All posts by Derek Jensen

Wild Magic Effects Tables

One aspect of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition that I like is the idea of wild magic areas. However, I don’t like wild magic effects tables that focus on effects that only last a few combat rounds, and I really don’t like ones that have a lot of positive effects, especially healing, which is part of the cleric’s domain.

So I created my own wild magic effects tables focused on what can happen in a wild magic area when magic is used, the effects of which are nearly always bad, and which tend to last for days.

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Defile, the Mountain Pass Race

Continuing to ponder and play around with games, I came up with a race game inspired by the royal game of Ur, an ancient game that has recently been rediscovered by historians.

In defile, two players try to be the first to move their pieces up a mountainside and thru a defile (a narrow pass) to the other side. This is played on a chess board using eight pieces for each player.

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Battle of Wits Game

I got intrigued by the idea of the “duel of wits” mechanic from the TTRPG The Burning Wheel, which has since been reused in Torchbearer and Mouse Guard. It’s also used for some combat as well, but reports are that it is crunchy, requires substantial setup to work well, and can be somewhat unsatisfying dramatically, despite being clever.

It’s based on an expanded rock-paper-scissors idea, with four to six choices and three or more outcomes, but the core requirement seems to be that you must specify three plays at the beginning, which leaves you something of a spectator as the conflict gets resolved.

A battle of wits is a great idea that can be useful for resolving a negotiation with a nobleman or foreign emissary, a civil or criminal trial, a peace treaty, a surrender or ransom, a trade dispute, a negotiation with pirates, or even a romantic entanglement. So I wanted one of my own.

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