Posts concerning roleplaying


22:34 09 Sep 2010

Near the start of July I mentioned the idea of keeping a “gratitude journal”. I’ve been doing that, more or less, since then.

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Intelligence Scores and Roleplaying Game Combat

21:35 19 Jul 2010

The intelligence characteristic in roleplaying games is problematic. The advantages it confers are often mechanical—more spells, more languages—and it’s hard to have it work for players in ways that the physical characteristics do. A player checking against their strength score to break something is fine, but a player checking against their intelligence score to solve a puzzle—or a plot point, something my players have contemplated trying—just isn’t. Even less fine is a player requesting combat action suggestions on the basis that their character’s high intelligence would mean that they’d come up with something clever.

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23:36 16 May 2010

After a highly enjoyable, productive, and extended period, it’s time for me to return to the world of paid work.

I’m quite happy with the things I’ve done during my time off. Many of them are important only to me, but then, it’s been my time off.

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11:56 01 Apr 2010

At the beginning of March I kicked off a roleplaying campaign, the first I’ve run since early 1995. The setting is essentially the one I laid out last year in my fantasy world sketch, which now as the name “Q’Rith”.

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2010 Goals: First Quarter Review

11:12 30 Mar 2010

Yes, clearly my progress (or lack thereof) needs quarterly reports. And here’s the first one for this year.

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An Introduction to Roleplaying Games

23:56 21 Mar 2010. Updated: 21:32 19 Jul 2010

Today I ran for the second time the roleplaying one-shot I did in December, with a completely different group of players. Last time the new:experienced ratio among the players was 1:4, while this time it was 3:1 (also, last time the female:male ratio among the players was 2:3, while this time it was 3:1).

Because of the number of new players, I prepared a little introduction to roleplaying to give before starting play, and I thought that it was worth sharing more widely.

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12:09 08 Mar 2010

I’ve been using the vector graphics editor Inkscape a fair bit over the last few days, and in the last few months have given it something of a workout. It’s been quite impressive. I was never a really heavy Illustrator user, but Inkscape seems to compare to it much more favorably than, say, GIMP compares to Photoshop. It’s a later-generation product, so perhaps that’s not being fair, but regardless it just feels a lot better to use. Maybe there are killer features that Illustrator has that Inkscape doesn’t, but since I don’t know what they are, I don’t miss them…

I’ve mainly been using it for map-making (related to this), and for that it’s been really good, and I’m rather glad it exists, because doing the same kind of work in a bitmap editor would probably be incredibly frustrating. I haven’t read through the documentation, but whenever I’ve needed to find out how to do something I’ve been able to without much trouble, so it seems that they’re doing a good job on that as well.

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The Future of Tabletop Games? D&D on the Microsoft Surface

18:15 26 Feb 2010

Microsoft Surface is an advanced touchscreen display built into a table, backed by a fairly advanced suite of software for gesture recognition. I hadn’t seen many compelling uses for this technology… until SurfaceScapes, a group at the Carnegie-Mellon Entertainment Technology Center, released demos of Surfaces customized to hangle playing miniature-based D&D on them.

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Comments on GMing After a 15-Year Hiatus

09:10 03 Jan 2010

Last Wednesday, I ran a roleplaying game for the first time since late 1994 or early 1995. It was a one-shot, using the same broad setting and rules system hybrid that I’m planning to use for a campaign later this year.

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2010 Goals

08:53 01 Jan 2010

Happy New Year!

Once again, my goals for the coming year.

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RPGs I’ve Played

09:03 15 Dec 2009

While talking to my friend Jeff recently, I realized that I’ve played quite a few different roleplaying games—by which I mean Sit Around The Table roleplaying games, and not MMORPGS, LARPS, or computer ”RPGs” like the Final Fantasy series—and my list-making tendencies more or less decided at that point that a blog post would have to be made.

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How Do Magic Weapons Work?

15:37 16 Nov 2009. Updated: 22:39 25 Jan 2011

This is mainly referring to weapons in Dungeons & Dragons-style roleplaying games, but also fantasy literature given that magic weapons are staples of the genre.

In my Fantasy World Sketch, I suggested that magic would have altered human development significantly, primarily in the realm of food production. I didn’t go down the route of completely reimagining how societies would have developed, in part because I wanted to end up with something that resembled a “classic” fantasy milieu, but it seems clear to me that since food production is a priority for most species, magic would be used to improve it. Historically speaking, war is another important societal endeavor, and its import is clear in most fantasy realms—that is, the impact of magic on warfare is discussed at length and covered in the rules.

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Fantasy World Sketch

23:58 09 Mar 2009. Updated: 01:10 15 Nov 2009

Over the last three weeks ideas about a setting for a fantasy roleplaying campaign have been popping into my head. I haven’t really wanted to work on this, especially since I don’t intend to run a campaign anytime in the near future (although doing so remains tempting), but I had to write some of them down, and now I feel I should outline the major points of this setting, just to get them out there.

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Some Old-School AD&D

17:45 30 May 2007. Updated: 08:50 31 May 2007

This evening I played AD&D, roleplaying for the first time in years. I was dropped into an already-running campaign and given the character of an Illusionist/Thief (2/3) performer and jeweler Gnome (who was also apparently Jewish).

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