Reality in Review: August 2008

Another review post of the highlights of last year.

The Language of Dice combined celebrating the apparent unity of the gamer subculture (okay, plus or minus edition wars) with my own heavy-meta approach to everything. Why just discuss that something exists when you can ask why?

I’ve always loved nonhuman characters, and my Incorporating the Inhuman series was a chance to take a closer look at them, discussing the degrees of non-humanity and concept of otherness and finding qualities that set a character apart and ways to justify their existence.

On My Favored Medium, an ode to chat-gaming, may have been a result of a misunderstanding, but worked out well anyway. What else do you do when someone forgets that your favorite aspect of the gaming world exists but write about it?

And of course, there’s the infamous 0 and 1, a rant against the binary nature of most of the RPG fights I’d been in and the first of many attempts to use the blog to try to figure out just what my problem with RPG combat was. It was the first one I’d had featured on the RPG Bloggers’ Network as well, and the rush from that either helped or complicated things when life got messy. Still not sure which.

To all things there come an end. It was strong in my mind the week I wrote When Not To Press On; I don’t recall if there had been an active trigger, but what resulted was an exploration of how to figure out whether or not to extend a game/write a sequel.

How can a typo in a missive take an OOC turn into the evolution of a unique way of referring to royalty? Generating Local Color—The Quirky Tradition used that as the primary example for one of two ways of giving unique flavor to a society through its traditions and superstitions.

The Iron Chef Worldbuilder riffs, on the other hand, came from a friend asking me how to satisfy the people who expect their nonhumans to fit with archetype while still doing something new and different with them and an idea I’d gotten during the nonhuman characters riffs. They went from general to specific, culminating in a thought-exercise I still refer to as “The dwarven gamelan post”.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Destiny, but I had plenty of chance to both ream out the misuses and suggest alternatives (and discover that writing series in a one-a-day format can be just asking for misinterpretation) in my two-part series on the subject.

There are a lot of ways of dividing up GM style and player style, and most of the ones I’ve seen seem to be based on the kinds of stories and events the GM or the player seems to favor. I threw my oar in with a more universal, binary difference that can mess up even a group with otherwise perfectly matched styles: are the GM and players proactive or reactive, and what happens with each combination of types?

We’re catching up, slowly but surely. Keep reading!

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