In which Vanir revisits his roleplaying roots, loses them, and finds them again. Also, he dresses a Mogwai up like Mr. Rogers for the first time in 30 years.
I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I became a dad: I think my son’s Christmas presents are super cool and I can’t wait for him to open them so I can play with them. Don’t worry. I’ll give him a turn if he’s good.
When I was first DMing, I spent a lot of time fleshing out every last detail and herding everyone around to each subsequent plot point on the Illusion of Choice Express (woo woo!). I’ve since learned that laying out some probable places to go and things to do is a good plan, and not to […]
As you may have guessed from my past few weeks’ worth of columns, I’ve been pretty anxious about getting back behind the DM screen. That finally happened this past Thursday, and it was really fun. The story progressed and grew in ways that were cooler than I initially envisioned (I freaking love that!) and the players were emotionally engaged in what was happening. Also, there was almost no combat whatsoever. Should I be worried? I hope their lust for orc blood doesn’t need to be sated with MINE. (P.S. I game with barbarians.)
My D&D campaign is at an awkward place. We haven’t played in at least a month, a couple of my players may be moving away at some point in the near future, and (by my reckoning) we’re about midway through what I’m loosely calling “the main story”. I’ve rather enjoyed this campaign. I’d rather not see it cancelled mid-season. But how do I give it a shot in the arm it needs?
I’m not going to lie. I really like it when my players have a problem. When they’re unhappy, I always have plenty to write about. Not only am I going to write about one of my players’ problems this week, I’m going to tell you about his character and several of mine. I think I’m a bad person.
In both fantasy and science fiction, it’s a fairly common theme to pit unlikely heroes against impossible odds. In very few circumstances do we said unlikely hero train and practice for years to become strong enough to beat his enemy — in many cases, the fan has been thoroughly defecated upon and the problem needs to get solved as soon as possible. That means something really unusual needs to happen in order for the good guys to win. Are you brave enough to wield the double-edged sword to give your players this option? Will you cut your own kneecaps off? Will they beat you to death with their PHBs? Or will you achieve Total Victory?
This week, I’m going to try to write the column I thought I was writing last week about roleplaying better characters. Today’s topic, in particular, is how to avoid playing one-dimensional characters and how to breathe a little life into your PCs using simple tools you can find in your own home. Unless, of course, I realize I’m talking about something else.
Villains add a great element to a campaign: an opposing force that the players can invest themselves in fighting against. But what exactly makes a good villain? Let’s take a little trip down a road paved with good intentions.