Friday, December 19, 2014

5th Edition Monstrous PCs: Thri-kreen

Along with the aarakocra, the thri-kreen are one of my favorite non-standard races to play. Unique and alien, thri-kreen provide for unusual roleplaying opportunities and unusual flavor at the table. The challenge? Thri-kreen are a powerful PC race (see Behind the Development below). Converting them to a standard PC race while maintaining their flavor and popular, race-specific powers was a challenge and even with this conversion DMs should consider before allowing them in their campaigns. If used, DMs and players should play up the thri-kreen's social disadvantages as much as possible, including limited communication and insight into humanoid motivations and feelings. Though I follow Monte Cook's design rule that "fluff does not balance crunch", if you have decided that thri-kreen are usable in your campaign, you can use these disadvantages to build interesting stories and roleplaying interactions while balancing some of their physical benefits. Remember, 5th edition emphasizes combat, exploration, and social interactions in equal balance.

Thri-kreen are nomadic, insectoid humanoids typically found in deserts and savannah. They communicate with a species-specific combination of clicks, body movements, and antennae waves, though it is suspected that pheromonal communication allows for more subtlety than most humanoids can decipher. Though non-thri-kreen can learn to understand the basics of thri-kreen communication, it's impossible to speak. Most thri-kreen understand Common with the same level of understanding. Unless a thri-kreen has spent signifiant time with non-insectoid humanoids, they make all Insight and Persuasion checks at disadvantage. The same is true of mammalian humanoids when dealing with thri-kreen.

Monday, December 15, 2014

5th Edition Class Builds: Alchemist (Artificer, Metamorph, Poisoner)

About the Alchemist
The alchemist for 5th edition includes a wide range of archetypse that build, treat, or transform objects or creatures to create magical or semi-magical effects. The alchemist class uses the standard spells from the Player's Handbook, though their special effects can be modified to represent the style and flavor of each alchemical tradition. Mordenkanin's faithful hound used by an artificer alchemist is more likely a clockwork creature than a beast made of force, and his mage armor could be a force-field belt or strips of hard but ultra-light metal held together by magnetism. An enlarge mixture created by a metamorph alchemist could make the target more bestial looking, while a jump effect may give them cosmetic insect-like qualities. A poisoner alchemist's circle of death is likely a cloud of lethal vapor that absorbs through the skin as well as the lungs, while their see invisibility may be the side-effect of a hallucinogenic berry that opens the mind to things the eyes can't normally perceive.

All alchemists have access to the same cantrips and 1st level spells (called formula), meaning that all alchemists can create minor damaging effects (ray of frost, poison spray), cure salves (cure wounds), and low-level physical and mystical enhancements. From 2nd level on, their list of formula become limited and each tradition has exclusive access to a very tight range of more powerful effects. Artificers create useful tools and helpful effects such as knock, mordenkanin's magnificent mansion, and arcane gate. Metamorphs transform themselves and their companions with effects like alter self, haste and regenerate. Poisoners not only create mundane poisons faster than other classes, they create blindness/deafness via toxins, cloud the mind with feeblemind, and even induce lethal terror in their victim's via phantasmal killer.

Though alchemists have 7th, 8th, 9th level slots, their highest level formulas are limited to the handful of bonus formula from their tradition list. They may still use these higher level slots to power lower level formula and often do. They may also use these slots to power specific tradition abilities like the artificer's Enduring Creations, metamorph's Beast Within, and poisoner's Blighter features.

In exchange for having a highly specialized list of spell effects and few higher level effects, alchemists are able to create mixtures that act as one-shot magic items usable by their party members. For example, an alchemist could use a 1st level slot to create a cure wounds mixture and give it to the party wizard to use later in the day. Mixtures can take many forms, just as an alchemist's specialized formula. A poison spray could be a perfume-like bottle, a bag of poisonous dust blown into a target's face, or a rod with a head like a spitting cobra that ejects the poison at the target's eyes. Players are encouraged to use their imaginations to describe their mixtures' special effects.

