Articles from April 2013



They Mean Well

I think this might be the most universal of traits for RPG parties that don’t fall into the Chaotic Klepto mode: they mean well. UZ referenced one a few comments ago. Ursula Vernon’s Livejournal occasionally has the adventures of another. My groups fit as well, usually in a “This wasn’t quite what we intended to [...]

A Short Consideration of Overthinking

I’ve been overthinking one of my primary characters for a while now. To be fair, in that game, it sometimes seems like almost any sort of characterization beyond finding a motivation to save the world is overthinking. And the character is more than capable of overanalyzing things herself, and just enough of an outsider to [...]

Impractical Applications (Doing What with the Armaments?)

Earlier this week, I did a thought exercise about weapon control in a fantasy world. The issue has somewhat come up in some of the games I’ve both run and played in—not in a codified sense most of the time, mind, but in the form of societal expectations, some of which were even comparatively enforceable. [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Class Portrait

For this week’s writing exercise, I decided to do an overview of Zuleika’s physics class, or at least the occupants thereof.
The people in class seemed about usual, as college science classes went. Over there was the person who wore her love of numeric and technological abstractions on her tees, jokes about 10 kinds of people [...]

Exercise: In Monochrome

This is somewhat similar to my old “driver’s license” exercise, only slightly less restrictive. What it boils down to is this: even if we don’t necessarily all agree on what colors there are and what categories they fit into (this coming from a person who was raised on the Crayola marker spectrum who occasionally gets [...]

Thought Exercise: Fantasy World Weapon Control

Most cities in fantasy worlds have a vested interest in people not getting into fights to the death at the drop of a hat. It isn’t that different from the real world in that respect, after all. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to limit access to weapons. So that got [...]

The Generic Villain vs. the Evil Overlord List, Items 30-35

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.
30. Deprive the heroes of their needed comic relief by preemptively executing all bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards and cowardly thieves. I have two problems with this statement. One, unless done with [...]

Impractical Applications (For Values of Loss)

I freewrote this week about the idea of the story-oriented GM’s perceived responsibility being to lose gracefully, and the alternatives to character death that might in the short run render this responsibility somewhat less relevant. My groups have done this a lot, though for every time they’ve done it, I’ve seen two more occasions on [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Two Perspectives, One Narrator

For this week, I was playing with the idea of one character attempting to describe another. Somehow I ended up with the same character twice–same describer, same person being described–talking about the only thus-far-named character who isn’t part of the central group. What the hey, I’ll run with it.
Nina Miklos. My lab partner. The one [...]

Freewrite: More on Losing Gracefully, or Loss = ?

A continuation of last post’s maunderings on the idea of the GM’s need to lose gracefully.
“You don’t have to lose gracefully,” I tell him.
It’s been at least a year since our first conversation on the subject. Back then, we mostly played Exalted and D&D. We’d had a few close calls, one game we played in [...]