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This is the blog of Larcenous Designs, LLC, through which I (Nathan Rockwood) will be publishing thoughts and ramblings related to my business' projects, which may include anything related to games, game design, and the use of gaming in education. 

Comments will be moderated without mercy.

The Portal Tarot: The Apprentice - On Kickstarter June 18-July 16th!

Nathan Rockwood

“All arcane applications of the Tarot are for entertainment purposes only, and Larcenous Designs, LLC cannot be held liable for demonic possession, apocalyptic prophecies, or little Timmy spider-walking across the ceiling after playing with these cards at a sleepover.”

The Portal Tarot: The Apprentice is an easy-to-use, story-inspiring deck of high-fantasy Tarot cards by Larcenous Designers, LLC, makers of the Platinum-level bestselling GameMaster’s Apprentice cards on DriveThruRPG. This deck will be on Kickstarter from June 18th-July 16th!

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Literature is Strange

Nathan Rockwood

Dontnod’s Life is Strange is my current favorite example of a game as literature--and as one can probably tell from the tattoo that now covers my forearm, I have invested a considerable amount of thought into this. Too much thought, in fact, to fit it all into a single blog post or essay.

That said, I figured I have to start somewhere! First, in this post, I’m going to go through rundown of LiS’s most prominent theme and how it gets delivered through both narrative elements and game mechanics. If I can find the time, I’ll get around to other things about the game--its complicated relationship with the presentation of mental health issues, a discussion of the endings, situations it handles well or poorly, etc--in other posts.

So, why do I have this tattoo (image after the cut) on my arm? Read on to find out!

(And here's a video for a closer look at the tattoo!)

Note: Spoilers abound, and I’m not going to be simply reiterating the plot here, so please: go play the game before reading further! Or, at least, watch the amazingly complete playthroughs and theorycraft videos of Geek Remix, which I watched to help refresh myself on the game while writing this!

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GMA Fantasy Deck Kickstarting August 8-September 4!

Nathan Rockwood

I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but I am under no delusions about the size of my blog's readership... 

I'm running a new Kickstarter! As of posting, we have funded, and now are expanding the community reward (a Deck of Many Things-/Wild Surge Table-esque list of random magical effects) with each new backer!

From a design standpoint, I think this is my favorite deck. Thanks to the inestimable Max Johnson's excellent graphic and technical design work, I was able to include a new field: a set of 120 fantasy images, one on each card. Several backers of the first Kickstarter mentioned that they would have appreciated something like this, based on their use of Rory's Story Cubes, so now there are 20d6 worth of images!

The images themselves are drawn from the excellent resources at, which are CC-licensed; for the full credits of the ones I used here, check out the Quickstart Guide via the KS page!