Archive for the ‘Game Philosophy’ Category

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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Stop me if you’ve heard this one: An RPG, A Videogame, and a Bingo Game sit down in a bar…

Video Games and RPGs have shared a parallel evolution throughout their histories, going all the way back to the original such games (Colossal Cave Adventure in 1967 and [Original] D&D in 1974, which was based on 1971’s Chainmail rules for miniatures wargaming). Throughout their histories, they have fed on each other, sometimes in a fairly […]

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Deus Ex Machinas And The Plot Implications Of Divinity

Wikipedia defines a ‘Deus Ex Machina‘ as a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object. It can be roughly translated, they say, as “God made it happen,” with no further explanation. They also state that the […]

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By The Seat Of Your Pants: Using Ad-hoc statistics

GMs are called apon to make decisions all the time. Sometimes we can make our choices off the top of our heads using common sense and our knowledge of the in-game environment/circumstances, sometimes we can be guided by the rules after identifying an analogous situation, and sometimes when both of these fail us, we can […]

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Cause And Inflect: Marketing your way to a better game

This is actually the article that was supposed to appear next Monday. I started making some notes for it, and before I knew it, the whole article was written – and I no longer had enough time to finish the article that I had intended to write for today’s post (I got about half-way through […]

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