Articles from June 2011



Leveraging a Stereotype

One more on the women in gaming front.
For reference: I dislike stereotypes. A lot. Insert comparisons to thousands of burning suns, the ire of a conclave of dragons, nuclear missiles, so on and so forth. (This comes, I think, mainly from all the people who’ve tried to make me fit them.) But I recognize that [...]

Followup: Recruiting in Gaming

Yesterday, as inspired by Lugh’s post, I talked about what I consider some of the major barriers to a greater number of women in tabletop roleplaying might be. But what can we do right in recruiting new people of either gender? Having managed to bring a pretty decent number of gamers into the fold, I’ve [...]

On the (Comparatively) Lower Frequency of Women Gamers

Women in gaming is a fraught subject, to the point that when Lugh began a post on the subject, he led off with the expectation that it would be controversial. And yes, it is—particularly when men start writing for other men’s benefit about why there aren’t more women gamers, with the occasional bit of input [...]

What Is This Story About?

What is this story, or this game, about?
It seems like such a simple question. (Then again, so does “Who are you?”) But I ask it, and people start hanging up—not so simple an answer.
Often people will answer first with the characters around whom the plot focuses. It’s about three women who hijack a war with [...]

The Generic Villain on the Proper Use of Philosophy

So you’re a Hand of Darkness who runs to the intellectual side of things. You have style. Depth. The soul of a poet, inherent rather than somewhere in your collection of odd mad scientist trinkets. You might even say you’re a philosophical sort—and being intelligent, you know how not to make the mistakes that turn [...]

Impractical Applications (Potential Then and Now)

One of the things I’ve noticed about the game my boyfriend is running for us while I recover my inspiration is that it’s running afoul of one of the same issues that I had to deal with long ago. As the second year of my game began, I made it out of the original arc [...]

Players on the Boundary

When we think about the line between GM and PC blurring, usually what we think of is the infamous GMPC, apparent center of the universe. And certainly, that is a prime example of too little difference between one and the other.
But the blend isn’t always negative; neither is it always necessarily the GM’s role shading [...]

Style Exercise: The Retelling

One of the must underappreciated elements of any sort of writing—and yes, this can include background writing for character backstories, game journals and props—is voice and style. It’s not just what the work is, it’s how you tell it. This is also, though, one of the most difficult I’ve run into; voice is one of [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: So What’s My Waterfall?

One of the things I remember about being a kid was being utterly fascinated by movies in which the process of training was a major plot element—particularly odd given that many of those are sports movies and, aside from a four-year fling with soccer, I was never much of a sports person. (Whether this had [...]

The Alternative to Pure Potential

Yesterday, I talked about the primary danger of building the world literally as the players interact with it: that the players, having no idea where to start, will just sit in the only defined space and let the world come to them, creating a reactive/reactive style feedback loop potentially leading to complete shutdown. Not much [...]