Articles from April 2009

RPG Blogger Meme: Self as Superhero

Every now and then, an exercise works its way through the RPGBN. Last time, we created ourselves as monsters . This time, we’re trying superheroes. I like these exercises; they’re just as good for a writer as a gamer, rather amusing in their own right, and make [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Making a Task Unique

Even the most mundane of things can form the basis of an exciting story, and the United States Census is no exception. Now, granted, a once-in-ten-years, country-wide government project is unusual in its own right. But new employees on the way in know that on the whole, a lister’s [...]

Five Concepts to Kick-Start a Short Campaign

This one’s for RPG Blog Carnival April: Humor in gaming.
Not long after I began this blog, I wrote a post on ways to begin a campaign, pointing out many of the common beginnings that get overlooked as clichés because everyone remembers the tavern opening, and finished one paragraph with the [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Party Dynamics

What do you get when you cross a decennial government project, a wide variety of individuals from across the county, various bits of technology, and some oversize and dubiously written training materials, and stir them together for about two weeks? If I’m to judge anything by my training in the [...]

Bringing the Ordinary Into a Storyline

All around me I see people playing games of More Epic Than Thou. You get Big Grand Hero-Types who have to be at the top or at the bottom in everything they do, plots that involve high magic and improbable sword-fighting, villains that go after the whole world rather than [...]

The Generic Villain on Evil Mastermind Courtship Rituals

We all know you don’t want to fall in love with the protagonists. That’s a given. And being in love with your lieutenants is awkward, and the henchman are pretty much all doomed, so there’s no point in that. Sure, we can sleep our way through the countryside, [...]

Impractical Applications (Characterizing the Library)

I’m not talking about game this week; I haven’t managed any good sentient location scenes there. Yet. So instead, I’m going to talk about something I wrote about.
It was a simple story; I called it “For Alexandria to Weep”. While I originally intended it to be a love [...]

Character Development for Intelligent Locations

While being able to assign a personality to an intelligent landform or building is a wonderful thing, we can’t neglect character development. Just because they’re inanimate by our standards doesn’t mean they can’t grow and change in their own right!

Photo courtesy of pale from stock.xchng
Some of the character development [...]

Giving Personality to Sentient Locations

Yesterday I talked about the factors that might affect a living building or sentient tract of land. Today, I’m going to get into what shapes the personalities of these amazing not-quite-creatures.

Photo courtesy of msjr from stock.xchng
The first step in determining a sentient location’s personality is its inherent nature. [...]

Living Locations: Where Setting is Literally Character

Yesterday, I brought up the concept of settings as characters in the way that most writers see it. We speculative fiction writers and game masters can take it one step further, though; we can actually make our setting, or part of our setting, intelligent in its own right, and give [...]