Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced) Part 5: Characters

This entry is part 5 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)

This entry is part 5 in the series Basics For Beginners (and the over-experienced)I’ve been asked a number of times what advice I have for a beginning GM. This 15-part series is an attempt to answer that question – while throwing in some tips and reminders of the basics for more experienced GMs. This is […]

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Ask The GMs: Iceberg Plotlines: Massive Plot Arcs in RPGs

This is the second of these Ask-The-GMs that I’m tackling without recourse to my usual allies and fellow-GMs. Today’s question is asks about something I’ve described using a number of different terms over the years. My current euphemism is “Iceberg Plots”, because 9/10ths (or more) of the plot doesn’t show in any given adventure. The […]

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Creating A Building: A Metaphor and Illustration

This article started as an example and additional content for last week’s discussion of Visualization, but that article evolved in a different direction, and this material no longer seemed to fit. So I pulled it to give both the room they needed. Six Questions To Create A Building Everything happens somewhere. In order for any […]

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I see with my little mind’s eye: The power of Visualization

The Impossible Mission It doesn’t matter how skilled you are in your use of descriptive language and extraordinary narrative if you don’t know what it is that you are supposed to be describing. It follows that GMs need to construct and maintain a mental image of their world as it exists at any given moment […]

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Lessons from the Literary Process

I’ve commented a number of times on the insights that can be achieved by looking at behind-the-scenes specials and DVD commentaries. There’s a documentary series that has just started a week or two ago on TVS, a public-service broadcaster here in Australia, called “The Art Of Story and the Narrative Game” and the interest in […]

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Ask The GMs: The Great Handouts Question

GMs sometimes ask more than one question. Where these directly relate to each other, or the context is important to the answers, they are generally lumped together. When they aren’t, which is far less frequent an event, they get split up and answered separately. Which brings me to today’s topic: Writing characters out when players […]

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The Breakdown of Intersecting Prophecies

The recent trip to attend a couple of surprise family functions was the closest thing I’ve had to a holiday in almost 3 years, and only the second in about 5. Anticipating that it would be difficult to get back into the work habits that had built up in that time period, I even made […]

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The Conundrum Of Coincidence

The concept of “coincidence” was a thorny problem for philosophers starting from the ancient Greeks. Plato, in Phaedo, defined “inquiry into nature” as a search for “the causes of each thing; why each thing comes into existence, why it goes out of existence, why it exists”. Aristotle went further, developing a theory of causality, commonly […]

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The Challenge Of Writing Adventures for RPGs

Since I only got back to work on CM late last week, I decided at the last minute that I might need an extra week to finish up the Tavern Generator. So I’ve brought this post forward from it’s originally-scheduled position later in the month. This is yet another of the articles I wrote while […]

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The Backstory Boxes – Directed Creativity

Chatting with a fellow GM on twitter recently, I was reminded of a technique that I use from time to time to generate backstories, that I thought I would share, in somewhat fuller and more developed form than I was able to convey in a handful of 140-character tweets! There are two ways to use […]

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A target of inefficiency: from Dystopian trends to Utopia

Some background Before I can get to the main subject of today’s article, I need to tell a few short real-life stories to set the scene, putting the article into context. The Story Of Canterbury Road When I look out my front window, I am confronted by the somewhat depressing site of one of Sydney’s […]

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Imperfect Imbalance – Personal Injury Law in RPGs

To really get to grips with your RPG world, you have to understand how the invented environment affects the everyday life of the inhabitants. That’s more easily said than done. One technique is to answer a long series of questions, progressing from the simple to the profound, as shown in my first series here at […]

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