Friday, January 8, 2021

Eleven Years! That's Probably Long Enough...

 This blog began in January of 2010. It moved to Blogger on January 10th I believe but started before that. The nice thing about starting in 2010 is it makes tracking the age of the blog really easy.

I started this blog because I figured I could write about running games more or less endlessly. After 11 years I've more or less proved that, even if I have recovered some topics from time to time. However, I am also thinking that 11 years is also a good run and I may - officially - leave it at that.

I never did this for an audience or a following. I hoped it could be a helpful tool for other people. I hoped it could be a place for discussion. And at times it was that and that was awesome. However, blogs were starting to be on the way out way back in 2010 when I started, and now it feels like even their successor in podcasts and vlogging is nearing that point of oversaturation. 

On top of that, while I still love gaming, and running games, and talking about games, my life is very different. I don't always have time. I'm missing more posts. It sometimes feels more like a chore than a fun thing to do to write posts, and that is increasing.

This isn't to say I will never update the blog. I've done this for 11 years, for all I know I mean to stop but will keep posting. There will also be times when I want to break things down for myself. It's entirely possible I'll take a break and maybe try to come back with a different format or structure.

For now though, I'm going to hang it up. The blog will hang around. The posts will hang around. I just won't be reliably updating it. 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed or just read some of the posts. I hope I gave you a new perspective to look at things with. And I hope you have fun in all your future games.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Reading People - Insight & Insight Type Skills

 There are moments that happen in works of fiction where one character reads another character like a book. A conversation happens, and as the characters separate one explains a whole slew of things they took from the conversation that were never discussed. To the viewer it looks like they discussed a grocery trip. However, from discussing that grocery trip the hero - or sometimes villain - knows that the secret plan kicks off on Tuesday and starts at Steve's house. How do they do that?

Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Holidays!

 Happy Christmas to those who celebrate Christmas! Happy late Hannukkah for those who celebrate Hannukkah. Happy Kwanza for those who celebrate Kwanza. Happy Solstice for those who celebrate Solstice. Happy Samhain for those who celebrate Samhain. 

Whatever your faith, or lack thereof, I hope you are having a wonderful - and safe holiday.

I'll be taking next week off as my own holiday. And then we'll see what happens with 2021.

Stay safe! Stay comfortable! I wish you all the best!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Bosses Can Break The Rules

 One of the challenges you can come across as a GM is how to make a boss character stand out mechanically or feel like a boss in a fight. There are some obvious ways to do it such as the bag of HP and high powered attacks. They're tried and true for a reason, they work, and every boss has to be able to absorb enough damage to feel like a challenge to take down while doing enough damage to feel like a threat. The thing is how does the boss do that, and how can you do it in a way so that a good round doesn't just blow up a player and take them out of the game while starting the death spiral for the encounter?

Monday, December 21, 2020

Does Your Game World Have Holiday Traditions?

 What are the holiday traditions of your game world? Is there one for Winter? Have you considered it?

Holiday traditions aren't really necessary for running a game. You could run a game for years and never once need to set things during a holiday. However, holidays are a big part of cultures. How holidays are celebrated are also a big part. So if you're building a world it can be a good idea to include that - even if just a few here and there - to help sell the world and setting.

Some things to keep in mind.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Three Maps, One Location

 Back when I first started trying to make maps I had an idea. I made an island to be the starting point for a campaign I ran. The idea was simple. The game would start with the PCs washing up ashore on one end of this island, and need to make it to the other end in order to escape. This would be the first 'adventure' which could be anything from a simple 1 level one shot, to bringing the PCs to level 3 or maybe even as far as level 5 if so desired.

Ultimately I only used it for a one shot intro for what ended up being only about half the group by the end.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

A Villain You Want Your PCs To Smash

 Quick tip for today. I've seen some people talk about how sometimes they have trouble when running games with certain villains because they like the character too much. They think the character has a lot of mileage and could be good for the game in the longrun, which in turn makes them not want to let the PCs kill them now - even if there is no way to really plausibly save said villain.