Posts belonging to Category Player Advice

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 [...]

Basic Flash-Characterization Exercise: The Dragonbreath-Style Summary

One of the things I’ve been discussing with my boyfriend for a while are tips for him in quickly generating background or semi-important characters. I was thinking about this a while back, and through some bizarre pattern of associative memory, I started thinking about the cover summaries on Ursula Vernon’s Dragonbreath books. (No, this post [...]

Honest Manipulators

Most of the manipulative characters in both fiction and RPGs are absurdly good liars—you know, the type who could sell shoes to snakes or convince a person that the sky was red while standing outdoors at noon on a clear day. But that hides the fact that the people who are terrible at lying can [...]

Three Pitfalls of Mutually Dependent Characterization

I talked yesterday about mutually dependent characterization, ending my riff with the idea that there are, in fact, risks as well as advantages to it. But what are they?
The first is utterly inseparable characterization. This most often happens when characters are designed as a set, rather than growing together naturally—they become so much of a [...]

Mutually Dependent Characterization

Sometimes, you get characters who are, for lack of a better term, inseparable. Not in the physical sense, mind. They don’t always need to be in the same place at the same time—yes, they can be joined at the hip, but where’s the fun in that? No, this sort of inseparability is a result of [...]

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 [...]

Characterization Exercise: “Now That You’re Borrowing My Shoes….”

While it may not necessarily feel true for a lot of people, most people have some specific role they fill which, if it were to be filled by someone else, would require a certain amount of instruction. Fictional characters, be they from a story or game, almost all have roles like this; after all, designing [...]

Things You Might Want to Know When Planning An Overland Trip

Though the exact means change up depending on the setting, travel is still a universal in fiction; getting from Point A to Point B, and dealing with the challenges in between, can be an adventure regardless of time, place, or technology level. The biggest staple, particularly in fantasy, is the overland trip: something that it [...]

Showing Politically Skilled Characters

Let’s face it, intrigue is fun: it creates cerebral rather than physical conflicts, gives the audience a chance to match wits with the characters, and leads to some of the best sneaky maneuvering and one-liners a fictional setting can allow. Then it gets tangled up with politics, and things get really interesting; a politically skilled [...]