Archive for the ‘House-Rules’ Category

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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Ask The GMs: The Passage Of Substantial Time

Last time around, James Senecal posed a double-question. Because it was the easier of the two, and I was flying solo, I chose the easier question for ATGMs #27. But now it’s time to bite the bullet… How can you have substantial time pass within a campaign? “If death is to have a consequence, if […]

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The compounded interruption of basic services

The West Wing said it very succinctly: “The costliest, most damaging, disruptions occur when something we take for granted stops working.” We depend on the mundane and everyday aspects of life to function seamlessly at least most of the time in order to be able to cope with the occasional extraordinary disruption or Act Of […]

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Stat Vs Stat Part Two: Strength Vs. Stat

This entry is part 2 in the series Stat Vs Stat

The second of 9 parts in the series looks at STR checks and how they relate to the other core stats that are common to most game systems – with some surprises along the way.

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Stat Vs Stat Part One: Introduction – The Basis and Methods of comparison

This entry is part 1 in the series Stat Vs Stat

This nine-part series looks at opposed stat checks and what they can represent. Part 8 will create a new characterization tool, The Stat Matrix, based on the interactions described, and show how to use it to turn stats into characters, and Part 9 will warp up the series by turning that process on its head and demonstrate a way to use the Stat Matrix to turn a personality into a set of stats for a character.

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The Bargain Arcane: Selling Magic Items

James Seals asked in the comments to Places to go and people to meet: The One Spot series from Moebius Adventures (responding to my comments about magic shops),   Mike, Can I ask – what do you do when your players want to sell magic weapons? In the past I have just allowed them to […]

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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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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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Inventing and Reinventing Races in DnD: An Introduction to the Orcs and Elves series part 4

This entry is part 4 in the series Orcs & Elves

This entry is part 4 in the series Orcs & Elves I’ve got a lot of campaign prep to get done. In fact, I’ve got so much to do that if I don’t do it here, I’ll either never get it done in time. But first, I have to paint a picture of the background […]

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Inventing and Reinventing Races in DnD: An Introduction to the Orcs and Elves series part 3

This entry is part 3 in the series Orcs & Elves

This entry is part 3 in the series Orcs & Elves I’ve got a lot of campaign prep to get done over the next few months. In fact, I’ve got so much to do that if I don’t do it here, in public, I’ll either never get it done in time – or be so […]

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