There's an apocryphal cop-out that bad Dungeon Masters are reputed to use whenever they get pissed at their players, or can't figure out how to end an adventure. It's called "Rocks Fall. Everyone Dies." Spoilers (and an explanation) inside.

"Design Essentials: An Introduction" is an invitation to a year-long discussion on the topic of general game design. It includes a self-introduction of the writer's motivations and proposes the book "Game Design: Theory and Practice" as an inspirational guide. Readers are welcomed to participate with their own ideas and references. A sampling of terms for defining is provided as the intoductory topic with an alternative subject of "early gaming" to kick off the conversation.

Like a magician's trick, a good gaming session is all about creating a shared experience that leaves the audience mystified – it challenges preconceptions, overturns expectations, and reinforces faith. But tricks don't work if they are hidden. Making a rabbit appear from a hat only works if you show the empty hat at the beginning. At the end of the trick you need to show the rabbit too. One trick means showing the audience two points in time. Magic is the inability of the audience to connect what is shown with what is hidden.

A short tale set during the evening hours in a world where November is followed immediately by April, wherein a young rogue discovers her place in the world, a powerful wizard is unmasked, and the true purpose of single class rogues is uncovered.

I got to play my first session of Shadowrun (4th ed.) with our new group this last Tuesday. Boy, was I disappointed! This is me blowing off some serious steam about the game. Arrgh! I'm STILL mad... Fair warning folks, this is going to be a bitch-fest more than anything else.

CCP hf. and White Wolf Publishing, Inc. today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement to merge. The creators of the single largest persistent online role-playing world and the world's second-largest developer of offline role-playing, strategy and collectable card games will create the industry's largest independent Virtual World developer.

An experienced historical re-enactor (or 'Living History' as it is more fashionably known these days), I attended a LARP event earlier this year to get a taste of something a little more latex-oriented. Here are my thoughts on how LARP and Living History compare.

The first part of a series of "How-I" articles. This specific article covers what I (as a GM) determine regarding the campaign before I invite players to it. An ambitious, generous, or ambivalent GM might discuss these things with his/her potential players and collect feedback, but it's not a democracy; the GM should enjoy the game also. Some GMs refer to the topics covered within this as a prospectus. "How-to" implies that there is a best way. There might be, and this might be it, or maybe not. This is how I do it.

I'm not sure what else I could have done. They were pissed and nothing, NOTHING I could say would change that, so I just gave up and left. After what I'd done, I couldn't ask them to put up with any more. What did I do? Well, I wasted lots of good karma on a stupid stunt, thats what. More detail? Ok.

Overall, Dark Messiah is a decent enough game, but not for something based on a popular game license and an award-winning game engine. It's an amusing distraction, but that's all, and while it deserves praise for some of its more interesting elements, it hardly deserves top honors.

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