Category Archives: Role-Playing Games

Descriptive vs Prescriptive RPG Structures

Today in talking with Phil Vecchione about trying to use Powered by the Apocalypse thinking in Fate, I said Fate has a descriptive structure. PbtA has a prescriptive structure.[1] They don’t just blanket work together. I know, I tried to meld them for years. In Fate, when you want to do something, there’s a fuckton of

Story Tennis: a conversational play-by-chat game

After spending two and a half weeks playing a Fall of Magic game entirely on Facebook Messenger (which was a delight, to play a story game while lounging in a bathrobe), I have a bunch of thoughts on that format. Namely setting aside specific time to play is really great, even though the format can

On Having Game Design Rationales in the Text

Let’s talk today about having game design rationales embedded in game texts. Some of the work I do as a technical writer is communications writing, like emails to customers about upcoming changes or actions they need to take. And some of you cringe at the thought because you know how low a success rate those

The Unknown in Tim Horton’s

Shortly before Gen Con, I decided to ransom some blog posts. I’ve been feeling the urge to blog lately, and you know what they say: don’t do anything

Why I’m Cool with Phones During Games

A lot of people hate on phones at the game table, and to some degree I get that. But every time I hear someone talk about how they

Our Empathy Problem in Tabletop Game Writing

With tech writing, my colleagues and I keep user empathy at the forefront of our minds. The emotions going into and out of a given experience aren’t afterthoughts, and what is writing if not crafting an experience with intended effect? When I talk about this in tech writing circles, I get variations of “of course,” “I