Articles from October 2011



Haunted Houses and RPG Plots

The other day, I visited a haunted house—and it got me thinking about the overall structures that haunted houses tend to fit into. There’s a lot about it that’s pretty similar to a constrained RPG plot, after all.
The exit is not the entrance. Most haunted houses have a definite entry point, and a definite exit [...]

The Generic Villain on Employing Zombies

You know, I hear a lot of debate on whether to include the undead in one’s ranks. And since zombies are a Thing these days, and since they’re so cheap, they’re a very popular focus in these sorts of discussions. So heck, why not? Let it never be said that the Generic Villain lacks opinions!
The [...]

Impractical Applications (Swag!)

In honor of the RPG Blog Carnival on making loot part of the plot, and the posts I’ve already done on the types of plots loot can be at the center of and what it takes to get me to like loot, I thought I’d look back on some of the nifty swag I’ve either [...]

A Conversation with Reality Hunger 2: Trial by Google

“Because journalism cannot own up to its heavily derivative nature, it must enforce originality on the level of the sentence. Trial by Google.”
–Malcolm Gladwell, Annals of Culture, as quoted by David Shields, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto.
When I was younger, I remember coming upon a disclaimer accompanying some translations of I forget what, rather similar to [...]

Impress Me With Your Shinies

Yesterday, in response to the RPG Blog Carnival on making loot part of the plot, I talked about the kinds of plots that a piece of loot could be used to create, whether it’s in the hand, or still out there in the bush somewhere. But the thing about item-based plots, particularly if the plot [...]

What Loot Can Do With Your Plot

It’s been a while since I did an RPG Blog Carnival, and I’m almost surprised I made it to this month’s. It’s over at Campaign Mastery now, and the theme is “Making the loot part of the plot”. I’ll admit, loot was never really a driver for me; I spent most of the last few [...]

Musings: The CDC and Its Zombies

Thursday morning at the office I’ve been assigned to until my library reopens. It’s still early, nobody looking for SAC or the Relief Society or even the Education Office, so I’m trawling through Reality Hunger looking for quotes to engage in one-sided conversation with. One of my new officemates, reading the previous day’s paper as [...]

The Generic Villain on Shining Star Minions

I’ve already talked about the minimum standards to which minions should be held—but that’s not the only problem one can have with minion training. But what about those minions who are too good? They’re shining stars of your organization, an inspiration to your redshirt brigades. You’re getting spectacular results from them on a redshirt salary. [...]

Impractical Applications (News Travels)

This week, I talked about news and how it travels. It’s been interesting in my gaming career, watching how these sorts of processes work.
My primary game, for instance, has a peculiar sort of duality. The group is, after all, functionally based in the Celestial City, from which they can visit just about anywhere, and from [...]

News and Plot

All this week, I’ve talked about ways that news might spread in a fictional setting. I’m sure it’s interesting theoretical detail, but there’s one question the posts haven’t yet answered: what can it actually do for a story or game?
Let’s fix that, shall we?
The obvious use of understanding how news travels is knowing—and more importantly [...]