Posts Tagged ‘RPG-Theory’

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)

This entry is part 4 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 4 in the series All Wounds Are Not AlikeOn 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 […]

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

This entry is part 3 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 3 in the series All Wounds Are Not AlikeIn 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 […]

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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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The Critical Threshold: A brief debate on the Merits of Extreme Results

This is not the post that I expected to make this week. I simply ran out of time and could not finish either the article I had intended to post this week [about time travel] or the one for next week [the long-awaited followup to last year’s Pillars of Architecture article], in time. Instead, I […]

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It’s Not Like Shooting Sushi In A Barrel: A Personalised Productivity Focus For Game Prep

While watching the special features from Numb3rs season 3 on DVD, I got to thinking about one of the phenomena of TV shows – that some episodes you really like, and some you don’t, and some episodes are really popular and some are not (and these categories never completely coincide. This is true even of […]

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