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A member registered Dec 30, 2014 · View creator page →

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Quality name, excellent speciality. And thanks for enjoying it!

Good question. Looking at that section now, it's pretty unclear. The intention was that bonuses for highlighting or starring a strength replace the bonuses from a lower level. If a bonus doesn't change by highlighting or starring then it's not mentioned, but you still keep it. Taking Crafty as an example:


+1d when using environmental elements. +1d when disguising.

Highlight: +2d when disguising. +1d when searching. (And you still get +1d when using environmental elements.)

Star: +2d when disguising, searching, or using environmental elements.

Or Alert:


+1d when searching. +1d when evading.

Highlight: +2d when searching. When generating a new area or searching, after rolling choose one item. Modify the roll for this item by +/-1. (And +1d when evading.)

Star: +3d when searching. When generating a new area or searching, after rolling on the Random Items table you may reroll one item. (When generating a new area or searching, after rolling choose one item. Modify the roll for this item by +/-1.  +1d when evading.)

Although with all of that said if you want to just make every bonus cumulative go for it.

The short answer is that I made this game to play with my daughters, and between the core book and the first sourcebook they grew up enough to enjoy the deeper darker themes and more nuanced political stuff that I love.

It's such a supportive game though. So much great material in the rulebook, it really gives you a lot to build on. One thing I love about it is that it's 100% Jurassic Park but at the same time the story you get from it will be almost nothing like Jurassic Park. Definitely one I'd like to return to sometime, going into it with more of a 'PCs will die' mentality and using these extra playbooks.

Well, that's weird and annoying. I've reuploaded the files, and also put them up on my Gumroad here:

If you still can't get them please let me know.

The mechanic that I use the most is the group action one--the character with the lowest stat (or riskiest position) rolls, everyone else automatically succeeds unless they choose to fail. Really elegant and quick and great, especially since PbtA often falters a bit when it comes to multiple characters doing the same thing. I've also used 'tell a story' a few times when things are quiet but I don't want to introduce anything heavy, so I'll just give players the option of telling a quick story and give them +1 forward or let them mark XP depending on how it goes. The other mechanic that I liked but haven't had a chance to use elsewhere is dividing a one-shot into distinct sections, which is very smart and dramatic and good. I also greatly appreciated having a pic of each dinosaur, with a human for scale, along with instincts and moves and so on. That combined with the locations + prompts made running it a breeze.

This game is fantastic. Excellent PbtA one-shot system with some great ideas that I've pinched for use in other games. If anyone's interested in reading a transcript of a complete game, I wrote up a 'replay' that's available here:

Princess World: Frontier Kingdoms

Demigod-avatar magical princesses balance tea parties and giant monster attacks.

Demigod-avatar magical princesses balance tea parties and giant monster attacks; Princess World: Frontier Kingdoms, a Forged in the Dark game. I've had so much fun with this, designing, running, and playing. Confirmed 'good' by 100% of daughters.

I'm still in! I think it's really good. If people are dropping out, maybe open it up to anyone who wants to contribute a review?

(1 edit)


by user: .|/|.[\].

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

this motel lives up to its reputation but is not on the level of similar establishments. it is not up to the standard of the twilight lodge or even the good living inn in my opinion. i would place it slightly above the red hostel but i may be personally biased on that matter.

i have some tips if you are staying here. the pool and associated activities are excellent. the best that this place has to offer. staff are reflective so bring what you intend to take. amenities are good quality but the prices are a little high. if you wish to eat then it may be wise to bring your own. do not trust the clocks. if you are of a sensitive nature then earplugs might be useful.

overall i would recommend the eternal panorama motel. good travels. good seeking.

Whoops, so it is. I'll get right on it!

For the #ActualAdultJam I made Totally Real Incredible Things, a short noisy game about adults being tired and busy, and kids wanting them to go look at a thing.

My daughters made this game during their school holidays: Scribble Card Clash. Draw cards, clash them against each other, level them up, scribble a lot.

Finally hit the button on It Was Always About Us (we met in the singularity of an uncaring world), a conversational game made for the Supervillain Redemption Jam where one of you is a superhero and the other is a supervillain. You take turns asking each other questions to learn more about yourselves and your superpowered world, rolling dice with each answer to build conflict lines then fighting to see who wins each scene and achieves their goal. Ultimately it charts the arc of your entire adventuring career, from just starting out through to meeting and clashing with your nemesis, the inevitable forced team-up, the catastrophic crisis event, and of course ending with a timeskip epilogue.

made me feel like a ghost-so good

By user: TrappedInMyBody

 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I chose this motel pretty randomly, just used an app and the price was good so I went for it. Check in was through the app and had no problems. Also got a discount which was nice so if you're booking try the app. at this point I'll just say that I suffer from anxiety and a few other issues which I only mention here because usually staying at places is a bit of a bad time. I don't really like it when people talk to me or look at me especially strangers. So checking in automatically was great actually. Had to go to the front desk but didn't have to interact much at all. There was a staff member there but they didn't even look at me just put the key on the desk and I took it and went to my room. No talking or anything so A++++ for that experience.

