The Lineup: Predefining Player-Selected NPC Relationships

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 in Design, Fantasy, Play, RPGs | One Comment

I laid out seven cards I’d selected from Paizo’s GameMastery deck, Urban NPCs, in a row at the middle of the table, where both of my regular players could see them. Without any preview or overview, I tasked my players with answering the questions below. (I actually even changed the order of the questions at […]

Geography of Games

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in Musing, RPGs | 7 Comments

Each roleplaying game is a city. This is what I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been turning over definitions of roleplaying games and story games in my head, these past few days. RPGs and cities are two of my favorite things to read about and explore. I love them for their emergent beauty and their complex […]

Mike Sugarbaker Tackles the Definition of an RPG

Posted by on Jan 17, 2012 in Hamlet's Hit Points, Question, RPGs | 9 Comments

I love the question, “What is a roleplaying game?” I loathe the same question. We all contain multitudes. Apparently, I’ve recently taken to talking about roleplaying games and story games with one of my weekly gaming groups in a particular way. What way? I don’t know, exactly. I was just blathering something about how I […]

The First Fourteen Reverb Gamer Prompts

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Musing, Question, RPGs | One Comment

The Reverb Gamers blog prompts, from Atlas Games, have inspired quite a few game bloggers this month. The project offers thirty-one prompts for thirty-one days of January blogging. It’s a fine idea. Alas, without the time to devote to daily blogging, I’ve been working on the first 14 prompts slowly over the course of a […]

Always/Never/Now Has Launched

I hesitated to post this here because this isn’t a Gameplaywright project, but you might be interested in seeing it all the same. I’ve launched my first Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion and publication of a story-game adventure called Always/Never/Now. Everything you need to know is at this link. Truth is, I’m eager to […]

Review the Game You Got

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in Fantasy, Movies, Musing, Question, RPGs, Video Games | 5 Comments

Again with War in the North. I’m using this game to explore some questions because (a) I am currently playing it and (b) because it’s a relatable property even if you’re not playing it—I feel safe assuming that many of you have seen the Lord of the Rings movies or know of them. War in […]

Emerge and Be Recognized

Posted by on Nov 15, 2011 in Design, Play, RPGs | 7 Comments

What about traits that emerge during play between characters? What about traits that describe a group of characters, like an adventuring party or a superhero team? I’m thinking out loud about this because of something Sage LaTorra wrote about yesterday on Twitter. While discussing the place that group traits might have (or might not have) […]

License to Roam

Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in Books, MMOs, Play, RPGs, Video Games, Websites | 10 Comments

I’ve just scratched the surface of Lord of the Rings: War in the North but I’d been looking forward to this game for a while. What drew me in was its promise of an original story set in Middle-earth’s less-visited locales, like Mirkwood or the ruined city of  Fornost, all rendered with a mix of the […]

Columns & Conversations

Posted by on Nov 1, 2011 in Design, RPGs, Websites | One Comment

In case you don’t have enough to read already, I thought I’d bring two more RPG-related columns to your attention. Are you reading these already? Back in September, the inestimable Monte Cook reunited with Wizards of the Coast and took over writing the Legends & Lore column online. In each column, Monte examines or reexamines […]

Hardwick's Lathery Foam

Chris Hardwick, he who founded The Nerdist empire (or, if not empire, then duchy) and hosts the likes of the Nerdist podcast and The Talking Dead, has a book coming out called, fittingly, The Nerdist Way. Hardwick’s also an occasional contributor to Wired (a magazine I like very much) and this month that magazine sports […]