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Roleplaying combat can be about telling stories through the medium of action and physicality. It can be a pure tactical exercise, driven by achieving the best outcome (say, “crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women”) at the least cost. It can also just be fun fantasy wish-fulfillment, where […]

It’s perhaps old news to state that at the very least, the largest force in the tabletop RPGing market – Dungeons and Dragons in all its flavors – evolved from fantasy wargaming, and that combat is a huge part of the game, and therefore a huge part of roleplaying games in general. Gygax noted the evolution […]

Just because a number of gamers and game designers have expressed interest in it, I’m going to run through my thinking on the subject in public. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I conclude that this could be the most useful new wargame design mechanic since John Hill introduced the morale model in […]

First, I’d like to congratulate CH blogger Ken Burnside, for the success of his AVID Assistant Kickstarter campaign with 24 days to spare. Most game-related Kickstarters fail, so it’s nice to see one of our own completing one successfully. Thanks to all of the CH readers who supported it. Second, if you subscribe to the […]

REVIEW: The Visualization of Quantitative Data, 2nd Edition, Graphics Press, 2001 Edward R. Tufte, Author. People ask me, after I explain the layers of thought that went into the play aids I design, what kind of books I’d recommend.  The first book is this one, by Edward R. Tufte. It concerns itself with the accurate display of statistical […]

Redmond Simonsen was an under-appreciated genius; he was cantankerous and was half of SPI when it founded, and one of the handful of people desperately trying to patch the financial holes when the iceberg of changing market conditions rent it asunder. Red worked as the marketing director, editor and in-house graphic designer for most of SPI’s […]

There are lots of ways to slice and dice the history of RPGs, and people like Sandy Antunes have written some incredible histories of the founding of the era.  Me, I’m a game designer.  I write rules.  Writing rules for games is one of the weirdest kinds of writing to contemplate, because it’s a combination […]

Castalia House is a publisher of books, but we are also a developer of games. So that is why we are pleased to be able to announce that the Castalia House bookstore will also be carrying digital versions of various games we consider to be of high quality and potential interest to our readers in […]

I’m Ken Burnside. I design and publish games, I help SF writers get the science right on science fiction (when doing so isn’t contradictory to good storytelling), and I edit fiction and game materials on a freelance basis when time permits. I’m best known in some circles for a game called Attack Vector: Tactical, which […]