Articles from December 2009



Cause and Effects

We’re all used to the concept of cause and effect. Someone does A, B follows, maybe C follows from that. It’s nice and simple, like a basic food chain. The grasshoppers eat the grass, the sparrows eat the grasshoppers, the hawks eat the sparrows; Hoyt’s friends walk into what looks like certain death, Hoyt does [...]

The Generic Villain on Secrets

Much though we hate to admit it, there’s not a single one of us who can get away with all of our information being open. Sometimes, it’s a secret weakness or hole in the plan we need to keep quiet. Sometimes we have plans for something that the minions just aren’t going to like if [...]

Impractical Applications (Hobbies)

Yesterday, I talked about the uses of hobbies for characters. I’m not perfect at it, but most of my characters have at least a couple of hobbies, and they get plenty of chances to serve double duty as useful points.
One of the people I’ve most characterized through hobbies is my little deathdealer Ruby. It started, [...]

Characterization Exercise: Free Time

It’s not just what people do for most of their time that defines them; it’s also all the little things they do in whatever free time they might have. But a lot of characters—particularly the main characters of books and most RPG characters—don’t seem to have hobbies, unless those hobbies are things that in and [...]

Characters Being Coy

I always talk about characters as if they write themselves, since in my opinion, the good ones do. I certainly know that the ones that do, particularly the ones who don’t always tell you everything immediately, are usually the best kind to work with. But then you have the ones who could write themselves—who should [...]

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 [...]

Personal Opinion: Why Death?

Everywhere I go watching people talk about gaming, I see them trumpeting the fun with the risk of death like it’s something that everybody either has or needs to have, and I try to understand. It’s not that I don’t like risk in general; I’m as fond of triumphing over adversity as anyone else. It’s [...]

Writing Exercise: The New Game Aid?

Every now and then I put up a writing exercise of some sort to play with, usually something based around characterization. What’s in their workspace? How would they change if you change this one little detail? What are they hiding? All sorts of little paths by which we can work our way into the minds [...]

The Generic Villain on Evil Twins

We all know how it is. Same mother, same father, same age, but morals so different you might as well be handling two different species rather than two individuals. One dark, one light, and you’re the dark one. Congratulations, you’re an evil twin. I hope you’re ready for the messes about to come your way.
In [...]

Impractical Applications (Emotions and Endgames)

I talk a pretty good game when it comes to how emotions can push a scene and make it into something new and different, but I didn’t do much of a job of showing it. Yet.
Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of occasion to watch that in my game. The best example was the extremely complicated (not [...]