Articles from March 2009



Impractical Applications (The Spacebat Riff)

The world didn’t like my game today. Group vs. Enemy of Existence, group spent the first hour of session discussing whether they were actually going to fight it. I know I encourage combat avoidance, but you’d think just once….
End result, I didn’t have a plan. Then the IC chatroom died, and we couldn’t start a [...]

This Is Common Courtesy, Right?

One thing I’ve noticed about some of the gamers I’ve been with—or some of the more high-stakes group projects, particularly academic, but gamers seem particularly prone to it—is a certain unconscious disregard for everyone else’s convenience, probably because “it’s just a game” or “they’ve got it under control”. You get the ones who will schedule [...]

Knowing the Author Further: 7 Things Meme

Last Sunday I got tagged by chameleonsdream, a fellow Today network writer and longtime gamer. The instructions are simple: name 7 things that people don’t know about me. I’m not ordinarily a meme-passer, but it’s been long enough since the last one that I figured I may as well go for it. So here goes!

I’m [...]

Why We Love Other People’s Ideas

I’ve noticed something interesting about my thought process: the closer I am to a game or story, the harder a time I have thinking of things for it. I’ve been stalled on my own game for two weeks, haven’t really written anything that wasn’t either game-related or a blog post in more than a month; [...]

Ten War Options for the Non-Warlike Character, Part 2

Yesterday, we discussed ways a character who didn’t belong on the battlefield could still make a difference in a war situation, yet another RPG Blog Carnival post. Those were all ways of helping out with a standard army.
But there is rarely a war without an enemy, and at some point the enemy is going to [...]

Ten War Options for a Non-Warlike Character, Part 1

For RPG Blog Carnival, again.
Unfortunately for the combat-disliking player, one of the advantages often found in war is that invading armies or civil strife can serve as an easy intense plot twist. Which often means you’ll get into a story without any idea it’s coming, and as a result build for whatever the game was [...]

Ask GV: Stalling for the Low-Resource Antagonist

Long ago, I invited people to step up with questions for the Generic Villain. Took long enough, but we’ve finally got a request.
Reader Brickwall, on behalf of Vamaldes, dragon god ascendant, asks:
Hello, Generic Villain. I’ve been doing some research, and I need some tips on keeping protagonists on side adventures while I advance my own [...]

Impractical Applications (War and Rebuttals)

Today, I thought I wasn’t going to have anything to write about; it’s the third week of what’s rapidly looking like a month-long conflict. (Hence the rather late post.)
But I found a comment that demands response. So instead of talking about my own game, I’m going to talk about other people’s games. Specifically, the ones [...]

The Six Year Old Child Principle of War and International Relations

Yet more for the RPG Blog Carnival on War. Yesterday, we discussed who might be backing a war, but not why they were backing it. Today I’m going to fix that.
To understand most of the causes of war, you must understand one fact: Countries, kingdoms and the various other entities of governance will, as a [...]

The Supporters of War

For RPG Blog Carnival on War, but also for my writer audience.
Yesterday, I talked about the inevitability of wars in role-playing games. I focused on the out of character reasons, since no amount of in-character problem-solving is going to do a jot of good if the game master is on a war kick, and since [...]