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Jon Lemich
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Jon Lemich

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You know, what 5e uses gold for is just like what 1e, Basic, and 2e used it for; and drastically different from 3e, Pathfinder, and 4e.  People have complained that there's just nothing to spend all that gold on (other than real estate yawn) at higher levels.  But for those of us who played older editions, we know a stronghold is really a plot hook.

Let's look at that and then take it up a notch:  5e gave us Ideals and Bonds.  How can we invest all that excess gold in THEM?

http://runagame.blogspot.com/2015/07/what-to-use-gold-for-in-5e-d.html
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If your players are sitting on heaps of money, maybe make them invest in the world? Buy things, make the world a better place if their that sort? A lot of players are suckers for orphans and poverty struck children, and once that door is opened, there is a ton of things to spend on.

But what if your players aren't into homes, castles, starting their own warrior bands or thieves guilds? Well, if you are sitting on fortunes, other people are going to know about it. By the time you are higher level, you'll have fame and recognition, and people will certainly know you have the wealth of kings. And if you're that wealthy, kings and the like might come to you directly and ask for money. The kingdom needs roads. The kingdom needs armies. There's a shortage of fish and the people are going hungry, we need to pay for imported grain. Let them buy their way into nobility, or make them an offer they can't refuse. (Always give them choice of course, but not every king is going to be friendly about asking for cash).

The more they become invested (literally and figuratively) the more they have things to spend on and they will generally happily bleed their pockets dry without you having to do anything.
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Chill is about monster hunting, so not really immersion horror like CoC. Can you describe the intended mood of a Chill game?  

Especially if you can give examples in media. I could see anywhere from Kostova's The Historian or Bram Stoker to Grimm or even all the way to Monster Hunter International, Van Helsing, or even Men in Black / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  

I guess it's a pretty robust sub-genre, but where do you see it really shines?  What mood are the setting and game design / mechanics designed to evoke?
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Jon Lemich

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This is a revision of (a vast improvement on) some of my earliest posts.
Have you ever had a player wonder, out loud, why her character would take the crazy risks you wrote into your adventure?   Have you ever sat at the game table with a GM who asked “what do you want to do?” and then just st...
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Jon Lemich

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I finished my series on pacing, using for the final part (the example), an existing module from Evil Hat.
This post is part of a series on pacing.  See the other posts, below. Pacing 1 - What can Pacing do for You? Pacing 2 - The Elements of Pace Pacing 3 - The Three Act Structure and the Hero Cycle Pacing 4 - Eight Quick Tech...
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I'm not an OSR fan, but the revival of the Hex Crawl is awesome.  Credit where credit is due, I say.  But if you're not into OSR, here's the Run a Game explanation of what a Hex Crawl is and how to write one!
So you've heard about this thing called a Hex Crawl.  What is it?  Why should it interest you if you're not an "OSR" fan? A hex crawl is an open-ended sandbox-style adventure that originated in old school D&D games.  In a hex...
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You know, you could use Ideals, Bonds and Flaws for locations in 5e, too.  Just make a list of the PCs' ideals, bonds, flaws and personality traits.  Then match them to the problems on the map, the threats on the map and at each site, the temptations at each site, and the NPCs at each site.

IDEALS -> PROBLEMS
BONDS -> THREATS
FLAWS -> TEMPTATIONS
TRAITS -> NPCs

Oh, I am DEFINITELY blogging the results of this conversation this week on Run a Game :)
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Have him in circles
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Jon Lemich

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An index of the theory work done on player types and motivations in tabletop RPGs and in other fields that have been applied to tabletop RPGs.

http://runagame.blogspot.com/2015/06/player-types-and-motivations.html
Introduction For over thirty years, people have been publishing taxomomies of tabletop roleplaying gamers.  Today, I'm going to conduct an informal meta-analysis of these taxonomies and try to reach a few conclusions about th...
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Fantastic work. 
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Here's a 5th edition encounter calculator.  Input the PCs' level and number, and it computes the encounter difficulty for you as you input monsters.
After reading and joining a recent Twitter conversation about the complexity of the XP and CR system in 5th edition D&D, it dawned on me that I could throw together a quick Excel sheet to calculate XP for the encounter, XP pe...
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Every google product is still in Alpha and will always be.  They seem more interested in adding COOL NEW FEATURES than actually polishing old ones, removing bugs, and making their product stable.  

This is why Apple products are so popular.  They may have their flaws, but they work reliably.

The google docs cursor drift problem is now at least three years old.  They've added all kinds of new features to google docs.  But have they fixed cursor drift?  Even in THEIR OWN BROWSER?  No.  

Hey, google.  Get it together.
Cursor becomes offset... makes trying to type anything very frustrating, wpopov96, 4/3/11 4:11 PM. Hello,. Over the past few months when I started using Google Docs for schoolwork, in every single document that I create, the cursor that shows where I am typing gets gradually more and more offset ...
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Well, that is a deep, sad, truth about the entire industry --- not just google.  Features sell, bugfixes don't.  One has to come under enormous pressure, typically from governments, in order to invest any significant effort in bugfixes.  So, now, Microsoft does.  But it is one of the few, and still its products are bug-ridden (obviously, since they never seem to run out of fixes to push through auto-update...).  To a very good first-order approximation: everybody else is at least as bug-ridden, likely worse.  Programming is hard.
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Jon Lemich

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Yeah, I write a lot of prep notes.  That doesn't mean you have to, but you can see what mine look like if you want.
As a GM I love to prep.  This isn't because I like to "tell a story" - I like to build toys and see how my players play with them.  I'm 75% toymaker / 25% storyteller.  I've talked about my prep process a little before.  I bu...
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Jon Lemich

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Newbie DMs might be wondering what a Hex Crawl is and how to write one.  Experienced DMs might be wondering why there's all this talk about the old Hex Crawl mode of play.  The OSR folks brought it back, and they did a good job dusting off this old idea.  

Here I describe how to design one for new DMs and old DMs who are seeing it come back and wondering why all the new interest.
So you've heard about this thing called a Hex Crawl.  What is it?  Why should it interest you if you're not an "OSR" fan? A hex crawl is an open-ended sandbox-style adventure that originated in old school D&D games.  In a hex...
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Have him in circles
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