Author Archives: Thomar

d20 Books For Your TTRPG Game

Running a Dungeons & Dragons game this week? Make sure to throw 1d6 books into the next treasure pile!

Books cost 25 gp (minimum!) in 5e D&D, making them valuable treasures. They are far more interesting than sacks of coins or gemstones. Rarer books could cost orders of magnitude more, assuming the party is willing to track down interested buyers.

And, of course, the best part is loredumping your campaign notes if any player shows interest and reads it.

I’ve broken things into 4 categories to match the 5e Intelligence-based lore skills. As a fun exercise you could make a d100 table tailored to your TTRPG campaign setting by inventing 5 books for each topic. (Don’t forget to include scrawled journals owned by former bounty hunters or treasure seekers.)

d20 Book Topics:

  1. Arcana: Biographies of famous magic-users
  2. Arcana: Fanciful stories about magical items
  3. Arcana: Cosmology and the planes (1-astrology, 2-Inner Planes, 3-Outer Planes, 4-border planes, 5-other Primes, 6-Far Realms)
  4. Arcana: Practical magical theories, mathematics
  5. Arcana: Tales of magical creatures (1-aberrations, 2-constructs, 3-dragons, 4-elementals, 5-fey, 6-monstrosities, 7-oozes, 8-undead)
  6. History: Popular fiction (1-adventure, 2-romance, 3-mystery, 4-horror)
  7. History: History of lost civilizations (1-elves, 2-dwarves, 3-giants, 4-other humanoids)
  8. History: Law, civics, economics, architecture, language
  9. History: Geography, politics, nobility
  10. History: Tactics, warfare, historical battles
  11. Nature: Climate, natural philosophy
  12. Nature: Metallurgy, alchemy
  13. Nature: Wilderness survival, cooking, crafting
  14. Nature: Plant creatures, botany, herbology, farming almanacs
  15. Nature: Beast creatures, biology, anatomy, surgery
  16. Religion: A tract or religious text (1-lawful, 2-neutral, 3-chaotic)
  17. Religion: Songbook, poetry, music
  18. Religion: Stories of crusaders, saints, and their relics
  19. Religion: Academic treatise on religion or philosophy
  20. Religion: Lists of Outer Planar creatures (1-good, 2-evil, 3-law, 4-chaos)

I should also mention that I’ve put together a more comprehensive list of my TTRPG publications on Itch:

Ludum Dare 54 Games

Ludum Dare 54 was last month. The voting is over, and I wanted to share some stuff I liked from it.

* – I made this for Ludum Dare 54 with and . BACK TO REALITY is a game about scrambling to collect your quantum clones and enough seats for your spaceship while a black hole eats away the space in the level.

* – Stretchmancer, a fully voice-acted puzzle-platformer where you bend the world around you to escape prison.

* – Less Is Moore by Aurailus, a puzzle game about building phones.

* – Feng Shui Struggles, a game about moving heavy furniture in cramped rooms.

* – Roomgun, a game about shooting stuff in tight spaces.

* – Crystalline, a puzzle game about matching gems together that has some interesting depth.

* – Prickle, a puzzle game about attaching hedgehogs together and rotating them to fit through mazes.

* – Windowkill, a clever use of the Win32 window resizing API.

Not part of Ludum Dare, but this is a neat demo I liked:

* – Cobalt Core is an upcoming sci-fi deckbuilder roguelike where your ship’s position and shape matters as much as the cards you draw. It’s made by Rocket Rat Games, creators of Sunshine Heavy Industries. It’s out November 8th.

Timed Hits Prototype

Recently I’ve been prototyping a timed hits RPG. It has no art, but it demonstrates the intended core mechanics quite well. Click here to play it.

This is a unique subgenre of the JRPG genre, so to help explain it I’ve embedded a video of one of the more refined examples made by Nintendo.

Combat in the game is turn-based and fairly standard for eastern role-playing games, but it has a unique twist. Each attack performed by the player or enemies has a quick-time event associated with it. The player can use well-timed button presses to increase the party’s damage, and also decrease the damage taken from enemy attacks. Continue reading