Category: Games

I write about games! I write a LOT about games! Everything I do about games is here, in this tab, in some way.

Gods of Cobrin’Seil: Faces Of War

I spoke earlier in the year about ways to view gods in Cobrin’Seil, and the story mechanisms I used to consider them. I said, at the time, that I wasn’t planning on talking more about the gods in my setting, unless there was interest. Then there was interest.

This involved digging up the text I had on these gods – the historical information for comparison. Obviously, looking back on your old writing is going to come with some problems. In this case, some of it just basic assumptions, some if it is awkward phrasing, some of it is indelicate language, and uh,


I cut a title from this text for Adeblen. The original title was unremarkably edgy, and I would normally leave it in, but it uses a Content Warningy word, and there’s nothing really, like… related to it. I would normally leave the text as is and use it as a teaching moment? But like: Don’t give characters titles that include words you’re not comfortable saying at the gaming table any more. Seems pretty easy teaching.

Now, with that, here’s the old text presented for the gods Palescai and Adeblen. This text is presented as is and I’ll workshop it on the other end.

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Let’s talk about scope.

Let’s talk about game mechanics.

Let’s talk about difficulty.

Let’s talk about mythology and the remix and symbolism and men’s failure to communicate and the way queerness spreads to fill empty space and the absolute nonsense that is SNK worldbuilding.

Let’s talk about Kaede.

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Star Control 2: The Thraddash

In the classic science fiction DOS game, Star Control 2, you’re a human captain asked to contend with a variety of different alien cultures, who have a host of different possible reactions to the things you do and a fairly interesting broad range of wants and ideologies. My normal go-to example of the work done to make these cultures interesting is the Ur-Quan, who basically are two cultures engaged in a literal war over who’s got the better unhealthy way to reckon with their personal trauma.

And like, Star Control 2 is still at its root a game which is basically giving you individual people to chat with, with a slightly slack memory. Like, these aren’t cultures cultures. They’re a single surface of a culture that it sometimes implies that there’s degrees within that culture, with individuals that don’t necessarily comply with the standard you’re presented. The Vux have Admiral Zex, the Spathi have the Black Spathi Squadron (and Fwiffo, to an extent), and the Zoq-Fot-Pik show the way their culture varies within itself just by their constant bickering.  The Slylandro talk amongst themselves right in front of you, showing they’re not all these vast monocultures.

This isn’t true of all cultures, though. In this space bursting with life, you have cultures that just don’t get that much variety, so they’re kind of ‘lesser’ cultures. The Supox barely get any screen time. The Druuge are just capitalists. The Umgah are Ettin.

One of these ‘lesser’ cultures – who you can still bully into joining your alliance, mind you – is the infinitely pugnacious Thraddash.

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Game Pile: Final Fantasy VI

Oh hey, it’s Talen a PC gamer who didn’t have a console through the 90s talking about a classic of the form in a genre he’s normally pretty condescending towards and it’s an iconic masterwork of the genre so there’s a checklist of things you kind of have to talk about on the way through before you get to talk about whatever it is you want to talk about well guess that means we gotta blaze through the outline.

  • Brilliant classic
  • Inventive mechanics
  • Iconic music
  • Lively cast of interesting characters
  • Innovative MODE SEVENING
  • What’s the DEAL with how the first half of the game was a JRPG and the back half, a WESTERN RPG?
  • Did U Kno The American Release Was III?
  • Girl Hot
  • Other Girl Hot
  • Other Other Girl Hot
  • Boy…? Hot? Maybe?
  • Playstation port bad!
  • Steam port bad!
  • GBA port okay, really!
  • Suplexing A Train

With that list of the key and important details that are necessary to cover I have hopefully cut down a chunk of the mandatory word count for this article. After all, where will we be if I treat Final Fantasy 6 as something that you may already know about, or as some subject that you already probably can find other sources to explain?

I intend to spoil things about this game but I don’t imagine I actually will? Like, you may view it as a spoiler to mention ‘there’s a character named Effuzio in the story’ and that’s fine, but I don’t particularly plan on talking about the main thrust of the plot. Besides, if it helps you at all, the story of Final Fantasy 6 isn’t really that important, or even that interesting. Not the single, big, core narrative that runs from instigating incident to attention arrival to conclusion to denoument, no, that isn’t important. What’s important to me is the sequences of smaller stories that make up the whole of experience of this multi-hour JRPG mammoth of a story, the characters that are Final Fantasy VI.

