Archive for the ‘Game Philosophy’ Category

Tales from the front line: The Initiative Conflict

This entry is part 1 in the series Tales from the front line

This entry is part 1 in the series Tales from the front line I originally intended to present the Tavern Generator that I promised on Monday as today’s post, but it will take longer than I initially thought. Probably one more day of designing the tables and two days to format them – largely because […]

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Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Pt 2: Creation

This entry is part 2 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 2 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked on more than one occasion what advice I would have for a beginning GM. It’s a question that troubled me; I’ve been GMing for so long that I thought I might have lost contact with the beginner. I have […]

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Imperfect Imbalance – Personal Injury Law in RPGs

To really get to grips with your RPG world, you have to understand how the invented environment affects the everyday life of the inhabitants. That’s more easily said than done. One technique is to answer a long series of questions, progressing from the simple to the profound, as shown in my first series here at […]

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Plunging Into Game Physics Pt 2: Strange Mechanics

This entry is part 2 in the series Plunging into Game Physics

This entry is part 2 in the series Plunging into Game Physics As you can see from the title, this is part 2 of a series looking at the underlying principles and applications of Game Physics. The first part looked at exactly what the term meant, and found that it needed quite a lot of […]

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Plunging Into Game Physics Pt 1 – What Is a ‘Game Physics’?

This entry is part 1 in the series Plunging into Game Physics

This entry is part 1 in the series Plunging into Game Physics“Game Physics” is a term that not enough GMs take the time to think about in depth. Physics is about isolating a single variable and measurable quantity, then altering that variable while observing the measurable quantity to shed light on the relationship between the […]

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New Beginnings: Phase X: Beginning

This entry is part 11 in the series New Beginnings

This entry is part 11 in the series New BeginningsIt’s not easy making a completely fresh start. This series has examined the process of creating a new campaign in detail, and at last, the new campaign is ready for the curtain to lift and the show to begin – right? Right? This isn’t the first […]

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Shadows In The Darkness – The nature of True Evil

It started in the course of a planning session for the next adventure in the Adventurer’s Club (Pulp) campaign, “Prison Of Jade”. We were fleshing out the villain’s motivations, and I (Mike) made a comment about the nature of Evil. Blair disagreed, saying “I don’t think that’s true evil at all” (or words to that […]

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Always Something There To Surprise You – Plots as Antagonists

The subject of today’s article emerged during a twitter discussion between John Kahane (@jkahane1), Joe Kushner (@JoeGKushner), and myself (@gamewriterMike) on Twitter last week. The conversation started when I mentioned to John that I had just started a mystery plotline in my Zenith-3 (superhero) campaign, and that special effort was going to be needed to make […]

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New Beginnings: Phase 6: Mindset & Underpinnings

This entry is part 7 in the series New Beginnings

This entry is part 7 in the series New BeginningsIt’s not easy making a completely fresh start. This series examines in detail the process of creating a new campaign. What more do you need? You’ve got the basic plot, you’ve got the basic world, you have these organized so as to spread the developmental workload […]

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“I know what’s happening!” – Confirmation Bias and RPGs

I was watching a documentary the other week. (I know, it seems like I watch a lot of TV. I actually watch less than it might seem, but I’ve gotten a number of articles out of what TV I do watch.) Anyway, the subject in this case was the investigation of the crash of a […]

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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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