Friday, December 5, 2014

5th Edition Monstrous PCs: Lizardfolk


Lizardfolk are typically seen as primitive humanoids with minimal intellect and a brutal, highly territorial culture. Though that is true in many villages, lizardfolk honor intuition and wisdom in a way most civilized cultures cannot understand. Lizardfolk adventurers are rare. Those who are banished for real or perceived crimes may turn to mercenary or adventuring life in order to survive.

On some worlds in the Material Plane, groups of lizardfolk have split from their primitive ancestry and developed into more civilized cultures.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lone Wolf Board Game and more

For those of you who grew up gaming in the 80s, Choose Your Own Adventure books were the cornerstone of the solo-gaming experience. Video games weren't sophisticated enough, or portable enough, to give us the roleplaying experience we wanted. Even then, the standard CYOA books told you who you were, what you could do, and how you could do it, providing only "Turn Left" or "Turn Right" options. Then came Joe Dever and Gary Chalk.

The Lone Wolf Adventure Book series was far more of a roleplaying game book than any other. Though you played the same character, you were allowed to select from a variety of equipment and a range of powers (called disciplines) that would give you different options in the story. You also performed combat with a simple random-number generator and two basic statistics, Combat Score and Endurance. Lone Wolf lives in the hearts of many an old-school gamer.

Friday, November 21, 2014

5th Edition Aquatic Builds (Sorcerer)

Sorcerous Origins (Oceanic)
Sorcerers draw their power from a variety of sources. Some powers are the result of an unusual bloodline (draconic), while others tap into powerful arcane or divine forces (wild magic). Sorcerers who manifest powers from an oceanic origin may have had their bloodline affected by a powerful creature such as an aboleth, bronze dragon, elemental, hag, or kraken, or may have learned to tap into the primal energy inherent to the most fundamental element of life.

Special Effects: In addition to the mechanics listed below, the special effects of numerous spells can be altered to appear watery in origin. For example, burning hands can instead be superheated steam. Shield may be a solidified disk of water. With the DM's permission, you could also alter the damage type of a spell to reflect this origin. For example, the waterwhip cantrip below is simply the thornwhip druid cantrip with the piercing damage changed to bludgeoning. Bludgeoning and cold are appropriate damage exchanges, but oceanic sorcerers also control weather, so wind-like effects, lightning and thunder are also appropriate. A cleric of Poseidon in my game altered the sacred flame cantrip to sacred lightning with little alteration. By taking the Magic Initiate feat and selecting sacred flame (lightning), a human oceanic sorcerer could start at 1st level with the same effect.

5th Edition D&D Subraces: Halfling (Kender)

Oh, Tasselhoff. What did you start?

Unlike other halfling races, kender are childlike and naive to the extreme. This childish innocence gets many kender out of trouble, though more often gets them into it.

ADDENDUM: I've recently been informed that though kender are effectively halflings, they have an odd origin in the Dragonlance universe (gnomes affected by the passing of the "grey stone"?).  As such, they are technically not halflings. This doesn't appear in any of the research I read for this post. I will make a few adjustments when I get time. Thanks for letting me know.

ADDENDUM 2: From reader, Ben Eastman: "It would appear that there are three possible explanations for kender, although the third came very late in the Dragonlance cycle (a novel from 2009). I think that designing kender as a halfling subrace makes perfect sense outside of Krynn, since they are halflings-but-not-hobbits. In Krynn, they would just be their own standalone race." I agree. Thanks, Ben, and others for letting me know.

From the Kender Wiki:

"Within the game world, kender names are chosen from a wide range of sources such as recent events, an existing relative, or from items found in kender pouches, such as Bearchase, Lockpick, and Fruitthrow. As children, they constantly ask questions and come to rely on family and friends for needs, and they begin to take part in community activities. As they age, kender children gain education by hearing stories, desiring to acquire new skills, and playing games. They also begin handling and wandering. As kender reach the adolescent and teen-aged years, they become more active participants in Kender Moots, social gatherings where the youth can show off their newly found skills in games and demonstrations. As they near adulthood, kender experience intense wanderlust and leave home.

"Most kender spend their entire adult lives wandering around the world. Most of the population of Krynn has been exposed to the adult variety of kender, and as such have adapted the word kender to mean thief, rogue, or cutpurse. Kender take great offense to these epithets, especially the last. The Annotated Chronicles cites the Dragonlance Adventures, which states, "Most Kender are encountered during wanderlust, a particular phase in a kender's life that occurs for most kender during their early 20s. Wanderlust may happen for many years ... and is responsible for spreading kender communities across the continent of Ansalon."