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MTG: March’s Custom Cards: Boros Blessings!

March is over, and as I’ve been doing so far this year, it’s time for another round of custom cards! Despite what you may think if you’ve dealt with me on the subreddit, I am not against white getting good stuff. In fact, I’m a firm believer in white’s weakness in Commander presenting an exciting area to put new and interesting things rather than just recoloured Concentrate. It goes even moreso for Boros, where I see their flavour space as full of interesting potential, that largely goes untapped as people just try to fix their problems with the same simple tools of ‘but what if blue,’ and ‘what if I make something overpowered?’ Thus, this month, I’m back to the ‘what about white in multiplayer?’ hobby horse, and we’re looking at Boros Cards. Some quick rules on this front:

  • Not overusing mechanics. There are a lot of good mechanics for making colours with mixed colour identities, like infusing spells like Boros Fury Shield, but I didn’t want to overuse anything. Most keywords are used once, some are used twice.
  • No new keywords. I’m rarely a fan of inventing a keyword when existing keywords are here for exploration.
  • No cycles. These are individual cards for adding to commander decks.

The most popular of the cards, at this point is the Crownbreaker Partisan, a card I was worried was a little weak. I think the complain I found the most ridiculous this time was sniping about the Solimancy Forgecrafter, a white card that improves efficiency, and needs red to copy things.

How To Be: Edelgard von Hresvelg (In 4E D&D)

In How To Be we’re going to look at a variety of characters from Not D&D and conceptualise how you might go about making a version of that character in the form of D&D that matters on this blog, D&D 4th Edition. Our guidelines are as follows:

  • This is going to be a brief rundown of ways to make a character that ‘feels’ like the source character
  • This isn’t meant to be comprehensive or authoritive but as a creative exercise
  • While not every character can work immediately out of the box, the aim is to make sure they have a character ‘feel’ as soon as possible
  • The character has to have the ‘feeling’ of the character by at least midway through Heroic

When building characters in 4th Edition it’s worth remembering that there are a lot of different ways to do the same basic thing. This isn’t going to be comprehensive, or even particularly fleshed out, and instead give you some places to start when you want to make something.

Another thing to remember is that 4e characters tend to be more about collected interactions of groups of things – it’s not that you get a build with specific rules about what you have to take, and when, and why, like you’re lockpicking your way through a design in the hopes of getting an overlap eventually. Character building is about packages, not programs, and we’ll talk about some packages and reference them going forwards.

Now this month, we’re going to return to How To Be’s roots, and once more we’re looking at a character from Fire Emblem: Some Number Of Houses. Yes, it’s the gal who’s Horny For Priest Murder (And For Other Reasons), the Look Up Other Reasons People Like Her, the One, the Only: Edelgard von Not Pronouncing That!

Game Pile: Gene Wars

Genewars is a 1996 videogame release from games industry innovator and technology boundary pusher Bullfrog, at the height of their heady, genre-establishing, world-shaking PC gaming juggernaut status, overseen by the pandimensional fish-hoarding gamer genius explorer boy and repeated game revolutionary Peter Molyneux. After inventing the God Game genre with Populous, the RTS genre with Powermonger, perfecting the spatial management game with Theme Park, redefining flight simulator games with Magic Carpet and creating the fantastically engaging real-time squad based strategy dystopian cyberpunk offend-em-up Syndicate, but just before all-purpose warm-fuzzy-feelings inspiring Dungeon Keeper, Bullfrog announced a new RTS game called Genewars.

The premise of Genewars up front was that you weren’t going to buy units from a list, like some kind of plebian, Commanding and Crafting. You were going to create your own units, based on stitching together the DNA of species on the planet, and the possibilities were endless.

And from this perfected and extremely shiny forehead of Peter Molyneux, what could spring, but excellence?

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4e: The Hindren

Hindren are a type of cervitaur (‘part deer, part-humanoid, with four legs and two arms’) people you can meet in the indie videogame Caves of Qud. They’re originally a fan creation by indie bespoke curio crafter Caelyn Sandel, before they were implemented in the game proper in part thanks to the efforts of new Caves of Qud writer Caelyn Sandel, which meant they were present in the game to be streamed by Grahu-Rubufo, the Caves of Qud vtuber (voice acted by Caelyn Sandel).

