Articles from April 2009



Character Differentiation: What Are Your Archetypes?

Wrapping your head around a large number of different kinds of people is generally difficult. There’s always a mindset you don’t understand, a kind of person you’ve never met before, or a set of traits that logically seem to go together. As a result, a lot of people find [...]

Salvaging Canonical Characters

For many people, pre-existing settings are the way to go, gaming or writing. They save a lot of the work of world creation, freeing up the adapter to focus on plot or to create little details that would take too long to work out otherwise; they give the audience a [...]

Four Comic Relief Characters Who Aren’t So Funny

More for RPG Blog Carnival.
Some comic relief characters spring up to fight back from the grim darkness of the grim dark world where everything is so grim and dark that readers and gamers alike would flee if there weren’t some sort of humor to keep them stable. Others are [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Clear and Defined Goals

Census listers. My game group. I found myself comparing them a lot, particularly on days when I was looking forward to session at the end of the day. It was partly a fact about cohesion, and partly a fact about proactivity; my listing crew beats my game group [...]

Ask GV: Staying Self-Justified in Villainy

We’re still on Aywren’s question about staying antagonistic; a long one, yes, but vital to the cause. Without antagonism, we aren’t Hands of Darkness, now, are we?
As I pointed out last week, a good villain needs to have a self-justification that can stand up to long-term contact with people. [...]

Impractical Applications (Character in Absentia)

Earlier this week, I talked about player absences. Timing was perfect, as my game’s about to deal with one: one of my players is going on foreign exchange, and even for a play-by-IM like my game, the resulting time differences are near-impossible to work around. What else could I [...]

Characterizing Cultures With Clothing

Last week, I talked about how to develop a character through her clothing. But it isn’t just characters who can benefit from these sorts of techniques. Instead, you can try to characterize an entire culture through what it wears; not only does this allow you to hint at the [...]

But What Can I Do?

Usually, I talk about topics that can fit both role-playing and writing. Today’s a bit different, though; I’m going to talk about a topic that fits both role-playing and real life, and that’s the importance of the ability to effect change.
I’ve written about this before, in mentioning the importance [...]

Humor: An Overview

RPG Blog Carnival is on humor this month. It’s a large and varied subject, and has many uses—not only do people often try to display it within their narratives, but individual or cultural senses of humor can make variation between people and cultures seem more realistic and set them [...]

Player Absence and Internal Consistency

One of the hazards of roleplaying as a group activity springs from the fact that it requires a group, and requiring a group means requiring people’s schedules to line up. Needless to say, this doesn’t always work. People get dragged away for family events, overwhelmed by school or work, [...]