Roleplaying

Star Trek Adventures Is Clunky and Uninspired

Star Trek is a difficult setting to roleplay in. The canon is labyrinthine and confusing, with material drawn from hundreds of episodes, many of which contradict each other. The aesthetics vary widely depending on the time period and the series, making it hard to imagine they exist in the same universe. … read more »

Eight Tips For Managing NPCs

NPCs are an essential part of every game, but managing them can be a real chore, especially in longer campaigns. In the early sessions, none of the players know who your NPCs are. By the end, your NPCs have developed so much it’s hard to … read more »

Six More Common Design Mistakes in Roleplaying Games

It’s been some time since I discussed mistakes common to roleplaying games, and designers have not been idle in my absence. Quite the opposite, they’ve been churning out enough mistakes to make a critic weep with joy.* These mistakes show up across multiple games and cause … read more »

Windermere’s Fan Is Fun, If a Little Clunky

By the Author of Lady Windermere’s Fan is a new story game being kickstarted by Ed Turner. There’s no GM and no dice, just a group of equals sitting down to create a story. The game is heavily inspired by the works of Oscar Wilde, … read more »

Why the Punitive Model of GMing Doesn’t Work

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about why it’s vital for GMs to get the consent and collaboration of their players. By far the most controversial point in that post was the idea that character death shouldn’t be forced, either by GM fiat … read more »

Why Player Consent and Collaboration Are Vital

A lego battle between multiple scifi characters.

Roleplaying games have their roots in wargaming, where each character was little more than a machine for killing goblins and gaining loot. It’s no surprise that many GMs still see their campaigns as a one-way street. The GM says how it’s gonna be, and the players … read more »

How to Plot a Session

A classical painting of a man working on a book.

Every veteran gamemaster has their own process for planning sessions, but what about those just starting out? If you’ve never worked behind the screen, planning a session can seem daunting. Not only do you need to create fun content, but also you’ve got to contend … read more »

Five Essential Habits for Guiding Players

Running a game is hard. A GM has to not only manage the story but also the game’s participants. GMs are asked to guide everyone to a satisfactory ending while making it look like they are hands off. To keep everyone happy and on track, GMs need to … read more »

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