On developing your character

This is not an uncommon question online: How do I fully develop a Dungeons and Dragons character so their actions are in character? And the answers aren't necessarily bad. Choose a personality. Give your character a quirk. Know your character's motivation. Try to pick things that are distinct from yourself. Write a backstory. Answer a... Continue Reading →

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On the interactive nature of the RPG’s story structure

Often, the ability to impact a game world is fairly illusory, but player agency is a primary distinction between narrative and character in a linear medium and ludonarrative and ludocharacter in video games. (The "ludo-" prefix indicates an element of game theory fused with traditional literary or artistic structures.) -- Liana Kerzner, WHY FEMINIST FREQUENCY ALMOST... Continue Reading →

On the need for contribution

In response to a conversation at the Tao of D&D, Matt wrote: . . . in D&D, we need better DMs. We need better tools to teach DMs how to gage [sic] their table, how to open conversations, and how to care for the people around them. But we both know that Paizo and WoTC don't... Continue Reading →

On impotence

I will admit ~ I'm torn on the topic of "save or die" effects. A single casting incapacitates the target for the spell's duration and that duration is long enough to effectively remove it from the fight. In the worst cases, that effect is the death of the character because the fight ends, the effect... Continue Reading →

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 →

Pulling the Goalie

Gladwell's latest Revisionist History podcast. As always, you should listen to the whole thing. For our purposes, the following points are the most relevant: In hockey, you pull the goalie when you're certain that it's worth the risk to leave your goal undefended, in order to increase you chances of scoring and winning the game.... Continue Reading →

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