About This Site
What is an RPG?
Bigass List of Games
Systems & Reviews
This is a record of major updates throughout my RPG site, which I
will try to do approximately monthly. The
Free RPGs list has its own
section of new/updated entries over the past month. If you are
interested in newly released print RPGs, my
RPG Encyclopedia has a
timeline feature so you can look at the RPGs released this year.
- Announcements of new material are now generally done through
RPG Blog. The lists of published RPGs,
free RPGs, and companies continue to be updated.
- February 5, 2006
- I've added a review and notes on the Dead of Night RPG
to my Systems & Reviews page --
all linked from my main
Dead of Night page.
- January 18, 2006
- I have added a new report to my
Convention Reports page: a
EndGame January 2007 Mini-Con Report.
I've also added a page for Greg Porter's
Macho Women With Guns, including some excerpts,
a cover gallery, and sample characters (the ones I provided
for the mini-con) with formatted character sheets.
- November 28, 2006
- I have added three reports to my
Convention Reports page: a
ConQuest SF 2006 Report,
AmberCon NorthWest 2006 Report, and
EndGame October 2006 Mini-Con Report. Also, I've
added a page on Lee Short's tarot-based rotating-GM game in
Star, Moon, and Cross.
- September 27, 2006
- I've added a Polaris page, including links,
a browsable flowchart of play, and a sheet of example aspects that
can be cut up as cards and shuffled through. I've also added a
page for The Shab-al-hiri Roach,
including links to my actual play, a card list, and an HTML
character sheet and form. Lastly, I've added an essay by
Torben Mogensen to my System Design
page: "Dice-Rolling Mechanisms in RPGs" -- in the original
PDF format and
(with less readable math).
- August 29, 2006
- I've added a big collection of System Reference Documents using
the WotC Open Gaming License to my SRD Page.
So in addition to the original "Fantasy SRD" (versions 3 and 3.5)
and the Modern SRD, I now have linked in the Fudge SRD, the
Action-Oriented SRD, the True SRD (Romantic Fantasy Edition),
the FATE SRD, the Perfect20 rules, and the new Runic SRD.
All of them are browsable HTML. Not the prettiest documents,
but functional and in a human-readable, editable format.
- August 26, 2006
- I added two character sheets to my
My Life With Master page -- the original from the book, and
a full landscape one with both the sheet and the formulae.
I've also added a review
of the "Hamlet" parlor larp to
Parlor Larps page. Also, I officially split out my
List of Women
RPG Authors from my list of gender-related RPG links.
- August 22, 2006
- I added my long
GenCon Indy 2006 Report to my
Convention Reports page.
- July 25, 2006
- Thanks to some pointers and recommendations by Brian Morton,
I added/updated a bunch of links in my
RPG Theory page. First, I updated my link to the
The Meilahti School, along with Nicholas Yee's
The Daedalus Project: the psychology of mmorpgs,
and Mike Pohjola's
The Turku School of Roleplaying. I also added links for
Larry D. Hols'
Channel Theory of Role-playing, along with
Shannon Appelcline's essay series, "A Brief History of Roleplaying"
Plus two less non-RPG-focused articles:
Why We Play Games by Nicole Lazzaro, and
the Play's the Thing by Mark Wallace.
- June 29, 2006
- I've added a number of sections to my
Systems & Reviews page. These include a brief page on
Parlor Larps (based on my previous
play and reports), a new section on
Call of Cthulhu with material on the new Golden Dawn
campaign I'm playing and other links, a page on the old
Shadows in the Fog playtest I did.
Lastly, I have an update to my Amber DRPG
page with notes for the new campaign I'm playing in,
"Shadow of a Doubt".
- April 19, 2006
- I added in my
EndGame April Fool's 2006 Mini-Con Report
on my Convention Reports page.
I also have added a bunch of small info pages, including
True20 Update info
on my Blue Rose pages; on my D&D pages a list of
popular adventures and
D&D settings; and
on my Dogs in the Vineyard pages a page on
"Alternate Settings for DitV".
- February 3, 2006
- Two more essays of my own on specific indie games:
"Strategy in Dogs in the Vineyard" and
"Using a Board for My Life With Master".
I also added a page for Levi Kornelson's open content
Perfect20 variant of the D20
system, with a port of the rules from PDF to editable HTML.
Lastly, I added an archive of Ray Winninger's
"Dungeoncraft" essays to
my D&D pages.
- January 21, 2006
- I have a new essay on
"Buffy Adventure Design".
- December 21, 2005
- I have belatedly put up my
AmberCon NorthWest 2005 Report
on my Convention Reports page.
- September 15, 2005
- Darn. A while with no updates. Well, I have put up my
ConQuest 2005 Report
on my Convention Reports page.
