Designing Eldritch Sigils

Last Sunday I published the beta version of rules for Eldritch Sigils. This is a game I have been working on for about five years. I have actually published earlier drafts over the years but this was the first time it actually has consistency and it is actually playable.

This has been a long process and one that is still in the works. But now that the rules are “out there” I thought it would be a good chance to talk about them. Since game design is quite an interesting topic I hope that sharing my process might produce new ideas or at least be curious.

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As our current campaign is drawing closer to the end I feel I could share some thoughts about the endgame of roleplaying campaigns.

Last year Aki wrote a lengthy post about the story arch of his character in the “last season” of this ongoing megabeast. And he got quite deep into the difficulty of ending one of these seasons as I like to call them. Continue reading

Previously in…

We are having so much fun!

We are having so much fun!

We have all been there. The game is about to start and we just wait for that one player who is always late. Everybody is busy checking their Facebook or random videos from YouTube. Some leave for a smoke and maybe one player starts to go through the assorted papers for the game. Then that last player arrives and the game should start.

But it doesn’t.

Maybe it is because of collective tiredness or maybe someone wants to argue about a tv-series. Or maybe the GM has left the dice at home and no-one thought of bringing their own.  Continue reading

A Wayward Son: The Dramatic Arc of One Player Character

I don’t normally like to write about my characters, because its hard to know what will be interesting to other people, because I clearly have a strong bias. I asked for subjects to write about in this blog, and Lauri suggested talking about this character. He too, as the GM, has a bias, but I’m guessing his bias is not nearly as strong as mine, so I’m assuming there’s something about this character that’s interesting to others.

Whatever the reasons, I’ll try to use this as a case study of sorts.

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Reaching Tartarus

As summer draws close our gaming group tends to wander of to different oneshots, random gaming and cabins. As this is inevitable I have decided to wrap up our Wayward Sons game to a satisfying end (or at least that is my plan). As I am constantly trying to create something (might be just because I need to prove myself something) I now have a plan for the possible future.

I think I’ll be running a scifi campaign with a set goal.

The games and campaign I have been running for the past few years have all been linked together. There might have been a background story to begin with but now it has eroded away. Now I’m only taking what I get from the players and evolving their ideas and random thoughts into something I would like to run.

This next phase is a science fiction game. It might even be space opera. But it will still be tied into what we have done. It might not even be that apparent even to my players but I believe they will see the cause and effect of their actions.


Reaching Tartarus will be a game about likeminded individual trying to escape the god-like A.I. Omnipresence from the inhabited worlds of our Solar System to the one place their ancestors abandoned a long time ago – Earth.

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Visions of Grandeur

While struggling with the finishing touches for my Apocalypse World hack I have noticed my mind wondering towards new paths and hacks. I am now even more intrigued by the possibilities of hacking AW than when I started. There is still much to be learned (as I have not yet even played anything besides tremulus) but that really does not stop me from thinking about what could be done.

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Wayward Sons: Mansion of Madness


The last time that I blogged about our ongoing campaign one of the characters was possessed by a demon and left to rot in the basement of a cabin. We followed up at the next time with the introduction of his player’s new character The Professor.

This time the introduction was successful. Introducing new characters might be a little problematic at sometimes (later on that matter) but this worked. I asked the players questions to tie the professor into their group and help to explain why they would trust in him. The players redistributed the Trust they had to his predecessor and some even gave the new guy some Trust.

During this session I was kind of hoping we would get closer to the goal of the campaign – finding the lost (and cursed) gold treasure of the characters’ ancestors. I was however prepared for a bit of side-roading as I knew there was an old manor between them and their goal.

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Wayward Sons: Love letters & Demonic possession


Disclaimer: This post includes bad language and attitudes that really aren’t a representation of what we actually think. It only goes to show out we have bad taste.

As we grow more and more accustomed to this hack and how it works we manage to extend the game and bring in more interesting elements to the game.

This week I send two of my players a love letter. Now I am not sure I actually used them the right way but since this is after all our game I think the point was that they were successful. Or at least one was.

Due the first letter and the roll that followed one of the PCs got a prison tattoo. That was not too interesting. That taught me to be more considering when making the letters. Dull outcomes bring a little to the game.

The second letter was much more interesting. It bring out demonic possession and end up nearly killing the whole group.

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Wayward Sons: Moving from tier 1 to tier 2

This post is a direct followup on Aki’s post from yesterday. It started out as a comment but quickly lengthened in a way to seemed like it should have its own post.

Advancement in this kind of a game is problematic. On the one hand many players want to see their characters gaining more skills and progressing towards something like a demigod status. You may advance your character according to the “spend experience” chart found in each playbook. It all changes when you advance to “tier 2”.

This is the threshold of problem. How to keep the character in the same mould but allow him to grow?

I think that something like the advancement of John McClane has always been my ideal of character development. They might get more and more things done but they loose a bit of themselves on the process.

One thing that occurred to me just while I read this post is adding a simple and elegant system for advancement.


In simplest for this might work out when you change your playbook. You develop from a dealer to the Avenger BUT. This might even be a Move. When “when you advance your character, choose 1” and then a list of shit that might hit the fan.

This idea is presented in some ways in various hacks and I just discussed about something similar with one of the players from the same group as Aki and myself. It should not be simple to do something or if it is there should be a cost for it. You could look it the way Aki said. McClane survives (ie. develops) BUT loses his wife.

The trick here is to build the conditionals in a way that would make sense for the narrative and for the character.

Character Development vs. Advancement

Lauri has been bugging me to write my own seasoned playbook for his AW hack, Wayward Sons (see Resources above, and the Wayward Sons -tag on the right). Just haven’t gotten around to it. Also, I don’t really have inspiration right now… which is a bit of a problem.

One thing I’ve been thinking about though: One of the characters has been becoming more and more sociopathic in his paranoia, while two other characters (mine included) have been becoming more and more relient on alcohol to get through their “adventures”.

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