Archive | Meta Thursday

Confessions of an Evil GM: Sandbox vs. Railroading

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When I started playing RPGs, railroading was the only way ahead. Then something called a sandbox came along. I initially thought, “isn’t that where children play and cats do their business?” That’s only partly accurate; sandbox design is a way of making the campaign world more alive. More alive? I just wanted to kill things […]

Slapping your Players

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As a rule of thumb I’m a kind GM; as I’ve stated previously, I think roleplaying should fundamentally be a positive, empowering experience for the people involved. This motivation comes from a desire to see the storytelling process along and doesn’t force players to invest themselves, it invites them to. Sometimes, though, you should slap […]

A Significant Other drawn into Tabletop Games (or A Colossal Meandering into the Heart of the Night)

For the longest time I failed to grasp the allure of darkness. My beloved would be gone during those hours of emptiness I used to repair my body and mind. His absence added to my personal anxieties and I wondered what it was about this sphere that immersed him so. Did he have a better […]

Designer’s Spotlight: Damned Souls of Fenleist with Mike Myler

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Why should someone check out the Damned Souls of Fenleist? Do you remember Castlevania? I do. That was my original plan when I pitched this to AdventureAWeek.com and the follow through became so much more without abandoning that wonderful Eastern European feel and sense of horror. The only thing missing was vampires, but I promise there’s […]

Avaricious Advancement – Dealing with Greedy PCs

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Not everyone plays a roleplaying game the same way intentionally, and the results are often spectacular when you get those players to step outside of their comfort zone. I know this because I am one of those players. Unless there’s a vow or alignment restrictions (and sometimes despite my best efforts even then) there’s deceit […]

Empowering Experience – Setting aside CR

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Everyone has their own concept of what an ideal tabletop experience should entail. Sometimes this means a rigid adherence to every detail to really drive home the simulation and aspects of reality inherent in a roleplaying game, right down to the carefully maintained inventory of carried equipment and penalties for anyone a pound past the […]