Don Bisdorf

A Simple Magic System for GUMSHOE

Sat 12 November 2022 | Game Design

This is an simple set of rules for casting magic and creating magic spells in GUMSHOE roleplaying games.

In this system, Magic is a general ability. You may learn a number of spells equal to your Magic rating. There are six categories of spells, and a spell’s category determines …

Limited Series Playtest, Part 4

Mon 13 June 2022 | Game Design

And now, the thrilling conclusion of our superhero comics!

Zephyr Issue #3: Gearhead's homeland calls him home to the Under-Earth to help defuse a civil war, and Zephyr accompanies him. In a climactic naval battle, Zephyr fouls up sailing winds and teleports onto other ships to cause mischief, contributing to …

Limited Series Playtest, Part 1

Mon 30 May 2022 | Game Design

As part of the Marvellous Heroes TTRPG Jam, I'm writing up a short GMless storytelling game in which the players summarize the events of several interlocking comic book series, culminating in a climactic crossover issue. I'm calling it "Limited Series" for now because I haven't worked out a better name …

My Fallout Campaign Post-Mortem, Part 3

Wed 25 May 2022 | Roleplaying

I think the last thing I should have done differently with my Fallout campaign would have been to allow the players to guide the campaign. The Fallout video games provide you with problems (like "find this technology" or "make your way to this settlement" or "earn some money to get …

My Fallout Campaign Post-Mortem, Part 2

Thu 19 May 2022 | Roleplaying

If you've played the Fallout video games, you know that traveling through the wasteland is dangerous. Creatures and bandits are lurking everywhere, and they can turn a simple daylight stroll into a terrifying fight for your life. To get that experience in a tabletop RPG, you want rules for random …

My Fallout Campaign Post-Mortem, Part 1

Wed 18 May 2022 | Roleplaying

I think the decision I spent the most time on when preparing my Fallout game was choosing a system. I knew that my game would have fighting, exploring, faction politics, and resource management, so my rules would need to support those things. Also, my game would be online and remote …

My Fallout Campaign Post-Mortem, Part 0

Fri 13 May 2022 | Roleplaying

I'm approaching the end of a Fallout roleplaying campaign I've been GMing, and while it's been fun, I can see that I made some poor choices when preparing for this game. I'm writing down my observations as a learning experience for myself, and in case this process helps anyone else …

New Blog

Wed 11 May 2022 | Software

I've rebuilt my blog again, discarding Grav in favor of Pelican. Grav worked fine, but I'm switching to Pelican because:

  • Either Grav doesn't do blogs very well, or I can't figure out how to make Grav do blogs. My older blog posts just disappeared, and there was no easy way …

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