Mhu Thulan

Roleplaying games, resources for, design of

Hitting Harder, Casting Faster

I’ve made some tweaks to the Immergleich rules.

Evening out the speed of combat

Despite considerable design efforts on my part [1], melee with comparably-strong opponents tends to take longer as PCs go up in level. High-end single monsters, in particular, take time to grind down. That’s tedious.

Complication — my previous previous changes have left high-end monsters are already very vulnerable to big-hit special attacks (e.g. the Thief’s backstab ability, or the Magic Missile spell). So I can’t just further reduce their hp. I could reign those attacks in a bit, or I could increase PC damage more subtly. I have done the latter:

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Feedback on Feedback — Round 2

I ran a feedback survey last month (September 2017). By the most responses arrived, we’d had 31 sessions in total. Here’s an anonymised analysis. For the free text questions, I’ve tried to identify themes that appear in at least two responses.


7 of them.

What’s one thing you like about the game? Ideally, the thing you like most, or the thing that makes it stand out most from other games you’ve played.

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HNN Laser Bulletin, Procyon sector, 2947:141


  • The 51st Legion have confirmed that the rumoured “blockade” of the Church of Stellar Flame’s cathedral ship in Iota was merely a large-scale military exercise. With the exercise completed, the ships involved have dispersed on to further, individual exercises throughout the sector.
  • House Malklaith have also conducted exercises this week, showing of a new anti-piracy task force composed of fast pursuit craft. House sources were tight-lipped in response to rumours about new engine technology, but one source commented “Now we can follow the pirates wherever they hide”.
  • Wildcat strikes and damage to machinery on Aleph, Warren, and the mining outpost SB-176 have led to the Guilds of Engineers, Counters and Starsmiths to make a joint plea to Governer Ritam Malklaith for “effective” anti-union legislation. In particular, they have asked for drastic action against the Cobalt Syndicate, which one guild source described as “little more than criminals”.


Real Accurate News, Procyon sector, 2947:132


  • The 51st Legion have blockaded the Church of Stellar Flame’s cathedral ship in its orbit around Iota. Good sources say the Church has the Aleph Key. Trusted insiders says Governor Ritam al’Malklaith ordered the blockade.
  • Meanwhile, a number of formerly-senior Legion officers have taken the hard way down from the Scorpio’s geostationary orbit of Aleph to the rocky planet below. Looks like there’s some house-cleaning going on.
  • While the cat’s distracted by other matters… The Ashen Knives have decapitated four major crime syndicates on Warren. They’re on their way to owning the black market throughout the Rin system. Does Malklaith care? Does he fuck.


News in Immergleich, 6 June 936

“The gang war is over. Yesterday, members of Kylissa’s gang paraded through Pitside with the the head and hands of the former gang boss “Joke” (real name Wieverd Kimpsil). Kylissa now appears to be unchallenged in her control of the district. Rumour has it that she plans to …”


“… and following on from the VIOLENT DEATH of Myxilla von Korp, the notorious PERVERT Sedgins von Korp has VIOLENTLY DIED in a fall from the underside of Immergleich Prison, ending up SMASHED TO PIECES on the rocks 800 feet below. … An anonymous source sympathized with the TEXTURE OBSESSED weirdo — “I mean, dude just wanted to touch your rusty copper kettle, and maybe the wool of your tunic. He never meant any harm.” “


“… neither Disilla nor her son Azad, the usual public faces of House von Korp, have made a public statement on these events. However, rumour has it that they will pay good money for the information on the whereabouts of a large man with a red devil mask and a remarkable bone club …”

Working with the Design Space of a Tabletop RPG’s Resolution System

I want to make decisions about the main resolution system for a game I’m designing, but feel stymied because I don’t know what the relevant design space is. I don’t feel confident that I know the questions I can usefully ask. You can see  a similar problem (while designing a different game) in my previous posts Combining Dungeon World attribute checks with LotFP skills, badly, and in Some numbers for Dungeon World rolls with LotFP skills — I’m coming up with ideas, and generating some stats about them, but I don’t have any clear idea of my goals so it’s all a bit aimless.

I want to know:

  • What is the space of plausibly-useful resolution systems that I can use for a game like the one I am designing?
  • How can I “navigate” that space for a particular game so as to home in on the system that gaves me game behaviour I like?

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Szamitir, a large island

From “The World, Shaped As It Is” by Quentiby Firlmortar, Immergleich School of Acidic Patterns

basic continent map v2

Szamitir is a large island, varied in climate and people. It is customarily divided into the several regions of greatly varying stability, prosperity and potential for the future.


This is the home of the fish-people. No-one should go here.

Catania, the Serene Republic of

Under the watchful eye of the Sorcerer-Queen and her Arbiters, Catania enjoys a blissful peace in a land of gentle rolling hills, bucolic villages, and pastel sunsets.  A model, perhaps, of what other nations could become.

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