Here, in this article here, is a version of the Hindren that you can bring to the table in your D&D games, as long as you’re playing 4th edition and have a DM that’s understanding about gay deers. Why now? Why am I doing this? Because it’s someone‘s birthday soon, and she’s lovely, and I like what she does.

Art Source: Phineas Klier. Don’t like the watermark? Go check out his work, it’s clean and big there!

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Iteration on Experience

I play Picross pretty regularly. It’s a simple little game that my computer can pull up in a browser window and then I can belt through a game, or fail at it, very quickly. It’s something I’ve been doing pretty much on and off since Fox got me into the game in a waiting room at a doctor’s.

Picross, or a nonogram, is something I’ve written about in the past. The tool I use generates random ones within a particular difficulty grade, and you can ramp it up or remove elements that make it easier whenever you feel you need to. For me, this means that my personal limit on picrosses is around 15×15, no-mistake wins, with the occasional exception for unwinnables. I’m not amazing at them, but they’re functionally infinite and I don’t find myself holding onto great examples so I can share them around.

Though maybe I should.

Chances are if you’re on youtube, you’ve seen some of those specialised channels for dealing with particularly dense, high-potential games like Chess, where there are dozens and dozens of chess channels that want to break down famous games, or explore potential games, or just talk about games in progress as puzzles. In this space, there’s the fairly well known Cracking the Cryptic, which does Sudoku puzzles (and other things, they promise, but, I mostly see Sudoku puzzles).

I haven’t picked up Sudoku as a skill, mind you: I’ve just been observing it, from this other channel, and something I find most interesting is the ways that the people involved get very familiar with making intuitive leaps that they then explain. They’re not guessing – they just see solutions, and then they have to back-fill the explanation, to bring you along with them on their path of logic.

When I start on Picross now, I tend to see how quickly I can get the basics laid down – I know the numbers that matter the most to the kind of things I can do, I’m familiar with certain patterns that reach further than you think, and that means that I have tools that make approaching a Picross puzzle a little bit quicker. Not fast by any means, but it gets some of that initial friction out of the way.

Tonight, as Youtube brought on another Cracking the Cryptic to me, the puzzle involved ‘thermometers’ and that yielded someone describing the way you can slide numbers forwards and back, but you have limited space, and that gives you information you can work from. It was a small detail, but it made me sit up and go: Oh, like 4s in those regions.

And just like that, I was seeing the way these skills translate. I didn’t study Picross, I just played it a lot. Playing it a lot resulted in familiarity. Familiarity made it easier to play a lot. The systems of games feeding one another, and only when you put that in a different context do you see the way that familiarity can be turned into actionable, practical, pragmatic result.

CoX: Brambles

Time to time, I write up an explication of characters I’ve played in RPGs or made for my own purpose.  This is an exercise in character building and creative writing.

In the fey realms, there are courts; courts overseen by great powers, lords of realms or even of ideas themselves. The greatest and vastest powers, strange and incommunicable, are overseen by the Great Courts, with the fey royalty, the names people know, the names so important that they slip through even into the mortal’s realms.

But one court, the Court of Voids, lays hidden and secret, ancient beyond even the knowing of the Fae. A mystery of mysteries, with its Secret Queen, She Who Touches As Iron. Precious and few are the fey of this court, paying fealty to this secret queen, with blessings of stealth, secrets, combat and healing for the maimed.

His name, he says, is Brambles, and he lays fealty to this Secret Queen. But the Secret Queen wants secrets and justice – and where better to find those than the City of Heroes? 

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The Games of Orcs

In Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga argues that it is not that games are a byproduct of culture, but that games represent the defining aspects of the formation of culture. That is, ‘making games’ and ‘playing’ are things you do before you get to the stage of having ‘a culture.’ And that’s exactly as much as we should listen to Huizinga about what and who counts as having ‘a culture,’ because it gets a touch yikesy with all the colonialism.

Nonetheless, Huizinga does argue that games are part of the formation of culture, and he suggests the way that animals with proto-cultures play games is itself a step on that path towards creating a culture. Wolves and birds play with one another to learn, and that implies that there’s a connection between playing and learning, and learning, the assumption runs, turns into civilisation and waistcoats and brandy eventually.

I don’t think that Huizinga was a furry, but I’m saying he’d see top-hat wearing waistcoated werewolves and go ‘yes, that.’

