Articles from January 2012



Perfect Locations: Marring Perfection

(Do I even need to tell you what prompted this post?)
When last seen, the broken walls of the old buildings had shimmered in the starlight, haunted by the soft strings and fluting of the lone musician; now the musician is gone, and in the sunlight the walls are merely ruined stone. The carnival last night [...]

Perfect Locations: Who’s There?

My participation in RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations continues!
Light levels in a scene may be one of the most subtle ways of creating the mood for the perfect version of a location, but they’re not the most counterintuitive way; that honor goes to the people who create a location. After all, people aren’t part of [...]

Perfect Locations: Seeing the Light

This series was written for RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations.
When I used yesterday’s post to introduce the idea of the perfect version of a location, one of the mood-contributing factors I discussed was light. It’s easy to forget, as an element; we’re used to always having at least some around us, and to not being [...]

Perfect Locations

This one’s back to writing for RPG Blog Carnival. I love the way it makes me think about aspects of the theme I wouldn’t have looked into.
One of the things that a lot of people forget about making locations, fantastic or otherwise, is that the locations themselves are in a constant state of flux. The [...]

The Generic Villain on Giving Superpowers Through Experimentation

Let’s face it: the mad scientists among us are prone to some questionable behaviors—and I don’t mean morally questionable, that’s all of us, but questionable in the “seriously, what were you thinking?” sort of way. One of the most popular of these behaviors, from the biologists who make up the majority of the mad scientist [...]

Impractical Applications (A Being of No Words Whatsoever)

As the 2011 Christmas season came up, one of my friends offered to run us a holiday-themed short-shot, FATE-based, in which the PCs were vaguely Christmas-related characters (though amusingly enough, most of us only made it in on a technicality—along with my character, the party included a brownie and one of Odin’s ravens, now demoted [...]

Things You Might Want to Know When Being the Bait

Some problems can be solved just by kicking down the door and wreaking havoc, but not always. When the enemy is still faceless and their whereabouts unknown, or when going directly after them would only lead to more trouble, sometimes it’s best to be the trap, letting the enemy come to you. But being the [...]

Silent Characters

Sometimes you have characters of few words; you know the type, the ones who will nod or shake their heads or occasionally toss out a few word insults. And then there are the ones who don’t talk. At all. No, not even then. They’re mysterious, and they’re definitely a challenge to write or play; there’s [...]

The Joy of Playing Two People In One

One of the things people learn when gaming with me is that I have a thing for characters in disguise. Secret identities, alter egos, pretending to be something they’re not: particularly if I’m on a slow session, there’s nothing quite like watching the peculiar dynamics of a character’s interaction with the person she’s pretending to [...]

Constructing New Timelines

Sometimes, we find ourselves needing a new course of events. It might be for a counterfactual exercise, a chance to use new people in a pre-existing world (or to replay the same world with the same people but different characters), a way of answering somebody’s what-if, an alternate universe the characters have figured out how [...]