Many modern RPGs give you a triad of outcomes when you roll dice: Pass, Fail, and Complicate.

Pass is pretty simple: "the PC gets what the player wanted." Fail is sometimes equally simple: “they don’t”. Complicate, and more recent incarnations of Fail, give you something else: hard bargains, extra costs, or unexpected outcomes.

In comments on a previous post, describing a sample world for Grand Adventure called Talispire, I was challenged to do something more than just another fantasy world with elves n’ dwarves. Here’s the start of one, a water-world called Pelaga.

The Helping Hand is an alien technology created to empower the protectors of life throughout the cosmos, known collectively as Life Force.

I want to offer a metaphor for the challenges you’ll encounter as GM of a long-running roleplaying campaign. That metaphor is this:

A long campaign is like a road trip you undertake with your friends.

I think I have some sort of mental block about “story games”, like Fiasco. Part of it is my specific experience with such games, where the play group is basically there to go after each other’s characters. I prefer cooperative to competitive play, so I react badly to that style. But maybe it can work out…

Wake Up Sheeple!

Short version: everyone who’s in on the Conspiracy gets GM privileges.

This is more discussion about the Super-Sheriffs of Sagan City game, found online here.

Today I want to talk about how I applied the principle of "draw maps, leave blanks" to the superhero genre.

I’ve been running a play-by-post game with an overly long name. It’s a superhero game with the PCs set on another planet, the first off-world Earth colony.

This isn’t a post about the whole game, which you can read online here. Instead, it’s a run-down of my favorite moments from the game.

I mentioned this to a few other people at the Fate meetup in Seattle, but I wanted to share more broadly. If there is anyone in your group that is doubtful about the uses of Create Advantage in combat, and prefers Attack and attrition, here are two ways to describe it.

  1. Gamers who play MMOs, certain card games, puzzle match games, and many other sorts of games will be familiar with “combo builder” and “finisher” moves. You rack up some number of combo points, then unleash them with a finisher that is highly effective. Create Advantage can act as a combo builder, with Attack as the finisher.

  2. It’s just more advantageous. Say that you have 10 shifts of attack effectiveness you can throw at a guy. You can either split it into 5 blocks of 2 shifts apiece and he gets to defend 5 times, knocking some or all of it away, or you can accumulate it all and he gets to defend 1 time. Which do you think is better?

Hopefully these approaches can help people understand Fate combat tactics. Both explanations have been helpful to me in the past.

What if the world were literature made literal?

This is a roleplaying game I ran in 2009. It centered around a group of friends in New York who played host to a crash-landed alien visitor named Aura, and how they saved the world from an alien invasion.