I also now have a nascent
Dogs in the Vineyard
page with a few play aids and analysis -- but no review as
I have also added a bunch of other people's essays to my
RPG Theory page. These include the
"I Have No Words & I Must Design"
by Greg Costikyan;
"Creating a Level Playing Field: Improvisational Play and Collaboration in Education" by Tina Blaine and Brenda Bakker Harger;
"Game Styles, Innovation, and New Audiences: An Historical View"
by Greg Costikyan; and
"Control and Restrictions in RPGs: A mechanistic approach"
by Lucian Smith; and finally the wiki of
Vi Åker Jeep.
- June 12, 2005
- So I am now officially opening a section for the
Blue Rose RPG -- by
Jeremy Crawford, Dawn Elliot, Steve Kenson, and John Snead.
The two primary features are
my review of the core book and a character sheet utility.
- June 1, 2005
- Well, first of all, I've started a blog of my random
RPG musing, as
LiveJournal User jhkimrpg. This has been around for a
few weeks as a test, and I have decided to keep it.
I expect that
The Forge will continue to be my main forum for discussion,
but I will put personal musings on my blog. Plus it will be a
place to comment on my website. I have two new essays,
both now added to my RPG Theory page.
The first is
"The 3D Model of Role-playing: An Overview", which
is adapted from discussion on The Forge. The second is
"Gender Disparity in RPGs", which analyzes data
on the gender of RPG players and considers potential causes.
- May 9, 2005
- I've added a Review
of "Code of Unaris", a fantasy RPG intended for play
over text chat. I've also added in two new theory links.
Theory Topics Wiki, a gaming wiki site which now has a
bunch of RPG theory terms in it. I originally seeded it
several months ago, but now many different people have added
to it. Second, a link to the
laiv.org Theory Forum -- a Scandanavian larp discussion
forum which is occaisionally in English.
- April 26, 2005
- OK, I've just added to my Convention Reports,
with a report on 3DBCon 2005 --
a Bay Area mini-convention where I played the new Blue Rose
game. Also, I've added in notes on several different
card mechanics to my System Design
page. Lastly, although I dislike the system, I thought I would
finish off my pages on The Lord of the Rings RPG from
Decipher. I'm now linking in some rough pages on
Principles of Magic in Middle Earth, along with
Sample Stats from the Fellowship of the Ring Book and a
- April 9, 2005
- OK, so I'm adding in a bunch of links to my
RPG Theory page. The first is
Aspects of Adventure Gaming by Glenn Blacow -- an early
article from 1980 on dividing up role-playing styles. Many
people have heard of this (and it was adapted in Robin Law's
but the article itself may be different than what people
picture. I have also links for the
Process Model of Role-Playing by
Eetu Mäkelä, Sampo Koistinen, Mikko Siukola
and Sanni Turunen;
Fill in the Gap column at RPGnet;
Marco Chacon's essay
"Fault Tolerant Game Design and Execution";
Heather Grove's essay
"How to Get Along with Your Players";
and four more peripheral drama and game theory links:
Do Drama Theory,
What is a Game?,
Game Playing and Value Theory, and
- March 14, 2005
- A while with no updates. However, there are some cool theory
essays in the pipeline, as I have been inspired by a terrific
trip to Norway to participate in
Knutepunkt 2005. In honor of this, I have opened a
whole new section on Convention Reports,
where I am putting my convention reports, which will expand
in the future I am sure. (I previously had a few of these in
my Campaigns page, but conventions
really are distinct.) Of particular interest, of course, is the
Knutepunkt 2005 Report
and KP05 Pictures.
- January 2, 2005
- So, a notable announcement for the new year -- my RPG encyclopedia
has hit 1000 games described!! It has come a long way from when
I first started it in '97 or so. I have a backlog of games to
get to, notably a bunch of Japanese RPGs. Also, to get them out
Knutepunkt 2005 convention in Norway, I've finally put up
reviews of last year's
Solmukohta 2004 book, including
one by Matthjis Holter and
one by myself.
- December 21, 2004
- So, some more theory updates. I've added links to
several interesting essays:
"Facets: 5 Motivation Factors for Why People Play MMORPGs"
by Nick Yee;
"What It Might Be Like to Live in Viriconium"
by M. John Harrison;
Where Stories End and Games Begin by Greg Costikyan; and
Blackhat Matt's Role-playing Essays by Matthew McFarland.
