Every Good Game Devolves Into Pirates

  • Practical Worldbuilding: Stories are Stronger than Facts

    June 27, 2020 by

    Worldbuilding is one of the most fun parts of preparing a TTRPG campaign, but it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of creating continents and fail to define what matters most to tell a good story. After a recent worldbuilding session, I realized that despite having spent hours describing city-states, geography, and gods, my… Read more

  • Player Agency; a PvP Perspective

    May 18, 2020 by

    When people talk about player agency, the conversation is usually in the context of the GM being the one who decides how much freedom and agency a character in the party has. What often flies under the radar though is that player agency is not completely decided by the GM, the other players in the… Read more

  • Keep Your Heroes Heroic: Avoiding the 6-Foot Pole Problem

    April 26, 2020 by

    When sitting down to play any TTRPG, it’s common for players to be very cautious with their character’s actions to make sure they live to fight another day. There’s many good reasons for doing this: many players gain an attachment to their characters over weeks and months of play and don’t want to have them… Read more

  • The GM’s Smithy: Forging a Campaign to Suit Your Habits

    April 19, 2020 by

    In today’s article I’m going to tackle a few things; namely why I cancelled my most recent D&D campaign. I decided to take some time to reflect on what it was about my previous campaign wasn’t doing it for me, and how I could help other GMs in crafting a campaign setting to avoid burnout,… Read more

  • Police Presence in your Modern Campaigns

    April 8, 2020 by

    One of my favorite RPG adventures to run or be a part of is a modern paranormal or supernatural investigation campaign. While all RPGs are an escape into the imagination and lets players live and experience a totally new world, there’s something so intriguing about having my players navigate the modern world they are familiar… Read more

  • The Magic Of Modular NPCs

    March 30, 2020 by

    After a particularly brilliant session, I was walking home with our friend group’s GM. Although he had run  another session just three days earlier, this last session was a fantastic, fully fleshed out adventure. I imagined him spending late night after night tinkering in his DM workshop, I asked if my DM was okay.  “I… Read more

  • Managing Macroenvironments

    March 15, 2020 by

    Critics commonly like to joke that sci-fi and fantasy authors have a poor sense of scale, and indeed it’s true that sometimes our reach can overextend our grasp. Any GM has doubtless fantasized about planting larger-than-life worlds into their games, whether those worlds take the form of sprawling megacities, kilometers-long starships, or space stations the… Read more

  • One Piece of Tech Worth Bringing to the Tabletop

    February 23, 2020 by

    Part of the draw of tabletop RPGs is their physical nature; rolling dice, unfurling battlematts, and doodling on your character sheet are all a great part of the experience. But I’ve found that using one set of technology has made running games so much better, and it doesn’t get in the way of the physical… Read more

  • Online Sessions: a Double-edged Sword for Attention.

    February 9, 2020 by

    My experience growing up with Tabletop RPGs was fairly traditional; a furnished basement with me and my party all huddled up on the couch and chairs around a large battlemap ridden table, and our GM at the head, surrounded by a library or rule-books and notes. Nearly every weekend we’d follow the same routine and… Read more

  • A Different kind of D&D Boss Battle: Encounter Included!

    February 1, 2020 by

    This week I was going to write a long-winded article about an alternative way of running boss battles in D&D, but why write an article when I could make a boss battle for you instead! This is a 4CR boss battle against a giant bird of prey that you can use as anything from the… Read more

  • Losing isn’t what you think it is

    January 26, 2020 by

    It was late after work, and we were sitting around the table, dice in hand, talking.  The scene had been set by our DM. We were a ragtag band of religious missionaries trying to save a city from being slaughtered by Coalition forces.  After the enemy army had ambushed the army in a nearby field,… Read more

  • Monster of the Month: No More Wolves

    January 18, 2020 by

    Last time I wrote a piece about bandits, but this time we’re going to talk about another monster with a very specific narrative role. Except this monster isn’t a monster at all. It’s just an animal. Those of you who read my last article saw this one coming a mile away. I’m talking about wolves.… Read more

  • So You Want to Run a Horror Adventure?

    January 4, 2020 by

    Some of my favorite adventures have been horror themed sessions. Whether it was tracking down and finding ourselves at the whim of a murderous hag, or investigating a case of fishing town disappearances only to come across the abominations of a crazed inn keeper, some of my favorite moments in my RPG history have been… Read more

  • Not Too Low, Not Too High: The Goldilocks Levels of D&D

    December 28, 2019 by

    The level of your characters in D&D has a big impact on your adventure. High level characters have access to incredible spells that let them easily solve anything but the most legendary of challenges, while low level characters will be challenged by a pack of roving goblins. Many groups start at level 1, and plan… Read more

  • Party Crafting 1: Shared Backstories

    December 21, 2019 by

    When playing D&D, I find the most important and hardest step is character creation.  You’re given a slew of options and need to build a narrative, a personality, quirks, and a functioning stat line.  Most importantly, your decisions are permanent. If you’re preparing for a campaign, you might be locked into the same class and… Read more

