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PC Back Story Example

Tweet A little more on PC backstories. I like them short, concise and packed with ideas. To illustrate, I’ll give you an example backstory for a cosmic horror PC. The son of a respected professor father from a prestigious university and a renown physician mother, Dr. Arthur Stillman lived a comfortable life, attending the best schools and universities. After finishing his post graduate work, he struggled finding employment until he received a position at Rhinefall University in west Pennsylvania as a professor of parapsychology. While respected by most of his colleagues, his unconventional theories have drawn criticism and ridicule from several prominent academicians in his field, most notably,  the coldly skeptical Dr. Henry Turn from Carrow College in upstate New York. Within these two paragraphs and three sentences, we have plenty of plot hooks … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice

The Perfect Backstory

Tweet Tomorrow night on Happy Jacks RPG Podcast, sponsored by Crone, the RPG, by the way, we’re going to talk player character backstories. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the sorts of item in backstories that GMs love to see. So in preparation of that discussion, I’d like to detail a few things that I love to see in PC backstories. One: Generates NPCs When gearing up a game, one of the most time-consuming tasks is developing a cast of non-player characters. Crowd sourcing this to your players is a great way to lighten the work load. It doesn’t just have to be parents and other family members, though those can be fun too. And it doesn’t have to be mortal enemies either. It might be a local fence that a thief knows and trusts. Perhaps … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice

The Firewall is Dead

Tweet Note: this article is not about RPGs, but rather about the RPG business. Full disclosure: I was a member of the Featured Reviewer Program and I continue to post affiliate linked banners and links to DTRPG and other OBS properties.  Update: this article has been edited since originally written, as I have conversed with Morrus at ENWorld, and it became clear than his implication that my experience with OBS as a Featured Reviewer was exaggerated with unintentional, and he has since edited the article in question.  Morrus at ENworld quoted me in a news article about Drivethrurpg and their policies and directives to those of us who were in their “Featured Reviewer” program. He followed this with a statement from Onebookshelf (the company that runs DTRPG) wherein they do not address any of … Read entire article »

Filed under: RPG Industry BS

PSA for Publishers Part 2: How to do it right.

Tweet Note: This post (and the previous post) contain no content about table-top RPGs. While this is the usual subject matter of this blog, I’m writing these two articles as a service to RPG publishers seeking publicity, reviews and interviews. I can’t say all of this information is applicable to all new media, but it does set a good foundation for best practices.  In Part 1, I’m guessing I came across as an asshole, but I think that was necessary. That first article was meant to chase away all the entitled douche bags. I don’t want to help them. This article is about helping publishers gain a little more success with their publicity efforts. I have interviewed publishers or plugged or reviewed products on several occasions. Some of these are relatively prominent names … Read entire article »

Filed under: RPG Industry BS

PSA for Publishers Part 1: New media and you.

Tweet Note: This post (and the follow-up post) contain no content about table-top RPGs. While this is the usual subject matter of this blog, I’m writing these two articles as a service to RPG publishers seeking publicity, reviews and interviews. I can’t say all of this information is applicable to all new media, but it does set a good foundation for best practices.  Being the producer of a RPG podcast with a lot of listeners (comparably), I get a lot of requests for reviews and interviews from small game publishers, and I would like to take a moment to both illustrate what it’s like on the other side of your publicity efforts and offer some suggestions on how to do it better and maybe meet with more success. I actually hold a bachelor’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: RPG Industry BS