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Articles & News


Lessons Learned: The Design of “A Shock at Evenfeast”

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The fourth mini-mission of Defiance in Phlan is the most controversial, the hardest to run for many DMs, and the one that can be the most satisfying to players if everything goes well. As I attempted to highlight each pillars of play within the various mini-missions, this is the one where I decided to let roleplaying interaction have its time in the spotlight. Roleplaying, as a skill, can come naturally to some and harder to others....

Lessons Learned: The Design of “The Dead at Highsun”

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In this series of blog articles, I have so far looked at the design of the Adventurers League Season 1 introductory adventure Defiance in Phlan, including the first two mini-adventures: “The Meeting at Deepnight” and “The Screams at Dawn.” Today I want to take a closer look at the third mini-adventure, “The Dead at Highsun.” In the overall structure of the adventure, I wish I had placed this one second instead of third. In hindsight, this...

Lessons Learned: The Design of “The Screams at Dawn”

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The previous two blog articles in this series at the overall structure, and then the first mini-adventure, in the Adventurers League introductory adventure Defiance in Phlan for the Tyranny of Dragons storyline season. This week I am looking at the second mini-adventure entitled "The Screams at Dawn." For those of you who do not want to witness self-flagellation, turn away now. This is my least favorite of all the missions in this adventure, and I...

Lessons Learned: The Design of “The Meeting at Deepnight”

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Last week, in my blog post called "Lessons Learned: Four Years Designing 5e," I talked about writing Defiance in Phlan, one of the first 5e adventures available to the public, and the first for the D&D Adventurers League. The design restrictions and mandates for that adventure made it one of the most challenging I have every written. It had to introduce a new edition of D&D, a new organized play campaign, be comprised on five...

Lessons Learned: Four Years Designing 5e

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When the Adventurers League launched at Gen Con 2014, in conjunction with the release of the 5th edition of D&D, there were a great many question marks. How would the new edition be received? How strong would sales be? Would the new Living campaign, referred to as the D&D Adventurers League, be a comparable replacement to the Living campaigns of the past? Overall, what did the future hold for D&D in particular and roleplaying games...

Six Years Ago today…

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Wow! Six years ago today I finished penning this article for the D&D website about my work on the lead adventure in the 200th issue of Dungeon Magazine. It is no longer available on the Wizards of the Coast website, but if you have any nostalgia for the history of the game, and for 4e adventures, give it a read. Enjoy! The Enduring Flame The first issue of Dungeon magazine was published when I was in high...

Encoded Designs to Publish The Streets of Avalon

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Buffalo, NY – August 15, 2017 – Encoded Designs, a tabletop game publishing company, announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with Brett Bloczynski of Gaming & BS to publish The Streets of Avalon, a low fantasy city adventure setting. “I’ve always loved the stories of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, city based adventures where the magic was more mystical than magical, and the horrors of Howard’s Conan stories,” said Encoded Designs Lead Developer...

Encoded Designs To Publish Expanded & Revised Iron Edda RPG

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August 4, 2017— BUFFALO, NY: Encoded Designs announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with Tracy Barnett to publish a revised and expanded edition of his Fate-based tabletop RPG, Iron Edda. “This is a great opportunity for both Tracy and Encoded Designs,” said Encoded Designs President Phil Veccione. “Iron Edda is a unique campaign setting that combines Norse myth with epic action through the Fate system. It's Pacific Rim meets Vikings with a dash...

Vote For Focal Point

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I don’t normally put the full court press on people when the ENnies voting comes around. Normally, my annual advice is “Please go vote, and if you vote for something I worked on, great.” This year I am going to be more direct. Please vote for Focal Point in the Best RPG Related Product Category. Here’s why… Focal Point is the final book in an accidental trilogy of books that became the Complete Game Master’s Series. It started...

Q1 2016 Update

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Hello and happy Spring to you all, or for those on the East Coast, second winter. Despite the cold, snow, and overcast skies, there is much to be happy about here at the Encoded offices. We had our second anniversary in February. This quarter was a busy one for us, with some unplanned work coming up that we will talk about below. That unplanned work knocked some of our Q1 and Q2 plans aside, and...