Archive for the ‘D&D / Pathfinder’ Category

The Premise Of Falsehoods – Luck Vs Skill in RPGs

There’s a debate that has been fought ever since man invented games that have an element of chance has been, “Is it better to be lucky or skilled?” It’s a debate that has a number of unique resonances within the sphere of an RPG. How should a player or GM simulate a character who relies […]

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Writing to the limits of longevity

Every minute spent writing more than you need is time wasted. Write to your target longevity to boost efficiency while avoiding the traps that lurk in the dark for the unwary writer.

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Swell And Lull – Emotional Pacing in RPGs Part 2

I didn’t want to split this article in two. You really need to have read part one before you can get full value from what’s below. So I’m going to assume that you’ve done just that, and don’t need a synopsis to refresh your memory, and just dive straight in… Transitions & Global Emotional Flow […]

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Brick By Brick: Base Rules Made Easy

I’ve been thinking about some very basic HQ construction rules for use in Superhero campaigns, Pulp Campaigns, etc, for quite some time now, after a number of earlier attempts failed because they got too complicated. At last, I think I’ve solved the major issues… As I’ve mentioned before, Hero Games have very specific, but reasonably […]

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The Envelope Is Ticking: Insanity In RPGs

“Your shoelace is untied.” By the end of this article, you’ll understand the significance and meaning of that phrase. Mentioning Call Of Cthulhu in Monday’s article reminded me of a discussion that I once had with Dennis Ashelford, still probably the best CoC GM that I’ve ever seen in operation, about how best to convey […]

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Taming The Wild Frontiers

The Internet used to be compared to the American Wild West, where just about anything went and the only restrictions on what you could get away with was your own conscience, or lack of it. Slowly, the regulators and vested interests have whittled away at the cowboy attitudes and for the most part, the internet […]

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Kickstarted Creativity: Two fundraising campaigns of interest

The final part of the Priest Encounters article still isn’t finished, so here’s something else readers might find of interest… I approach Kickstarter very much from the perspective of the consumer and possible backer. That means that when I encounter such a campaign, my first question is always, “Am I interested in this?”, my second […]

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The Personal Computer analogy and some Truths about House Rules

I’ve been desperately trying to clear enough time to attempt to get my main computer back up and running. It occurred to me the other day that there is a clear analogy between that process and the process of creating an RPG campaign. The Computer Of Today: some context Personal Computers are everywhere – or, […]

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The Fields Of Magic

How does Magic (in general) work? I’m not talking about how the rules work, but how Magic works within the game world. Why raise the question now? I should probably pause for a moment to explain why I’m writing about this now – in the middle of a major series about Modern Priests. There are […]

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The Application Of Time and Motion to RPG Game Mechanics

How do you tell a good House Rule from a Bad? I know, I promised something short. As long-time readers will know, I don’t do “short” very well… “Time and motion studies” used to be the favorite tool of “efficiency” experts who optimized a process for speed. They quickly became the butts of a lot […]

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The Loss Of Innocence: Some unexpected insights

I was watching a documentary on the roles of Women as portrayed on Television the other day, and it yielded a couple of unexpected insights – one into modern society, and the other into the edition wars that have plagued D&D over the last few years, and the divide between “new school” and “old school” […]

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To Module Or Not?: A legacy article

This article grew out of discussions between Johnn and myself concerning the Q&A in issue #300 of Roleplaying Tips. Johnn happened to mention that he was currently running a campaign based on published modules, and I was interested in comparing the approaches to handling them to best effect in terms of the difference to a […]

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