Articles from January 2013



Ravyn Freewrites: Aggregators and Expectations

(Writer’s note: looking over this, I could see it as coming across as either a whinge-fest or a diatribe. I know there have been other times when something that I intended as an exploration of my own mental processes that happened to begin with a thing I didn’t like was taken as a rant about [...]

Not Just What They Look Like

Remember when we were kids, and they’d introduce us to professions with the little Platonic Member of Said Profession? The doctors in their mint-green scrubs and their hats (often red-crossed), with stethoscopes about their necks and bandages in their hands, the police officers in uniform with badges and whistles?
We remember that. So most of us, [...]

The Generic Villain vs. The Evil Overlord List: Items 6-10

The Generic Villain continues a point-by-point facedown and update of that reference material of all baddies with imperial ambitions, The Evil Overlord List.
6. Don’t gloat over the enemy’s predicament before killing them. I keep this one, with the caveat “Unless it suits your plans just as well if they live, and you know you [...]

Impractical Applications (What Was Tuyet Doing There?)

I talked earlier this week about “What am I doing here?” characters—the ones who fit your playstyle or interests just fine, but for whatever reason aren’t so good for the game as a whole. I’ve been there and done that with a lot of my characters, but I think the most notable was the effect [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Questions About My Current Character

This one was inspired by a combination of two things: my old “IC questions I really need to ask my next player” riff, and the fact that one of my players is running a hiatus game for me right now, and having a bit more sense of the character I’m flinging around probably wouldn’t hurt [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: The Power of Five Hundred Words

The goal for my current writing project: Five hundred words a week.
The world isn’t ready yet. The characters are… getting there. Maybe. If you squint a little. And the distractions. Oh, the distractions. Work, the company, grad school (oh my grad school, here we go again).
Five hundred words.
A simple goal. A blog post length. It’s [...]

Working Around “What Am I Doing Here?”

One of the perennial problems of playing in an RPG is the risk that you’re going to end up with That Character. The one who was a really cool concept originally, or who fits your style perfectly, or what have you—only then you get to the actual game and they end up completely unsuited to [...]

Impractical Applications (Kestrel’s Bad Day)

The following is the more in-depth version of Kestrel’s bad day exercise that I threatened on Wednesday.
“Prophecy will be the death of me someday.”
Kes should have known better. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she knew better. It had been fine when it was just her fellows, but Mandible was still [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: A Load of Little Irritations

This exercise is based on this week’s “Bad day” exercise—I may be a tad too fond of irritating my characters.
A bad day for Kestrel is one in which her judgment on other matters has been called into question, she’s having to deal with some hitherto unconfronted aspect of the fact that her familiar is a [...]

On New Year’s….

We expected a fight in a teahouse. Fights. Teahouses. They’re made for each other. And the flying squirrel… the immortal?… is upset. Curses tend to follow.
But we didn’t. Sure, the dice came out of the bag, but not for that. There were superheroes fighting robots in Atlantis, led by the Guy With the Illegible Tens [...]