Just For Fun: Tabletop RPGs 2: Effects Versus Causes, OR Why I Hate _Champions_

In my prior RPG discussion I talked about my basic approach to running a game – that the world is the important thing that I'm presenting, and the rules are the tools – often imperfect and clumsy tools – used to help the players (who are stuck in our world) interact with the game world through the characters, who live in the game world. But what makes a game world a functioning world rather than, say, a bunch of settings, people, and things? My simple answer for this is that it is a place with an underlying logic to it. Our world has the [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Tabletop RPGs – Game Balance OR World Trumps Rules

I've been a roleplaying gamer since 1977, when I first encountered Dungeons and Dragons – unless you count the venerable game of "let's pretend", which I was playing from the time I was 4 or 5, and even had some rules for to minimize the arguments. I discussed my initial encounter with commercial RPGs, and the influence it had on my life, in this prior entry: http://grandcentralarena.com/under-the-influence-roleplaying-games-rpgs/ In this entry, though, I want to talk about running RPGs and how I view this extremely challenging hobbyist [ Continue reading... ]

Under the Influence: Usenet

  I have previously discussed, in more broad terms, my entry into and participation in the world of online communication, starting when I was only 14, discovering the existence of email and bulletin boards through the local high-school computer network. There were, and are, many different ways of participating in social interaction online – email in its many guises, bulletin boards, IRC, LiveJournal, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook – but the one that has been the longest-enduring for me, and certainly the most influential on me over the [ Continue reading... ]

GamerGate: My Comments

  WARNING: Some strong language, especially for me, ahead.     I rarely make what could be considered political or activist posts. This is mainly because of two things;   I am rarely 100% certain of everything I say, contrary to many people's impressions of me. On important subjects, I hear people talking, with apparent authority, and saying things that come to opposite conclusions. I'm not equipped any better than most of these people to decide who's right and who's wrong. I may come to a conclusion of [ Continue reading... ]