Articles from December 2011



Reprise: Impractical Applications (How To Make Ravyn Love a Fight Scene)

Originally posted on April 18, 2009. I’d been considering writing a fresh Imprac for this week, but some problems with our internet service provider pulled the decision right out of my hands. Posting might be spotty over the next few days while we get the issue worked out.
I’d been going to write about different [...]

Reprise: Do Gods Need Religion?

I originally wrote this for an early RPG Blog Carnival on the subject of gods and religion. It all came down to one question: were the two necessarily mutually dependent?
I’ve always been partial to chicken-and-egg questions, particularly within the context of invented worlds. And I always come back to this one: Do gods [...]

Reprise: For Side Characters to Live

Originally posted on October 8, 2008, because worlds that obviously revolve around their protagonists are dead boring.
The secondary character exists when you’re not looking at her.
That should be pretty self-explanatory, but it’s easy for people to forget that. In stories, you have characters that for some reason are always there, always available, always [...]

Reprise: Keeping Angst in Check

Originally posted on September 9, 2008. Have you ever gotten tired of a character, PC, NPC or just plain fictional, who invited himself to a pity party and never left? So have I.
No beloved peasant villages were harmed in the making of this post.
If you’ve been running games for a while, you’ve probably seen one [...]

Reprise: 0 and 1, or The Problem With RPG Combat

This post was originally published on August 11, 2008. I’ve found myself revisiting a lot of my topics, looking at different angles or finding alterations to make to my position, but my thoughts on this subject have stayed pretty constant.
I’ve managed to avoid most of the typical problems with my game groups. We don’t [...]

Reprise: The Generic Villain on the Effects of the Calendar

In some places, the calendar is more than that thing we mark to ensure that we aren’t sacking three different villages a hundred miles apart at on the same day. It itself gives us a situation in which the world itself either aids or opposes us, depending on what we want to [...]

Impractical Applications (Hero)

Pre-article note: Due to various complications including the holidays and grad school applications, all posts for the rest of the year will be reprints of earlier posts.
I spent most of this last week talking about heroes for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival. I’ve done a few characters who have come close: Aisling would get between [...]

Growth and Revelation

In the comments to yesterday’s riff on why I don’t tend to start with my characters pre-heroed, UZ pointed out that there are two things that can both mean character development. It’s a topic I couldn’t resist poking a bit.
I’m going to start by assigning names to them so that we can keep the silly [...]

Why I Don’t Build Heroes

Yet more for RPG Blog Carnival. I need to take prompts more often.
My characters do not begin their games as heroes.
They’re the kinds of people who might make decent protagonists, sure. Many, but not all of them, are technically good. In some way, they might even be exceptional.
But by many definitions—and most importantly, both by [...]

The Paradox of Heroic Sacrifice

The problem, I explain to my GM, is simple. I like the character. I do not want to see the character dying. My actions are likely to reflect this. The character, on the other hand, while she may not have the death-wish one of her teammates thinks she has, really should be fighting like she [...]