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About fmitchell

Basic Information

Date of Birth
December 25, 1965 (48)
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My Icon:
Willing to Travel:
50 miles
Availability (Days):
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday
Availability (Times):
Afternoons, Evenings
Desired Gaming Frequency:
Weekly - Once per week
Gaming Preferences
Preferred Genres:
Dark Future, Fantasy, Horror, Modern, Science Fiction / Futuristic, Space Opera
Favorite RPGs:
BRP, Call of Cthulhu, D6, FATE, GURPS, HeroQuest, PDQ
Gaming Worlds:
Mostly homebrew, maybe Glorantha or non-medieval fantasy
Preferred Playing Style:
75% Roleplaying / 25% Combat
Ideal Group Size:
Medium Groups (Between 4 and 6 players)
Online RPGs?:
About Me
Played: AD&D, d20, D&D 4e, Ars Magica, Barbarians of Lemuria, Grimm, Hero System, RuneQuest (2nd ed), Spirit of the Century, The Fantasy Trip, Traveller. GMed: Basic Role-Playing, GURPS, one-shots in TFT, AD&D, CoC, PDQ, LotFP.

Interested in GMing or Playing: Basic Role-Playing, Barbarians of Lemuria/the Aftermath, Call of Cthulhu, Grimm, GURPS 4e, HeroQuest, LotFP, PDQ, RuneQuest II (Mongoose), Spirit of the Century, Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies, Traveller, Unknown Armies. Might also play any moderately rules-light game.


"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)



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View fmitchell's Blog

Recent Entries

"Always Chaotic Evil" Considered Stupid

by fmitchell on 01-26-2014 at 01:10 AM
(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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Abstract Musings

Rules as Interfaces Redux

by fmitchell on 01-09-2014 at 12:28 PM
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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Abstract Musings

Rules as Interfaces

by fmitchell on 01-08-2014 at 07:38 PM
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

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

Abstract Musings

Numenera Stream-of-Consciousness Quasi-Review

by fmitchell on 12-28-2013 at 11:10 AM
So far I've read the Player's Guide and skipped through the core book. I'm not sure whether I like Numenera or not.

The central mechanics are pretty cool:

  • The system requires only three dice: a d20, a d6, and a d100. (OK, a d100 is two dice unless one is brave/stupid enough to use a Zocchihedron.)
  • Every challenge -- from combat to a steep climb to a seduction -- has a Rating from 0 to 10. 0 is trivial, an automatic success; 10 is nigh-impossible. To beat

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Maybe running a game ... (part 2)

by fmitchell on 11-03-2012 at 11:40 AM
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,

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