The Problem with Role-Playing

Maybe this is the tide turning: It's taken as a given that in most hobbies you do the hobby to enjoy it, and that you'll try your best to enjoy the process. Upon the foundation of that given, the hobbyists then talk about technique and finesse. ... in tabletop RPGs, I feel like there's a certain pushback (especially when... Continue Reading →


The Real Session Zero

If you're sitting at my table, it's because I invited you. There are many reasons for that invite, many factors I had to consider, not the least of which is the existing dynamic among the other players. Please understand that what I'm about to say to you, I said to them when they sat down... Continue Reading →

What are Dungeons For?

What is a dungeon? (Apart from the obvious answer, of course.) Dungeons are the places where we find adventure. They are the Castle Greyhawk, Mines of Moria and Tomb of Horrors in our worlds. They are dragon lairs; ancient temples; sunken cities; goblin warrens; and deep, dark recesses of the earth. Truly, in dungeons, there... Continue Reading →

Let’s Play Pretend

I must ask the reader's patience for this post: the recent discussion has put into my mind the need to provide examples that better illustrate my points. All too often, I feel that we get lost when discussing hypothetical situations. These discussions would benefit the most from actual examples, but given how complicated things can... Continue Reading →

Oh, so close…

I like Matt Colville's work. He has good advice, even if he feels the need to couch it in language that's more palatable to the sensitive viewer. I wish he would be more consistent with his views. It'd be nice if he was a little more critical. And I'm expecting the Strongholds and Followers book... Continue Reading →

What Comes After?

I've made it a point to argue that acting is not necessary in order to play a role-playing game. This is fundamentally because role-playing is defined as "the acting out of the part of a particular person or character," and, in the context of an RPG, that role ~ the person or character ~ is... Continue Reading →

Power Curves

After writing about dwarves and elves and orcs, I started musing about halflings. Since I don't treat them as a race and can't comment on halfling "culture," I thought I would explain my process for character generation, and how the player might be a twin and get to play two characters at once, or he... Continue Reading →


Discussions of "railroad vs. sandbox" are common enough among gaming circles. For the most part, we assume we know the meaning of these terms. But what if we don't? In all conversations, the ability to communicate relies on a common understanding. We need to know the terms and concepts we're using, else we'll be talking... Continue Reading →

Podcasts and Blogging

It's been a couple weeks since the last post but I want to assure the reader that I am not going anywhere. This is, unfortunately, part of the natural ebb and flow that is life. Work has taken much of my time lately; of course, family is always important; and I've been working with a... Continue Reading →

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