Monday, November 17, 2014

5th Edition Builds: New Feats (Advanced Healer, Martial Arts Training, Survivalist)

Artwork drawn from the Danish gaming site Mythtonia.
As always, please link over and check it out.

Advanced Healer
The Healer feat includes some basic skills that I feel should be included as a part of every healer's kit. As a house rule, any individual can use a healer's kit to stabilize a companion without medical training. If you have training in the Medicine skill, you gain the benefits listed under the current Healer feat (a stabilized character also regains 1hp; as an action you may expend one use of a healer's kit to heal 1d6+4hp, though I would remove the extra healing equal to HD). The Advanced Healer feat replaces the standard Healer feat.

If you do not wish to use this house rule, you may include the current Healer feat as a prerequisite to the Advanced Healer feat with no additional changes.

Behind the Screen: Talking 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

I'm not the only one out there converting his little heart out. Check out these great sites for more thoughts on fluff and crunch for the newest version of the world's first roleplaying game.

Doug Easterly may be the most impressive, well-read and experienced gaming scholar I know. Check out his work over at

Greg Johnston has graced my games since 1989--everything from D&D to Hero to WOD. Check out his stuff over at

I net-met Brandes Stoddard last year and have been following his fun and intriguing posts on Pathfinder, 5th Edition and the history of D&D, including a brilliant 3-parter on the evolution of the Ranger class from 1st ed to 5th. Check him out at Brandes' wife also blogs on both tabletop and video gaming as well over at the awesomely named:

Love gaming with your kids? You should. Check out this older post including links to two of my favorite kid-friendly gaming blogs: Gaming with your Kids

I'll add more as I come across them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

5th Edition Builds: The Eldritch Archer

Original artwork by the incredible Jason Engle

The eldritch knight archetype for the 5th edition fighter can technically be used to create a version of the arcane archer, though its powers are more suitable to melee weapons than ranged. With a few tweaks, the eldritch knight can become an impressive ranged combatant, while still allowing the knight's melee advantages.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On the Table with 5th edition D&D: The Return of the King

For the past few weeks I've been a player in a 5th edition D&D game run by friend, colleague and designer, Doug Easterly. The game takes place in his fictional city of Estarion. The game is centered around a rat cult rising in a city that has been run by invading "Romans", known as the Aquilans, for nearly 100 years.

I wanted to play around with the new 5th ed system, but couldn't decide what PC to play. It's a rare occasion that someone else runs games in my group, so I wanted to make this PC worth the time. Of course, my friends joked I should play Aquaman (because I'm one of the 5 people in the world who freakin' loves him), so I set out to make that happen.

No way I could pass up the chance to wear armor like this!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

5th edition Monstrous PCs: Minotaurs

Original Art here


As a race, minotaurs vary greatly from campaign to campaign. The creature presented in the Monster Manual is a carnivorous, demonic beast, where in classic campaigns like Dragonlance they are sophisticated sailors, and in video games like Warcraft they are a deeply spiritual and peace-loving culture. Even with their varied history, minotaurs possess key traits that carry over well from world to world.

Friday, October 24, 2014

5th edition Aquatic Builds (Paladin)

Original artwork found here

Aquatic Paladins

The fight against corruption and evil doesn't stop at the shoreline. Paladins who follow gods of the ocean, such as Poseidon, or who are born among marine races, often follow the Oath of the Waves. As with other marine classes, aquatic paladins focus on training with piercing weapons such as spears, tridents, and short swords, as well as crossbows. Their armor is rarely made of metals, unless they are enchanted. Instead, their armors are composed of unique species of leathery seaweed, scales, chitinous plates, and shields made of turtle shells. Those few aquatic paladins that rely on mounts choose large predators such as sharks and killer whales, or rarer beasts such as giant sea horses and hippocampi.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

5th edition Aquatic Builds (Fighter)

Original artwork from thegryph

A Special Note
This 5th edition fighter-based mariner is inspired by the ranger-based class introduced in one of my favorite Pathfinder supplements, Cerulean Seas, and credit goes where credit is due. Huge thanks to Emily Kubisz and the team at Alluria Publishing.

