Roleplaying

Six Concepts To Keep Your Party Together

The main characters from the Fellowship of the Ring

Can't let the party split up until the second film.

Most roleplaying games work best if your PCs stick together. It’s possible to run a game where half the party is in New York and the other half is in Hong Kong, but it’s much simpler if they stay within close geographic proximity. Unfortunately, players have this thing called free will,* and they don’t always do what the GM says. If the characters’ only connection is meeting in a tavern to hear quests handed down by a hooded figure, the party might break up the first time there’s a disagreement.

An easy way to prevent this problem is to use a setup that ties the party together. That way, you can focus on planning the story* rather than spending your energy keeping PC Gimli from abandoning the fellowship to pursue a career in beard trimming. Read more »

Commentary

Five Social Justice Fails That Angered Fans

Game-of-Thrones-Cersei-Jaime

We advocate for socially just stories because it’s the right thing to do, and that won’t change. But sometimes this purpose can feed false ideas about the supposed costs of social justice in our tales, as though we must choose between social justice and good storytelling or … read more »

Worldbuilding

Creating Realistic Cultures

The Monastery of St. Nilus

One of the most common mistakes in worldbuilding is treating culture like it’s arbitrary. Clothing styles, gender roles, and religion are decided as though they just popped out of the ether one day. In reality, few aspects of culture are arbitrary; most are the result of … read more »