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Abstract Musings

Assorted ideas about games.

  1. "Always Chaotic Evil" Considered Stupid

    by , 01-26-2014 at 01:10 AM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    (Originally posted on Google+, for some inexplicable reason.)

    Just to toss out a topic (or possibly sweaty dynamite) ... what's the general opinion on "evil races" in games? By which I mean entire intelligent species whose sole purpose is essentially to kill/enslave/annoy humans.

    As one might gather, I'm not a fan. My first problem is that real-world societies have attributed two-dimensional malice to their enemies far too often, with tragic results, and ...
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  2. Rules as Interfaces Redux

    by , 01-09-2014 at 12:28 PM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    Yesterday I babbled about viewing RPG rules as an interface between players and GMs, similar to a GUI or API in computer programs. In this view, the game rules, like GUIs or APIs, are most useful when they avoid unnecessary clutter and complexity.

    One other interesting consequence of this analogy is that, like interfaces, rules have to be stable in order to be useful. This applies both to official versions of the rules and house rules.

    For example, in every version ...
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  3. Rules as Interfaces

    by , 01-08-2014 at 07:38 PM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    Reading Numernera and a few other rule sets reminded me of a (not terribly original) idea that popped in my head ages ago: rules are the interface between players and GM.

    By "interface" I'm thinking of programming interfaces in object-oriented design, but the analogy works just as well with Advanced Programming Interfaces (APIs) in applications like Excel, Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) in any window-keyboard-mouse desktop application, a Web site's interface of forms and ...

    Updated 01-09-2014 at 12:29 PM by fmitchell

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  4. Maybe running a game ... (part 2)

    by , 11-03-2012 at 11:40 AM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    We ended up creating characters for Tunnels & Trolls, and I ran them through The Dungeon of the Rat, a new-ish GM adventure from RPGNow.

    Then real life intervened. We've met twice in as many months, both times to run Dragon Age. It's an interesting system and an interesting world, but I'm not sure whether we'll return to T&T, do DA instead, or what. (Including just drift our separate ways.)

    That got me thinking about another campaign I'd like to get started, ...
  5. Alignment Heresy and A Reformation: Alternate Alignments

    by , 04-07-2012 at 08:08 AM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    Law and Chaos might have no relevance in some campaigns. DMs may decide to forego alignments completely, or create an alternate system. A new system should include a Neutral or Unaligned option, and at least one active alignment.

    Monopolar alignments contrast with Unaligned, but have no true opposite. Spells detect merely its presence or absence. Examples in gaming include Shadow from Midnight and Chaos from Warhammer. One could also make this force positive, like Gnosis, a knowledge ...

    Updated 04-29-2012 at 09:13 PM by fmitchell

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