New Fighting Style

If you move at least 15 feet during your round, you gain either a +1 bonus to AC or a +1 bonus to attack rolls with melee weapons until the beginning of your next turn.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5th edition Monstrous PCs (Soulbound Revenant)

Original Artwork from Obsidian Portal

Soulbound revenants are beings trapped between two worlds. Unlike common revenants, soulbounds are not fully undead and rarely have a single wrong to be avenged. Born from souls either freshly separated from their living hosts or those preserved for centuries by powerful magic, a soulbound's spirit is intact and has been tied back to their original body, placed inside a soulless husk or, in some cases, manifested in a new physical form.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

5th edition Monstrous PCs Aarakocra

The aarakocra were one of my favorite monsters from the original Fiend Folio. They, along with the bizarre and oft-mocked flumph, were one of the only good races in the book and seemed ripe for heroic storytelling. Unfortunately, they weren't available to the average player as a race (at least until Dark Sun) and creating appropriately balanced new races in the early editions was challenging. It's a little thing, but opening the 5th ed Monster Manual and seeing the aarakocra as the first monster helps this edition find a place in my gamer heart.

Friday, October 10, 2014

5th edition Aquatic Builds (Druids and Rangers)

Original artwork from the brilliant Pathfinder supplement, Cerulean Seas

The druid and ranger classes have builds that are easily adapted to aquatic settings with few changes, so both classes will be presented here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

5th edition Aquatic Builds (Bards)

Original Artwork

Like other bardic colleges, sea singers do not attend an actual university, they gather to learn spells, lore and skills from one another, and of all the bardic colleges, the verbal tradition is most important to sea singers. Sea singers are most often found among merfolk and sea elves, though nomadic halflings, coastal and island dwelling humans and some wood elves are also drawn to the vocal nature of the college.

Unlike other bards, the sea singer relies almost entirely on their singing voice to cast their spells. All spells cast by a sea singer have a verbal component in addition to the listed components and they may use their singing voice as a spellcasting focus for their spells. Silence spells and effects that cause a sea singer to lose their voice interfere with their ability to influence others through magic.

5th Edition Aquatic Builds (Selkies)

Original Artwork
Like elves, the origins of the selkie race lay in the Feywild. A type of shapeshifter, a selkie's normal form is that of a unique seal species who can shed their skin to become a full-figured human touched by fey beauty. Graceful and kind, Selkies spend the majority of their lives in the cold waters of northern oceans, though some tribes migrate to and through more temperate climates.

Selkies are nomadic, maintaining pods of two to ten family members who travel with and live alongside pods of common seals. A selkie's seal form (size, shape, and coloration) is similar in many ways to the common seal and is indistinguishable to an untrained eye. A successful Nature check (DC 15) can determine that one or more selkie among a pod of common seals is of a different species. A selkie's humanoid form is indistinguishable from normal humans except under close scrutiny. A selkie's fingers and toes have webbing slightly longer than that of a normal human, though this webbing extends significantly when exposed to water. In addition, a selkie's eyes are often larger and darker than most humans, adding to their kind, almost child-like, expression. Selkie can mate with both common seals and humans as well as their own kind. When mating with a non-selkie there is a 50% chance the child will be born a selkie and a 50% chance it will be born a normal member of its non-selkie parent's race, though even these children have a sometimes inexplicable draw to the ocean.

Though most selkies are happy living their lives exploring the oceans and coastal regions with their families and marine friends, some are born with an insatiable curiosity about the far oceans, deep trenches or legendary ruins at the heart of the surface world. Selkie adventurers use their affinity for magic and natural charm to survive in the bizarre world of surface culture, becoming bards, druids, rangers, rogues and wild sorcerers. Myths of selkies making pacts with twisted beings of the deep seas are common morality tales among the sea-dwelling folk, though the occurrence of selkie warlocks is extremely rare.

Monday, October 6, 2014

5th Edition Aquatic Builds (Sea Elf)

Original Artwork
As a sea elf, your body is both lithe and strong. Adapted for underwater living through magic, your people guide the growth of coral reefs into complex fortresses of both air and water, and cultivate massive beds of giant kelp for both food and protection.

