Articles from June 2013



Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Readied

Tonight I decided I’d try a different exercise from the usual, attempting to describe indicators of a circumstance without, at least until the very end, specifying what the circumstance was.
Her workspace smells not only of ink stones and silk, but also of wax and wood oil, of polish and new metal. The papers on her [...]

How Not to Talk to Yourself

Yesterday I talked about things a GM can do when running a scene in which it makes sense for the focus to be NPCs talking to each other. Enough positivity; let’s look at what not to do.
Don’t make it an uninterruptable soliloquy. Heck, don’t make it something where it could technically be interrupted, but the [...]

The Art of Talking To Yourself

Running a scene, or even part of a scene, in which the only ones talking are one or more NPCs is a vexed issue among tabletoppers. On the one hand, the PCs are expected to be the focus on the action; if they weren’t, why else would we be playing? The game’s about the PCs. [...]

Impractical Applications: Back in the Saddle

…man, that title is a cliché. It’ll do, though. It was a longish session tonight, and I’m tired.
I haven’t run game for a while. Part of this was a conscious decision, requesting that one of my players run a hiatus game so I could get my brain back. It went on a bit longer than [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Describing a Voice

Tonight’s is an odd little riff—an attempt to describe, not a character herself, but a character’s voice.
It is not that she is too quiet, as that her words do not fight with the other noises about her. She might raise her voice for the end of the world; nobody has any desire to test this [...]

Critic

A tweak here,
A change there,
Question this assumption,
Another consideration,
Why?
How?
What?
Do you truly mean that the way it sounds?
I do not critique because I hate.
Rather, I love,
And love halting, crude, clumsy,
A tangle of hands and bones and emotions,
Love, ill-executed, might be as painful as hatred,
But one cannot help but love, can one?
I see castles in the sky,
And to [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: I Want

It’s fascinating how important a phrase “I want” can be.
In many of the stories I read, “I want” just isn’t a thing. The characters have vague desires, yes, but most of what they end up going for is more “Do not want” than “I want”. Reactive rather than proactive, unless they’re the antagonists. It’s something [...]

The Generic Villain vs. the Evil Overlord List, Items 41-45

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.
41. Destroy all time-travel devices once power is secure. Heck, why wait? See how many time-travel devices you can work into the collateral damage while you’re still taking over—don’t [...]

Impractical Applications: Four Demons Drinking

Honestly, this week was not written to go well with an Imprac… so I’m going to try something a little different. I reviewed Better Angels this week, but I felt that it might be a bit easier to contextualize the review by looking at what we actually did and how we ran into the conclusions [...]