Monday, January 22, 2018

Reflections - A Game of Dueling Samurai

Over a year ago, in August of 2016, I posted about the Kickstarter for a small RPG called Reflections. Reflections is a two player RPG by Third Act Publishing where the players take on the role of samurai about to meet on the field of battle to settle matters once and for all. The game is straight forward, fairly rules light, quick to play - taking only an hour or less on our first play through - and is absolutely beautiful. Today, I want to talk about that.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Discussion: Food At The Table

What's your stance on food at the table? A lot of people have a long, time honored tradition of snacks and drinks while playing RPGs around a table. I've been in some groups - and am in some groups now - where dinner is often served at the beginning of game and people eat throughout the game. Others don't like food at the table at all.

Where do you fall?

In general, I am for snacks and such being at the table. At the same time, I'd be lying if I said that the sound of others eating never bothered me. Fortunately, it's a sound that is fairly easy to drown out with other things, including background music.

What about you and your groups. How do you feel about food?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Steal From Your Players

This was originally meant to be part of yesterday's post about stealing from everywhere, but in the writing it felt unique enough to stand alone. Online in some places there seems to almost be a competition going on between some players and GMs. I don't mean the game is GM vs. PC. I mean that some PCs seem to take it as a win if they can figure out the GMs plot before the grand reveal. Some GMs, at the same time, take it as a loss if that happens.

Today I want to tell you two things: 1) that's hogs' wash. 2) if your player has a more fun idea for what is going on than you, steal it!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Steal Shamelessly - From Everywhere - But Tweak It

When talking about RPGs a lot of people - including myself - boast about how it is a unique story telling medium because the audience and creators are the same thing. This is true. However, there is one other thing RPGs have that other creative fields can't get away with as well. When running an RPG not only can you, but you should, be stealing content ideas from everywhere at all times. It's one of the best ways to run a good game. Today I want to talk about how, and why.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Whoops! Late Post

Apologies, the long weekend - as they tend to do - messed up my schedule. There will be a post tomorrow, Wednesday, and Friday this week. Sorry for the delay!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Discussion: Why Are You Playing Your Current Character?

Two questions that I feel every player should be able to answer are:


  1. Why are you playing your current character?
  2. How does your current game let that happen?
Basically, if you're playing a character odds are there is a reason. And if the character is in a game, the game should be doing something to help that thing happen. 

If you can't answer the first question, than you may have no purpose in playing the character which can make for a flat character or one that will peter out and be unfun at some point in the future. If you can't answer the second question, then the game may not be enabling what you want out of the character, which can lead to unfun sessions or a game you don't care about as much.

In both cases, not being able to answer the question merits a conversation with the GM about the character, the game, and how you can make those things happen. However, keep in mind that you're not always going to have deep answers to the questions. Sometimes the answer to number one is "I'm playing my character because I like Rogues" and "The game lets that happen by letting me be a rogue and do rogue-ey things."

Perhaps the answer is deeper for some?

In my friend's Star Wars game I'm playing a cowardly mechanic. I'm playing the character to explore being a support character from a different angle I normally do. It is also letting me have fun with a character with super low willpower that constantly makes bad decisions they have to weasel out of. The game lets me do this by giving me opportunities to make horrible decisions and try to weasel out of the consequences, both against NPCs and PCs.

What about you?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It's Ok To Let Your Players In On The Plan

One of the more counter-intuitive pieces of advice I've seen for GMing that I find myself agreeing with is that it's ok for your players to be in on the plans you have for them as a GM. This is especially true in games where you are trying to have bigger story interaction with who the PC is, or when a Player is looking for specific things from their character. I say it's counter-intuitive because it feels like you're ruining the surprise, and you're ruining the 'moment' of the reveal. But honestly, you're not. If anything, you're making sure that those moments don't get wasted.