1,837 reputation
716
bio website unclemattsplace.blogspot.com
location
age
visits member for 4 years, 1 month
seen Feb 3 at 15:33

Freelance writer and editor. Wrote my master's thesis about board games. Great wife and kids. Had some d20 and Ars Magica stuff published. Clearly lacking in pronouns.


Aug
24
comment What inspired the D&D version of the Rakshasa?
I think that's great -- I'd love to know the hands thing as much as the next person!
Jun
17
comment How to introduce a pen-and-paper RPG to family?
Just think carefully about whether "a glorious heap of jealousy, murder, and recrimination" is something your family would actually enjoy. I love RPGs and I love clever ideas, but a game like Fiasco may be too dark for a casual introduction to unsuspecting family members.
May
10
comment Acting role vs Player personality
Is there an easier way to explain this concept? I grasp the points you're driving at, but I've also got 20+ years of experience with RPGs. Is there a way to break this "stance" concept down into a couple of new-player-friendly paragraphs?
May
7
comment How do you generate reasonable prices for goods and services not listed in the PHB?
I've never had any complaints. I also haven't advertised this system to my players. They ask "How much for an adult goat?" -- heaven only knows why they need a goat -- and I frown and roll a couple dice and say "It'll be 23 copper." If you present it as Just The Way Things Work, players usually go along with it.
Mar
1
comment What to do when you end up duplicating another players character?
+1 for 'play your character differently.' Don't let yourself be limited by class, by race, by role, by attributes. Be someone cool even if your numbers duplicate another person's numbers.
Feb
10
comment Need some recommendations for monster manuals
Thanks! I feel weird promoting stuff I helped write, but in my defense, I only wrote one entry for this book. My freelance fee didn't even pay the cover price...
Sep
19
comment How to add a player who joined after the campaign started?
I'd also suggest a pleasant-yet-firm conversation with the new player about how "not something his character would do" is not a good excuse. He's there to play with an established group, so he needs to make a character that would work with that group.
Sep
16
comment How can I make a villain's arcana more interactive?
Lemme clarify. When a Flaw is going to cross the players' path, have an outcome in mind. Think about a helpful thing that might happen if the PCs trigger it - information is revealed, a combat advantage is gained, your carefully-plotted story is completely derailed for some exciting new thing, etc. It's all about outcomes. Think of something that the players (and ideally their characters) would find entertaining, and have it up your sleeve if you need it.
Sep
16
comment How can I make a villain's arcana more interactive?
Nothing specific to individual Flaws. In general, if a Villain shows up in one of our adventures, they're actively pursuing something. I do try to shape these goals with the Flaws in mind - the Scheming person has crossed our path because he wants the emerald necklace as one of the seven steps in his plan to humiliate Lord Montbatten. I have no idea how the necklace fits in to this plan, but I don't have to. The Schemer wants it, the PCs want it, and if the Flaw is triggered I have Schemer babble about his plan or become blinded to other dangers or etc.
Jul
1
comment How do I make my overpowered character more fun to play?
And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about - zombie Nazis with comically large helmets, blundering around the landscape until the PCs show up...
Mar
23
comment Out-Of-Control Characters
If the player is the problem, don't try to fix it through their character. That comes across as heavy-handed and cruel. Talk to them about how they're playing, and how you thought they were going to play. If it's just the character, same advice. I find this is easier to fix outside the game, when you can easily talk about what everyone wants and expects. Doing it in-game can turn it into a PC-vs-DM contest, and it sounds like you don't want that.
Dec
21
comment What are your play experiences with The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men?
True, although my actual question specifies play experience. I've edited it to clarify. Thanks!
Dec
20
comment What are your play experiences with The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men?
(Also, I'm not looking for adventure suggestions, much as I appreciate the sentiment - I want actual play experience.)
Dec
20
comment What are your play experiences with The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men?
If you've run this (or something like this), can you elaborate on how it played out? I'm trying to get a feel for the system.
Nov
23
comment What are the essential elements of Legend of the Five Rings?
L5R clans, like character classes, are a way to say "this is how I intend to play the game." They aren't as restrictive as classes, exactly, but they set up certain expectations. Again, your Crane character is probably snooty, rich, and annoyingly good at things - whether a samurai or a shugenja, a Crane will be expected/assumed to act certain ways. Similarly, a Scorpion will presumably wear a mask, skulk around, and act shifty. That doesn't mean you have to do that, any more than a sword-n-sorcery fighter has to wield a big weapon and hit stuff, but it's the expectation folks will have.
Nov
23
comment Settings and game mechanics for Sherlock Holmes–inspired theme
How is "system doesn't matter" a negative? I'm genuinely curious.
Nov
12
comment As a GM, how do I keep Dungeons & Dragons more interesting for young players?
@YogoZuno - Fair point. I never liked MMOs, so a game that mimics their style is more confusing. But to someone who knows them, it's a great starting point. Thanks!
Oct
28
comment How can I make a Mi-Go city seem dangerous?
It depends partly on your players. If they're going to charge into combat no matter what, well, you do have a problem. They're probably the wrong players for a sneak-through-the-creepy scenario. However, if they have some sense of self-preservation, confront them with something that can destroy them - but only IF it catches them, and it can aaaalllmost-but-not-quite-catch them.