Game Mastery

Tag: writing

Counterintuition – save time planning by writing more plots!

by on Aug.04, 2010, under dnd, game theory, GM, observations, organization

An odd thing happened in the shower today. I had an interesting realization about the way I run my games. That wasn’t the odd part. The odd part is that I remembered it. Showers are not conducive to notebooks or iPhones, so most of my hygiene related epiphanies go down the drain.

Anyway, what I realized was that my style of writing complex games with lots and lots of subplots may actually be easier to write than the simplistic one plot at a time approach.
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Link: Mayhem Squared Circle Style

by on May.29, 2009, under writing

If I haven’t been posting lately it’s for two reasons.  Firstly, I’m not actively GMing right now.  The other reason is that I’ve been reading Gnome Stew and that has satisfied my need for GM blogging. I’d like to draw your attention to today’s Gnome Stew article, Mayhem, Squared Circle Style. (As noted in the GS comments) for years I’ve been claiming that everything I know about GMing I learned from pro wrestling. I’ve been trying to sum this up in a post here, but it never goes right and I scrap the post. Gnome Stew made the post for me so now I don’t have to.

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So that’s why hardcore roleplayers don’t think D&D is serious business.

by on Apr.23, 2009, under dnd, writing

I’ve always defended D&D as a platform for roleplaying.  Sure it focuses on combat by providing an abundance of interesting combat rules, but that doesn’t prevent you from roleplaying in it.  I’ve run entire d20 sessions without even looking at dice.  A character is a character and as long as a system supports a setting appropriate for your character, you can roleplay in that system, right?

Well, I’m not going to talk about that right now.  I’ve been playing 4th edition lately and will be running a pre-written 4th ed module this weekend.  I wasn’t able to get through a full reading of the mod without finally understanding why people take exception to using D&D for role play.  This post is an airing of grievances (in full Festivus spirit) I had while reading through a single D&D adventure.  I’ll bitch and moan and maybe, if we’re lucky, figure out a thing or two about writing good RP by examining the bad.

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Link: Review of Quests, Theory, and History in Games and Narratives

by on Sep.09, 2008, under links and articles

Never expected to link to a slashdot review here, but this seems pretty damn relevant: Quests, Theory, and History in Games and Narratives.

Basically this outlines how quests in games have degenerated from being meaningful to just being filler.  I pretty much agree with everything mentioned in the review and am linking to it so I don’t have to type it up myself later.

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Character Backstory

by on Aug.28, 2008, under backstory, pc

I’m going to take a little break from “Why Won’t They Roleplay” to go over something that needs going over. Character backstory. I almost always refer to this. It really is one of the most important things in a good RPG. I’ve always believed that you get out what you put in. Backstory is the players’ chance to put in effort.

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Creativity Theft

by on Aug.25, 2008, under writing

As someone who has appreciated unique, novel ideas, it makes me incredibly happy when my players tell me my games are original. I put a lot of effort into making sure that my games are something the players have never seen before (and more importantly I as the GM have never seen before either – otherwise I’d get bored while running it). I suppose it shocks people a little when they ask me where I get my ideas, and I tell them, “I steal them.” (continue reading…)

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