Trail of the Behemoth is an game about hunting giant monsters, a TTRPG you can bring to a boardgame night. I'm working on it with Seamus Allen, and we're going to talk about what we're doing and when it might be finished.
I might even hand out some playtest files to listeners. If your interested, contact me on twitter @designerdanf.
A listener sent me a question on how to deal with evil PCs, and how to deal with lawful-stupid paladins. I answer.
How do you identify an inherently fun mechanic anyway? What's this 'Decision Engine' thing Dan loves so much and how do you make one yourself? Listen and find out.
Want to run RPGs for new players? Want to get them hooked on this hobby we love? Here's how Dan does it.
The second part of Dan and Reuben's live world building session. This time we're digging into Adventure Hooks and Sample Locations in the Necropolis.
Dan and Reuben recorded a live session of their world building. They had fun recording it. Will you have fun listening to it? Let's find out.
We didn't finish everything about this topic in one podcast? Huh, who would've thought? Game Designer Dan Felder breaks down how he starts working on a game and the common pitfalls new designers get stuck in when starting a project.
I get a lot of requests to talk about designing and hacking TTRPG systems, so here we go! I make my own systems for nearly every campaign I run. It's a huge topic, so today we're going to lay the foundation.
First example of the Content Forge, where we talk about a setting, system, or adventure we've found inspiring and pulled pieces from to use in our own games. Sometimes it'll be the royal we, but this time we're joined by Reuben Covington to talk about the whimsical and creepy Gardens of Ynn.
Check out The Gardens of Ynn
And the Gardens of Ynn Generator
Designer Reuben Covington returns to chat about designing Boss Fights in TTRPGs. The two give some advice, and tell a LOT of stories about memorable boss battles they've made and played against. Feel free to steal them (like always).
Dan and guest Reuben Covington break down how to design and run Dynamic Adventures, where the GM role is treated more like a player than a job.
Link to the adventure notes: Cold-Blooded
Prepare a full adventure setting, a full region of your world, with just a single page of notes. This format, the one-page setting, is what I use to prepare vast open worlds with diverse and interesting regions with just a little bit of work.
A great sandbox campaign is incredibly fun to play in, and it’s a great introduction for new players. I often start new groups in sandboxes rather than carefully constructed narrative games. It’s a simple pitch: Here’s a fantastical wilderness filled with monsters, treasures, dungeons, and dragons. Want to go explore it?
However, while sandboxes can be a lot of fun to play in, they can be intimidating to think about building. Preparing one adventure is hard enough, how are you going to prepare dozens? In fact, I think a sandbox campaign is actually much easier to build than a linear campaign and takes me much less work to set up. There are a lot of tricks I use in my own sandbox campaigns and we’re going to go through the big ones today.
I love making combat encounters. I have a lot of advice on how to make them, but there's one point that I come back to more than any other:
Attack the players' STRENGTHS, not their weaknesses
Random Encounters are a classic element of TTRPGs, but most aren't fun in practice. Often the table just turns up entries like "2d4 wolves" or "two gnomes are arguing about which way the nearest town is".
Here's the secret: Random Encounters are Micro-Adventures.
Part 2 of our epic Disney World adventure.
Lore Dungeons are a concept that have worked out incredibly well for my circle of gaming friends. We're talking about them. It's fun. Gabe's here too.
The most common mistake GM's and adventure designer's make, and how to avoid it.
The GM's Guide is a podcast all about writing and game design through the lens of RPGs and how to run a great game. Today we're tackling Plot Twists, one of the most powerful and easy to misuse devices there is. We go through the five essential criteria of executing a good plot twist with examples from my own games and mass media. Sound fun? Then you're the strange type of person that I can get along with. Let's get started!
We apply the principles of how to create great characters and start building Ravenshadow's key NPCs.
Part 2 of the great conversation with the creator of Primordia about world-building.
The brilliant Mark Yohalem, brilliant writer and designer of the cult classic Primordia, drops by for a chat about world building.
We establish our final adventurer's character arc, then lay out the core process I use to destroy writer's block and build the materials for my campaigns. We even start putting together a soundtrack.