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MTG: It’s Tough To Be Competitive (When The Format Doesn’t Want You To Be)

Everyone plays Magic in their own way. The game serves as a platform for players to find one another, but even the people who engage with that platform in ways that seem the same are still approaching it in different ways. Players are simply too complex, motivations to play are too varied, and the game itself is too complicated for two players to sit down and truly want and expect the exact same thing out of the game as they play, and formats and rules and social responsiveness are tools we have to make sure people are at least engaging with one another on a reasonably equal level. The utility of the game is that the game sets rules and boundaries that players can use to meaningfully communicate their own parameters, making it easier to dial into what they want out of the experience.

Knowing that, it’s got to be rough to be into Competitive Commander, or, as it’s known, CEDH.

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Writing Up Die Rich’s Rules

Die Rich is a card game I developed… I want to say early 2020, late 2019. The idea comes from a long time ago, and it’s built around a design I used for referencing a thing in a RP space, of the Carthaginian General Hannibal.

The thing is, something happeend in 2020 (like, all of 2020), and that meant I never developed the rulebook for it. I’d played the game, before I ever made any of the cards, and I’d tested it, I knew the game worked… but I never wrote down the rules.

Now I don’t know if I remember them, exactly.

But I do have a deck of the cards, so I can play the game, and see the problems, and reconstruct what I generally know. Then I’m going to construct what I need the rules to cover, and you can read that. This is how these rulebooks kinda got made.

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Game Pile: Root

In 2018, the board game Root was released by Leder games, to a sort of confused, but very enthusiastic ‘hooray!’ Based on earlier successes by the same developers (and some weird, contentious ‘hey, you copied my notes’ complaints), Root is an asymmetrical war game, where in the base box, you have four factions competing with one another to try and take control of a nonspecific woodland glade. Each faction, the game promised – and delivered – are different; not the same rules with a few different units, but entirely, meaningfully, complicatedly different in how they relate to one another.

Lauded for its emergent complexity and its charming aesthetic, Root is one of those games that quickly became institutional; multiple expansions, fan merchandise, an RPG in the setting, all that stuff that signalled people are into your game, the base board game Root is probably one of those recent classics.

I never wanted to buy Root, though.

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Training Players On Owlbear Traps

A million years ago – oh wow, 2019? Okay, sounds fake, but whatever – I wrote an article about the idea of owlbear traps. Owlbear Traps are the D&D-specific notion of gameplay elements where a player can be tricked into doing something that’s bad for them or unsatisfying without having actually done anything wrong.

Owlbear traps are some of your basic ingroup-outgroup problems, and it’s very important to know that an owlbear trap is not the idea of unbalanced design; where you make a design and don’t quite realise how good it is, or how bad it is, and so players who choose one option over another wind up unsatisfied because of the power difference. An owlbear trap is intentional.

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Making Gods in Cobrin`Seil

I have my own D&D setting; I’ve talked about it before, not because it necessarily is a thing you should want to play in, or I’m going to make you pay for, but because the process of building a world is itself full of interesting insights. Particularly, I find that the surest way to know what you like in world building is to look at other world building and see what about it makes you mad.

This time, I’d like to talk a little bit about Gods, in my setting. No, this isn’t going to be a specific list of those gods (though, you know, maybe). It’s about what gods are and what they mean.

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Recognising Caches

Hey, you notice the way you end the game with resources you hadn’t spent?

I don’t mean resources that stop being useful. Like, in a Pokemon game, you may end the game with a bunch of juice and Pokeballs that you bought when they were useful, didn’t need them, and never found time to sell them. That’s not important per se, because those are games that are designed to have a lot of slack around your resource management.

It seems pretty common that people finish RPGs with piles of elixirs in their pocket. And like, it’s specifically elixirs. If they aren’t elixirs, they’ve got their own name, and then when you ask ‘what does this thing do?’ the response is ‘oh, they’re basically an elixir.’ It’s a thing that recovers all of your pertinent stats – like, all your health and mana, or all your valor and your armour points or all your cheesecake and bundt, whatever. I know a lot of people – and okay yes I know a lot of people with anxiety and that’s a factor – but these resources become not a resource for spending but a resource for saving.

And then players don’t fire it off? Ever? Even when those resources are explicitly about just providing more resources you already have.

I think of these types of resource as caches.

Caches are an interesting thing because they’re a way a game can reward behaviour it likes without necessarily creating a disruptive tool. A thing that kills one enemy, guaranteed, is a different kind of resource, because enemies are part of an interplay of resources, an exchange of them. Killing a single enemy can make important single enemies into anticlimaxes – it can deflate the tension of a game, whereas a ‘cache’ represents a way of extending tension or surviving long enough to crest that tension.

