Thursday, March 29, 2007

The City of Coil II: Guilds

The Guilds of Coil

The City of Coil is home to over 100 Guilds, each focused on its own niche and trade, but riddled with levels upon levels of Bureaucracy. Employing thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, the Guilds maintain a stranglehold on the citizens, ensuring that everywhere someone goes in the city, they can see the Guild's handiwork.

Throughout the years, the growth of trade and commerce has added a unique layer of bureaucracy to Coil. The constant processing of accounts, as well as the enforcement of Guild Laws, ensures that nearly every transaction that happens in the city is noted, recorded, and taxed. Through a miasma of controls and people too eager to earn a few coin for doing nothing, the Guilds employ five to twenty times as many as would be necessary to manage these operations.

Such an environment is beneficial to a system designed to make protest and progressive change impossible.

But if a Guild Master were asked why a system such as this existed, he or she might be inclined to say:
It is an extensively complex system that records, manages, calculates, analyzes, and directs the Guild's standards. The lives of the citizens of Coil are dependent upon the Guild's making sure that a fair price is received on something as simple as a pig or a horseshoe. Without the Guild's, the citizens could be taken advantage of my unscrupulous merchants or craftsmen, bent on shaking the coins from their pockets.
And in fifty layers of jargon, magic, and alchemical theory and you have a system for governance that has replaced the feudal system of traditional fantasy.

Add to this the fact that a powerful enough person can hold seats on numerous guilds. For instance, the Absalom of the Wizard Guard (an order dedicated to Abjuration magic) also holds various seats on the Blacksmithing Guild, Coining Guild, Cooper Guild, and Rope Making Guild. Many of these seats are herditary and others have been purchased and/or muscled throughout the years.

The methods, of course, for assuming a seat of any level in the guilds is numerous. And the seeds of many adventures in the city of Coil.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

News Coming

I have an announcement coming in a week or so. I don't want to post anything until I can say for sure, but hold tight.

Also note, May 2nd is the release date of George's Children (if you're not following that blog).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The City of Coil I

There are three people I know of who can vouch for this story.

Mike Mearls, Erik Yaple, and John Zinser.

But almost seven years ago I came up with the idea for DUNGEONPUNK, a fantasy world dipped in the social fabric of post-modern America, but without all of the technology associated with it. The world would be filled with impossibly dark and forbodding cities, ruled by powerful guilds seeking to soldify their power in a world overrun by corruption and bureaucracy at the same time.

While all of the adventure tropes of a typical D&D world would still exist in DUNGEONPUNK, the social make-up of the city/political side of gaming would be very very different. Even currency wouldn't have the same power it has in a traditional D&D game.

I can't say for certain that I'm the "originator" of such an idea. But seven years ago, this was WAY ahead of the curve.

I am presently working on a new D&D campaign for some new friends set in the city of COIL, admist the backdrop of a DUNGEONPUNK setting. I'll be posting ideas and NPCs over the course of the next fews weeks. Feel free to chime in with any ideas at all.

This is going to be fun.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Is there something wrong with me that I'm always rooting for the bad guys in Order of the Stick?

I think it's Rich's story-telling style. The Heroes are not ACTIVE, only reactive. As a result, they are merely undoing whatever intelligent plan the good guys had going in.

A little frustrating if you ask me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Host

Also known as Gwoemul, this is another Korean movie that explores themes much better than anyone has previously.

So much gamer goodness, too.


Godzirra done with a brain.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Yes. 300 was that good.

But, I don't know if it was gamer material the way a sci-fi movie obviously would be.

This one does not have "nerd alarms" in it the way Star Wars does.

And it is NOT the graphic novel. Certainly it was inspired. But it is not the same thing as the comic.

ALSO: There's a playtest of Relic of Power posted to my other blog. And of course, the forge.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Not that you haven't already heard about this, but...

isn't this why they made me burn my D&D books as a kid?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Relics of Power

(Since not everyone reads all my blogs, this has been posted to three of them.)

I am getting way ahead of myself on the design of this game, but Jon's cover at makes me want to design eleven ways from the full moon and then back again. I'm trying to avoid the typical game company pitfalls of overly complex and textured logos, as though the logo says more than the art.

It's tired.

This cover is so simple and elegant, that a simple logo design is in order.

But that doesn't stop me from trying a bunch of ideas... good or otherwise.

Below are 10 different ideas for the same game. Enjoy.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I am back from Vegas. I am working diligently on covers and designs for numerous people. Just wrote a 300-word article for Pyramid, working on a new RPG idea, and sketched out some ideas for an article on dungeon-crawling for a no-name magazine.

And apparently one of the owners of the WLD loves it so much, he's changing everything in the book. Hmm... $100 for maps.

Oh. I found a place that had $1 poker decks in Vegas. So I bought 34 of them.

Time to start designing a card game.