Attributes? We need no stinking attributes! Or do we?

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci For the last few days I have pondered about attributes in roleplaying game. Most of them use a set of attributes that describe the basic physical and mental capabilities of a character. Basically everyone knows D&D’s six classic attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma. In one form or another the majority of RPGs uses attributes like these.

But one question bothered me for quite a while: do we really need them? In a lot of games they don’t play any major role. In most cases they provide a small bonus to relevant skills or act as a kind of fallback when there’s no fitting skill available. So, do we really need attributes or are there ways to replace them? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the concept of attributes per se, but I am interested if a game ditching them could work, and if so, what is needed to make it work.

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Life and times of a RPG industry freelancer

JasonThe week I spent at Gen Con 2010 was one of the most exciting weeks in my life. These few days were much like a roller coaster ride for me. It was my first Gen Con, my first time in the US even. For me walking through the Indianapolis Convention Center among all those gamers was a feeling I can hardly put into words. But what made this week even more memorable were the people I met there. In just a few days I made a lot of friends.

One of these friends is Jason Marker. Jason is a freelance writer/game designer who I met at Zachary Houghton’s house. He was staying with us for two nights and I took the opportunity to chat with him about his experiences in the industry. He has worked on several Robotech and Rifts products and more recently contributed to Fantasy Flight Games’ Rogue Trader and Deathwatch lines. Alas we didn’t have the opportunity for a proper interview, so I asked him if he was willing to answer a few questions about the life of a RPG industry freelancer via email later. He agreed. So here are the questions and answers – enjoy!

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Free Stuff Friday: Saturday Night Delves #1: Revenge of the Iron Lich

It’s Friday and it’s time to give you some more free stuff!

This week’s Free Stuff is: Save Versus Death‘s Saturday Night Delves #1: Revenge of the Iron Lich

I love materials that can provide inspiration for my own home brew campaign. Save Versus Death‘s Saturday Night Delves #1: Revenge of the Iron Lich is just that. An adventure that has provided me with great inspiration for my own personal game. Just keep in mind this is not your normal everday run of the mill adventure. Save Versus Death set out to create an adventure that was designed to kill your party. It truly is something to be taken very seriously if used.

On Save Versus Death’s website they wrote this stuff upSaturday Night Delves are a series of fourthcore dungeon adventures designed to be played in a single 4-hour session. Published quarterly, Saturday Night Delves feature extremely difficult encounters, a variety of challenges ranging from combat to puzzles, and evocative adventure sites that are both memorable and sinister.

Packaged with a complete suite of materials for DMs and players, SNDs are a great way to throw down an evening of high-energy, high-stakes, tournament-style Dungeons & Dragons.

So what are you waiting for! Head on over to Save Versus Death’s website and download the first (of what I am sure will be meny) Saturday Night Delves! Just make sure you take a moment to thank Save Versus Death for all their free stuff!

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