Sporadic Saturday Sweetness: 2018-03-11 1

Sporadic Saturday SweetnessI’ve missed a few deadlines here, but that’s because I’m busy (and fervently) working on edits on my Modern Mythology book #2, which is sequel to GRIFFIN’S FEATHER and is tentatively titled VIPER’S BANE. Things are going well on that front, but it’s pushing lots of other things out of my life. I have quite the backlog of links to talk about, and I might be a bit brief as I need to get back to my edits on the requested novel.

Here we go!

Shape with a Feather, not a Bludgeon

I had an interesting conversation with a fellow author at a book signing yesterday afternoon. We were talking about historical fiction and how the inciting incident (the thing that changes history from fact to fiction) is not the most important part of the writing, but the ripples that flow outward and change things. You have to get those ripples right. The inciting incident can be (almost) anything you want and the reader will go with it. However, if you get those rippled changes wrong, you’ll never hear the end of it, and those ripples are subtle. Mike’s article is along these lines with forming backstory and history for your campaigns. Be subtle. Get it right. Find those interactions. Consider as many angles as you can before deciding “this is how it’s going to be.”

Punishing PCs – the Pillory!

This is a pretty slick idea here. Instead of taking items/gold/whatever from the character, punish the character with some social humiliation, loss of social status, and receiving a negative reputation that can potentially last quite some time. I like it.


Take care of yourself as GM. That’s basically what this post boils down to, but Kira puts it much more eloquently than that. I agree with her approach here that there are times when care must be taken to ensure the GM is just as safe as the players. My key take away from this post is that the GM is a player, too. The GM needs to enjoy the game just as much as everyone else.


Ho boy! This post caused quite the fervor over at Gnome Stew and in a few social media outlets. I completely agree with Phil here. Games (especially role playing or “acting” games) need to be done in an emotionally safe manner. If you know your group well, I’d still recommend following Phil’s guidance here. I’m certain there are some triggers in some of my close friends that I’m unaware of because who really wants to talk about the negative aspects of their psyche in most conversations? Go check out Phil’s advice and guidance. Implement what you feel is necessary, but if you’re running a convention game (or a game for mostly/complete strangers), then I feel all of these steps are necessary.

Heartbeat Of The Ninja: exercises in effect and cause

This is pretty much how I run the perception/spot/notice/etc. skill checks. I show the effects to the players that have lower rolls. As the rolls creep higher on the scale, they get to see more of the effects. If a player rolls well enough, they either get a strong hint as the to source/cause, or they get to see it directly. I also “walk up” the rolls from lowest to highest. The lower rolls get small details (if any), and I pile on the details as I get into the higher die roll results.


Next time I see Matt (which would be the first time, actually), I’m going to give him a big ol’ hug for this post (if he’s cool with that kind of contact). There is no “it’s important to the story” that’s more important than the players themselves. If you pull that (in Matt’s words) bullshit enough times, you soon find yourself without willing players. No players means no story. So… How is the GM fiat more important than the players’ desires? It’s not. However, I want to temper this statement a bit because the GM (as stated above) needs to have fun as well. There’s ample common (and middle) ground between the “GM is in control” and “players’ desires” sides of things for everyone to come together and have fun.

RPG Books as Imagination Training

Would I be a published author without RPGs? No. I really don’t think so. I didn’t attempt my first creative writing effort until 5th grade, which was the summer after I discovered the D&D red box. I can very clearly see a cause and effect thing going on here. I might have dabble in storytelling of some sort, but I don’t think I’d have the creative foundation and imagination to create novels without having RPGs in my life as a starting point (and continuing effort).

Writing rules for other people

Yep. Agree. Totally. I’m fortunate to have done oodles of technical writing and technical documentation that was intended to be consumed by non-technical people. This has helped my “writing the rules” efforts tremendously.

Tombs of Black Ink

Hah! Ink splotch with a map over it. Nice touch. I like it.

One comment on “Sporadic Saturday Sweetness: 2018-03-11

  1. Mike Bourke Mar 13,2018 6:33 AM

    Glad you enjoyed my articles and good luck with “Viper’s Bane” (or whatever the final title turns out to be) 🙂

Comments are closed.