Monthly Archives: July 2015

Failure is Necessary

I’ve been thinking about failure in RPGs after stumbling across some online forum posts pushing the notion that only success is fun. I have no intentions of trying to define fun because that’s a bit of a fool’s errand, if you ask me. But the idea that lack of success holds back RPGs in some… Read More »

Story Isn’t Roleplay

Movies, novels and folklore can inspire wonderful RPG rulesets and horrible roleplaying sessions. That’s because a good gamescape, homebrew or licensed, gives players an idea of what could be in store and what might be achieved. But applying the elements of a story to an actual gaming session also imposes the limitations of a story’s structure on… Read More »

Beware the Universal Panacea

“Surefire” ways to make players react certain ways to NPCs, aren’t. Articles like “Ten villains your players will hate!” or “Five NPCs your players will love” often contain good examples of bad advice for running a game. These start with the best of intentions — the desire to create a game that is more engaging… Read More »

Roleplaying Isn’t a Misnomer

Every pen-and-paper RPG has mechanical support for roleplaying built in. All you have to do is look at the character sheet. For me, roleplaying means imagining how a character would behave in a fictional world. Mechanical details on a character sheet shape how a character is role-played because those notes help determine what is easy,… Read More »