27 January 2020

D&D for preschoolers

I've been playing D&D with my 3 year old. Here's our progress so far.

I wrote some B/X-based rules. They work!

Thanks to Losing Games for Mausritter.

24 January 2020

Mouse Guard-esque hex crawl with a 3 year old

This session report is using my in-progress coin-flip RPG for very young children. It's oldschool-compatible and slightly based on Into the Odd. The content is all from Mausritter. I played with my 3-year-old daughter, Aster.

15 January 2020


I've been using Knave whenever I want to run a published adventure as a one-shot or a short campaign with newbies. It's been nice for that, and I haven't found anything better for that. However, I always house-rule a bunch of it and have to convert a few things to make it work. Additionally, there a few things I just don't prefer about it. It's good at what it does.

I wrote a system to replace Knave for my use.

After printing, you'll have 3 very short books: a player book, a referee book, and a spell book.

  • B/X compatibility. Run modules/adventures without any conversion at all.
  • Transition the characters and game world to B/X rules with little effort.
  • Minimal rules barrier. Quick, smooth play for players who have not experienced an RPG before. No modifiers. 
  • Slot system for inventory.
  • Some useful tables.
  • Dungeon and wilderness creation procedures.
  • Referee advice.
  • No cleric, no thief. (It's easy to add them back in, of course.)
How to use this book
  1. The referee should read everything.
  2. The referee may create a campaign world, a hex map, and a dungeon to start a campaign, or just use a dungeon for a one-shot. The referee can use any B/X-compatible products in lieu of creating any of the above.
  3. The players should read the character creation page of the player book. They can reference the rest of the player book if they need to.
You can download it here.

12 January 2020

Caverns of Thracia mini review after a few sessions of play

I've been running The Caverns of Thracia for a while in a duet game with my wife.
I also run a discord chat PbP-ish Thracia game.
I just now started a new Thracia game with my wife and 2 (until now) 5e-only players. I'm playtesting my BB\X rules with that group.

+ easy to interpret dungeon details into an overall understanding of the broad situation. Very grokkable
+ most keyed locations are quickly understood without need of interpretation
+ amazing 3-dimensionality and general dungeon layout
+ Factions are good enough and minimal enough to grow naturally through gameplay. They might be better if a smidge more detailed, but they have just the right gaps to fill for me, so far.
+ the whole dungeon is a layered mystery to uncover through exploration and diplomatic play, if the party cares
+ mechanical simplicity. I mostly don't need to look things up or stop to consider what ruling to make
- crammed, dense layout
- some unclear mapping and keying
- poorly organized
- lots of page flipping
- too verbose
- some errors and missed opportunities

Highlight 1: endless ways to get lost, accidentally go deeper, and master the dungeon through using different routes.

Highlight 2: the game is complex, layered, and interesting without a confused GM staring and thinking and referencing other pages all the time. (I had those issues with Maze of the Blue Medusa and Hot Springs Island. You may find them a better fit for you though, of course.)

We're attempting to fix most of the minuses from my review with a rewritten key.