Also, I've dumped a bunch of definitions into
RandomWiki. This started out as a dump of an
RPG Theory glossary I had been working on, but now may
take off as more people add to it. Lastly, I've added
some belated analysis and overview to the page for my old
Worlds in Collision campaign
- November 27, 2004
- A few more important RPG theory articles. There is a long
academic article entitled
Seriously Considering Play" by Lloyd P. Rieber, and a brief
summary by Monica Veinbergs of the EdGames wiki. It
is about play in general rather than RPGs, but it has some
important implications, in my opinion. Also, the Turku
manifesto and related theory articles have been put back online
by author Mike Pohjola, as the
Turku School of Roleplaying.
- November 21, 2004
- I've dusted off and completed several pieces which I had
almost completed for a while. I've put up reviews of
Fudge, Expanded Edition,
My Life With Master,
Sovereign Stone Game System. I also put up a new essay
in the System Design section, on
Hero Point Mechanics, which covers the history and
design choices for such mechanics.
- November 15, 2004
- In RPG Theory, I've added an essay on
Gender Roles RPG Texts,
which is part of a new section on Gender Studies in my
RPG Theory page. I also added a page of
Links for Gender Studies and RPGs, which I will probably
organize better over the coming weeks. Also, I added a theory
link to an article by Lauren Gonzalez entitled
Redefining Games: How Academia is Reshaping Games of the Future".
- November 12, 2004
- Whew. A while with no updates. I have added various stuff
on my recent campaigns:
James Bond 007,
My Life With Master, and
a revamped page for the second season of
Buffy RPG: Silicon Valley Slayage. Also, I've added some
more post-game reflections and analysis on my
- July 17, 2004
- So I'm adding in two new essays of mine. The first is
in my System Design section,
Wounding Mechanics in RPGs.
The second is in my Theory section, called
Proactive Player Characters and Related Issues.
I've also added links to a bunch of other theory
Roleplaying Theory: Hardcore by Vincent Baker;
Polytropos on "Narrative Paradigms in RPGs" by Nate Bruinooge;
Notes Towards a Semiotics of RPGs:
PostScript by Ed Heil; and lastly
How do you run a Dungeon-free RPG Campaign? by Doug Anderson.
- June 24, 2004
- I've belatedly added a link to my
James Bond 007 pages to the
My Campaigns page. Also, I've added a link to
Marco Chacon's essay
"What is Real? Reality in RPGs?" to my
RPG Theory pages.
- May 6, 2004
- I've added some archived discussion from the Gaming Outpost,
as part of my RPG Theory page and
Threefold Model subsection.
There are five threads which outline this model developed
by Scarlet Jester:
All You Need to Know About GEN
Character Potential - A Path to Successful Gaming
GEN - Stances
GEN - Explorative
- April 3, 2004
- I've added a new section on the recently-published book,
Beyond Role and Play,
edited by Markus Montola and Jaakko Stenros. I would urge
anyone seriously interested in RPGs to try to obtain a copy.
However, as it is hard to get, I have decided to put up my
own contribution to it -- an essay entitled
"Immersive Story", which is now included as part of
my RPG Theory section.
- March 15, 2004
- OK, I've added a few things. First is a brief article on
Who are Role-players
to my introductory section, with what limited data there is
on gamer demographics. Second, I expanded my page of
Threefold Model Links to include 1999 through the
present. Plus I added a page on
Early Threefold Model FAQs to recognize work which
predated my Threefold Model FAQ.
- February 24, 2004
- I am adding two new essays by myself to my
RPG Theory section. The first is
"Threefold Simulationism Explained", where I add new
perspective on the Threefold model. The second is
"A Brief History of Fashion in RPG Design".
- January 6, 2004
- I added another essay to my
RPG Theory section,
Ritual Discourse in RPGs by Christopher I. Lehrich.
PDF download (1.4kb).
- October 25, 2003
- I have added two new essays on RPGs and narrative to my
RPG Theory section. The first is
The Literary Edge by Robin Laws (excerpted from
Atlas Games' Over the Edge). The second is a lengthy
essay by myself, entitled
Story and Narrative Paradigms in RPGs.
I also added a collection of house rules to my
Buffy RPG pages.
- August 25, 2003
- Sigh. Well, my old server has gone away and I am struggling
with the alternatives. This new server is hosted by
pair.com. I'm still
trying to get everything working -- it may take a bit for
some of the CGIs to come back online, plus things may be
slower as I adjust my publishing.
- August 8, 2003
- I have added a new section on "Narrative Structure" to my
"RPG Theory" section. In addition to
external links, it features a new hosted essay --
Power, Information, and Play in Role Playing Games",
by Liz Henry.
- August 1, 2003
- I have decided to take a major step and reformatted my former
"Styles of Play" section into "RPG Theory".
Basically, I want to expand the scope of that section, to talk
about basic processes of play besides different style labels.
A key expansion is a new section on
the Threefold Model, which features an essay on the origins
of the model from rec.games.frp.advocacy. I also
added a section called Selected Text
on Roleplaying from Major RPGs. I am also trying to
integrate links to relevant essays on other sites.
