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  • Tunnel of Thoughts: Random Encounters vs Unexpected Events

    Random encounters are an idea that appear in most RPGs, and they have fallen in and out of favour of time. Different systems have given them different levels of importance and GMs have run them a thousand different ways on top of that. Recently, there’s been some wide-ranging discussion of them on Twitter that is…

  • Mining for Mechanics: Player-awarded XP

    I homebrew my game, and I regularly change things up to try out new ideas with my group and see how they work. One I’ve been trialling is player-awarded XP. It’s a simple enough concept, but there are at least a couple of ways you can actually implement it in your game. Why do it…

  • Dollar Store DM: Fidget Spinners

    If you like RPGs, you’re probably used to them causing you some serious pain in the wallet. When a good hardback book can easily cost $50, miniatures cost a fortune and you have an unhealthy dice habit, it can be a trying hobby. Dollar store DM is an effort to get real value in your…

  • Dollar Store DM: A Counter

    RPGs can be an expensive hobby. With it often costing a couple of hundred dollars to get set up, and with an ongoing lust for minis, terrain and books that most DMs/GMs experience, finding ways to squeeze more out of you game for less money is an idea most of us can get behind. Dollar…

  • Smelting the Setting: Prep Once, Play Lots

    My first article on prepping for a custom setting was well received, so here I am following up on how to develop things further based on how my campaign has been progressing. Today I’m looking at how randomness in the form of goold old D100 tables can help reduce your preparation time. The fairly obvious…

  • Dollar Store DM: Hourglasses

    RPGs can be an expensive hobby. With it often costing a couple of hundred dollars to get set up, and with an ongoing lust for minis, terrain and books that most DMs/GMs experience, finding ways to squeeze more out of you game for less money is an idea most of us can get behind. Dollar…

  • Writing is expensive: Stock art from independents

    Writing is Expensive is a series of posts about my journey getting into writing RPG supplements and the tools I’m using to do so. The focus is on looking at different options and hopefully saving time for other new writers who are trying to find the right tools for the job. No doubt, over time…

  • The Transparent Dwarf: A community-focused Business Model

    It has taken a little bit of time, but things are getting a bit more in order. As in we have a website, a logo-in-progress, multiple products for sale and some money made, it is time to blog a little bit about business models, or specifically, our business model. We’re not a commercial business with…

  • Smelting the Setting: Adapting settings and locations into your own

    Recently I blogged about how I’m breaking down the preparation for my new campaign. This is a follow up  on how I’m speeding up part of that process by adapting some materials I already have. This has helped me work considerably quicker, and allowed me to focus on the details that make it my world, instead…

  • Tunnel of Thoughts: Asymmetrical accountability

    I have been involved in a number of discussions where GMs say things like “The players deserved it for being stupid”. I have never heard a player say anything like “The GM deserved it for being stupid”. Now, this seems the wrong way round to me. To get to the bottom of why, we need…