While Ameron’s post is aimed toward D&D 4e character creation, I think he has some great advice that can be used in just about any game. It’s not a guide on how to min/max your character, but how to make one that is effective at the game and won’t have tons of weak spots. A good balanced character is always the best route to go.
How many people are at your gaming table? 4, 6, 8, 12? Is it too many or not enough? It looks like NewbieDM had too many people in the group and had to make some cuts. It’s always a rough decision to remove someone from the gaming table, but in my past experiences it has always been because of personality conflicts, not overpopulation. Either way, it’s never an easy thing to do. Maybe NewbieDM’s words will help you out.
I’ve always loved narrative combat, but I guess that’s because I grew up with it. As a young child playing D&D, I had no funds for minis, paint, battlemats and the other necessary items for gridded combat. Having said that, I currently run most of my games as gridded combat instead of narrative because I can afford the spiffy things necessary to make it happen. There are still a few combats that I run (small ones mostly) in narrative style just so we’re not spending/wasting time on setting up the map, figures and other items.
Secret societies fascinate me. Full stop. It doesn’t matter if they exist in the real world or a fictional setting. I love them because you can never learn all you want to know about them (unless you’re the GM.) However, it takes careful brush strokes to add a secret society to your world. Go see what Krystal has to say on the matter. She has some great words!
How are leaders of countries chosen? Well, it turns out there are quite a few beyond the typical patriarchal inheritance system that we all know and love. Mike has a great breakdown of the various systems over at Campaign Mastery.