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The Advantage of Familiarity In Regards to Huge, Slavering Hell-Beasts

I’ve noticed something. Of those wonderful people who think up horrifying monsters for players to encounter during a tabletop role-playing session, many of them struggle with originality. They strive to create thoughtful histories and almost complete ecologies for their creatures, in the attempt to create a monster that’s not just another vicious humanoid. I’d like […]

Something’s Going On. It’s Called Life.

My Christmases have always been quiet. I may spend more time than usual shopping or baking, but I’m able to keep up with everything. Not this year. A perfect storm kept me busy every hour of every day for the past several weeks. I was left breathless. After several wonderful, quiet days at home this […]

New York City?!?

I’m back from my first trip to New York City. Briefly: It was very cold, I saw The 39 Steps, and I took a lot of pictures. Less briefly: I’m glad I went; it’s worth seeing New York at least once in your life, if just for the change of pace. It’s breathtakingly diverse; there’s […]

Great Television, Archived Online Forever

I’m conflicted about whether I should write about the Digital Archive Project here. I don’t want to get it into trouble. See, despite TV’s bad reputation, there have been a few great shows over the decades. Many of them were canceled early; others left the airwaves and have never received any other release. The only […]

How to really use Twitter

Okay, so you’ve signed up for a Twitter account, and maybe posted a few times. How do you move to the next level? Here are some suggestions for improving your Twitter experience: Go to the Everyone stream. See who’s talking, and about what. More importantly, see what catches your attention. Observe effective use of 140 […]

Practical Advice: Initiative Cards

I believe that speed is essential to good role-playing. Think of a good action movie or an engrossing book; the story rockets from revelation to revelation, leaving you breathless. Not that a GM should rush from one plot point to the next, but there’s no point in taking a plot slowly. Unfortunately, many of the […]

Kong Kings

Kong Kings

A few weeks ago, I watched The King of Kong, a documentary about competitive Donkey Kong players. Which sounds geeky, until you watch it. It’s about guys who take on these classic arcade games as a challenge. A test of skill. Those old games, like Pac-Man, Q-Bert, and Donkey Kong, were very hard; one group claims that the average Donkey Kong player will never progress past the third […]

Legends of Literature — A Review

Every so often, a book comes along that not only follows a great premise, it fulfills that premise completely. Legends of Literature is a collection of essays written by contributors to Writer’s Digest. Famous contributors, like Stephen King, H.G. Wells, Jack Kerouac, and Ray Bradbury. There are good interviews with Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Sandburg, and […]


If you like Twitter, you may benefit from a more powerful interface. Some solve this through use of TweetDeck, a desktop application that shows multiple Twitter streams (your stream, replies to you, direct messages, etc.) in columns. The new service PeopleBrowsr is a web-based application that works like TweetDeck. You enter your Twitter account information, […]

What I like about D&D

All right, I admit it: I play Dungeons & Dragons. This may horrify some of my evangelical friends, but trust me: there’s nothing wrong with it. You may ask, why play D&D when it has so many negative connotations? Why not use one of the hundreds of other role-playing systems out there, like FUDGE or […]

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