- July 1, 2003
- I've added a new option to my
RPG encyclopedia. Now you can download the full list
in either HTML or XML format (optionally zipped for faster
download). This makes it easier to browse at your convenience.
I also added a page on
Educational Uses of RPGs to my "What is Roleplaying?"
- June 4, 2003
- OK, a few additions. I have added a
review of Theatrix
(from Backstage Press) to my reviews section. I also have
been touching up my campaigns
section, notably adding a list of all my campaign
PCs and adding the
"Northern Shadow" Lord of the Rings campaign. Lastly,
I realize that some people might be interested in the
online RuneQuest character editor I made for my Vinland game.
I have made a guest character on the
Vinland Character Forms page as a sample.
- April 27, 2003
- I've added a new essay to my Magic
section on "Magic and Society".
- April 23, 2003
- Oops. I realize I should list the new essays on genre
instead of making people search for them among the links.
- April 21, 2003
- Well, I have added a series of essays on "Techniques for
Common Genre Conventions" to my
Role-playing Styles section. Much of this actually
overlaps with system design, so I might cross-link some
of it as well.
- April 1, 2003
- Well, I don't have any good jokes, but I have linked in my
Lord of the Rings RPG section
which includes a complete review, links, and some other
material. I have also added an "open-license" keyword to
the options of my Free RPG List.
- March 5, 2003
- I have added two new essays to my
Role-playing Styles section. The first is
Genre and Setting Simulation: Perils, Pitfalls, and Possibilities"
by Steven S. Long -- reprinted from Grey Ghost Games'
Gamemastering Secrets book with permission. The
second is entitled "
Reifying Genre Conventions", written by myself.
- February 3, 2003
- I have re-done the sorting of my
company list, which should improve the reliability
of links. I have also added new pages so you can look
up companies by country and by system (such as "D20"
or "FUDGE") as well as alphabetically.
- January 16, 2003
- A few new additions. I have added new genre keywords to
my Free RPGs list, such as
horror and modern. Also I have reorganized and expanded my
Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG pages,
including an annoted list of classic horror movies.
Incidentally, the BtVS RPG campaign I am playing in is
looking for players -- if you are in the SF Bay Area
and are interested, send me an email at
- December 4, 2002
- A few other additions: there is now an
About This Site page, along with a
Site Map page. There
have also been major additions to the
SRD Page including a
conversion of the Modern SRD to browsable HTML and an
archive of Kenneth Hood's Sleeping Imperium site.
- December 3, 2002
- I have reworked the timeline feature of the
RPG Encyclopedia so
that you can quickly jump to a given year, and updated it
with all of the latest information.
- November 5, 2002
- The big new addition is that I have a new
RPG System Design page. Currently
I have three essays there, and I have a few more in the
- October 1, 2002
- Again, I have been remiss in cataloging my updates. Over the
past year, I have majorly revised my RPG Styles
page with new essays, and added a new section on the
Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG from
- [Long time gap]
- August 31, 2001
- Oops. I have not been keeping up this "What's New" page. Well,
my latest addition is a new section on the Weird War II
sourcebook from Pinnacle Games. The main feature is the review,
but I also made a few utilities to go with it.
- June 8, 2001
- I have moved my rpg site to a new host, darkshire.org,
thanks to my friend Graham's generosity. The bad news is that
you should update your bookmarks and links. The good news is
that in the future you will start seeing interactive stuff on
my site. My old host had very limited permissions for CGI only,
but now I can freely do CGI scripts, PHP, and database stuff.
The old site location (www.ps.uci.edu/~jhkim/rpg/)
should have auto-forwarding set to the new location. If you
notice any problem in the forwarding, please send me email at
- April 27, 2001
- There have been some miscellaneous updates to my
Dungeons & Dragons section,
based on a recent game I played. I have various charts including
spell tables with expanded information, a chart comparing various
class features, and more. I should add some more to my reviews
as well based on playtesting, but that is not there yet.
- April 10, 2001
- I have added a Magic
section, which you can find under Articles and Reviews. This
is a collection of non-system-specific articles on RPG magic
in general. The first feature is a long article on "Designing
a Mythic-style RPG Magic System".
- March 28, 2001
- I have revamped my campaigns page
with some fixed-up information, and reversed the order so that
the most recent campaigns are first. These are the ones which
tend to have more web information.
- March 15, 2001
- Well, first of all, I have added a What's New section. :-)
Other recent changes have been that I have added a Spanish
section to my
RPG Encyclopedia with the addition of 7
Spanish-language RPGs -- hopefully to expand soon.
John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Wed Feb 14 21:34:06 2007