Archive for the ‘Game Philosophy’ 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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The Blind Enforcer: The Reflex Application Of Rules

This article is the result of a confluence of many different vectors, from reading a review in the current issue of KODT of the original “Paranoia” RPG to reading an article at E Pluribus Unum about Twitter mistakenly suspending an account as a purveyor of spam. Setting aside the questions of anti-spam techniques and technologies […]

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Epigrams Of Life and Gaming: Selection No. 2

This entry is part 2 in the series Epigrams Of Life & Gaming

This entry is part 2 in the series Epigrams Of Life & Gaming About the “Epigrams Of Mike” series: An epigram is a brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement. Usually under the hashtag #Musing, I have the habit of occasionally tweeting notions and thoughts and philosophizing; the 140-character limit of twitter (and […]

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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 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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The Heirarchy Of Deceipt: How and when to lie to your players

This irregular column resurrects lost blog posts about RPGs from Mike’s 2006-7 personal blog on Yahoo 360 and updates them with new relevance and perspective. One of the decisions every referee has to make is how much NOT to tell the players. To be blunt, the referee has to decide when to lie to his […]

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Epigrams Of Life and Gaming: Selection #1

This entry is part 1 in the series Epigrams Of Life & Gaming

An epigram is a brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement. I’ve been tweeting these for some time now. This article collects and discusses some of my best and most enlightening.

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Five Games That Will Wreck Your Life (and what we can learn from them)

Today’s article is in two halves. The first is a guest article submitted by Jason Falls (the “five games” part), and the second is by yours truly, adding relevance to tabletop RPGs to the mix. 5 Games That Will Wreck Your Life When I was a kid making my first tentative steps into the Mushroom […]

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Lessons From The West Wing IV: Victory At Any Price

This entry is part 8 in the series Lessons From The West Wing

This entry is part 8 in the series Lessons From The West Wing “Lessons From The West Wing” is a series of occasional articles inspired by the Television Series. I’ve had this article sitting around in partially completed form for a couple of years now, waiting for the right example with which to illustrate the […]

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The Gap In Reality: Immersion in an RPG Environment

Our special effects gurus get better all the time, and at the same time, their product becomes more affordable with improving technology, making it more ubiquitous in entertainments. I first wrote about the impact of this phenomenon back in 2009, when I asked Are Special Effects Killing Hollywood?, a question which shed a new light […]

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Refloating The Shipwreck: When Players Make A Mistake

Preamble This Month’s Blog Carnival was proposed more or less as follows: People love it when player characters do great heroic deeds and win fame and fortune in a campaign. But how about when things horribly wrong go… and it’s all the fault of some foolhardy decision by some Player Character? Those can be either […]

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I Got A Plot Device and I know how to use it: Bluffing in the Hero System

While there are a lot of things the Hero System does well, there are a few things that it does exceedingly poorly, and one of those is the Bluff. This article offers a system to correct that.

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