Articles from September 2012



Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Images Over Time

This week, I’m extending last week’s ‘natural habitat’ exercise, doing instead single characteristic images. The original idea was to write for multiple characters, as per last week’s exercise, but when I was first looking for prompts, the first one I was handed was Kiara, from my game. Given she’s done a lot of arcing—and is [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: Seriously, Why Don’t I….?

Today, I actually thought about something that’s been at the back of my mind for a long time. I want a game in which I’m playing one of those really in-depth characters, the ones for whom I both can and will (and in fact feel obligated to) come up with a strong backstory for, and [...]

Why Can’t THEY Do It?

In most settings—story, RPG, whatever—there tends to be at least one powerful, probably ultra-competent character. This isn’t a problem. No, really, I mean that, their existence alone is not a problem. The problem is when you’ve got some sort of Big Problem and for some completely unspecified reason, the powerful/ultra-competent/whatever character is leaving it to [...]

The Generic Villain on Cults: Objects of Worship

So you’ve decided you’re going to use cultists as your minions of choice. Nifty—but you’ve got a lot of work to do. One of the most important elements is figuring out what your cult is going to worship.
Many of us go the claiming divinity route. I’m going to come back to that (yes, this cult [...]

Impractical Applications (Battle Plans)

In my discussion earlier this week of ways of helping inexperienced RPG combatants, I talked about helping them come up with a battle plan, something that is relatively easy to create a strategy for and goes well with their mechanics. Looking back over it, I’ve found that a lot of the times in which I’ve [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Characters In Habitat

For this week’s Wednesday Night Writing Exercise, I looked at one of my older pieces, about figuring out what characters’ natural environments are. This time I’ve got a nice range, mostly requests, of characters and the rather idiosyncratic (and almost never purely physical) environments they best fit into. As always, feel free to comment on [...]

Time Passes

One of the hardest things to keep track of, whether it’s in a story or an RPG, is time—where it’s going and how much of it has gone by. Having clocks to check and days to count can be hard enough (says a person who mainly remembers what day of the week and month it [...]

Four Tips for Helping the Inexperienced Combatant

I talk a lot about people who aren’t comfortable with combat situations—since I am one, and since I’m currently in the process of running another one (and let me tell you: there’s nothing quite like having a hyperpowered character and next to no practice, while being surrounded by other players who Don’t Get how you [...]

Impractical Applications (Rast the Ant Queen)

Earlier in the week, I mentioned my adventures with Hoard.
It was a good game. Two players, two player characters, playing up childlike elements of the dragons and their general air of superiority towards all other non-draconic living creatures. My dragon, Dalri, was a Dissonant Spark Lind, which basically meant that she was of a breed [...]