Reprise: Secondary Character Exercise: Someone Else’s Story

Originally posted January 27, 2010.
One of the biggest problems people often see with secondary characters is when their creator doesn’t take much of an interest in them. I’m not saying they suddenly need to steal the story, but it helps to spend a little time in their heads, make them more than [...]

Reprise: How Not To Misplace People in a Scene

Originally posted August 12, 2010.
One of the biggest problems with having four or five people operating in the same scene, regardless of its type, is the risk that the better-imaged ones will take over and the less-definite ones will get lost in the shuffle. A couple days ago, UZ asked how to [...]

Reprise: Comparing Conversation and Combat

Originally posted on August 11, 2010.
What’s the difference between conversation and combat?
I found myself asking that of one of my friends, while thinking about UZ’s recent question on keeping all participants in a conversation involving more than four characters at once. I have difficulty with that sort of thing too, so I didn’t [...]

Reprise: The Generic Villain Compliments the Enemy

Originally posted July 31, 2011.

I’ve talked a good amount about messing with the minds of your opponents. But there’s one thing I’ve found that tends to be really good for the job with minimum effort—no monetary outlay, no risks of experiments going horribly wrong, just a little thought and a little [...]

RPG Blog Carnival Rerun: Hoard Review

For RPG Blog Carnival. Let’s face it, one of the reasons why this blog is system-neutral is that in the beginning, I didn’t play what most of the bloggers played, and over the last year, I’ve played a lot of what most of the bloggers don’t play. So an entire month of squealing about games [...]

Reprise: Impractical Applications (Confessions of a Professional Party Backstabber)

Last post of the finals week reruns; I should be back to new content Sunday night.
Originally posted January 3, 2009.
This week, I talked about betrayals in story, and about recruiting PCs to perform the betrayals themselves. I’m sure you’re all expecting me to launch some sort of grand betrayal on my poor unsuspecting [...]

Reprise: Writing/Worldbuilding Exercise: Three Things You Can Find in a…

The reruns continue. This one was originally posted on March 30, 2009.
One of the things that makes a world seem more like a world and less like a static backdrop is the presence of things that are suited to the location and aren’t directly relevant to the action. In some cases, this [...]

Reprise: Epic Scenery

Reruns due to Finals Week continue.
Originally posted November 18, 2009.
Into any story, a little epic scenery seems to fall. Okay, not fall exactly. More come crashing down into view at just the right moment to make everyone use it and take the audience’s breath away. Either way, it’s pretty much a staple of stories in [...]

Reprise: Water, Water

It’s finals week. A perfect time for reruns. Regular posts will (most likely) resume next Sunday night.
Originally posted July 13, 2008.
It’s one of the classical elements, and necessary for life. In legend, it has been credited with births and deaths, healing and disasters. It’s been walked through, walked on, and floated over. [...]

Reprise: The Six Year Old Child Principle of War and International Relations

This was originally an RPG Blog Carnival riff from March 13, 2009, posted as a follow-up to a post on who might be backing a war.
To understand most of the causes of war, you must understand one fact: Countries, kingdoms and the various other entities of governance will, as a unit, behave [...]