Posts Tagged ‘RPG-Theory’

Swell And Lull – Emotional Pacing in RPGs Part 2

I didn’t want to split this article in two. You really need to have read part one before you can get full value from what’s below. So I’m going to assume that you’ve done just that, and don’t need a synopsis to refresh your memory, and just dive straight in… Transitions & Global Emotional Flow […]

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Swell And Lull – Emotional Pacing in RPGs Part 1

Swing Swing Dodge Swing Scurry Duck Scurry Scurry Dodge Kick Swing Leap Swing Parry Swing Duck Swing Scurry Dodge Swing… …it gets a bit dull and repetitive after a while, doesn’t it? Every adventure, every combat, heck, every campaign needs to have its highs and its lows, its frantic periods and its lulls of inactivity. […]

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The Seven Strata Of Story

A well-crafted campaign – or video game, novel, TV Show, movie, or short story – is composed of multiple layers acting in harmony and in concert. This is a simple point that is often overlooked, especially by novices or those focusing too intensively on a single medium, and not looking at the wider world around […]

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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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All wounds are not alike, part 3b: The Healing Imperative (cont)

On Monday, I attempted to post the third part of the current series on alternate damage-handling systems for 3.x. Unfortunately, time ran out when I was only half-done… A quick refresher on where we stand. There are flaws in the system of progression for healing spells that result in an unacceptable degree of overlap, especially […]

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All wounds are not alike, part 3a: The Healing Imperative (Now Updated!)

In the first two parts of this series we examined alternative approaches to the simulation of injuries that were written cold, without the benefit of actual use in play. In this third and final part, I will describe a third – but this is an update on a variation that I have actually used (and […]

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On The Edge: Implications of the D&DNext Advantage mechanic

Only a short article this week (at least in terms of word count) because there is easily five times as much work beneath the surface! A few weeks ago, I read a really interesting analysis of the mathematics of the D&DNext advantage mechanic by the Online DM. And yet, there was a disconnect between that […]

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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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Objective-Oriented Experience Points

Why do we hand out experience for combat? No, I’m serious – this is a question that’s been preying on my mind as a consequence of an article I wrote earlier this year, “Experience for the ordinary person” – you should probably go and read at least the first section (down to and including “Reward-matching […]

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Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 5: Rules Touchstones – Combat

This entry is part 5 in the series Rules Mastery

This entry is part 5 in the series Rules Mastery In the course of part 2 of this series, which was all about overcoming a resistance to studying rules for their own sake, I suggested that the GM learning a new set of rules should watch for patterns, and use them to make understanding the […]

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Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 4: The Quality of Rules

This entry is part 4 in the series Rules Mastery

This entry is part 4 in the series Rules Mastery A lot of blogs and articles talk about “realism” (or verisimilitude) in RPGs and how to achieve it. Campaign Mastery is no different in this respect, a number of my articles having dealt with the subject. Over the last few weeks, as I write this, […]

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“How Hard Can It Be?” – Skill Checks under the microscope

Fans will recognise the quote used as the title of this article as something often said by Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear when the trio of presenters are about to attempt a challenge posed by the show’s producers. Since it inevitably turns out that the correct answer is “Very!”, it is usually followed by one […]

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