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 →

Five Dimensions of Personality

I have a list of over 300 personalities. It's a single list that I'd hoped to use to produce personalities for NPCs at random. I also thought to associate it with alignment ~ a background detail, not relevant to my players because I don't use alignment in the actual playing of the game ~ because... Continue Reading →

Memory Charm

Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast titled Revisionist History. It's an examination of "something misunderstood or overlooked." Like most of Gladwell's work, it's worth its weight in gold. If you haven't heard of it before now, you need to take a moment and listen. I recommend starting with the episode about McDonald's French fries. I recently... Continue Reading →

All the Best Stories…

I've long felt that D&D war stories are just the worst. Today, in a moment of fridge logic, I realized why. A good story is one that attracts the reader's investment, builds up tension and culminates in the release of that tension. D&D war stories don't do this because there's too much personal investment on behalf... Continue Reading →


de·lib·er·a·tion noun 1. long and careful consideration or discussion. 2. slow and careful movement or thought. When and how do you apply this to your game? When you pick up the dice for a roll that could alter the course of everything, do you pause to look the players in the eyes? Do you speak... 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 →

Choose Your Weapon

Historically, my dice have always sucked. I picked dice for their ascetic appeal. (Chessex was my preferred brand, and I purchased more than just dice from them ~ my favorite product was a wet erase, vinyl map; grids on one side, hexes on the other.) Unfortunately, as a player, this meant that I pretty much... Continue Reading →

In case you were wondering…

By the way, this is one (among many) of the reasons I don't use alignment anymore. The game took place in the Masque of the Red Death setting, which is based on the Ravenloft campaign setting, which itself grew from the many publications related to the Domains of Dread, a collection of lands or nations... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