Articles from April 2011



Impractical Applications (Keeping Character)

With the exception of those times where I need hiatus, my game is a constant; once a week, every week. Most of the others I’ve gotten involved in, though, haven’t been, or in some cases have involved very, VERY long gaps. How was I to avoid losing track of all those characters?
In most cases, I [...]

A Fortnight of Reading 4-28

In my last two weeks, here’s what I’ve been reading.
It was my mother who turned me loose on Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible, an exploration of how the King James Edition of the Bible has influenced American writing and rhetoric ever since—or at least, a look at all sorts of [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: The Lost Ideas

Where have my ideas gone, I wonder? They were there when I was young, and could churn out a story, two hundred and change pages in my handwriting on college ruled paper with a .5 mechanical pencil, in about a school year. They were there when I was in college, and could sometimes run game [...]

Gaming Philosophy: Up to Chance

I’ve seen plenty of arguments about the matter of random chance in an RPG. Some people love it, for the risk involved; some don’t, for the way it takes the power to resolve out of their hands. Some don’t like the way the die rolls interfere with their suspension of disbelief, some just plain love [...]

Five Ways to Keep a Character Fresh

While some groups can meet every week without much by way of variation, others aren’t that lucky. Some are closer to once a month; some are brief periods of together interspersed with long droughts of “you’re across the country, he has school too, I have work, this game only seems to work live, now what?”; [...]

Characterization Exercise: What is Power to You?

Power: along with sex, money, and occasionally elephants, it’s a common motivation for characters. But while it may take five letters to write, it takes a lot more work to define precisely; even characters who agree that they want power won’t necessarily agree what power is, let alone what (if anything) they want it for. [...]

The Generic Villain Takes a Holiday

Remember how I talked about holidays, and how sometimes they really are downright inimical to our work? It’s like that. The air’s all joyified, the Management’s off singing, the minions are plotting candy heists, and I can’t get anything done. Forget this, I’m going clubbing.
But never let it be said that I let my loyal [...]

Impractical Applications (Suggestions)

Apropos of none of this week’s posts….
I hit burnout again this week. It’s hardly surprising; it was a busy week to begin with, the company’s got me on inspirational overdrive, I’ve been mostly inventing my own jobs in the library, and I wrote game into a situation where I couldn’t keep track of all the [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: A Musing on Heroism

Some freewriting I did not long ago on the subject of heroism.
If I were to choose a type of heroism for myself, it would not be the kind that pounds into the near-ruins of a town on a white charger, or gets into pistol duels on dusty streets while the citizens hide behind doors and [...]

Tales from the Sketchbook (Solace)

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, [...]