Posts Tagged ‘Game-Mechanics’

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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Brick By Brick: Base Rules Made Easy

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 […]

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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 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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Superhero combat on steroids – pt 2 of 2: Moving with a purpose

Hero Game’s Policy on publishing house rules is both enlightened and occasionally maddening. They have no problem with people posting their own characters, or discussing their rules, or publishing house rules – provided that you don’t quote directly from their rulebooks and your rules don’t exceed 5,000 words in length. You can’t publish variations on […]

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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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Superhero combat on steroids – pt 1 of 2: Taking the initiative with the Hero System

Hero Game’s Policy on publishing house rules is both enlightened and occasionally maddening. They have no problem with people posting their own characters, or discussing their rules, or publishing house rules – provided that you don’t quote directly from their rulebooks and your rules don’t exceed 5,000 words in length. You can’t publish variations on […]

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The Physics Of Uncertainty

A bit of a departure from the usual today, with an article that is only indirectly game-related. Every now and then, you have to let your imagination run wild or it gets soft and flabby… normal service will resume on Thursday, this was just something that I had to get out of my system. Hopefully, […]

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May the camels of 1,000 fleas – wait, that’s not right: Improving Curses in 3.x

One of the most under-developed game mechanics in D&D is the Curse. This has so many problems its hard to know where to begin, but I’ll give it a shot: Only clerics can curse because its a clerical spell. They hold no fear for anyone because they are so easily lifted. The suggested effects don’t […]

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