Room was fine, just standard motel I don't know. bit damp and the bathroom had some issues but whatever right. for the price you can't complain but I'll take off one star because well not perfect. Usually at a motel or whatever I have at least a dozen uncomfortable anxiety encounters a day but at this place it was zero. Even when I went out of the room to do whatever if there were staff around they just ignored me completely. Like I didn't even exist. It was amazing. Like a dream for me. opposite of the nightmare staying away from home usually is. Also didn't see any other guests but probably just got lucky on that one. There were some people singing at night but it wasn't bad like not drunken singing or whatever more like at a church or something. Pretty okay actually. Didn't mind it at all.

Anyway overall such a good peaceful relaxing calm experience and so different from most places where the staff are constantly asking if I need anything or trying to help and making me break into cold sweats and panic. Even check out I just dropped off the key and that was that. Would definitely stay again and if it was a franchise or something I would always stay at this kind of place!

Unforgivably Dire

By user: VeteranVisitor


My dear fellow traveller, first be armed with the knowledge that I consider myself a connoisseur of hotels, motels, resorts, hostels, backpackers, auberges, inns, lodges, spas, and all other manner of temporary abodes. I shall not list my full credentials here but know that I have stayed in literally dozens of such places in over four different countries. Thus you may take my opinion as not just that of your average amateur, but that of a seasoned pseudo-professional.

With that preamble out of the way we come to the main topic of discussion. Eternal Panorama Motel, a reasonably priced and seemingly popular destination for travellers of all descriptions. Unfortunately I cannot place myself amidst the number of apparently satisfied customers who have stayed in this place, about which I can find no more fitting descriptor than 'hovel'.

Let us begin with the room itself. Upon first glance, perfectly adequate. However! To the expert eye of one such as myself, the veneer of respectability and, regrettably, hygiene is soon revealed as the FARCE it truly is. The carpets, for example, have a certain quality of squelchiness that speaks to frequent drenchings of a liquid nature. Tracing this back to its source we find not one but MANY culprits, from the shower (sporadically expulsive) to the sink (perhaps plumbed in reverse, judging by the amount and, to be perfectly frank, foulness of the liquid bursting forth from the drainage hole) to the lavatory (the less said about which the better). There was also a distinct odour about the place, perhaps not noticeable to most, but to one such as I, with an extraordinarily sensitive nose, it was both obvious and odious.

I shan't go on at length about the bed (uncomfortably flaccid, with an unpleasantly damp quality) or the staff (equally flaccid, similarly damp). I shan't waste words on the pool (into which I dipped a single toe, and regret even that small gesture) or the food (one whiff of which turned my stomach to such an extent that I was forced to immediately vacate the premises and embark upon a brisk constitutional).

I will say that the view at night was utterly spectacular, and I found myself particularly transfixed by the natural splendour of the sky. Indeed, upon returning from my evening walk I discovered that I had been away for several hours longer than I had thought, and it was well past midnight! This is especially unusual for me, as my internal timing is uncommonly precise. Let us assign both blame and credit to the wonders of the scenery in this magnificent part of our wondrous world! However, the quality of the landscape surrounding one's lodgings has absolutely nothing to do with the motel itself, and as such will never affect my final score. So too would the nocturnal activity in the motel's asymmetrically spacious pool area, despite being distasteful in the extreme, not affect my rating of the place. I suppose the motel's staff could attempt to control such shenanigans, but an effort to please all often ends up pleasing none. I do not judge them for allowing such behaviour to go on unchecked, and consider their actions (or lack thereof!) in this matter to be justified. I strive to be eminently fair in my ratings, do please believe that.

