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What Can We Learn from #GamerGate?

Tweet Since August, the internet has been in an uproar about the #gamergate controversy. It seems that everyone has a different opinion about the point of the movement and its impact on the industry. Regardless of what the parties involved intend, and the horrible behavior of jerks abusing the anonymity provided by the internet, there are two main issues that should be pulled from this clusterfuck and more closely examined. 1. Ethics in Journalism Regardless of your feelings about the #gamergate movement, this is an important issue that shouldn’t be ignored. When I was a teacher, I always warned my students about the information available on the internet. The internet gives us incredible freedom to express ourselves and share our opinions, however there are no controls in place to vet websites, online authors, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, Featured, General Gaming, Misc, Opinion

GenCon 2014: What I learned.

Tweet Here I am at home, recovering from another trip to the Best Four Days in Gaming. That’s right, I was able to attend my fourth GenCon in Indianapolis this year. It was an amazing experience to say the least, and probably my favorite con attendance ever to say the most. Let me tell you a little bit about why, and maybe I can make you even more jealous than you already are. First off, as I said, this is my fourth time attending this amazing gaming Mecca. My first year happened in 2010 when I was unemployed and had spent lots of my time helping a local game store owner open his first shop. As a thank you, he gave me a badge to the con … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice, General Gaming, Misc

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

A look at my con-game prep.

Tweet Last weekend at Strategicon’s Gateway 2013, I ran a GURPS game called the Overwarlord’s Emissaries. The game is set in a setting I’m working on, called Blood, Blade and Tusk. It’s an alternate history where – just as the crusades are about to start – hordes of orcs show up in France, dramatically changing the course of history. In this game, two hundred years of war and a successful series of campaigns by the orcs’ Overwarlord Tu’ch Ra’tan has left the kingdoms of Christendom nearly bankrupt and ready to make peace. The party of player characters consists of the bitterly divided orc tribes’ peace emissaries. Some tribes sent their fiercest orc warriors. Other tribes, sincerely ready for peace, sent more learned orcs (a merchant, a poet, and a shaman). Christendom was also divided … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Advice