Monthly Archives: October 2013

Play Everything, the Poster

A few months back, I wrote a piece I called “Play Everything.” It was a response to a significant amount of Internet rage over some game, I forget now, and I had an overwhelming need to do something positive and constructive to purge myself from that toxicity, to in some sense rebalance my life. So

Playing With Fate Stress

Back when Leonard Balsera & I were working on Fate Core, he had this idea for changing the nature of how stress boxes worked. You see the end result today in the value of stress boxes, but at the time I was incredulous — wondering if he was making a change for change’s sake. Granted,

Weakness Words & Phrases

One of the things we too often do as writers is soften our language with words and phrases of weakness — words that we insert in attempt to sound less authoritative, but end up just cluttering up a page and too often makes us sound like we don’t know what we’re talking about. If none

Mythender Available in Print!

After months of folks asking for it to be in print, Mythender is finally available! This is possible because of DriveThruRPG’s print-on-demand program with Lightning Source, making a book with color interior feasible. The electronic version will always be free. Always. That’s part of my covenant with the folks who helped a friend clear her cancer bills via

Macklin at Metatopia 2013

Hey, I’m a special guest this year at Metatopia! I’m super-stoked to be there; it’s my first Double Exposure convention since I think 2010. If you’re going, you might want to catch one of these panels I’m on. The Care and Feeding of Freelancers Friday, 10:00AM – 11:00AM | John Stavropoulos, Ryan Macklin & Amanda

Understanding Your Game’s Core Activities

One of the things that people get hung up on when designing a game (definitely with RPGs, but not just) is understanding the game’s core activities — the very things you’re doing in the game that make the game fun, interesting, or at least move it forward. Looking at the archetypical “traditional game,” there are