Articles from September 2010



Time Management, Motivation, and Plot

You hear a lot about the importance of time management in the real world; you might even use it to make sure that your prep doesn’t take too long, or that your other tasks don’t interfere too much with your creation time. But did you know that time management and motivation can actually help you [...]

The Generic Villain: Why’d They Give Up?

Last week, I started talking about ways to figure out whether an opponent’s surrender really is the victory we want or whether we’re about to be dealing with the Trojan Enemy, focusing on whether it makes sense for them to have surrendered at this point and under these circumstances. This week, let’s look at the [...]

Impractical Applications (A Continuation Report)

It’s been a chaotic week, so I couldn’t really line up my post topics with my session. So instead, a general review.
It’s the third session since I started up my game after a summer-long hiatus, adding two new players to the roster. The first two were mostly spent talking (in part because of the absence [...]

Characterization Exercise: What Do You Remember?

We’ve all run into selective memories a time or two. After all, most people can’t remember everything. What it boils down to is that not only will nobody remember everything, but most of them will have certain categories of information or events that they remember more easily than they do other categories of information/events. Figuring [...]

In the Un-Real World: About Those Old Stories….

The world isn’t what you expected it to be. Things, generally supernatural, are pretending to be completely normal and hiding everywhere from the sewers to your neighbor’s preschool. And you’ve just figured this out and are trying to figure out how to make sense of it. Grasping at straws in the process is a perfectly [...]

A Bundle of Schticks

A lot of people who come into games get used to the idea of characters differentiating themselves and preventing from being rendered redundant by specializing in different things—like having one as the combat monkey, and one as primary social, and one as the person who makes things in a nifty manner, so on and so [...]

Tales from the Sketchbook: Carmilla

A picture paints a thousand words; a picture with context can say a lot about a game; but explanations of the random sketches of an artist-gamer can say the most of all. In this series, I look at the just-had-to-draw-them images distilled from my games: what they are, what they mean, why they demanded drawing, [...]

Criticism: The Intent and the Details

There’s a certain expectation, even among people who like criticism, that the creator and the critic will end up in conflict, or at the very least misunderstanding each other. Someone steps away from an artform after receiving what should have been a compliment, goes all icy after a critique that she did ask for, and [...]

The Generic Villain: Were They Supposed To Say “Uncle”?

“I surrender.” Sometimes it seems like it’s the only logical thing for the foe to say. Sometimes it’s what you’ve been wanting to hear ever since Narrative Causality chucked this upstart into your path (or you decided this one would be perfect head minion material; it’s the fight that counts). Sometimes it’s the two little [...]

Impractical Applications (An NPC’s “Victory”)

I talked earlier this week about the uses in-game of just, well, surrendering, particularly in light of my own experiences. Now, I’ll grant, it was easier in my circumstances; chat-games meant splitting the group didn’t mess up the game too much, the GM didn’t mind the havoc it tended to reach with its plans, and [...]