With all of that said it would take a minor miracle to force me to stay in this place again. I shall be avoiding it with extreme prejudice in the future, and I urge you, my dear fellow traveller, to do the same.

noisy but okay

By user: glttrpnk06

★ ★ ★ ★  ☆☆

room was okay but too small
but i guess no room is big enough when staying with your dad
who snores
and farts
bed okay though
bit soft
but okay
vending machine good
full hp restore from generic nobrand plain packet snacks
think they were bbq
nothing on packet = mystery flavour
anyway overall you get 4 out of 6 stars
pretty okay but don't get cocky
'not enough words' how many words do you need automatic form thing
like what else can i actually say
oh i liked the way the light came in at night
sunset and then the signs outside
then dawn
didn't sleep much but not blaming the motel for that
standard insomnia + noisy people in other rooms = nosleep combo
like what were they doing in there all night
just flushing the toilet over and over it sounded like
+more squelching noises than you'd maybe expect tbh
still not enough words huh
this is like a **** essay
haha *ed out my **** even as i typed it
total hunter2 situation
how does that even work
that shouldn't work?
anyway we're about to go if dad can get the door open so you'd better accept it this time

Eternal Panorama Motel?

I'm really happy to go with whatever, for tone and post frequency. Once a day seems fine.

For names, maybe something with an edge of wrongness, like Comfortable Breath Motel or Reliably Hotel or Eternal Politeness Hostel. Generic & flexible like Panorama Motel is fine for me too. If anyone has a particular mood or theme or genre they're leaning towards I'm happy to be a follower.

Checking in, looks fun!

This looks great. Really looking forward to getting stuck into an entry and seeing what others come up with.

Disappointing but unsurprising, which I guess is the mantra of future year 2019. Do you know if you actually need to have paying patrons to be a founder, or is just having an account enough?

Taking out playbooks felt big, but they just weren't adding anything.  Instead I focused on including interesting and diverse abilities, and I already had sixteen distinct elements for four core traits, and every princess chooses a speciality anyway (Cookie Princess, Tiny Princess, Stabby Princess etc). I also had a good look at the territory/claims mechanic and eventually decided that for this game they could be replaced by a simpler system that flowed better with the other mechanics. Bit ironic seeing as this mechanic was one of the big initial draws to FitD as a base, but oh well.

I also added an escalation mechanic, influenced by 7th Sea's raises. Players can increase the number of sides of the dice they're rolling in exchange for increased effect. Being able to voluntarily raise the risk of a roll in exchange for increased effect has a feeling of drama and power that I really like. It feels very princess. I also wanted a mechanical representation of princess flamboyance--rolling d6s on an action means doing it in an efficient, conventional sort of way. Escalating to d8s or d10s or d12s or, hope bless you, d20s carries with it the chance of spectacular success, but also the risk of spectacular failure. This one feels like the biggest break from the pure core of Blades (those precious blessed ever-elusive 6s), but it works well in play and besides, I love having a chance to break out the polyhedrals once in a while.

There are a lot of smaller changes too, and honestly one of my favourite parts of designing this is getting into really pedantic examination of each mechanic, like 'what is this DOING, why is it HERE'. (And Blades in the Dark is such a nicely designed game, it was a joy to slowly pick it apart.) But, overall I was surprised at how well the mechanics for scoundrels doing crimes in a haunted fantasy-industrial city translate to a game about demigod-avatar princesses balancing tea parties and giant monster attacks.

Princess World: Princess Academy Adventures

Magical princesses have school life adventures in a world of wild magic.

Princess Academy Adventures

Princess World is full of magic. You can't escape the stuff. Uncoincidentally it's also full of princesses, individuals who through legacy, effort or accident are able to control magic. Being a princess is a bit like being a magical girl, except you're transformed all the time and there are hundreds of other princesses around. Enough other princesses, in fact, to make some kind of formalised education absolutely necessary.

Thus, Princess Academy.

Princess Academy Adventures is a tabletop roleplaying game about demigod-avatar magical princesses attending school and having adventures in a chaotic world. It's powered by the apocalypse, dad-tested and daughter-approved. I originally made it to play with my daughters and we've had a lot of fun with it over the years. I figure other people will enjoy it too.

Right now the core rules are available, along with a sourcebook detailing some of the factions of the known kingdoms, a couple dozen monsters, and a few other things. There's also a character sheet, and in a soonish sort of timeframe I'll put up some of the adventure modules I've made too.

I think having a strong core and mood to the game helps a lot. The more specific and focused the game is, the easier it is to give advice about how to run it.  PbtA is usually pretty good for this, seeing as most examples are trying to simulate a certain genre.  For myself, based on my own experiences GMing, my primary focus is to keep things moving. Having a game stall out or get stuck in combat or whatever for an hour just isn't fun for me. It's just exhausting. Maintaining momentum and energy and keeping up that sense of progression is my number one priority. So everything is kind of built around that, I have advice for dealing with a string of partial successes, skipping ahead if a scene is dragging, introducing wrinkles or changing things up if a scene is flagging. I also include a lot of play examples, because I think they really help illustrate how mechanics can work when you're actually playing. And of course I include a bunch of caveats--this is how I play this game, but don't take it to be prescriptive. If something isn't working, drop it. If you want the game to be different, change it. If everyone's having fun and excited about what might happen next, it's all good.

