Off the Map: True Grit

One night this week I had the opportunity to see the movie True Grit from the Coen Brothers and starring Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross, Matt Damon as LaBoeuf, Josh Brolin as Tom Chaney, and Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned Pepper. Though the Coens and I don’t always agree, this…

More thoughts about Typography, or the tools used to create it…

Image by voyageAnatolia.blogspot.com via Flickr Long title, I know… But basically I am wondering how we might take the small things, such as the method of writing, and use that in a game. And by “method” in this case, I’m thinking of the tools used to create the work.¬†For example, were the letters painted onto…

RPG Review: Kingdoms of Kalamar: City Map Folio

As a GM, it’s nearly impossible to get by without a few maps. Sure, you can come up with a village on the fly, or maybe a 5-room dungeon, but cities are sometimes tough to design at the drop of a hat. Not only are there landscape concerns, but population, location, general disposition (friendly or…

Is it time to ask your character some questions?

Yes, I’m probably going out on a limb here by asking you to talk to a fictional character – which can be further construed as asking you to talk to yourself. (Though recent articles say that talking to yourself isn’t necessarily a bad thing – see here.) Characters are rarely just numbers and words on…

How do you make module-driven games seem less railroaded?

Hi all… Yes, it seems that nearly every time I post anything these days, it’s asking a question. But before I ask, let me provide some context… We have a very small group (currently 2 or 3 players depending on the week and a GM) playing a D&D 3.5e adventure set in one of the…

RPG Blog Carnival: NPC Show and Tell…

I’m coming late to the RPG Blog Carnival this month, but better late than never, right? Image via Wikipedia NPCs are an area where I either go very deep or very shallow. For example, a common theme I have in running a game is putting an Inn/Tavern in every town and there always happens to…

Player-Character Bonds… How do YOU find an emotional bond with your character?

Funny little story… This past weekend, the gaming group I’ve been playing with decided it was time to put the sandbox campaign we’d been playing on hold and start something new in November. At the heart of the decision was the fact that the campaign just never “clicked” for everybody involved (two players and the…

Open-Ended Campaigns: Sandbox Trouble

In the various campaigns that I’ve run over the years, I have always tried to get close to the sandbox approach of storytelling. However, as all GMs who have tried it can probably attest, a wide open world has its issues. This is a cautionary tale to anyone looking to run their campaign wide open…

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