  • Monster of the Month: No More Goblins (or Kobolds either)

    December 7, 2019 by

    This month, I’m lumping goblins and kobolds in together because they’re pretty much interchangeable in terms of their world-building role. They’re diminutive but clever humanoids that eke out meager lairs in caves and grottoes, generally underground – hence why they tend to be the default enemies for Player’s First Dungeon. Another reason they make great… Read more

  • Monster of the Month: No More Bandits

    November 23, 2019 by

    The bandit in D&D is a strange creature. Medieval bandits were bullies who wanted money, so they hid out by the roads of trade routes or pilgrimages and then threatened to whack people with big sticks. The D&D bandit, however, is wealthy enough to afford leather armor, a scimitar, and a crossbow with ammunition, yet… Read more

  • What do you love about RPGs?

    November 9, 2019 by

    Tabletop RPGs are a such a unique type of game because there’s so many distinct mechanics to enjoy. Rulebooks offer everything from character building and combat rules, to a framework for players to fully immerse themselves in their character and create collaborative stories. Every TTRPG player comes to the table for different reasons, and consciously… Read more

  • Rolling with Randomness: GMing on the Fly

    November 2, 2019 by

    It’s no secret that TTRPGs can quickly go off the rails. While player synergy can be a valuable tool for any GM to breathe life and excitement in the campaign, it also has the potential to make all of your best plans for the campaign go completely awry.  Something as simple as random exposition from… Read more

  • Monster of the Month: No More Skeletons

    October 27, 2019 by

    The spooky month of October is upon us, and to celebrate I’ve begun writing a series of articles focusing on my favorite part of Dungeons & Dragons – the monsters. Every person who has ever played a campaign of D&D started, at some point, at Level 1. During their time as a Level 1 character,… Read more

  • Player’s Perspective: Saying No

    October 20, 2019 by

    In one of my first campaigns, set in a grim-dark science fiction setting, I effectively became a god.  My character was statistically incapable of failing any charisma checks, and he galavanted across space, breaking lore and logic with a silver tongue that allowed him to do anything, say anything, and get away with anything. While… Read more

  • Rulings Without Rule books: How to Speed Up Your Adventures

    October 13, 2019 by

    Running smooth, action packed RPG adventures with as few interruptions as possible makes the game more immersive and enjoyable. One common interruption to adventures i’ve seen is stopping the game to look up rules. It may seem like a good use of time: using the rules as they are written makes sense, and some players… Read more

  • The Hero’s Journey: A Mid-Length Campaign Structure

    October 6, 2019 by

     In the 1950s, Joseph Campbell presented the Hero’s Journey in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. This story structure occurs constantly in hundreds of our most famous myths, stories, and novels, and is taught in many a writing class.  More importantly, you can use the Hero’s Journey to create a campaign of 5-10… Read more

  • Streamlining Your Skill Checks

    September 28, 2019 by

    Skill checks – love them or hate them, they form the core mechanics of every roleplaying game, but too many checks or a poorly timed failure can grind even the best adventures to a halt. As a GM, if you’ve ever found your game stalling as players rethink an entire plan due to a failed… Read more

  • Another Chat About Initiative

    September 22, 2019 by

    Two weeks ago, I talked about why players shouldn’t roll for Initiative – because it takes time. I explained a system by which GMs could prepare the Initiative orders for each of their fights, Players Characters and Monsters alike, ahead of time. But now, let’s talk about the other half of the combat – the… Read more

  • How to Level Up Your DnD Fights

    September 15, 2019 by

    Combat is one of the most fun parts of Dungeons and Dragons. Each class has a slew of awesome abilities to fight with, and movement on the battle-grid opens up lots of opportunities for unique play. Though D&D has a lot to offer to make combat interesting, I still see a lot of fights fall… Read more

  • Why I Stopped Rolling For Initiative

    September 7, 2019 by

    Combat is the place in an RPG where you’re most likely to lose people. If one player spends too much time taking their turn, you’re going to have the rest of your players’ minds wandering, and they’re going to lose interest in what’s happening. Every minute spent on math is a minute not spent on… Read more

  • The Issue with Eldritch Horror

    August 31, 2019 by

    Eldritch Horror has long been a part of the RPG genre, from subtle mentions of the great old ones in Dungeons & Dragons to entirely eldritch games like Call of Cthulhu. But while Eldritch Horror has increased in popular culture, the genre often plays second fiddle to other genres in RPG culture and campaigns. Compared… Read more

  • Why Eggdip?

    August 24, 2019 by

    This website is a theory and game advice blog for tabletop role-playing games, commonly abbreviated throughout this site and the world as TTRPGs. A TTRPG is a game where players assume the roles of various heroes, misfits, or villains, progressing through a shared story where their actions and choices affect the development of the plot.… Read more

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