One of the skills that I had to build playing the game Star Realms is recognising when I am close enough to the end of the game that junkable cards give a meaningful reward. Some things, like bases, may be worth buying so to use them as a burst of early game resources – like the Blob Wheel – but mostly, junking cards is a skill you have to develop. This is really useful in this game, too, because it means the game can give you cards that build up to an engine and again, you get that crescendo, but if you notice it, you can just do the math and recognise that in one turn, you can just win the game – meaning that the losing player isn’t losing long, and turnarounds can happen in big explosive arcs.

Caches are sort of inherently nice to have around in a game. Players can find them reassuring, and can find stockpiling them rewarding (even if they never use them). But a cache unused is just a sparkly gegaw. That means that they have to be worth having and not necessary for the game play. The question becomes: How can you make your game encourage people to pop open their caches?

An area where these kind of resources do see their use is in speedruns. There, these items can present a burst of speed or endurance. In absolutely optimised experiences, these short term bursts are all you need to reach another checkpoint – that’s that control over the game play experience. And then you maybe can learn how to pop caches from seeing how much effect they can have in a speed run.

All that notwithstanding, though, the thing with these caches is they’re meant to reassure players, and don’t do that.

Now, in The Art of Failure Jesper Juul talks about how games are these contradiction engines; we don’t like failing, but we play games which are trying to make us fail, to make not failing enjoyable. The idea that lies at the heart of it is that types of failure are interesting, and there is this kind of same contention with caches. If you stockpile to save yourself anxiety, to play the game safely, knowing you have reserves to protect yourself, knowing those reserves are limited and precious creates another source of anxiety.

In conclusion, brains are stupid and games are hard.

February’s Custom Cards: Love is in the Air

Alright, another month, another month of custom cards!

This month’s theme, because of the month of smooches was to make a bunch of cards with Partner. Partner is one of those mechanics where it kinda got accidentally effed up in the first round, and that has had problems that CEDH has had to deal with to this very day. I don’t wanna do that, so I’m playing it safe this time.

  • Partner cards should cost 3 mana at minimum. We have a couple of them that were too powerful because they’re really flexible (hi, Tymna, hi Thrasios) and they enable too much stuff (hi, Vial Smasher, hi Thrasios).
  • Partner cards shouldn’t be single-card engines. They should do one thing reliably. Any given partner card should have interesting interactions, but also be a reasonably handleable card.
  • ‘Almost’ cards for Commander, cards that were good once, but aren’t good any more, can be good templates. Cards that you wouldn’t run, but you would if they were always in your opening hand.
  • I’m playing it safe here. Assume that for text space and power reasons, I’m being very careful about how much text they have and if I had my druthers, some of these cards would be a little bigger, a little more defensive and maybe have a keyword or two.
  • Also, flavour is hard. I know full well that a lot of fan-made custom card flavour text is weak. Broadly speaking, these are ‘first drafty’ flavour, and I do have ideas for how they work, but I don’t think what I’m doing and my ideas can necessarily be easily translated onto the cards. Rather than force it, I leave it off and will explain as best I can when asked.

What did Reddit have to say? Well, for most of them, not much, which makes sense. There was a hilarious bruhaha about Rinrin, because there were fears that she could, for example, cheat out a Consecrated Sphinx for only 2 mana, which means that you spent 6 mana to get a 1/1 consecrated sphinx. This also brought out the suggestion that nobody in commander uses size-based removal.

Also, some people were mad about Tatiana, because a 5 mana steal card without direct counterplay is… what? Unstoppably powerful? Over pushed for the commander environment?

Helpfully, it was pointed out to me by Enderlord that First’s wording needed some refining (and that’s addressed here, with the up to date wording).

Wide Orgo got compared to Prophet of Kruphix, which is hilarious. Untapping all your lands and giving all your permanents flash is kind of important parts of Prophet of Kruphix!

Game Pile: Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Leather Goddesses of Phobos is a 1986 text adventure videogame, produced by Infocom, written by Steven Meretzky, and it exists entirely because of a whiteboard joke that nobody in the room said ‘hey, maybe let’s just not?’ to enough times. In this 1930s schlock sci-fi inspired ‘sex farce’ game, you get to explore locations like Mars, Venus, and Cleveland.

