Articles from January 2009



Impractical Applications (Someone Else’s Character)

Some of you might know that I used to have an assistant, back when I first began running my game. He was one of the reasons why I could get away with the absurdly large cast of characters my game featured; we split the cast, allowing for a bit more randomness, considerably less trouble with [...]

On Announcements and Opportunities

We’ve been together a while, and I’ve got a few things to say.
First, after the last month, having the Generic Villain air regularly on Saturdays is growing on me. But there’s only so much evil one person can contain, and while I have a greater capacity for it than many people would expect, even I [...]

Conversing With Only Sound

The opposite to the silent conversation is the sound-only conversation. These are usually a result of darkness, barriers, viewpoint character blindness, or other obstructions that allow whatever’s going on to be heard and not seen, but in a more modern setting the telephone call necessitates a sound-only conversation. They’re usually more concise than silent conversations, [...]

A Sample Wordless Conversation

Yesterday, I wrote about silent conversations, but there really wasn’t much of a chance to show what I meant. Today, I’m not going to tell you more; I’m going to show you, with a wordless conversation I created as a writing exercise for my game about half a year ago.
The dark-haired girl stands in the [...]

A Conversation Without Words

People can’t always overhear the things they need to, or necessarily understand what’s being said even if they do hear it. They might be too far away, or the noise is drowned out by something else, like crowd-noise or waves. Perhaps they’re watching a recording in which the sound is failing or the static’s overwhelming. [...]

Two Things To Do Before Planning an In-Game Character Arc

For a lot of gamers, one of the most interesting things to do is watch the character grow and change. A well-invested character will likely do this automatically, as a response to things that go on around her.
But sometimes, a concept comes complete with a character arc. Losing innocence, discovering trust, coming to terms with [...]

The Generic Villain on Evil Monologues

Here to talk you through the evil monologue, our very own Generic Villain!
Evil monologues. Don’t we all love them? It’s a chance to show off our superiority, our gift with words, and our cunning plans. Besides, who doesn’t like to chew up the scenery a little?
But they’ve gone wrong so often that every guide to [...]

Impractical Applications (Kiara’s Workroom)

Earlier this week I talked about learning about people from their personal spaces. I considered doing this one’s living quarters, but I think one can learn a lot more from her workspace—enjoy!
She works in a small room, near the edge of her building, dimly lit through soft white lamps set into the ceiling. It smells [...]

Nine Ways to Hide the Truth and Get Away With It

One of the common staples of magic systems is the ability to detect lies. It’s so simple, so logical, so useful—but many people shy away from it. Why? Because it makes it hard to bring in mysteries, or conspiracies, or much of anything that requires people to hide the truth.
It doesn’t have to, though. Everything [...]

What Won’t You Do?

Yesterday, we discussed characters’ absolute limitations—what they couldn’t do. But just because a character can do something doesn’t mean that she will. For every person, there is almost certainly something that person won’t do.
Why not?
A lot of the time, it’s cultural context. Often, people will grow up with certain behaviors and restrictions in their households. [...]