jkci's blog

D&D Narrative, DMs, AND Player Autonomy 4: Player Goals

In the final installment of this series, we’re going to talk about player goals. In other words, the encompassing goal that the player has for their character. Some characters have complex motivations; a fallen paladin on a quest to find out whether their God failed them at a critical moment in time in the past. Others have very simple ones; get gold. Some players have meta goals, such as playing a class they’ve never played before; other players are simply rolling the dice.

D&D Narrative, DMs, and Player Autonomy 3: Player vs. Narrative Conflict

I don’t think I’m imagining it -- modern DMs are running modules less frequently. Instead of getting a boxed campaign, they’re diving into the deep end, often running their own homebrew right from the start. And that means that DMs -- new DMs, who sometimes haven't even run a game before -- need to be able to build both a world and a narrative together. 

Quarterbacking in Board Games: The Player and Developer Perspective

"This is a fantastic game," said our local game shop owner. "Everyone's loved it."

We picked up Magic Maze and set it up in a few minutes. The premise was simple: everyone controls the direction that pawns move and the movements they can take. Pawns must collect an item and then escape the maze. Oh, and it has to be done simultaneously, and in complete silence.

Tips for Engaging New Players in DND and Roleplaying

New players hesitate. It's really just a given. Even seasoned players can sometimes find themselves freezing up when presented with a new group. But it doesn't have to feel like a train wreck. Here are a few tips for getting players engaged, whether you're running a one-off storytelling RP or a long running 5e campaign.

Cards Against Humanity "Redistributes Wealth"

Every year Cards against Humanity tries to do something a little unusual for the holidays. Once, they sold "absolutely nothing" -- as in, there was nothing in the box. Another time, they did put something in the box... cow manure. At one point, they used money to dig a giant hole for no reason at all. Just kept digging as long as the dollars kept coming. And just a few months ago, they collected money to purchase land on the border of Mexico, to make it more difficult for Trump to build a wall.

We Accidentally Fed Hitler Chicken Biscuits in Fiasco

Fiasco is a story-telling RPG system for three to five people -- and one of the major benefits to Fiasco is that you can, essentially, do anything you want with it. There are hundreds of player-made kits for different settings, and each of these settings come with pre-made builds. As a story-telling role-playing system, everyone involved is able to craft their own characters and attain narrative control. But that also means that, of course, it can go completely off the rails.

The Best Board Games and Card Games for Thanksgiving Gatherings

As Thanksgiving nears, everyone starts asking the same question: once the food is done, how are you going to tolerate your family? Sure, you could dust off your old copy of Cards Against Humanity, but you already explained what bukkake means to your aunt last year. Luckily, there are a lot of other games that are fun and easy to play -- even for casual gamers.

Settlers of Catan Movie in the Works at Sony

Settlers of Catan was initially shopped as a movie idea in 2015 and it seems as though we've gone full circle again. It's not as crazy as it sounds: the Lego Movie film makers Jonathan Elrich and Dan Lin are also reported to be involved, and everyone knows of the absurdity that was Battleship, the movie inspired by, well, Battleship. 

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