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 […]
Archive for the ‘Rules & Mechanics’ Category
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
This entry is part 3 in the series Creating ecology-based random encounters In this concluding part of my series on encounter tables, I look at Urban Settings, Dungeon settings, and talk about ways of integrating Wandering Monster encounters into plotlines and infusing them with meaning. And I might throw in the occasional new idea in […]
This entry is part 2 in the series Creating ecology-based random encounters In part one of this series, I talked about the philosophical grounding of random encounters – the theoretical why’s and wherefore’s that underpin the encounters that result, and the ways and reasons why they matter. In this part, I’m going to discuss ways […]
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.