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Showing posts from December, 2011

Magpie Ambition

I often pull open a text file and start writing some opinion piece about what things inspire me or how much I like this game or that game or some esoteric crap about evoking player agency in games or blah blah blah whatever. I read other blogs by people who apparently have all sorts of stuff to say about all sorts of gaming topics (not that that's a bad thing, I mean, I do like reading them) and while there's always that same sort of "Me too!" feeling that happens whenever I observe any creative endeavour—although the magpie-like approach undermines the appellation 'creative' to the endeavours—I suspect there's something besides ADD keeping me from finishing an editorial post. There just isn't enough weight to back my lame opinions. I haven't actually been gaming all that long, especially compared with some of the bloggers I follow. Hell, some of the people I game with regularly were knee-deep in orcish cesspits by the time I was born.

That might …

Maps: Crappy Edition

Pursuant to a conversation on G+, here's an example of how I draw wilderness maps.

Full Disclosure

Concept art is pretty cool. Not only is it a window into some weird new world, it's a window into someone else's mind, their thinking process; how they see as revealed by what they're showing you.

The same ideas can be extended to any creative process. Draft scripts, novel outlines, compositional doodles—they're all neat little windows into the process, all the more revealing for the polish they lack.

In the world of RPGs, the same could go for rules or published adventures, but the real expression of the practice is in what goes with the GM and the players to the table. What you use as cheat-sheets to either kill a monster or kill with a monster. Since so many different arts and skills converge at that table, I'm willing to bet that every has, consciously or not, developed their own toolbox of information-coding. Whole statblocks or just HD? Page numbers? Doodles or descriptions? How to do you tell yourself what you need to know? I'm curious.

So here's my n…