Posts Tagged ‘Play’

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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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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Fire Fighting, Systems Analysis, and RPG Problem Solving Part 3 of 3: Complexity and Nuance

This entry is part 3 in the series Problem-Solving

This entry is part 3 in the series Problem-Solving This is the third, final, and largest part of this series, which examines the lessons in problem-solving that I learned through training as a fire warden and as a systems analyst back in the early 90s, as applied to an RPG context. The goal is offer […]

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Fire Fighting, Systems Analysis, and RPG Problem Solving Part 2 of 3: Prioritization

This entry is part 2 in the series Problem-Solving

The second of three articles looking at lessons learned in the art of problem solving focuses on Prioritization, which is an essential skill for long-term success. Knowing which problem to tackle first can make the difference between achievement and disaster. The article considers a theoretical analysis and then uses it to offer two practical approaches to the problem.

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Fire Fighting, Systems Analysis, and RPG Problem Solving Part 1 of 3: General Advice

This entry is part 1 in the series Problem-Solving

This entry is part 1 in the series Problem-Solving In 1990 I was trained as a Safety Warden / OHAS representative for my then-employer. At the time, I was employed as a Computer Programmer and acting as a Systems Analyst for the commercial software systems for which my former department were responsible. Both aspects 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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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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The Arcane Implications of Seating at the Game Table

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Benoit, a regular reader and occasional commentator here at CM, who has translated a couple of my articles into French for a wider audience. He had noticed an unusual phenomenon during a recent game and was wondering if… well, why don’t I simply quote his email? Hi […]

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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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