Articles from June 2010



Get Up and Create

Maybe it’s that epic scene you just don’t want to finalize. Or there have been far too many distractions lately, and not enough motivation. The story will begin when the world’s ready—but what does ready mean? Inspiration, whatever that is, is refusing to come. What does all of this mean? There’s something you want to [...]

What Am I Doing Wrong? Maybe It’s Answering That Question.

When something doesn’t work out the way we’d hoped it would, or even the way it worked before that didn’t seem to be too bad, there’s one question we immediately ask ourselves: “What am I doing wrong?” It’s pretty much human nature, after all: we remember the bad things and try to fix them.
There are [...]

Switch’s Three Surprises About Change and IC/OOC Motivation

We’ve all had one of those games that isn’t quite what it used to be and wanted to do something about it. I know many people think that in situations like that, the best thing to do is just to scrap the game and start a new one, and it might be true, but let’s [...]

The Generic Villain on Earning Your Victories

One reality we all have to get used to is the importance of respect in this business. And no, I don’t just mean the respect of your minions, though not having that is usually a one-way ticket to perpetual failure. And I don’t mean the respect of random people on the street, though it does [...]

Impractical Applications (Morgan’s Conclusions)

I talked this week about the challenges of working with a character unaware of aspects of her setting’s metaphysics that are player common knowledge. As I implied in that article, I’ve been practicing lately. The character? The lone PC in a solo Call of Cthulhu game, who goes by Morgan.
As my characters go, Morgan is [...]

ANNNND…. Complication!

A standard story is a long-term situation that has a tendency to further complicate itself, and complicate itself, and complicate itself some more, until it runs out of new complications and gets resolved. I can deal with that. But what starts getting to me is those stories where instead of the overall plot being one [...]

Being Smart and Wrong at the Same Time

It’s easy to deal with a character who has to not-know something that you know when the character isn’t all that clever; there’s a lot more leeway to get away with dubious logic, missing obvious clues and other typical means of keeping the character from reaching the conclusion before the plot says so. On the [...]

When Setting Knowledge Is OOC

I’ve always been the kind of player whose greatest weapon is her and her character’s setting knowledge. No fewer than three languages if I can help it, maxed informational skills if at all possible—in short, trying to ensure that anything I know, the character knows too. But then I ran into an interesting sort of [...]

Inspiration and Music, Part 2: What Inspires Me

Getting a bit more in the spirit of RPG Blog Carnival rather than just the letter, here are a few artists and pieces that have given me that little burst of inspiration.
Matti Paalanen’s work, particularly the Celestial Aeon Project. I forget who it was who first introduced me to these, but a couple listens and [...]

Inspiration and Music

Still more for RPG Blog Carnival. What can I say? I’m inspired.
When the blog was still young, I wrote about using music to create soundtracks for an RPG campaign. It’s a popular technique, one that people ask or talk about a lot, but it’s not the only thing a GM can do with a computer [...]