Entries by John Arcadian

Hacking the Game

I’ve got a player who loves D&D, except for the parts of anything that he thinks suck. This class is underpowered in this way, this power doesn’t work most effectively, etc. He isn’t a power gaming type and he isn’t a houseruling type, but he turns to me as the GM to try to change/improve […]

F.A.P.: The Problem With Dexterity

I’m going to be starting a new series of posts about Frequently Abused Powers. Things that can overpower a game and kill the fun factor. Something like a really high Dexterity. I’m going to call it . . . F.A.P. (Frequently Abused Powers): The Problem With Dexterity Ahh Dexterity, a god stat by any other […]

Ah, the good old Scry and Fry.

Ah, the good old Scry and Fry. The term Scry and Fry was brought to my attention recently and it got me thinking about information gathering techniques in games. In most any type of game setting there is always some element of information gathering that the player characters engage in. Whether it is asking the […]

Tell Me How To Run a Super Short Game

I’m going to be running a few convention games at Origins this year. Mostly demo games for a new system, so they will be structured with all the elements layed out before I go. However, a few of the games will be games that are fairly standard but very short. 2 hours for the full […]

Game Balance or Catering to the Players?

Almost as big as the debate over GMs fudging or not fudging die rolls is the debate over whether games should be balanced to the rules or cater to the players enjoyment. Well maybe not so much, but it is definitely something we talk about in my gaming group. Game Balance Games (in any system) […]

Making Challenges That Players Love To Beat

I talked a bit before about what inspires cool gaming moments. The hardly subtle (the b is silent) tone of that post was about GMs molding their games to the players to make cool things happen. This is one of many ways to get players to talk about a game’s moments after the fact, but […]

The Inspiration for Cool Gaming Moments

For all the times that I have run a game, it is never a full campaign that is talked about after the fact, but the individual moments that make the characters shine. When Sun the warrior battled the mythic beast in one on one combat, or when Quincy, Harq, and Rikana broke into the banking […]

The Tools Of The Game

The way a GM sets up their personal fortress of solitude at the gaming table is very indicative of their style. Some GMs run their games behind a stack of books and official published material, while some GMs run their games with just a pair of dice, a pencil, and a notepad. Some of us […]