Sea elves have spent generations building relationships with a variety of marine mammals native to their territories, including orcas, dolphins and otters, as well as honoring trade and political ties to the varied cultures of merfolk. Though sea elves commonly find themselves in conflict with both the merrow and sahuagin (races known for their partnership with sharks), less aggressive species of reef and benthic sharks are also common in and around sea elf settlements.

The sea elves ability to live on both land and in water gives them certain advantages over other aquatic races. Sea elves not only trade with coastal human, halfling and elven villages for forged weapons, magic items and supplies, they are well known for their adaptation of these items for underwater use.

Sea elves skin and hair color varies depending on their home territories; darker grey and silver hair for tribes inhabiting the deep oceans, blue-green and copper for tropical and coastal tribes, pale white and balding in arctic areas.

5th Edition Aquatic Builds (Cleric)

The only domain available to clerics that most closely duplicates worship of sea gods is the Tempest domain. Gods of storms and seas are common across pantheons, though the Tempest domain leans far more toward gods like Thor than they do Poseidon.

Below you will find a variant of the Tempest domain that grants the cleric power over marine creatures as well as the ocean and weather.

Oceanic Domain

Oceanic Domain Spells

1st: fog cloud, speak with animals
3rd: alter self, gust of wind
5th: call lightning, water breathing
7th: control water, dominate beast
9th: conjure elemental, destructive wave

Sunday, October 5, 2014

5th Edition: Aquatic Builds (Barbarian)

In this series, we will be presenting archetypes applicable to 5th edition D&D games set in coastal or entirely aquatic settings.


Barbarians from coastal and island cultures often draw on the spirit of the ocean's greatest hunters to inspire them in battle. Barbarians who choose an aquatic hunter as their spirit animal take the aquatic hunter class feature in place of the spirit seeker feature. Aquatic totems include killer whales (orcas) and sharks. As with the standard barbarian build, an aquatic barbarian may select from different animal totems at 3rd, 6th and 14th levels.

Path of the Totem Warrior

Aquatic Hunter
Yours is a path that seeks a connection to the greatest hunters in the aquatic world. At 3rd level when you adopt this path, you gain the ability to cast water breathing on yourself at-will. You may also choose one of the following spells to cast as indicated: hunter's mark (once per day as a 1st level spell) or speak with animals (as a ritual).

Friday, October 3, 2014

5th Edition D&D Subraces: Human

In the early editions of D&D, humans were the foundation on which other races were compared. In other words, they were bland. Humans had no advantages or penalties (with the exception of being able to rise to any level in any class). Starting with 3rd edition, humans were instead described as the most flexible and adaptable of races, granting them a choice of ability scores increases, bonus feats, and training in a choice of skills. Humans went from the least played race to one of my favorites.

Humans in the 5th edition Player's Handbook continue what 3rd edition started, providing two options for your human characters.
  1. Gain +1 to all ability scores (as opposed to the standard +2 to one and +1 to a second of other races).
  2. Gain a +1 to two ability scores, proficiency in a skill of your choice, and a free feat at 1st level.
Using the second option gives you quite a few choices when creating characters from specific cultures. For example, if you want your human to have come from a race born on the open plains and commonly using mounts for transport and war, you could put your skill bonuses in Strength, Constitution and/or Wisdom, select proficiency in Animal Handling and take the Mounted Combatant feat. A human from a country bordering on demonic invasion, such as the Worldwound from Pathfinder's Golarion, may put their bonuses in Constitution, Intelligence and/or Wisdom, select proficiency in Arcana or Religion, and take the Mage Slayer, Magic Initiate or Ritual Caster feats. However, these options aren't limitless due to the small number of feats*.

Below you will find a variety of human subraces who hail from specific environments or countries with particular cultural or political leanings. These subraces are built using the half-elf as a guide, and the following abilities replace those of a standard human. Each subrace gains +2 to one ability score and +1 to two others. They also gain proficiency in one or two skills and one special ability, such as Darkvision 60 feet, Advantage on specific saving throws, etc.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank you, Emily Kubisz

The "Thank You" series was inspired by my post to the late Aaron Allston, as well as the passing of industry greats Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. There were many things I needed to say to these men and never got the chance. I don't intend to let that happen again.


