Arcane Game Lore

It was a dark and stormy night...

Archive for the ‘World Building’ Category

Calculating Planetary Orbital Periods —

In my previous article on determining the current season, I showed that you needed to know the length of the world’s year in order to track the season.  But what if you don’t know the length of the year.  Maybe you’ve got a setting book that gives the orbital distance but not the year length, [...]

RPG Blog Carnival – What Season is it Anyway? —

This month’s RPG Blog carnival is being hosted by Phil over at Tales of a GM and the topic is Summerland – topics related to the season of summer.  In reading through his post, I realized that dealing with seasons was not something I usually did or even thought about when running a game. There [...]

What’s New in Your World? —

It’s 2:15 am and I’m up running a  telescope observing a potential transiting extrasolar planet. Actually I’m observing my second target of the night and the transit is supposedly starting even as I type this line. I’ve been up since 4am yesterday and in the intervening 22 hours have written an 11-page paper for one [...]

Why My Ship Decks Have Three Meter Ceilings —

I’ve been reviewing ship designs and deck plans for articles in the Frontier Explorer and this has had me thinking again about a topic I’ve pondered on before.  Namely the relative sizes of the various races/species in a game and how that affects things like construction and design of buildings and more specifically spacecraft.  If [...]

Sathar Laser Settings —

The Story I’ve been running my kids through the Volturnus modules in Star Frontiers.  We’ve been at it for years in fits and starts.  It’s not because they don’t want to play but rather that we can never find the time with all the things we’re doing (and them needing to get their chores done), [...]

Artificial Gravity Trap —

So I was talking with my daughter (18) the other day about a panel she had sat in on at the last ComicCon that featured among others Brandon Mull, Brandon Sanderson, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman.  The panel talked about world building and specifically about magical effects.  The point the panel was making was that [...]

Variation on a trap —

I was playing Star Frontiers with my kids last night and they dreamed up a trap far worse than what was actually there.  They are in the last section of the SF-1: Volturnus, Planet of Mystery module (PDF). Warning: spoilers for the adventure.  If you’re a player in this module stop reading now! In this [...]

Overburn: The Yielders —

The fight was over. I could see it on the peoples faces. They had no fight left in them. I felt that I had let them down. I talked them into the fight. Now the raiders would take whomever they wanted, and kill the rest. I prayed, to a god I have never known, I [...]

The Auld Ionic That Is Glee —

I recently purchased Netflix to have some choices for the kids to watch. My wife got into watching the show Glee for its off-beat renditions of popular songs. While I did enjoy the mash-ups, what really made this show enjoyable were the comments of Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch). Her acidic tongue and clever [...]

Technology Change In Your Campaign —

How long does your campaign run?  What is its duration within the setting?  Is it a burst of bright, intense activity that spans a few short months?  Does it cover a couple of years?  Or does it go on for an extended time, maybe even being measured in decades?  And have you ever thought about [...]