Like twenty years ago, moderating a young writers speculative fiction board. Unfortunately it was killed because the owner of the site turned out to be completely flipping nuts.

It's pretty nice to be back, actually.

I've put out Princess Academy Adventures, a PbtA game about demigod-avatar magical princesses having school life adventures in a chaotic world. There's also a sourcebook detailing some of the factions in the world and a few dozen monsters.

I originally made it to play with my daughters, and we've had a lot of fun with it over the years. I figured other people might enjoy it too, so here it is.

I love how the crew (or flying ship or kingdom or whatever) is arguably more important than the characters. Even if a player's character dies or goes insane or has to retire, the crew abides. There's a sense of progression there that softens the impact of character loss. Progress clocks are unbelievably fun and useful and dramatic and I've stolen them for pretty much every other game I run. I also have a lot of time for a game that focuses deeply on one specific thing, Rules tightly formed around a solid core. I think this produces interesting mechanics, settings, even characters. Creativity thrives within limitations, after all.

Played with my daughter and had a lot of fun!

7yo's comments: It was very very fun and it would be very fun to have as a four player game! I liked that you could actually go on top of the monkey bars, and also that there was a dangerous swing! But my favourite bit was the evil clock tower. The only thing I would add is that it was four player.

Played with my daughters and had a great time.

7yo's comments: I liked it because you're going around as a domino and trying to make the other person's line fall down. I like it because you can jump! The dominos go flying up and then down. I liked it because I kept winning! And I like it because it kind of looks like you've got a face, on the side of the domino. I wouldn't add anything or change anything, it's just very very fun.

Played with my daughters and had lots of fun and laughs.

7yo's comments: It's very very very funny because you can balance the ball on your head and then send it launching away. It's also funny because you're a giraffe, and it's funny at the end bit because you can just go up and down and up and down, and it's funny because you can pretend you're an elevator! I liked every single little bit of this game. I wouldn't change anything or add anything.

6yo's comments: I would change it to four players. So we could all play it together.

Played with my daughters and had a lot of fun.

7yo's comments: Sometimes I forget how to move so I just stay there shooting. It's very funny when your little snail is floating up to heaven. I really like it! I wouldn't really change anything about this game, except for the buttons like jump, I want to jump. Even though snails can't really jump. It's okay in a game for a snail to jump.

6yo's comments: I didn't play this because I'm scared of snails.

Played with my daughters and had a great time.

7yo's comments: It was very very fun because we just eating all the popcorn! But then I accidently ate a whole row of burnt popcorn. I like that you get slower if you eat more popcorn, because that's a very very good touch to it. Because then the other person can get more popcorn, while the other person is slow. I wouldn't really change anything about it, only if there was different types of popcorn that gave you bonuses. Like cinnamon popcorn would make you faster, and that sort of thing.

6yo: When you get fat your little belly button sticks out. I liked that. Sometimes the person who's doing the popcorn comes up and you have to hide behind the bowl. I like that too.

Played with my daughters and had a great time building rafts then drowning. Giant donuts a must to include on any raft. Fantastic concept, would love to see it expanded. It might be nice to have more time to build the raft before the flood comes.

7yo's comments: It's very fun and very funny, and when your raft just goes sweeping away from you and you fall off, that's very funny. You have to go swimming all the way back. I liked making the raft because it's cool to make a raft. The first time we played our raft was like a crate and then a branch sticking out, and then a surfboard and a little lifesaver thing and it was very funny. I wouldn't change anything about this game. I also love the art, it's a very nice style. Oh yeah, and I like that you can wave your arms up and down!

6yo's comments: The giant donuts, I sometimes actually jump on them, and then I fall off. And drown. I like the little ducks because it looks like they're in a little rain jacket.

Played this with my daughters and we all laughed and laughed and laughed. Fantastic game. A++ would duck again.

7yo's comments: I love it because it's so funny! And it's so funny that you have to put the duck on the washing line after, so they dry and then it's really really funny. And it's so funny when all your money goes missing because the ducks ate it! And I love how you can shoot the ducks up into the air! I think this game is exactly perfect and I wouldn't change anything about it at all.

6yo's comments: There are GOLDEN DUCKS!