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Articles & News


Welcome to My Lair

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For an imaginative young DM growing up in the heyday of AD&D in the 1980s, the hours and days and weeks spent creating fantasy worlds was anything but wasted time. Starting with the expansive creation stories for your home-brewed gaming world (a staple for excited young—and old—DMs), you inevitably had to focus on the adventures—the places where your players would actually interact with your world. And for me, at least, one piece of adventure design...

The Reign of the Demon King – Part 2

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We continue our discussion about the Reign of the Demon King. In our last lecture, we talked about the fate of the Kingdoms, during this thirty year period. This week, we look at some of the major organizations in Elhal, and how they fared under the rule of the Demon King. The Organizations In all the Demon King, and by extension, the Demons were mostly hostile to any organized group of humans. As a student of humanity,...

Shotguns v. Cthulhu

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So I started working on an Apocalypse World engine game. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to release it or if it’s just something I want for myself, I’d like to release it at some point. In any case it’s a lot easier these days than it ever used to be to design a PbtA (Powered by the Apocalypse) game because there are so many of them out there. You just cut and paste...

The Reign of the Demon King

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Greetings once again, students. Today’s lecture covers the thirty-year span in Elhal’s history where the Demon King ruled over Elhal. There is no darker time for humans than this period of time. All that was built in the thousand years of the Empire would erode under the dark presence of the Demon King. Left unchecked, it is possible that humanity and all of Elhal would have perished. Today, we will cover what happened to each...

The Kotkalan Rebellion

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Welcome back, students. I hope you enjoyed your time off as much as I did mine. In our last lecture we discussed the state of Elhal in 1024, after the Demons solidified their hold on Arelean. In that lecture we talked about King Therion's plan to rebel against the Demons. Today, we will look more into Therion's plan, and his foresight. The Quiet Before the Storm For six years, from 1024 to 1030, Kotkala prepared for a war...

And then there was Gen Con…

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One does not simply return from Gen Con. You don't simply immerse yourself in the best 4 (or more) days of gaming, and then walk back into normal life unscathed. The dive into the deep ocean of tabletop gaming nirvana brings you to magical places, but the decompression sickness can break you as you surface. This Gen Con was much different for me. I am usually running 20 - 40 hours worth of games, and this time...

Action Economy, Economy of Fiction, and Latency

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So I was kicking around some ideas, and I came across this one and felt the need to share it with you folks out in reader land. A lot of Eurogames, ala Splendor, Ticket to Ride, and Dominion, have the limiting of choice, or an action economy, as part of the game play. D&D and Pathfinder have action economies in their combat systems that limit what you can do on a turn. Savage Worlds limits...

Q2 Update

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We are now a few weeks into Quarter 3 of 2015, and I wanted to updated everyone on what Encoded has been doing and how things are going. While we are still building our team and our products, this past Quarter marks our first major project going out the door. The most exciting news we have this Quarter is the addition of a new member to the Encoded Team, Tim Jones. Tim is a graphic artist...

Game Design: Cybertek – Game Creation

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Hi folks. So I'm a big believer in game creation mechanics. From the Dresden Files City creation, which is stripped down to game creation in Fate Core by Evil Hat, to Spark by Genesis of Legend Publishing, to Microscope by Lame Mage Productions with it's things included and excluded from the game. I put territory creation as a cooperative experience in Part-Time Gods of Fate so of course I dropped it in our initial design...

The Joys of Editing

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This past weekend the Encoded Designs team finished the manuscript for our Fate version of the Third Eye Games RPG Part-Time Gods. (The Kickstarter for Part-Time Gods of Fate continues apace.) The final push included a fairly intense round of editing and proofreading by the entire staff, with a particular weight of that falling on Encoded’s own Bob “THE EYES” Everson. The proofing round just completed got me thinking about editing in general. One of the...