Blog Archives


In an earlier column, I discussed a means to add tension to climbing and swimming in OSR type games by modeling gravity as a grappling monster using Douglas Cole’s Dungeon Grappling rules. I have refined that approach a bit and you can download the revised version here: Monster of Gravity. But, today I’d like to […]

GMT Games has by now released several COIN games covering all kinds of themes: the recent war in Afghanistan, the Vietnam war, the American Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, and more. These four-player games all possess a unique card-driven system that adds some uncertainty to who will go and when. Each card lists a sequence of […]

After our first remote miniature game Sky Hernstrom and I decided to have some fun with the After Action Report (AAR) by supplementing it with fiction.   This post will serve to introduce the characters and show the game’s starting positions. One or two follow-on posts will capture the game play.       Set […]

You’ve heard about Morgan Ironwolf, Black Dougal, and Aleena the cleric. What I want to know is… who honestly sits down at the gaming table and wants to play characters like that? Clean cut. Squeaking clean. Heck, even Borg the fighter is marked as being Lawful. Sorry, but that is not at all how the […]

When Gary Gygax penned the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, the world was very different. The fantasy role-playing hobby was an entirely different beast than it is today, for one thing. But even the term “fantasy” would have had an entirely different connotation. While it’s possible to dive into the old guide, take a random rules […]

The ardent space gamer will tear into this game and crunch through all the scenarios like it’s nothing. But how does it work with the average gamer that’s only just now testing the wargame waters…? Well I’ll tell you, the opening scenario which starts in media res tells you everything you need to know about […]

Many of us wargamers grew up playing the Axis and Allies boardgame in at least one of its incarnations–the original, Second Edition, Third Edition, Iron Blitz, Revised, 50th Anniversary (my favorite), or one of the big global editions. Many of these are still played in wargame clubs around the country, or in the basements and […]

Okay, this was a really neat Traveller session. Yes, my character was in the hospital at the start of this one. And yes, the planetary authorities were not at all pleased at my having saved the world last time. Can you believe it? They actually credited us with turning the alien pyramid laser tower on, […]

Mark Kern is one of the biggest names in video game design. But in this latest episode of Geek Gab Game Night, you’ll hear him cover all kinds of gaming ground: He talks about the appeal of Classic Traveller, how new the concept of rpgs was in his scene, how enamored he was with the […]

Jeffro has been covering the Call of Cthulhu game he’s been participating in and using it as an opportunity to discuss railroading and his various frustrations with the extent of player agency in the game as played. This has gotten me thinking about the topic since I have started running a Classic Traveller game but, […]

This game is something else! Not that it doesn’t come in for a lot of guff from the “real” wargaming set. You see, due to the command card system, you can’t always move the pieces you want. All the action might be happening on the right and you can end up being unable to respond […]

How role-playing campaigns finally click together is kind of a strange thing to begin with. This one, being a relatively rare “by the book” Traveller game is maybe a little more unusual. And the game in those original three Little Black Books is without a doubt a wide open sandbox campaign by default. Given that […]