Articles from October 2009



Impractical Applications (Dreaming)

Dreamscapes. Such lovely things, when you want to try something new. This week, I got to apply them to my own game.
It had been coming for a while, after all. The group’s old worst enemy had cropped up in the head of a friend of theirs, something a lot stronger than a memory. He was [...]

“All a Dream”: When Is It Safe To Use?

Some plot twists just can’t get themselves taken seriously; just mentioning that a story ends in one is enough to make a hefty portion of its audience look for something else. “All a dream” is one such, and quite possibly one of the most reviled of the offenders. But that doesn’t mean that the basic [...]

Dangerous Dreams

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that everyone has the potential to use dreams as exposition or foreshadowing. Unfortunately, not everyone does it well. There are a number of pitfalls that come from leaning on dreams to serve vital roles in a story.
The biggest mistake, of course, is not balancing the level of information with the [...]

Dream Exposition

Yesterday’s dreamscapes were pretty, but that’s only one narrative use for dreams, and one that practically requires lucid dreaming or a way to get into someone else’s head. Most worlds aren’t up to dealing with that, and even those that are sometimes want to do something else with their dreams. But just about everyone has [...]

Inner Universe: Characters and Dreamscapes

During yesterday’s riff on dreams, I mentioned the idea of a character’s dreamscape—a semi-constant world created by the typical dream-patterns of a single character. It’s one part alternate world, one part character exercise, and plenty of fun in its own right.
The first thing to consider is the dreamscape terrain; what’s a world if there’s nothing [...]

Looking Into Dreams

They’ve been used as setting exposition, foreshadowing, characterization, an excuse to play with the laws of physics, a way to cop out of a story that people couldn’t tell because of its ramifications to the setting and timeline, a visualization for mind-affecting magic, a place to ambush enemies, a way of delivering messages without worrying [...]

Ask GV: Identifying Credible Threats

Michael, on behalf of General Tor, asks:
Never thought it’d come to this, but I’m in a bit of a desperate situation so I thought I’d come to you for advice. Right now I’ve got a group of human intruders running loose in my base. I set my best assassin on them, and he never came [...]

Impractical Applications (On the Job)

I’d been going to carry on with my work on subtext, but then I realized just how many spoilers that was going to involve. But since I’ve got several PCs with nominal means of employment, I have plenty of experience running the job in the background, so let’s look at that.
For one of my PCs, [...]

The Most Important Word in Gaming

What is the most important word in gaming?
Yes.
Most of us already know that if the group or one of its members comes up with some improbable plan and asks if it’s possible, the proper answer (unless you have Very Good Metaphysical Reasons Why It Cannot Possibly Work) is yes. Granted, it’s yes with strings attached, [...]

So What’s It Like Working Here?

A little over a year ago, I talked about heroes/adventurers and their day jobs; not everyone can support themselves by adventuring, and not everyone wants to. The problem with these sorts of jobs is that many people just don’t find them interesting; they might take time away from a game group, seem “too much like [...]