Rewards: Status

We can offer status to our players (and the influence that comes with it). We can reward them with a title and a piece of land, or maybe a fixed income, though there should be an implied responsibility that goes with it. We can hand out knighthoods and membership in guilds. And we can generally... Continue Reading →


I am not Perfect

This post is a correction to something I wrote before: I do know that he does these things in his online game because he says he does. I don't think this is a true statement. I remember watching a video where Mercer said something like, "I don't fudge rolls as a rule but if the... Continue Reading →

Rewards: Power

I swear, these are coming up at random. This question was added just today (as I'm writing) and it's already got three answers. And the next day, that number jumped to seven, including the one I wrote. That will probably change again by the time I post this, so take it with a grain of... Continue Reading →

the Advanced Game

What am I after? What is the purpose of this blog? What do I hope to accomplish with my writing? I had hoped that my goals were easily identified by simply reading what's written here. However, I've had this question asked of me ~ on various forums and platforms ~ several times and I think... Continue Reading →

What You Know

One of the skills from the Tao's sage abilities system is Sharp Practice. Briefly, it is "the art of identifying the layout of a building or the probable background of an individual." Since Alexis hasn't put his notes online yet (quite possibly because he doesn't know exactly how the skill will work), I've been writing down... Continue Reading →

What the McGuffin?

What is the reason for this trope? In stories, it's a thing that moves the plot along. It's a tool that helps the reader get his characters motivated, leading to action, leading to an engaging story for the audience. This is all fine and good for a story, but we're not in the business of... Continue Reading →

Rewards: Gold

This is a great question. I wrote an answer but it was a short one. Other people have weighed in and I didn't want to repeat the points already made. But there's a bit of a disconnect in these answers. The answers seem to cluster around a few key ideas. The first of these, and... 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 →


A summary from the latest Master Class post: the DM is not responsible for giving the players an adventure. She is responsible for making the world within which the players act and seek adventure. What counts as being active? That's the distinction here and Alexis offers an example from his online game, helping to clarify... Continue Reading →

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