logo

#tips

  • Projectile Stability Testing: Larp Bolts

    Recently I made some new Larp crossbow bolts and at the same time gave my old crossbow an overhaul, tweaking the retaining spring and remounting the arms. I noticed with the additional distance I was getting that I had very poor flight characteristics beyond short range on my old bolts.

    As I had to test my new bolts anyway I retested my old ones and both performed very badly. What did strike me however was that running through this might be of help to people who might not know how to check directional stability of a projectile.

    This article is written about bolts but applies to all projectiles, just Larp bolts have pretty bad flight characteristics so most other items have fewer issues.

  • Shorts #01 - Introductions & narrative strength.

     

    Originally Published: 17 February 2016

    I've had this website for quite a while now and been seriously lack about publishing. I'm going to try and change that but also focus on a series of Shorts that give a quick oversight or look into one particular subject. So maybe a good place to start is the beginning.

    When starting a game or the chapter of a game there is an a lot that a GM can do to strengthen and build up their game without being heavy handed. During this time Players are getting used to their characters, learning the setting and starting to see the story that you have laid out for them.

    One simple tactic can be not to underestimated the value of presenting all the key NPCs of a narrative within the first few sections of the story/plot-arc. Setting out the various players; clearly identifying their (public) faces and agendas gives the narrative defined boundaries without being obvious.

  • Shorts #02 - Hello I’m…

     Originally Published: 22 February 2016

    Sometimes GMs/Writers of table-tops/series feel the need to broaden continually the range of NPCs encountered. Sometimes this is natural, when travelling to new locations or doing new activities. However other times they’re artificially crowbarred in -maybe the plot felt like it was going too slowly, maybe some information needed to be unveiled or the GM/Writer felt bored (or worried that the players were). 

  • Shorts #03 - A Strong Villain

    Originally Published: 15 March 2016

     

    In previous shorts, I've covered the importance of identifying characters and how this affects the narrative, but I wanted to highlight the value of a good antagonist. Something that I've noticed to be overlooked in some games is the importance of a strongly identified villain, CRPGs and other video games tend not to have this problem, it more common in table-top and live games – possible reasons I've covered briefly at the end. Though when I mean ‘villain’ I don’t necessarily mean the end-boss…

    Often the villainous organisation or group is clearly identified, but this in itself doesn't lend the same depth and draw to the narrative. If the villainous organisation is small or really strongly defined, then this is less of a problem, as the group itself achieves a level of personality against which the player characters can react. However, it is generally better to provide a single individual antagonist against which the player characters can rail. It is human nature to compete against other humans - when the competition/challenge is posed by a non-personified agent, then the sense of competition is diminished. This is particularly true when the opposing organisation is only loosely defined, a nation, race or species – they’re orcs so they are bad doesn't give the players much room to explore or imagine the foe they face.

    This antagonist does not need to be the head or public face of an opposing group, but their actions should be reflective of the group’s aims and motivations as a whole. They are a personification of the group, their character and method of operations should show this. The antagonist must also be apparent, if not visible, to the players. It must be possible for the players to fairly regularly be updated on the progress of their antagonist.