Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

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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Splitting Hairs: Exploring nuance as a source of game ideas

I’ve always found that I can get a lot of mileage out of exploring nuances, fine shades of differentiation between synonyms, when I’m looking for adventure ideas and character concepts. Sometimes I will introduce a character to do nothing but that, especially when the PCs are in the other camp – even if they don’t […]

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The Acceptable Favoritism: 34 ‘Rules’ to make your players’ PCs their favorites

With contributions from Ian Mackinder, Ian Gray, Steven Beekon, Saxon Brenton, & Blair Ramage This article has been sitting around in my to-do stack for a little over three years. I simply never got around to finishing it – until now. I do find myself wondering if the additional experience has given the contributors any […]

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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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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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Exceeding the Extraordinary: The Meaning Of Feats

From time to time, I like to look behind the curtain – to see what makes the mechanics of the games that I play tick, and what the implications are. Sometimes this leads down unexpected byways, and at other times it yields a nugget or two of insight. And sometimes, it just goes nowhere. So: […]

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The House Always Wins: Examining the Concept of House Rules

Sometimes we old hands, tired of a subject that’s been talked to death, or thinking that everything there is to be said on the subject has been said, forget that a lot of players and GMs have come into the hobby more recently than we have, and hence weren’t privy to those discussions. This produces, […]

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A Game For All People: The Perfect DnD Recipe

This article is being written in advance of reading any material concerning the actual content of DnDNext from WOTC. Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, the odds are that you’ve heard the announcement of D&D… well, no-one’s quite sure what it’s going to be called yet. The most common handle seems to be […]

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The Foundation Of Averages: Psychohistory and RPG Rules

Confession Time: This is not the article I intended to post today. I simply ran out of time – after my sense of the day-of-the-week was thrown off by the Holiday Season, leading me to start late. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible! Over the last few weeks, I’ve re-read the Foundation […]

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