Dungeons & Dragons' lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford has a tough job. To keep the game in top form, he's got to make sure its exhaustive ruleset walks that fine line between combat and role-play, thoroughness and accessibility, firmness and flexibility. Along the way, he's come up with some good tips on getting in touch with D&D's system.
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Before last weekend's Indianapolis tabletop gaming convention Gen Con, I was skimming lists of the weekend's most anticipated games and seeing the same-old, same-old: a feudal japan card game, a fantasy role-playing campaign -- but a ubiquitous outlier kept catching my eye: Photosynthesis, a game about growing trees. Halfway through Gen Con's first day, attendees had greedily snapped up every one of publisher Blue Orange's over one thousand available copies.