Just in Time for Valentine’s

Over at Exchange of Realities, Ravyn writes about the dangers of “Designated Love Interests”… that is, NPCs that are designed to become the love interest of one of the PCs. The Dangers of Designated Love Interests – Exchange of Realities People will do amazing things for the ones they love; as a result, such love […]

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The Rule of Goofy

A graphical representation of Rule of Cool | Greywulf’s Lair The inestimable Dr. Checkmate’s observation: I disagree. Purely subjective of course, but one man’s cool is another man’s goofy. And there is no rule of goofy. Actually, I think there is a Rule of Goofy, and it goes something like this: The ability of an […]

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The Rule of Cool: A Useful Tool

The Geek, at Geek Related, writes: Why the Rule of Cool Is Not Cool I’ve been following the debate about the so-called “Rule of Cool.”  It’s a “TV Tropes” concept extended to RPGs by  the Chatty DM, (original post “The Rule of Cool” here, and clarification “The Rule of Cool Takes Flak” here).  A number […]

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Bait and Switch

This month, the RPG Blog Carnival topic is “Transitions and Transformations,” so I’d like to talk a little about Baiting and Switching campaign premises in RPGs.  The basic idea, seductive in its simplicity, is that you emulate a common staple of fantastic fiction where the protagonists find themselves in a setting or situation that is […]

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Fluffy Crunch and Crunchy Fluff

Matthew Conway recently wrote Fluff and Crunch Are Dead To Me, about how he’s grown to hate the terms, but I see them as getting at something.  To me, anyway, Crunch is all the mechanics of the game: you roll this, and subtract that number from this other thing, if the result is 0 or […]

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How to Railroad Your Players

Don’t. Figure out some other way of advancing the scenario, or at least what path it will take if the players succeed instead of failing. If you absolutely feel that you have to, then: For my money, the best way of handling this is openly telling the players that the outcome of the scene is […]

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When Failure Is Not An Option

Don’t make it an option. Seriously. Wandering the RPG blogosphere and forums, I’ve seen a lot of advice for GMs along the lines of “What to do when the party fails?”  The advice goes on to detail some clever or not so clever ways of preventing the module or entire campaign from going down in […]

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