Player-Facing Design

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something I call Player-Facing Design. I’m sure I didn’t come up with this concept. I bet it’s not even an old one. But it’s something I don’t see people talking about too much, so I’m going to talk about it.

The idea comes from consumer-facing initiatives in business. You want the customer to have everything they need so that their experience is as easy and pleasant as possible. The same goes for game design. You want things to be as simple and forward-facing as possible so that the players (and the GM) have an easy time grasping and playing the game. It’s the design-concept that brought us things like Beginner Boxes and Quick-Startup Guides. The problem is, of course, that it can get a little…sticky. Continue reading “Player-Facing Design”


The Art of Starting a Fight: Narrative Initiative in D&D

Everyone seems to be talking about Initiative, lately. Mike Mearls proposed his Greyhawk Initiative system and now everywhere I look around the blogosphere, people are either critiquing that system or proposing their own. Even Matthew Colville, who rarely speaks on mechanical issues decided to talk about initiative in the wave of this new system.

And I think there’s a reason for all of this Initiative has always been a bit of a bother in RPGs. Combat in real life doesn’t happen in “turns,” but it’s really the only way to simulate it at a table. Therefore, people have been trying for AGES to find a system that both flows well and gets as close to a real simulationist experience as possible.

I’ve got my own idea on how this can be achieved, but first let’s look at a few of the more popular options.

Continue reading “The Art of Starting a Fight: Narrative Initiative in D&D”

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