Articles from November 2011



Impractical Applications (Changing and Communication)

One of the things that most interested me about the idea of certain types of communication as game-changing is its near-ubiquity in the games I play in with my primary group. If it doesn’t come naturally, we try to arrange it; I had one character who took on magical abilities she never even got to [...]

Learning from NaNo, Round 2: Written and Visual

One of the interesting things about trying to hybridize novel and graphic novel for my NaNo/the Generic Villain project has been determining what to render in words and what to render in pictures. I’d thought originally that most of my content would be writing, like on the blog; certainly, in the prologue, I ignored illustrations [...]

Ravyn Rants: Exceptionalism

There was a conversation I once had with one of my regular patrons, a civvie who worked the electronics store, whose daughter was one of our regulars. I’d run into him at the trolley station, on the way to one of my Sunday shifts, and he asked me what I was reading. “Clausewitz’s On War,” [...]

Changing Game-Changing Communication

Yesterday, I talked about the kinds of communication within a group that can be in their own right game-changing, things that if added to a world can make for a level of coordination between characters that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Along with talking about what to watch out for, and what sort of factors it introduces, [...]

Communication Game-Changers

“The major conceptual difference between medieval/historical games and modern/future games is not the weaponry. It’s the ability to split up and still stay in communication.” —Darths and Droids, 13 November 2011
That commentary got me thinking about the kinds of communication that can serve as a game-changer, both in game groups and in works of [...]

The Generic Villain on Employing Children

Last week, I talked about the two major rules of dealing with children. As I pointed out in that post, children themselves are a very complicated topic among Hands of Darkness like us. One thing most of us can agree on, though, is that we’d rather have them working for us then against us—their overall [...]

Impractical Applications (An Explosion of Characters)

Earlier this week, I talked about times when having more characters than you really need has its benefits. While I provided an example from my game, the best example I’ve seen so far is actually from the serial I’m using as my NaNo project this year.
In the Generic Villain project, I have the GV hopping [...]

Learning from NaNo, Round 2: Nonsequential

I wasn’t too successful when I attempted National Novel-Writing Month last year. I had a few ideas, but the story didn’t write; I hadn’t pushed it hard enough to get it to start writing itself the way some of my older projects had. This year, though, I didn’t have the excuses I had before. I [...]

Things You Might Want to Know When Mounting a Rescue Mission

When I presented Things You Might Want to Know When Planning a Heist, Michael pointed out that most of what goes into a successful heist plot can also go into a successful hostage rescue mission plan. It’s true, but on the other hand, not all that’s required for a rescue plan is really covered by [...]

Too Many Characters?

They tell you in writing that you want to make sure that every character you bother to name and detail has a specific purpose, and strongly recommend you do the same thing in your games. As a rule, it makes sense: you don’t want to overwhelm your audience too much with all sorts of names [...]