Articles from October 2010



Tales from the Sketchbook: Crescent (Unfinished)

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, [...]

Seven Traits to Make the Monster

I spent yesterday’s post talking about things that make a monster or equivalent thereof lose my respect. Since it’s my rule to try not to post don’ts without corresponding dos, here are some things that get that respect in the first place.

Intelligence. Sure, this is an alien sort of creature, and I’m not sure I [...]

Seven Monster Traits I Can’t Take Seriously

The fun thing about fantasy worlds is that we aren’t limited to mundane opponents. The huge, the nasty, the impossible—they’re all fair game, and when they take the field, they’re bound to strike fear into all who see them. Fear… just like…. Why are you laughing?
The problem with creating new and intimidating creatures is that [...]

Beyond “Five More Minutes”

So the character’s just waking up, and is in that foggy haze between the dreaming and waking world—awake enough to be audible, asleep enough to not quite reach the point of lucidity. For her, it might be a good time to either pull the covers tighter and go back to sleep, or to get up [...]

Ask GV: Of Fist and Famine

Belial asks:
“I have heard recently that a group of people are 3 missed meals from revolting. Is that still applicable when one is running their country using more ‘villainous’ methods (fear, severe punishment, etc.), or is this a problem only ‘good guy’ leaders face? Short of providing your people with basic necessities across the board, [...]

Impractical Applications (Splicing in Connections)

Ever since my style settled, I’ve known I was a character-driven GM. Plot I do, setting I love doing, but it’s in the interactions of characters that I really start having a field day. When one of my recruits ended up with a rather tabula rasa-ish character who isn’t really much for making new connections, [...]

Tales from the Sketchbook: Ruri

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, [...]

Notes on World Viewing Character

Yesterday, I asked, “How does the character view the world?” The logical converse to that, of course, is “How does the world view this character?” But when that question last got put in front of me, I started getting nervous. “How does the world view this character?” seems to me to be a rather fraught [...]

How Do You Look at the World?

There are many ways to differentiate characters, but I think the biggest one is through general outlook; two characters can have identical stats, similar backstories, even be from the same family, but if they look at the world in two different ways, that should be enough to distinguish them.
The nice thing about the question (or [...]

Adding a History

“…tell me, do you think you might ever have met this person?”
In a game where character connections are important and the cast could fill a few pages of a phone book, it can be really difficult for a new character on entry. “Who do you know? How do you know them?” “How should I know?” [...]