Articles from June 2011



The Problem with Pure Potential

I think we’ve all had this problem at some point, usually after a while of trying to keep our players on our nice pretty plot and discovering they’d really rather be finding things out. Heck with it, we think, next time let’s give them what they want. And that’s when the trouble starts.
We begin—and we [...]

The Generic Villain on How Not To Use Philosophy

Even before insanity stopped being a decent excuse to run around conquering or destroying worlds, we Hands of Darkness were often deep thinkers. And why wouldn’t we be? From a Laws of Dramatics perspective, intelligence was often more aligned with evil than mere strength, for the warrior was valued for more for his looks, strength [...]

Impractical Applications (Yep, I’m a Tease)

Earlier this week, I talked about teaser endings, particularly in RPGs. It was rather disconcerting realizing how often I used the things, given my annoyance with them in other circumstances: I can think of at least five off the top of my head, and a number of them were deliberate rather than just being a [...]

Impressions on Feed and Deadline

The problem with summarizing several books at a time, I’ve found over the last few book posts, is that it’s really hard for me to get across what resonated with me on each of them without either neglecting a few or going into a wall of text. And then there was this week’s batch, in [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: Tech Failure Time Warp

My primary computer’s broken; I finally gave up and took it in to the shop. That leaves me on the laptop that got me through college—through a whole lot of science courses, several writing contests… and my first three years of game. So I’ve been distractible. Not that I haven’t already reread these logs to [...]

I Don’t Think Like You, All Right?

When we’re dealing with characterization, most of us have a tendency to write what we know—we’re used to the things we prioritize, and often figure out our characters based on “accepts this premise—rejects that one—ignores that one entirely….” Sometimes, though, we see characters who operate on a principle that just doesn’t resonate with our audience, [...]

Six Ways to Respond to an End-of-Session Teaser

In yesterday’s riff on plot twist teasers in game sessions, I mentioned that they could actually be seen as doing a favor for a game group by giving them time to think. But that only really works well for the group if they know how to take advantage of it—so what can a player group [...]

Twisty Teaser Endings

“…but just as they’ve passed through the antechamber and into the entry hall, they hear a soft throat-clearing behind them….” and the session ends.
I got on this train of thought because of the commentary on yesterday’s Darths and Droids, which begins “It’s good to end a game session with a teaser for the next session.” [...]

The Generic Villain on Shen’s Conundrum

This one was a puzzler that managed to give the Management a headache, so I’ll forgive her for being on about that panda movie again. Still evil, still spoiler-prone, though really, if you figure the flick is going to be over that quickly without a twist, your only chance is to go lightside and depend [...]

Impractical Applications (A Patch for Kelki)

For once, it isn’t something I did.
In order to cover for me while I hiatus a little while, recover from the embarrassment of the fight that wasn’t, realign my mess of intersecting plots, and so on and so forth, I talked one of my players into running his first game—a fun little school-setting jobbie in [...]