Articles from April 2010



Trivial Character Details: Why They’re So Difficult, and What To Do With Them

Most people who create characters know what it’s like trying to get the character down for the first time, especially when it’s one of their earlier projects. There’s that bit where just about everything seems like it should be chosen carefully so as to make sense later, making the choices themselves a bit of a [...]

Six Reasons to Fall into a Character’s Voice

So you’ve got a lot of characters to choose from, are good at falling into voice for just about any of them—and next thing you know, you find yourself doing so. I’m not talking about at the game table, though hopefully it’s happening then as well, nor when you’re practicing being in voice. No, I’m [...]

Salvaging the Power of Friendship/Love

Yesterday, I went into a big long rant about the Power of Love and/or Friendship and what under what circumstances it annoyed me. But it’s just not right to do a post about how something can go wrong without a follow-up on how it can be done right, so here are some ways to make [...]

The Problem With Love and/or Friendship

It slices! It dices! It redeems the black-hearted, restores hope, purifies the corrupted, and can even raise the dead! And it doesn’t cost you anything but your originality! It’s the Power of Friendship (or Love, for those people who buy the Obligatory Romance package, and you can get it anywhere.
Now, I don’t have a problem [...]

Introduce Immediacy Immediately!

Sometimes, there’s something you just can’t get yourself to do for the sake of a story or game. It might be research, might be fleshing out a character, might be looking through that dratted rulebook that’s been on your desk for months, but whatever it is, it’s been really hard to get to it. So [...]

The Generic Villain on Sheep in Hellhounds’ Clothing

I’m told that there are those among our ranks who are there as noble martyrs to the cause, who go into battle with the heroes knowing they’re going to die, but what matters is the outcome, that their deaths (which are permanent, and not hedged around, and in general tragic as all get out) are [...]

Impractical Applications (What Kiriko Knew)

One of my favorite things about the solo game I’m running is the character dynamics. (All right, granted, in the stage it’s currently at the game is almost solely about its character dynamics, but they’re still my favorite part.) In particular, it’s the discovery that our feline heroine, the cat god-familiar Kiriko, trusts a grand [...]

Information and Character Relationships

There are many things that can affect the relationship between two characters. Events both were involved in and how their roles related, similarities in personality, common interests or a lack thereof, and all sorts of factors, far too many to name here. But one of the most interesting ways that I’ve seen of cementing a [...]

The Migration Begins

Listen! Do you hear that sound, in the distance? Fingers click against a keyboard like the patter of little footsteps to accentuate the slow, rhythmic thump of the posts hitting the Web one by one, the RSS feed bleats in surprise, and somewhere, something is gnawing on its own liver. Off in the distance, posts [...]

Words Fail Me (and Isn’t That Awesome?)

Yesterday, I talked about situations in which one person just wouldn’t understand what another was explaining because they just didn’t have the mindset for it. But as UZ pointed out in a comment to that post, sometimes, it’s not the mindset that gets in the way: instead, it’s the vocabulary. Here, language barrier plays a [...]