Tag Archives: game philosophy

Top-Down Plug-in Game Design: The Perfect Recipe?

Click on the image to see a larger version As someone who writes about RPGs

It’s Reality, Jim, but not As We Know It: St Barbara

Two of the most important skills that I added to the Hero System when I was writing my House Rules for my Champions campaign were Paranormal Physics and Paranormal Biology . The first explains how powers work using game physics – and therefore can also be used to determine potentials that the character had not thought of, and training methods to bring them out. It can also be…

The Nth Level Of Abstraction

During the last week, the RPG Bloggers Network brought an interesting post to my attention: “Discussion: Time Gaps” at Reality Refracted . This got me to thinking about the hierarchy of abstraction, and how often we (GMs) move from one level to another in the course of a typical game session, and how we can use a seemingly inappropriate level of …

Bang! Blat! Whoomph! Character Conventions In Pulp (Continued)

This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grew so substantially that it became necessary to split it into multiple parts. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, and furnished a context for the whole series. The…

Wham! Clang! Kapow! Character Conventions In Pulp

The Story So Far… This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grew so substantially that it became necessary to split it into multiple parts. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, …

Pow! Bam! Crunch! Story Conventions In Pulp (continued)

This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grown so substantially that it has become necessary to split it into multiple parts. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, and furnished a context…

Pow! Wham! Bang! Story Conventions In Pulp

This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grown so substantially that it has become necessary to split it into multiple parts. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, and furnished a context for the…

Bam! Zap! Crunch! World Conventions In Pulp

This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grown so substantially that it has become necessary to split it into multiple parts. World Conventions In researching this article, a couple of other websites came to our attention, one of which divided the genre conventions for pulp fiction into three …

Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 5: Rules Touchstones – Combat

In the course of part 2 of this series, which was all about overcoming a resistance to studying rules for their own sake, I suggested that the GM learning a new set of rules should watch for patterns, and use them to make understanding the rules a little easier. Starting in this part of the series, I’m going to start explaining some of those patterns. and how…

Rules Mastery For Dummies & Busy GMs Part 4: The Quality of Rules

A lot of blogs and articles talk about “realism” (or verisimilitude) in RPGs and how to achieve it. Campaign Mastery is no different in this respect, a number of my articles having dealt with the subject. Over the last few weeks, as I write this, I’ve been spending time thinking about a fundamental question that a lot of these articles …

Jolting The Status Quo

I created two illustrations for this article and couldn’t decide which one to use. So I’ve used both. Life’s full of surprises. Some are pleasant; others challenge us, and may even seem overwhelming. Take me, for example: I’ve been living in the same rented unit for the last 20 years or so. Last week, I was sent a termination of lease by the landlord; …

Let’s Have A Good Clean Fight…

I’ve written on this topic before, but only as part of a larger subject. But I recently had occasion to expand the EL-CR chart that I created for my own use, and decided to share it with our readers – and have written this Blog Post to explain what it is and how I use it. This is a chart …

When Inspiration Is Not Enough: Time Travel in RPGs, Part 1

Extract from ‘The Persistence Of Memory’ by Salvadore Dali When writing my submission to the June 2010 Blog Carnival , A Medley Of Inspiring Media , I said that Time Travel was a special case. This article started off as just another section of that Blog Post, but quickly showed signs of growing into another of those monster subjects requiring a multiple-part post to completely contain the discussion. Rather than…

The Critical Threshold: A brief debate on the Merits of Extreme Results

This is not the post that I expected to make this week. I simply ran out of time and could not finish either the article I had intended to post this week [about time travel] or the one for next week [the long-awaited followup to last year’s Pillars of Architecture article], in time. Instead, I have had to reach into my …

It’s Not Like Shooting Sushi In A Barrel: A Personalised Productivity Focus For Game Prep

While watching the special features from Numb3rs season 3 on DVD, I got to thinking about one of the phenomena of TV shows – that some episodes you really like, and some you don’t, and some episodes are really popular and some are not (and these categories never completely coincide. This is true even of my favorite TV series. At the …