game, whether that’s knowledge (such as how holy water works or what trolls are vulnerable to), monk vows, or access to minor magical abilities. (Update September 23, 2014: If you like this post and where these ideas are going, please check out the kickstarter for…