Reality in Review: November 2008

It’s time again to dust off the posts and see what the latecomers missed; sit back, and let’s have another Reality in Review. This time, we’re hitting November of 2008—a month of holidays and antagonism, of names and of teachers, and that single month where this blog got (to) religion.

We all know how I am about combat, and November gave me another chance to try to work through it with “Keeping Fights Nifty”, an attempt to put the page-turner and the glued-to-the-session back in combat.

What’s in a name? As far as I’m concerned, three articles and a whole lot of Easter egg potential. Naming people and naming places are useful things for anyone to know about, yes, but have you ever wondered what can go wrong when you introduce a game group to someone with a moniker like Falflpaent’kirylisatzr, Dread Lord of the Seven Forbidden Temples?

“If friends are the family you can choose, mentors are the parents you have an option on.” That was how I began a week-long series on mentors, one of my favorite character types in their own right: from plot role to keeping the plot role from overwhelming the student, from teaching styles to cultivating mentor-student relationships to what can go wrong with taking an apprentice.

Ever had trouble keeping recurring villains from becoming recurring jokes? Despite not having reached the point of recursion yet, the Generic Villain was ready to take on that challenge and live to fight another day.

And then RPG Blog Carnival swept in, and I went a little overboard. The topic that month was religion, a nice magnet for characterization, worldbuilding, and metaphysics. What wasn’t to like? I focused on the question of whether gods and religion have to go hand in hand, attacking the rest of the month from that point, trying to keep the gods and their worshipers from occupying the same articles. The divine side didn’t give me much to work with—just creating gods and then linking gods and domains. The mundane side, dealing with people and religion, I found far more fascinating: there was looking at the laypeople in a service rather than just the celebrants; there was the one thing every religion needs; religions interacting with each other, diverging into new religions, splitting into sects; the connection between character and religion. Let’s just say that for that month, my primary editor found me to be a holy terror.

What does the biggest shopping day of the year in America have to do with the game table? A whole lot if you’re looking at motivation. I may not have shopped on Black Friday, but I met it head-on with a post about how to apply the principles behind Black Friday to getting a game group to do what you want them to.

Another month, another riff. Did I miss any of the good ones?

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