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Jon Lemich
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Jon Lemich

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An index of the theory work done on player types and motivations in tabletop RPGs and in other fields that have been applied to tabletop RPGs.

http://runagame.blogspot.com/2015/06/player-types-and-motivations.html
Introduction For over thirty years, people have been publishing taxomomies of tabletop roleplaying gamers.  Today, I'm going to conduct an informal meta-analysis of these taxonomies and try to reach a few conclusions about th...
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Fantastic work. 
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Here's a 5th edition encounter calculator.  Input the PCs' level and number, and it computes the encounter difficulty for you as you input monsters.
After reading and joining a recent Twitter conversation about the complexity of the XP and CR system in 5th edition D&D, it dawned on me that I could throw together a quick Excel sheet to calculate XP for the encounter, XP pe...
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Every google product is still in Alpha and will always be.  They seem more interested in adding COOL NEW FEATURES than actually polishing old ones, removing bugs, and making their product stable.  

This is why Apple products are so popular.  They may have their flaws, but they work reliably.

The google docs cursor drift problem is now at least three years old.  They've added all kinds of new features to google docs.  But have they fixed cursor drift?  Even in THEIR OWN BROWSER?  No.  

Hey, google.  Get it together.
Cursor becomes offset... makes trying to type anything very frustrating, wpopov96, 4/3/11 4:11 PM. Hello,. Over the past few months when I started using Google Docs for schoolwork, in every single document that I create, the cursor that shows where I am typing gets gradually more and more offset ...
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Well, that is a deep, sad, truth about the entire industry --- not just google.  Features sell, bugfixes don't.  One has to come under enormous pressure, typically from governments, in order to invest any significant effort in bugfixes.  So, now, Microsoft does.  But it is one of the few, and still its products are bug-ridden (obviously, since they never seem to run out of fixes to push through auto-update...).  To a very good first-order approximation: everybody else is at least as bug-ridden, likely worse.  Programming is hard.
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Yeah, I write a lot of prep notes.  That doesn't mean you have to, but you can see what mine look like if you want.
As a GM I love to prep.  This isn't because I like to "tell a story" - I like to build toys and see how my players play with them.  I'm 75% toymaker / 25% storyteller.  I've talked about my prep process a little before.  I bu...
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Newbie DMs might be wondering what a Hex Crawl is and how to write one.  Experienced DMs might be wondering why there's all this talk about the old Hex Crawl mode of play.  The OSR folks brought it back, and they did a good job dusting off this old idea.  

Here I describe how to design one for new DMs and old DMs who are seeing it come back and wondering why all the new interest.
So you've heard about this thing called a Hex Crawl.  What is it?  Why should it interest you if you're not an "OSR" fan? A hex crawl is an open-ended sandbox-style adventure that originated in old school D&D games.  In a hex...
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Chill is about monster hunting, so not really immersion horror like CoC. Can you describe the intended mood of a Chill game?  

Especially if you can give examples in media. I could see anywhere from Kostova's The Historian or Bram Stoker to Grimm or even all the way to Monster Hunter International, Van Helsing, or even Men in Black / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  

I guess it's a pretty robust sub-genre, but where do you see it really shines?  What mood are the setting and game design / mechanics designed to evoke?
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This is a revision of (a vast improvement on) some of my earliest posts.
Have you ever had a player wonder, out loud, why her character would take the crazy risks you wrote into your adventure?   Have you ever sat at the game table with a GM who asked “what do you want to do?” and then just st...
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I finished my series on pacing, using for the final part (the example), an existing module from Evil Hat.
This post is part of a series on pacing.  See the other posts, below. Pacing 1 - What can Pacing do for You? Pacing 2 - The Elements of Pace Pacing 3 - The Three Act Structure and the Hero Cycle Pacing 4 - Eight Quick Tech...
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I'm not an OSR fan, but the revival of the Hex Crawl is awesome.  Credit where credit is due, I say.  But if you're not into OSR, here's the Run a Game explanation of what a Hex Crawl is and how to write one!
So you've heard about this thing called a Hex Crawl.  What is it?  Why should it interest you if you're not an "OSR" fan? A hex crawl is an open-ended sandbox-style adventure that originated in old school D&D games.  In a hex...
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You know, you could use Ideals, Bonds and Flaws for locations in 5e, too.  Just make a list of the PCs' ideals, bonds, flaws and personality traits.  Then match them to the problems on the map, the threats on the map and at each site, the temptations at each site, and the NPCs at each site.

IDEALS -> PROBLEMS
BONDS -> THREATS
FLAWS -> TEMPTATIONS
TRAITS -> NPCs

Oh, I am DEFINITELY blogging the results of this conversation this week on Run a Game :)
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"At some point, it has to become clear that for all their talk of being peacekeepers and fighting the Dark Side, the Jedi are really terrible at being the good guys. They use slaves as their infantry. They're so caught up in their role as knights of the Republic that they can't see that they're fighting a bogus war. And they put far too much trust in the will of the Force and too little in reason and the value of their young people. You can't spend all of those years telling kids that war is complicated without exposing the Jedi's flaws as well."
  #starwars   #clonewars   #jedi   #sith   #ahsokatano  
Tomorrow, Lucasfilm will release final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Netflix, but the season won't include an arc centered on one of the show's main characters, Anakin Skywalker's Padawan Ahsoka Tano. That's a shame, not just because Ahsoka's growth has been one of the most compelling aspects of the series, but also because her character development has wildly improved the onscreen arm of the Star Wars franchise.
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Have him in circles
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