Classcraft: Gamify Your Classroom

It’s no secret that kids learn better through stories and games (Jesus used the parable, my teachers used BINGO), but it seems that classroom gaming has come a long way from The Quiet Game. Classcraft is a free (for most features) way to turn a modern classroom into an engaging game. What is Classcraft? From their website: Classcraft’s mission is to transform the learning experience by using game mechanics to engage students and provide teachers with well-designed tools to do

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The Never-Ending Adventure

So many roleplaying games hook with the idea of being able to tell stories like our favorite TV shows but then stick to tried and true methods of telling open-and-close story arcs from novels or movies. Now, to be clear, that’s not a flaw, per se, but I don’t believe it hits on the idea of how to tell a story like a TV show. The Old TV Storytelling Method In older TV shows you have a villain/monster of the

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Stepped Dice Game of Raising Stakes

While designing the Cortex Plus version of Jadepunk, I stumbled upon an attractive dice mechanic that I want to explore. It’s inspired by Cortex Plus (naturally), as well as Chronica Feudalis, Savage Worlds, Fate Core, and Marvel Universe Roleplaying (the terrible old one with the stones of effort, only to some degree, but still awesome that I can include that here). Design Goals I believe every good design needs a reason for being: something you want to achieve or a problem you want to solve.

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D20 Jadepunk Design Journal: Skill Synergy

Last time we went over how we’re replacing abilities with professions, and why we feel that’s important. This time, we’re going over how skills interact with each other. A Case for Synergizing Skills During a design conversation, the ineffable Jesse Ferguson had an idea to decouple skills from professions (abilities). As a huge fan of World of Darkness games, this didn’t sound unreasonable to me, but there are design considerations – the most important of which is the extra time spent at

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D20 Design Journal: Abilities and Professions

Okay, so it’s not abilities and professions so much as abilities or professions. When creating Jadepunk: Tales From Kausao City for Fate Core, we went back and forth between skills, broad skills, and, what we eventually settled on, professions. One thing that never came up was using abilities as a player stat. It’s just not something we thought was important to the world of Jadepunk. Why Jianghu Rebels Don’t Need Abilities One could make the argument that they do (if they have

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Important Jadepunk Concepts

As we get continue production on Cortex Plus, and gear up for Jadepunk d20, here is a list of things that we consider when modifying a system to be used for Jadepunk. Capable Characters The traditional “level 1” D&D character will not work in a game of Jadepunk because they’re just starting out and establishing themselves as heroes. But Jadepunk is inspired by wuxia warriors and western gunslingers – the most capable heroes in all of fiction, right from day one.

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Jadepunk is Coming to D20

In case you missed the news: after writing has completed for the Cortex Plus edition, production will begin on a Jadepunk conversion for the d20 system. We’re even redesigning the Jadepunk logo for the occasion. You might be asking yourself: which d20 system? While we are selling it as a Dungeons and Dragons 5e conversion, the reality will look like something based on 5e, but heavily modified to represent the Jadepunk setting as best as we possibly can. Since we are working on Cortex

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Three Step Prep: Investigations

Who doesn’t like a good mystery? Whodunnit stories account for some of the bestselling novels and have featured in movies for decades. Unfortunately, many GMs struggle with good mysteries in their roleplaying games. In my last post, I wrote a Three Step Adventure Prep to make planning adventure games a simpler endeavor that doesn’t railroad player decisions. In this post, I’ll demonstrate how to use that method to create a mystery adventure. What Makes a Good Mystery? James Patterson says

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Cut the GM Prep

Sick of extensive GM prep that doesn’t survive contact with players? A few years ago, I wrote an article that boiled an adventure down to a ‘Fate Fractal.’ Since that time, I’ve made the process even simpler. Three Step Adventure Prep The emphasis on this method is to give the players the ability to influence your story, while not allowing the players to obliterate your prep. 1. Create a Compelling Hook Jacob Possin showed me the usefulness of basing adventures off of

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Patrons, Causes, and PC Goals

Have you ever had a player not be conducive to play because their PC just wouldn’t believably sign on for a particular mission, or would be confrontational with someone who was supposed to be central to the campaign world, maybe someone the PCs were going to serve? I think we’ve all had that player at one time or another (or been that player a time or two, if we’re really honest). Most readers of the gaming portions of this site know that

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