Reality in Review: December 2008

As the year and the decade (scary thought, innit?) begin, it’s time to look back at another month of blog posts. This time, let’s look back at December 2008, a nice little month for this blog.

It started out with a bang, with a discussion of leadership. I’d spent a while thinking about forms of leadership, so I was able to discuss three styles by which a leader could lead: inspiration, communication, and delegation. And since I have some personal experience with the process, I got to follow up with some ways of learning to lead.

When you grow up with a linguist, you think a lot about things that can be done with language. That set me off on two riffs on how to get across that a character isn’t a fluent speaker of the prevailing language, both common, easy means of doing so and more complicated ways.

Have you ever found yourself wondering why a game or story isn’t coming across the way it’s supposed to? You might be contradicting the feel you’ve established. In “Knowing Your Feel”, I look at the importance of getting a theme across and sticking to it.

What can go wrong when you drop references into a story or game? Quite a bit. In “Traps of References”, I discuss the question of what sorts of problems dropping a reference can get you into—and then followed up with how to avoid them the next day.

Ever wanted to zing someone in conversation and not get caught? “How To Insult Someone In Civil Conversation” is, well, exactly what it sounds like, tailored for the creator of the smooth character with the poisoned tongue. Don’t miss the bonus reader example of how to strike back in the comments!

If you don’t know when the Twelve Days of Christmas begin and end, you’re not alone. “Lost Holidays” was my look at how what used to be the more important holiday of the Christmas season faded into obscurity on my side of the Pond, and how a worldbuilder can use similar processes to show the organic fading away of an existing celebration.

Ever wanted to safely arrange a PC’s betrayal of the rest of the group? Carrying on with the theme of betrayal I’d started the previous day, I ended the month with a professional party backstabber’s guide to finding the perfect traitor PC and making sure she gets the job done.

Have a happy new year!

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