It was, ostensibly, one of a small number of sexy text adventure games from that period of time, produced by Infocom. It boasted a scratch-and-sniff feely, and a setting for its content ranging from ‘tame’ to ‘lewd.’

It’s also a sex comedy written by a couple of dudes that dates back to 1986.


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How To Be: Ukyou Kuonji (In 4E D&D)

In How To Be we’re going to look at a variety of characters from Not D&D and conceptualise how you might go about making a version of that character in the form of D&D that matters on this blog, D&D 4th Edition. Our guidelines are as follows:

  • This is going to be a brief rundown of ways to make a character that ‘feels’ like the source character
  • This isn’t meant to be comprehensive or authoritive but as a creative exercise
  • While not every character can work immediately out of the box, the aim is to make sure they have a character ‘feel’ as soon as possible
  • The character has to have the ‘feeling’ of the character by at least midway through Heroic

When building characters in 4th Edition it’s worth remembering that there are a lot of different ways to do the same basic thing. This isn’t going to be comprehensive, or even particularly fleshed out, and instead give you some places to start when you want to make something.

Another thing to remember is that 4e characters tend to be more about collected interactions of groups of things – it’s not that you get a build with specific rules about what you have to take, and when, and why, like you’re lockpicking your way through a design in the hopes of getting an overlap eventually. Character building is about packages, not programs, and we’ll talk about some packages and reference them going forwards.

Well, we’ve done some odd stuff with this section, some big ideas about maximising specific character quirks and hitting particularly niche interests like a transforming robot dinosaur, but what if your wants are more hey, what can I do with this simple basis? And, it seems that this month is full of references to Ranma 1/2 and twitter voted on it, and so, here we go, a return to Ranma 1/2 as an option: Ukyou Kuonji.

CoX: Cearmaid

Time to time, I write up an explication of characters I’ve played in RPGs or made for my own purpose.  This is an exercise in character building and creative writing.

Just a boy in a bar with a beer.  Continue reading

4e: The Passionguard (And A Kickstarter Promo!)

In 4th Edition D&D, a starting character has three large layered choices for making a character more conveniently.  You have their Ancestry (“race”), you have the toolset for solving problems they have for their basic skills (“class”), and then you have the little third layer, the layer where you get to refine those two things with extra stuff that isn’t worth a lot, but does bring with it some inherent difference: the theme.

For me, themes are a secret sauce component of 4th edition D&D. They’re a place that you can fill out things a character should be able to do, small bonuses that aren’t necessarily as uniformly available. If you have a striker who you think of as needing to be able to shield someone, one person in particular, the Guardian theme is there for you. If you want to add some sneaky stabbiness to a straightforward fighter, there’s a Yakuza. I’ve used the Werewolf and Werebear for a lot of stuff, and there are sometimes whole themes that carry a concept that are more important than the other two choices to make sure you can hit a specific feel.

But also themes aren’t ironclad, either. Some are very specific, like membership in a specific organisation and some are very general. Themes feel to me like seasonings: The biggest problem we have with Themes right now is not enough of them and not varied enough. Themes are there to do the job of helping you cement some element of your character design that needs to grow, but also can’t be done with the slow progress of feats.

And while working on this, I found this.

Art by Floh Pitot

This artwork rules. I have this problem when I see art and because I create in game spaces, I immediately think ‘hey that’s rad, I’d love to make a game that looks like that.’ And you can’t, that’s a thing, you can’t just take art you like and use it, even though people can just take rules they like and use them. Seems a bit rude on me, I guess. But anyway, point is, I saw this and went: Damn, that gives me ideas.

Thing is, this art is for something. It’s art from 2018 for a Zine called Dames. And that zine has an iteration, currently on Kickstarter, right now. With that in mind, here’s a link to this Kickstarter, and I recommend you check it out and see if you like it. It’s a zine full of knightly ladies. That looks cool!

And now, inspired by this bangin’ artwork, I’d like to present you with The Passionguard.

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‘Ship’ Building

There are a bunch of different board and card games that, in some way, relate to making things. Making things is cool, players like making things, and giving players opportunities to make things gives them something to engage with. This isn’t a unique observation: board and table games are awash with games about building things, both mechanically and thematically.

And there are some that let you, mechanically, in one way or another, make ships.

Merchant and market games often let you buy ships to transport goods. Some games let you make trade routes. Some games let you position an arrangement of ships so your opponents can attack them. And some games even let you build a ship out of specific little pieces, tiny tiles.

But what if we took some of these games about ships and made them about ships?

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