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I couldn’t agree less.

Tweet this is my response to a blog post on Gnome Stew. First, My Example “You’re walking through the ride, and you’re in the area with the fortune teller. That’s when you start noticing the bodies. Adults. Children. You hear some retching coming from behind one of the carts. “There a girl is sitting on the ground — maybe six or seven years old — next to the body of an older woman. The woman’s eyes have been gouged out. There’s blood and vomit running down the little girl’s chin and blouse. “There’s a partially chewed eyeball on the ground. She looks at you and says, ‘mommy’s eyeballs made me sick.’ ” That was my “Shit Just Got Real” moment in my Savage Worlds/Ghostbusters LA game. When I pitched the idea for the one-shot to the players, I told … Read entire article »

Filed under: Table Politics

Switching Systems (Again)

Tweet Once Upon a Time… I mentioned in several posts here that I was in the process of porting my fantasy campaign from DnD4e to Hero System 6th Edition. A couple of the players took up the job to make the PCs (making Hero PCs is no small task). I had a few hours to review the PCs, and though I had some misgivings, I decided to run the PCs mostly as-is and see how things shook out around the table. Although I had sent out guide lines (basically taken directly from the book), that is only the tip of the iceberg of the ground rules that need to be set in a system as flexible as Hero: Assumptions about the frequency of things like penetrating and armor piercing attacks Assumptions about resistant and the frequency … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming

Game Prep: Adventure Structure

Tweet This post is sort of a companion piece to the show in which we discuss the same subject. This is not about story element, plot hooks, etc. This is about how you structure your story, your plot elements, your clues, etc. , to create the adventure. I’ve identified five types of adventure structures. Why only five? Because most of the other ones I thought of ended up being a combination of two or more of the five. The Linear Structure This is a structure where one scene leads directly to the next. It could be a series of dungeon rooms connected with doors, a pursuit or a mystery where each scene only has clues that lead to the next scene.  This is probably the simplest of adventure structures. Retro-Linear Structure (I’m coining this phrase because I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design

What’s the Best Format for RPG Books? (Rhetorical)

Tweet Print. Next question. Yeah, I know, they’re not “green,” they’re heavy, they take up space, blah, blah. But it’s the one format I can take with me into the crapper  and not be accused of looking at porn. And that’s important. But, alas, time marches on, and the move toward publishing books exclusively in an electronic format is at this point an inevitability. Sadly .pdfs are the current default format, and I don’t think that’s going to change soon. But as publisher let go of the bonds of printed books, they need to also rethink the design and layout assumptions that exist because of the physical book and page. For instance, some titles that are solely published in pdf format still use the 8.5×11 portrait format. During this interim period, when both print and e-book formats coexist, it’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: RPG Industry BS

Flame Princess/Flame War Marketing

Tweet As a general rule, I’d prefer that people don’t assume I have Asperger’s — not that I have anything against those who suffer from the most self-diagnosed flavor on the Autism spectrum. It’s just that we as role-players tend to often joke about subjects that other people don’t find funny, we quote movies that no one else thinks are awesome and we we tend to make fun of shit that really isn’t funny — like Asperger’s. And some of us for some reason not only don’t know when we’ve crossed a line, but we don’t realize there was a line there to begin with. And inevitably, those of us who occasionally quote Monty Python to each other get lumped in with the guys who make rape jokes to the solitary girl in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews