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Can an Onion Bleed?

Today’s guest article is by Robert A. Neri Jr. of Ranger Games Publishing, and it’s not actually about bleeding onions — it’s about NPCs. Specifically, believable and engaging NPCs, a topic near and dear to every GM. Thanks, Robert! — Martin Non-player characters (NPCs) populate the game master’s fictional game worlds. Show More Summary

The Waiting Game

Today’s guest article is by Patrick Regan, a screenwriter living in Los Angeles, who learned how to write for TV by GMing after a college roommate made the mistake of showing him Dungeons and Dragons. He blogs at, podcasts at Cinema Excelsior, and can be generally found on Facebook and Twitter @underwoodfive. Show More Summary

Does a Number On

A special tribute: Merl Reagle's 1991 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament puzzle.

Decrypting the Cypher System Part 5 (Prep and Run)

When we last left off, I had prepped for a fantasy horror campaign with the cypher system rules. This time around, I prepped a session, invited over a group of friends with a variety of levels of experience with RPGs, made characters and ran a game. Show More Summary

Free Your Mind

Kevin Christian and Brad Wilber offer a sizzling, hip, bluesy puzzle that will shake you out of your midweek blahs.

New Project: Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Foam Plate Falcon

Quick — make this fun mini-project by upcycling a foam picnic plate into a flying falcon! Read more on MAKE The post Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Foam Plate Falcon appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

August 2015 new and noteworthy

The biggest new thing in August was that I started videoblogging. I decided that’s something I should know how to do, so I tried it. It turned out to be fun, so I’ll be doing it for now – I thought maybe I’ll do 100 videos and then take a look at the situation. I’ll … Continue reading August 2015 new and noteworthy

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Welcome to the September edition of the crosswords section of Times Insider.

Three Tough Situations

Gamemastering is built on hope. We write our session notes, draw our maps, and paint our minis hoping for a great game. And sometimes things don’t work out. It’s happened to all of us. In this article, we’ll look at three tough situations, and how (maybe) to make something good out of them. Show More Summary

The Quest to Make the World’s Biggest Arcade Game

To be among the first people on the planet to play the world's largest arcade game, head to Maker Faire Orlando on September 12 and 13. Read more on MAKE The post The Quest to Make the World’s Biggest Arcade Game appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

Breaking the Grip of the Gaokao, China’s SAT

Try a few short problems from The Math League, an extracurricular activity used in China to balance the tedium of studying for the Gaokao, China's college entrance exam.


It's been both a very busy and a very unproductive week. My parents came up last weekend, just in time to help out with The Daughter's third birthday party and then stayed with us all week (they left yesterday morning). So we've been...Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: A reunion of adventurers

This summer, I went to two high school reunions. My own, dinner and drinks at a local tavern, and my wife’s, a picnic held at an old country barn. (1) I was reminded that the occasion of a reunion can serve as solid backstory to explain how an adventuring party comes together. Show More Summary

Gnome Spotting Harrisburg Sept 2015

Here’s a quick Gnome Spotting update: September 4th-6th I’ll be in Harrisburg PA, at Save Against Fear 2015 running some games of 1000 Blank White Cards. I’ve never been before (I didn’t even know about it!) but luckily, one of their special guests is an old college friend of mine and he tipped me off about it. Show More Summary

Variety: Puns and Anagrams

Give this funny Puns and Anagrams puzzle by Joe DiPietro a try.

Viticulture and Tuscany expansion

Plays: 5Px1. The Game Viticulture, the well-received debut game from Stonemeier Games, was funded through Kickstarter, and so was the Tuscany expansion. I played Viticulture for the first time recently, with 5 of the expansion modules from Tuscany. Show More Summary

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