We play games because we don’t know how they are going to turn out. And games use several tricks to keep us from knowing the outcome. The problem is GMs only ever use one of those tricks. And it’s the worst one.
I can’t help how my brain works. I get distracted from solving problems by solving totally different problems. But before I invent more goddamned game mechanics, it’s worth questioning whether I should.
I wanted to write about NPCs, but so many people argued about whether RPGs were winnable and whether they needed goals that I had to explain to everyone why they are and they do. And then I had to explain why Fiasco isn’t an RPG.
Just because someone wrote something, that doesn’t mean they know anything about it. Gygax is no more trustworthy about RPGs than anyone else. Especially when it comes to the importance of rules.
There’s a difference between a game’s mechanics and its metaphor. But that doesn’t mean the two are separate. Or even separable. But it does mean you can empower yourself to create one by understanding the other.
Should a GM get paid to run games? That’s the latest ridiculous internet argument I got to witness. But, believe it or not, it’s actually worth weighing in on. At least, I think it is. So here I go.
I’m feeling reflective. Let’s reflect on some design elements from D&D 4E that definitely shouldn’t have been left out of 5E that can definitely make you a better monster builder.
Few Game Masters think to ask who is meant to drive the plot in the adventure they are writing. Which is a shame, because there are lots of ways an adventure can be driven. And by lots, I mean two. There are two ways. And understanding them can help make your adventure writing easier.