Articles from August 2012

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Kes’s Workspace

For tonight’s (first ever!) Wednesday Night Writing Exercise, I went way back to one of my early 2009 posts, “What’s In Your Workspace”–looking at a character’s role and approach to life by seeing how she decorates the space in which she works. I only have one this week; I was planning on writing a few [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: Anatomy of a (Regular) Blog Post

I have a file on my computer—several files, actually, they get too long to stay as just one—in which I keep my blog posts. Mostly, they’re the ones I’ve finished and turned lose on the world, with a nod and a “looks good” from my sort-of-editor. But a lot of them are ones I might [...]

Review: Hoard

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my group, it’s that “Baby dragons” is the fastest way to get us to do much of anything. Which explains how, with next to no warning, we agreed to jump right in and play in a game of Hoard run by our resident collector of shiny new RPG [...]

The Generic Villain Gets a Cult

I realized not long ago that most of my helpful little riffs assume that your minions are some sort of organization or army. It’s nice, I suppose, but I know we don’t all work that way; just because the Management is hip-deep in military and deeper in bureaucracy doesn’t mean she gets to jump to [...]

Impractical Applications (Where Does the World Go?)

One of the things that set me off on the topic of neglected world-building was that it might be one of the contributing factors in my interest in my primary game waning somewhat. (All right, that and the fact that we’re on a storyline designed for a player who quit before it got going; my [...]

Wednesdays—Er, Thursdays and Writing

The temperature is high, the schools are beginning to open wide their gates, and I have a scheduling announcement.
This week, I began grad school in earnest, working on my Master’s in Library and Information Science. It looks like it’s going to be fun, except for one little problem: Wednesday nights. Suffice it to say that [...]

An Imbalance in World-Building

There’s a story, usually a series, or a long-running webcomic, or something else that’s long and spread out over time. It has a world—maybe not the best-detailed, but quirky. Interesting. Worth exploring. It takes our expectations and toys with them, it shows us that it’s actually affected by its metaphysics: in short, the world itself [...]

Are You Sure It Wouldn’t Work?

When I’m dealing with a vague story idea that needs a context, I tend to attack it from one of two directions. In one case, I look for contexts I’m likely to be using in which it would definitely work: “This brand of Mystical Library would probably work in my game, or might be worth [...]

Impractical Applications (The Transplanted Idea)

My gaming these days looks rather like a Venn diagram. You have the People Currently In the Friday Game, and the People Formerly In the Friday Game, one of whom is also a Person in the Wulin Game; you have the People in the D&D Game, one of whom is in none of the other [...]


There’s a lot out there on utilizing ideas from other media in game sessions. Borrow plot and stick it in a new genre, adapt a character’s overall profile to the world you’re running in, so on and so forth.
And then there’s the tendency of a game group to do the same thing. After all, a [...]