Sunday Six: 2014-05-25 7

Another belated Friday Five. I’m seriously thinking about dropping this to a permanent move to Sundays. It seems that between Day Job, Contract Job, Volunteer Job, Writing, and Family, I just can’t squeeze the time in until Sundays….

Anyone else have thoughts about a permanent move to Sunday?

Here’s the six links I gathered this week!

Three Wilderness Thoughts

Noisms has some great thoughts on mucking about in the great open wild. The title and bullet list on the blog state three, but if you look closely enough, there are probably closer to a dozen distinct ideas that can be gleaned from the post.

Growing Plot Seeds Into Mighty Oaks

Many a game campaign starts with a seed. Probably most (if not all) of them, but premature ending of a campaign can be caused by not planting the right seed. Lack of new seeds or growing the seeds into sprouts or mighty oaks without proper roots can easily kill a campaign. Basically, you need to think through the full implications of your ideas before you spring them on the players. I once had a GM complain that we were missing his clues. Turns out that we did catch his clues, but none of them really mattered to the players (individually or as a group). I guess this means he tossed out the wrong seeds and expected a different crop to grow. How do you avoid this conundrum? Mike has loads of great, practical advice on how to approach planting the proper seeds that will grow into mighty oaks.

How do you know when a campaign is over?

For me, the death knell of a campaign is the question, “When this campaign is over, what are we going to play next?” This means the players are more interested in the “new and shiny” rather than what is on the plate in front of them. There are many signs of a campaign coming to an unnatural close. When I say “unnatural,” I mean that the storyline isn’t completed, but the players are ready to stop creating that story. Check out the post and the comments. There’s some great information in there.

Organizations – Going Against The Grain

John has a good article about taking a “typical” organizational structure in your game world and twisting it up a bit to add more flair, flavor, and realism. There’s loads of examples (usually because of word count constraints) of guilds, nations, religious orders, and other groups being painted with broad strokes. When you run into those, think about what kind of internal strife you can throw into the mix to change things up.

[Tuesday Map] The ruins under Axehead Mound

This is a sweet map from Dyson that is packed full of opportunities to fill out with interesting encounters. I love his maps that he produces like this. It allows for a great deal of creative juice to be pumped into the rooms and hallways he has so expertly drawn.

Tick Tock – The Countdown Mechanic

I’ve rarely done this because I don’t need to count down toward impending doom very often. However, when I’ve pulled this trick from the bag, it’s worked very well. The countdown mechanic is a very strong spice, so use it sparingly. If you’re interested in how it’s done, check out the post by Phil.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Six: 2014-05-25

  1. Mike Bourke May 25,2014 11:43 PM

    Appreciate the kudos, Hungry. Hope you got something out of the article for your own use, too 🙂

  2. Hungry May 25,2014 11:51 PM

    I absolutely got quite a bit from your article, Mike. Loads of great information and many, many tips.

  3. Mike Bourke May 25,2014 11:52 PM

    PS: I’d have no trouble with a permanent move to Sundays, but I would be concerned that it would take away your safety net. That, after all, is the function that Sundays are serving for you. While you might start with the intention of still trying to have the post drafted on Friday, it’s too easy to think “I’ve still got a couple of days” and let that time slip until the deadline is hanging over your head again. So I’m not sure that it would work the way you would hope.

    Ultimately, it’s your decision, but you might get further with a review of the process that you are using to get to a ready-to-post article – for example, could you jot down a couple of notes while you’re actually looking at the page you’re going to link to when you read it? Even a single line or two can boost productivity when the time comes. Just a suggestion, feel free to disregard.

  4. Hungry May 25,2014 11:58 PM

    Thanks for the tips, Mike! I make mental notes as I read through the article, but no actual written or typed notes. I usually put together 5-8 bookmarks each week, and then type up my notes when I get a chance to do so.

    I think I’ll start compiling a post during the week and just save it as a draft. That’s a great idea.

    Also, you’re right that if I move it to Sunday, I’ll start posting on Tuesday…. That day or two safety is needed, so I’ll keep my target on Friday, but I won’t beat myself up to badly if I hit a Saturday or Sunday date.

  5. Mike Bourke May 26,2014 12:03 AM

    Probably the better solution. I kept remembering my article on efficiency in RPGs from a few months back, and wondering how that would apply to your blogging process – my suggestions were the result. I mention that so that you can take the ball and run with it on your own. Here’s the link if you need it: http://www.campaignmastery.com/blog/applied-time-and-motion/

  6. Hungry May 26,2014 12:07 AM

    Thanks for the link, and the reminder about the article. I do need to start focusing on my time management practices. That’s a strange thing for me to say since I’ve taught time management classes in the past.

    I guess I need to pull out my class notes as well and give myself a refresher class.

    Thanks again, Mike!

  7. Mike Bourke May 26,2014 6:39 AM

    It’s always one thing to have knowledge and something else to think to apply that knowledge to our own lives!

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