Posts belonging to Category Motivation

Social Norms, Market Norms, Table Norms

I have to admit it: I’m addicted to books about how the mind works. I almost always learn something new (I’ve read more than half a dozen this year alone, and not a single one has failed to show me something I hadn’t seen before), they’ve got a lot of cross-discipline uses, and I’ve always [...]

Feelings and Proactivity

Not long ago, I found myself listening to the audiobook version of How We Decide, a book about how the brain makes its choices. There was one point within it in which it pointed out that while it’s been assumed throughout history that eliminating feelings and leaving a person as a purely rational entity should [...]

On Throwing PCs at Powerful Things

I’ve fought some interesting things in my time tabletopping, many of them probably technically too large for my characters to fight. Sometimes, things that the setting tells you with this character shouldn’t be possible at all. And I’ve seen groups do the same—or refuse to do the same.
Which got me thinking: what does it take [...]

Con Notes: Groupie Moments

I talked yesterday about hidden benefits of convention-going—the ways that watching the other people there, or even looking introspectively at your own reactions to whatever goes on, can help you learn a lot that can be slipped into characterization, world-building, or player motivation later. But what good is all that without some solid examples?
The first [...]

Antagonists and the Details That Redeem Them

This was inspired by (and, in fact, supposed to be a comment to, before it turned post-length on me) the recent Hathor Legacy article “Pride and Possession”. In it, Gena responds to seeing a debate on whether or not Mother Gothel might not have been so bad after all (I’ll admit, this concept rather scares [...]

Time Management, Motivation, and Plot

You hear a lot about the importance of time management in the real world; you might even use it to make sure that your prep doesn’t take too long, or that your other tasks don’t interfere too much with your creation time. But did you know that time management and motivation can actually help you [...]

The Uses of Ancient Civilizations

There’s one in every world, isn’t there? Somewhere in history, there was a civilization. It was advanced, or at least looked advanced, probably in the areas of magic or technology. At least one society is descended from it, one way or another (or so they claim). And it’s not here now.
Ancient civilizations are ubiquitous because [...]

Willing to Talk

One of the advantages I’ve always found of tabletop RPGs as compared to console RPGs is the ability to talk to one’s enemies, whether it’s face to face, by distant proxy, even (perhaps especially) in the middle of a battle. In fact, battle banter is one of the few situations in which I will almost [...]

Teaching a New System: Keeping the Player’s Interest

RPG Blog Carnival this month, over at Evil Machinations, is on teaching the game to new players, whether they’re raw beginners or just inexperienced with your particular system.
I’ve had a lot of occasion to learn this one from my end. I see the game and its immersion as the main end, and the mechanics as [...]

Facilitating Gamebuzz

Yesterday, I talked about the creation of a feeling of intense achievement beyond expectation (or “gamebuzz”), and why and how its effect on the players in an RPG can be utilized. But what sorts of factors aid or hinder gamebuzz?
In my opinion, the most important factor is an apparent absence of pre-planning. That doesn’t mean [...]