Mechanics Vs Immersion: How Aspects Mechanize Narrative


::pokes nose into old, dusty corner of blog::

Oh! I forgot this was here. Maybe… maybe I should post something? Let’s see… what should I talk about? Oh yeah, RPGs!

Today I want to talk about immersion and mechanics. I’ve talked about this before, but my thoughts on the matter have developed over many sessions Gamemastering and playing. More and more, these days, I’m growing a little weary of extraneous mechanics. I’m less and less fascinated by involved dice mechanics that play like mini-games (Fantasy Flight, Modiphius, Cortex Plus, etc…). I’m more interested in getting the check over with, inserting that little bit of randomness that makes the story surprising, and moving on to what really matters: the narrative.

Continue reading “Mechanics Vs Immersion: How Aspects Mechanize Narrative”


Flash Fiction: A Moment Captured


The sunset had been going on for over four hours now. At first, it was easy to rationalize. Our perception of time was relative. As the adage goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Similarly, in agony, a moment lasts an eternity.

Somehow, the red-orange halo that spread out over the world at the dying of the light, never quite managed to sink below the horizon. As afternoon became twilight, and evening became midnight, I was starting to regret the offhand remark I’d made as I held my wife’s hand and casually suggested, “I wish this sunset could last forever.”

~100 words

Image by Bikurgurl

Via Bikurgurl 100 Word Wednesday Week #77

Flash Fiction: Alone at Last


It is not foggy at all on the day the world ends. Everyday the fog rolled in off the river, and I drove to work, blinking away sleep, before anyone else was on the road, I hoped today would be the day. With no other living soul in sight, it was easy to pretend.

Instead, as I walk across the river bridge, through a surreal crop of abandoned vehicles, I look up through the beams at a bright, blue sky. I breathe in deep the warm sun, and smile.

I hope there will be zombies. Please, let it be zombies.

~100 words

Image by Bikurgurl

Via Bikurgurl 100 Word Wednesday Week #76


Mechanics Workshop: Player Facing Mechanics


Powered by the Apocalypse games have changed the way that I roleplay. Unlike others, I don’t believe they are the final evolution of roleplaying, or even that they can cure cancer. But GM-ing PBTA games has thoroughly convinced me of two things that have changed the way I GM most other RPGs.

NPCs and PCs do not have to be, and often should not be, symmetrically built.

By this, I mean that a GM shouldn’t have to go through the same painstaking process to make an NPC that players do when they make their PCs. The reason is twofold: NPCs are not the focus of the story, and therefore should not be as intricate, and since the GM has to manage several NPCs at once, and the PCs have to manage only one, NPC stat blocks should be drastically abbreviated.

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Flash Fiction: View from a Red Schwinn


I am Flash Gordon, as I zoom down the sidewalk. The trees are not trees, but spinning, spiral galaxies, their leaves are not leaves, but stars. My rocketship’s wheels grind over concrete, skip over the curb to asphalt. Ming the Merciless’s fleet is hot on my tail.

At the top of the hill, I look out into the void. The slope is daunting; I have crashed and burned here before, skinning my knees and elbows. I hesitate.

They are close behind me now, whooping, hollering taunts and jeers. I breathe deep, lean forward and push off. It feels like flying.

~100 words

Image by Bikurgurl

Via Bikurgul 100 Word Wednesday Week #74

Flash Fiction: The Brotherhood of Iron


The Order Part III

“Again,” said the monk.

Constance drew back the bow, squeezing her shoulders together. She let the string go. The arrow sang through the air, thudding into the rotten stump. The ground around the stump was littered with shafts from previous attempts.

“You’ve improved. You actually hit your target this time.”

Constance returned the old monk’s smile in spite of herself. Then, remembering her task, the parcel she’d dutifully delivered, the smile faded.

“You’ve been very kind, Atheus, but I must return to my own Order.”

Atheus placed a hand on her shoulder. “Are you sure that’s what you want?”

~99 words

Via Carrot Ranch May 31st Flash Fiction Challenge: Warrior Women

Part of the series “The Order”

Flash Fiction: Hemingway Epilogue


The boy finished scrubbing the boat clean. He stood back and admired his handiwork. The boat had been caked in dried blood, that of the old man, and that of the marlin, now an eighteen foot skeleton, easily mistaken for a shark. This was the least that the boy could do for his former master.

Elsewhere, Santiago lay, a cruciform stigmata, his last and greatest battle, fought and won. The old man had wrestled with himself, and with nature, and had only bones to show for his efforts.

And yet, the Algerian tells us, we must imagine Sisyphus as happy.

~100 words

Image by Bikurgurl

Via Bikurgurl — 100 Word Wednesday Week #73