Unannounced Absence! And Recent Stuff

Sorry about that. Here’s what’s been going on. I was sick as a dog for almost two weeks. Normally this doesn’t interfere with writing much, but in this case it was happening as two deadlines hit, for a Vampire: The Dark Ages 20th Anniversary project, and for Howard Ingham’s Chariot. So I was either doing […]

Enoch’s Logistics, Realism and Stories

I don’t even know why I wrote this in a forum discussion in the first place, but I spent a lot of time on it and dammit, I’m going to get some blog content out of it. So in the V20 Black Hand book, people have asked how it’s possible to support dozens of vampires […]

90s Design: On Canon

Canon is now a Thing. Nerds fret over it and creators hate wrestling with it, but it used to be a nonentity in mainstream media. You had continuity, but there was little pretense of a persistent world with a coherent entity. Now everybody’s trying to build big media franchise like Marvel and Star Wars. Now […]

What’s In Your Trash Can?

In a secret place, Wood Ingham and I (and other folks) talk about games and things. Wood posted this as a coda to that discussion and others, about the Zizekian “trash can” of ideology and how it applies to RPGs. Please go read it, then come back. (I really hate what Zizek says about immigration […]

Solving Setting Mastery

So last time I talked about setting mastery and how it can screw up a game. In retrospect I think I overemphasized the bad parts. At its best, it helps people becomes natives of the setting. When they’re not jerks, they help everyone else get into the spirit of things and best of all, save […]

Setting Mastery

Back when D&D 3 came out, the designers talked about “system mastery.” Knowing the system better always helped you play a more powerful, effective character, but 3e made this an explicit design goal. Some feats and spells were just plain better than others. Later on this turned out to not be such a great idea, […]