Articles from July 2011



Thoughts on Descriptive Language

Descriptive language and I have a very, VERY complicated relationship. The kind that confuses soap opera characters and makes the ingenues of complicated relationship dramas roll their eyes.
On the one hand, I wildly mistrust people going poetic. Yes, when it works it works, but it has to work first or you get Silk and Steel [...]

The Double Life of In-World Slang

One of my favorite things about new worlds, particularly settings with a subculture-high, inner-city emphasis to them, was all the nifty slang I was going to run into. People would throw around all sorts of colorful similes and metaphors referencing things I’d never heard of, and I’d read through and grin and take note for [...]

The Generic Villain on the Standards of Evil

Why does even evil have standards?
The Management turned me loose on this one after a chat with Shinali brought the question up. There’s evil that evil considers too evil, but does good work the same way, and if not, why not?
Technically, it’s possible to be too good, but it works differently. Either it’s a flavor [...]

Impractical Applications: Admirers

Earlier this week, I talked about letting characters be admiring without being overly obnoxious about it—or at least, not OOC obnoxious to go with the IC obnoxious. Being obnoxious on one level is quite enough.
This was, oddly enough, one of the earliest concepts I experimented with, before my primary game even began. I was running [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: Seems More Real?

“And it makes the character seem a lot more real,” my friend’s IM ends. It bothers me, so I start interrogating myself again. (All right, first I deliver a quick comeback, then I start interrogating myself again. It doesn’t do to leave someone hanging while my introspective side is trying to pull a one-woman good-cop-bad-cop [...]

Nonvisual Magic Step By Step

One of my players recently asked me how I did nonvisual magic in my games. I covered the topic before, about a year ago, but since then I’ve had time to refine my technique a bit and think about the process, rather than just the descriptors, of my effect/sense descriptions.
I start with the outline, well [...]

Admiration Without (Too Much) Obnoxiousness

Have you ever had someone who thinks that what you do, or that something you just did, is the most awesome thing ever, even if it’s only for a day (or, heck, a moment) or two? The times I have, I’ve found the admiration to be one of the most gratifying emotions I’ve ever been [...]

A Real-World Interlude: Infringements and Absurdities

I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to be fuming or laughing, but neither is letting me write tonight’s intended post, so instead: here’s why. Consider this a cautionary tale, or a view of the true absurdity of the Internet. You can’t make this stuff up.
It began with an IM from Shinali, who had been looking [...]

The Generic Villain on Controlling a Witting Protagonist

Some of us do our own dirty work, or at least keep it within the organization. Some of us trick the heroes into doing it for us, particularly when it involves an obnoxious number of vital objects behind the sign that says “Only hearts this pure may ride”. But some of us get to have [...]

Impractical Applications (Kiriko’s Interactive Montage)

I ended up in a rather tricky situation not long ago in my solo game. See, my games cover an interesting variety of situations, but this time, what we’d gotten into by interest of the player was psychological healing—specifically, of one of the NPCs. The premise was simple; the NPC in question was on a [...]