"Learn a little bit about everything, and a lot about what you love."--my father, James F. Howard, Ph.D.

It's a truism that writers are interested in everything. Whether writers become writers because they are born with a need to collect as much knowledge as they can and they need to get it out, or writers learn to appreciate things because they're compelled to write, I don't know.

I was a junior in high school when I first read an article about a marine biologist named Ken Norris, a professor in the far-off land of UC Santa Cruz. I was still figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, but working with animals had always been top on the list. Something about that article made me realize that marine biology offered something that no other branch of biology did; the opportunity to study aliens.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thank You, Brian Phillips

The "Thank You" series was inspired by my post to the late Aaron Allston, as well as the passing of industry greats Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. There were many things I needed to say to these men and never got the chance. I don't intend to let that happen again.


Though every post in this series is about people whose writing and art have touched me deeply, this particular thank you is very special to me.

I was, and am, a comic geek. Superheroes are my Greek myths. I learned to read on Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes. Batman and the Dick Grayson Robin helped shape my morality. I was there when Charles, Logan, Piotr and Ororo showed up on the Pryde's doorstep to recruit their daughter, Kitty, into the "School for Gifted Youngsters". Clark, Bruce, Diana, Barry, Hal, Arthur, J'onn, Dick, Ollie, Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, the Legion, the X-Men, they were more than simple pre-teen soap operas, they were family.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gaming with your Kids

Gamemaster and Awesome Dad, James Walls and family

When both I and the roleplaying industry were young, the world, particularly the religious world, fought against the emerging industry for a variety of reasons, all of which were born out of ignorance. I was first introduced to gaming at 8-years-old and by 14 my reading and math skills were at the high school, and in some cases college, levels. Gaming encouraged us to do what every teacher wanted us to do--read more, read broadly, and solve math problems, and it did it by making them fun.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thank You, Dave Tampier; An Unfortunate Lateness 1954-2014

The "Thank You" series was inspired by my post to the late Aaron Allston, as well as the passing of industry greats Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. There were many things I needed to say to these men and never got the chance. I don't intend to let that happen again.

Unfortunately, it did.


AD&D artist, Dave Tampier died March 24th of this year. It's a sad turn of events that it's taken 4 days for many of us to find out. Dave Tampier's art is the definition of iconic and bookmarks a unique place in many of our childhoods. His artwork was the first many of us saw of the game that would change our lives; the cover of the 1st edition Player's Handbook has been parodied ad nauseum for it's place in pop culture history. Many of the most famous illustrations from the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide were drawn by Dave, not to mention the panoramic action scene that graced the first DM's screen—an image thousands of us starred at game night after game night.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thank You, Todd Lockwood

The "Thank You" series was inspired by my post to the late Aaron Allston, as well as the passing of industry greats Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. There were many things I needed to say to these men and never got the chance. I don't intend to let that happen again.


I love storytelling. Whether it's music, novels, film or poetry, I love following the emotional paths a good story will lead me down. I've spent years studying the art of storytelling. Unfortunately, the more you write, the harder it is to read. Knowing how the best stories are constructed means that when a writer, even a brilliant writer, makes a common or repetitive error, in gnaws at you. It becomes hard to enjoy the story behind the construct--the tale the writer meant to tell. I wouldn't change that for the world, but it makes enjoying the thing I love more challenging.

Luckily, there's one storytelling medium I'm still naive about, one that I can't break down or analyze, one I can enjoy for the often unknown affects it has on me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thank You, Steve Kenson

The "Thank You" series was inspired by my post to the late Aaron Allston, as well as the passing of industry greats Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. There were many things I needed to say to these men and never got the chance. I don't intend to let that happen again.


One of the best parts about being a gamer of the roleplaying variety is that games that are designed to help you create your own worlds--by definition--give you the tools to personalize those systems almost infinitely. As Rogue Genius Games' Owen Stephens posted recently, playing with these systems, testing them to see what they can and can't do is just as much fun for some of us as playing them.

In other words, Theoretical Gaming is just as satisfying as the practical kind.