Category: Roleplay

Roleplay

Genre: Horror Adventures

Horror is one of the most criticized and yet most moralistic of genres. Although blamed by various factions in society for causing all sorts of mental disturbances and bad behavior, at its core the classic horror story is one of bad people meeting bad ends. And its definition of bad is particularly conservative—use drugs, die. […]

Roleplay

Genre: Mystery Adventures

The mystery is in many ways an extension of the Western, translating the lone cowboy into the lone private eye and the dangers of the untamed West into the dangers of the untamed underworld. Even that greatest of all detectives, the Englishman Sherlock Holmes, had his brushes with the American West, although in general his […]

Roleplay

Genre: Western Adventures

The Western embraces values held highly by many U.S. citizens, although recent westerns have explored complex topics such as women’s, Native Americans’, Chinese immigrants’, and blacks’ rights and roles in the West, or environmental exploitation and depredation. Because the western’s values involve individualism and freedom, any plot that threatens or questions those values is fair […]

Roleplay

Genre: Fantasy Adventures

The fantastic compels the reader to accept the paranormal, supernatural, or magical as an explanation for events. Sometimes the fantastic offers two possible explanations for an event—normal or paranormal—such as in stories that involve dreams, hypnosis, and illusion. Other times there is no normal explanation offered, or the paranormal is the normal, such as in […]

Roleplay

Guidelines for Villains

There’s one golden rule that every villain should keep in mind: “Don’t piss off the adventurer.” If villains could just keep this in mind, they’d probably get away with a lot more. But in the movies, in books, in comics, and in roleplaying games, the villains just keep forgetting this one fundamental guideline. There they […]

Roleplay

A Little Personality

One of the great mysteries of GMing is how certain nonplayer characters (NPCs) become “regulars” in a campaign. The GM can seldom decide that this or that NPC will become a regular walk-on character. Instead, NPCs seem to take on a life of their own, reappearing in the game until the characters come to expect […]

Roleplay

Planning for the Unexpected

Every gamemaster has faced it—that moment where the players suddenly come up with plan that s/he had never dreamed they’d consider … and for which s/he has absolutely no preparation. One of the hallmarks of an experienced GM is that s/he doesn’t panic and doesn’t say “No, you can’t do that.” But how do those […]

Roleplay

Whether You Win or Lose

Some of my non-gamer friends know I roleplay, and when they hear that I spent a weekend gaming, they immediately ask, “So, did you win?” Not such a silly question, when you think of games in general. A lot of people who don’t know much about RPGs might ask the same question. Newcomers to RPGs […]

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