More on the interactive story

There's a trend in the "indie RPG scene" embracing narrative mechanics ~ that is, a game rule that gives the player control over the game beyond what their character is immediately capable of influencing. Most character skills or abilities can be summed up as: you have something written on your character sheet; something happens in... Continue Reading →

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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 →

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 →

How do you make a good D&D podcast?

Lately, I've been arguing with people online (no surprise there) about the quality of D&D "actual play" podcasts and videos. There's much to say about them but little that ties them all together. One will have poor sound quality, another is in bad need of editing; but these are technical details that frustrate the one... Continue Reading →

How Will You Die?

Contrary to what a certain commenter would (probably) have you believe, I'm not that much of an asshole. I'm opinionated. I'm generally right (until proven otherwise). These traits are overblown on the internet because there's no good way to present a strong opinion about something and come across as understanding of opposing views without appearing... 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 →

The thing about storytelling games…

I recorded a session with Alexis Smolensk last night for his upcoming Authentic Role-Play podcast. No spoilers. I can't even speak to the other guests because Alexis is keeping the production close to the chest until he's ready to release them, much as you would a traditional television program. I'm looking forward to it. There... Continue Reading →

I am Not Matt Mercer

EDIT: I posted a correction to this article. You can find it here. Matt Mercer did a roundtable discussion with a few other internet D&D personalities. It's both incredibly illuminating and incredibly boring. It's boring because there's no real discussion: it's a group of talking heads, politely taking their turn to say something that they... Continue Reading →

Why We Sandbox

I picked up a new play table for the kids. It's for those wood train sets, Melissa and Doug, I think. I set it up in the basement and showed my kids where we could put their toys ~ it has a few drawers in the frame we're using to hold blocks and Lego pieces.... Continue Reading →

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