Nov 222014

D015 – Roleplaying Scenario Design

Recorded at Metatopia 2013. Presented by Kenneth Hite, Darren Watts, Rob Donoghue, John Stavropoulos & Bill White. Our panel of experts drills down into the specifics of scenario-building for publication, whether it’s showing off the game’s basics with an introductory scenario, or stringing several together for a mini-campaign book.


Nov 162014

My Game Will Cost What? presented by Curt Covert & Stephen Buonocore. This panel will seek to explain why games cost what they do. What are the expenses, and what decisions must you as a designer make in order to hit your target price point? Presented at Metatopia 2013.

Nov 112014

I am currently working on a major setting, which is actually going to double as an expansion of the core game. Sig: The City Between is multiplanar fantasy, inspired by a number of sources.  I have the fantastic +Jeremy Morgan editing this, and I have two award winning artists contributing some rather jaw-dropping art for this one. I am the author of this setting, and it’s including a number of rules variants that suit this specific kind of setting. It should show you a number of places where you can tweak Spark for your own games, and it will open up a fantastic new playground. I am going to be talking a lot about this over the coming months, so please bear with me. I thought I would start this off by share some of the fantastic inspirations which led to this fascinating multiplanar setting.

1) Planescape. This is the biggie. In some ways, this setting is the reason why I got into game design. If you want to hear about philosophers with clubs, about a cosmopolitan fantasy city in the middle of the multiverse, and about the planes in the D&D multiverse? Check out the Planeswalker Handbook, though I’m sad that the full boxed set is not yet available on DriveThruRPG.

2) Saga. A comic set in a space-fantasy setting, focusing on the importance of family, relationships, childhood and parenthood. It’s a wild tale of distinctive (odd) cultures and social commentary, and one that will bring a tear to your eye.

3) Planar Codex: Dark Heart of the Dreamer. J. Walton did a fantastic job of interpreting planescape through the lens of cultural diversity in the multiplanar melting-pot city of Dis, which is literally assimilating the rest of the universe. Freebooters, heritage moves and all sorts of other goodies abound in this fantastic suppliment for Dungeon World.

4) Kill Six Billion Demons it may be the last on this particular list, but it’s certainly not the least among these options. It’s a mindblowing, free webcomic. Demon-kingdoms. Eastern religious influences. Throne, Domain of Kings, Kingdom of God and center of the Omniverse. Demon-kingdoms and mystic orders fighting on the fossilized bodies of the massive angels.  This will absolutely captivate you.

There’s a lot of beautiful stuff that is feeding into Sig: The City Between, and I am eager to share it with the world.

What does that turn into? Well, something like this.


Morkanah, the Stone that Shelters

It is Morkanah. It is the Stone that Shelters. It is last of the Primorials. It is simple but keeps worshipers safe. It is shelter from storm, from conflict, from fear, and even from death. It cares for worshipers of flesh, of stone, and of clay. It is strong and eternal, so worshipers need not be. It wants worshipers happy and together with family. It misses family.

Portfolio: Love, Hearth, Protection

Servitors: The Flowers

Taboo: Never harm family.

Ritual: Morkanah’s Embrace covers someone in a shell of stone to protect them from harm. If the Flower chooses not to spend one Influence, the shell will not dissipate when its job is done.

Initial Agenda: Build a true sanctuary for star-crossed lovers on the Plane of Stone.


More to come!

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Aug 312014

Dangerous Mechanics” presented by Jason Pitre, Kenneth Hite, Rob Donoghue & Will Hindmarch.  The panelists will deal with mechanics that look good on the surface but can have unforeseen negative consequences in play. Spending XP, no-effect rules, dice-generated currency – all have hidden dangers. Explore these and other light bulbs that didn’t quite work out..

Aug 092014

Gaming As The Other: Race in Our Industry” presented by John Stavropoulos, Terry Romero, Ajit George & Mark Diaz Truman. As many “geek” activities have expanded over the last ten years, role-playing has often struggled to include the voices of racial and ethnic minorities. Join Ajit George, Mark Diaz Truman, and Terry Romero to discuss what challenges the industry faces including “Others”, why increased diversity is valuable and important to the future of gaming, and what path both designers and players can take toward building a more robust, inclusive community.


 Posted by at 11:35 pm