Inspiration and Military Reading Lists

RPG Blog Carnival June 2010, hosted at Campaign Mastery, is on inspiration. So I’m going to look at some of the things that inspire me. I’ve already talked about nonfiction books as an inspiration source, but I’m going to narrow my focus even further: books from military reading lists.
Yes, members of the American military (at [...]

Let Me Show You… Dicer and Drosha

So here’s my first contribution to RPG Blog Carnival April 2010.
Dicer and Drosha are a pair of very minor characters in my game, based on a point of metaphysics I’m not entirely sure would work in that universe outside my interpretation but that I’ve been exploiting like crazy within it: they’re the former familiars [...]

US Census: What a Difference a Year Makes

In honor of Census Day (*pauses to let people mark their calendars*), I thought I’d revisit learning from the Census, as I was doing last year, with a look at the people in the field now.
Back when I started my Census work, the workforce was made up of listers. Now, as one of my friends [...]

Loyalty and the Narrative

For those who value it, loyalty can be one of the strongest motivations out there. It creates people who will go out of the way for a friend, rewrite reality for the sake of their organization, refuse to change sides even under insurmountable proof that their people are wrong. It’s powerful, it’s admirable (granted, more [...]

Poetic Interlude

You know you have too many characters when you can do this, with a specific subset of the game’s population, and most of the characters listed have at least one alternative.
A Loose Threads Heavenly Alphabet
A for Altair, a good place to begin;
B is for Brychan—did you recall him?
C for Calandra, you heard what she said;
D [...]

The One Time Players Will Most Want a Time-Skip

In my experience, players of RPGs demand time-skips a lot. It’s hardly surprising. We only have so much time allotted for session, people want to squeeze every drop of enjoyment out of it, and the last thing anyone wants to do is take valuable time on things that not everyone is enjoying. And those time-skips [...]

The Generic Villain on Heroes Powering Up

A while back, I wrote about how we could increase our ability levels to compensate for the inevitable heroic power levels. But while staying constant with them is Dramatically Interesting and thus sanctioned by the Laws of Dramatics, there’s no rule saying we can’t try to counter their typical ways of gaining power. Fortunately, most [...]

Impractical Applications (Skating on the Continuum)

One of the most interesting applications of the Awesome vs. Better Than You continuum for me has been the complicated slide back and forth across the scale I found myself playing with with my charming manipulator Jalil. The man just can’t hold still when it comes to the Awesome/Better Than You continuum; I’ve seen him [...]

Awesome vs. Better Than You: In Action

Yesterday’s article talked about ways that different versions of the same sort of interaction could mark a character as leaning farther towards Awesome or Better Than You. But it’s not just interaction, it’s also action; what sorts of actions, either behavior or plot-event, tilt a character in a different direction?
An Awesome character tries. This doesn’t [...]

Awesome or Better Than You: In the Details

Yesterday, I talked about a character continuum between Awesome and Better Than You characters, and its uses in helping guide the target audience’s response to any given character. One thing I find really interesting about the continuum is that it’s a razor’s edge; there are many behaviors that characters across the continuum might use, and [...]