Thursday, January 27, 2022

Game Theory and Uncertainty

This goes beyond just Tabletop RPGs, and is much less organized or fruitful than most of my posts. Hope you find it interesting though. I apologize for anyone who hasn't played many of the games mentioned in this post, but take it as a list of recommendations. Well, except for Puerto Rico. Fuck that game.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Literary Allusions

This is another one that's more just about fantasy fiction in general, not specific to RPGs. Take it or leave it.

I'm not going to try to claim there's some brilliant and noble reason why this is a good or effective writing tool. I think it's just a lizard brain thing somehow. But let's say you're writing a work of fiction. Maybe some fantasy worldbuilding stuff, maybe not. But you need to impart some ideas and you want them to really resonate with the audience. Isn't it weird that one of the most reliable ways to do this is to just, like, reference an older, familiar work that talked about the same thing?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

My (Untested) Theory of Nautical Campaigns

You know what I'm talking about. "The pirate campaign." "The wavecrawl." A "saltbox." "Maritime adventures." A notoriously elusive type of D&D campaign, for reasons fathomable only to those poor fools who've attempted it. And me, for I have infinite wisdom.

No really, I've casually mentioned this as being a "famously tricky" thing on several occasions and gotten a mix of confused stares from some and knowing agreement from others. But it's true. This shit is deceptively hard to pull off right. Today, I want to talk about the reasons why and the angles of attack to combat this. Because it's something nearly everyone who's ever been in this hobby has dreamed of at some point: buckling your own swash like a pro. Yarrr.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Top 10 Philosophical Conundrums We Were Forced to Resolve in our D&D Game

Don't let anyone ever tell you that D&D 5E (or any high-magic game, for that matter) is easy on the DM to run. You think crunch is demanding? Try this shit:
  1. The definition of Personhood
  2. Zeno's Paradox (specifically the famous "dichotomy" one with the whole "before you can reach X you have to get halfway to X, but before you can get halfway..." thing)
  3. Affirming or refuting the Labor Theory of Value
  4. Basically any question raised by the Holodeck in Star Trek
  5. ...As well as the transporter
  6. The Ship of Theseus (many, many times)
  7. Related, the Sorites Paradox
  8. The Trolley Problem (duh)
  9. Can you "take" a hole?
    • God I love that such a large portion of the Wikipedia article on "holes" digs right into this and other problems
  10. The existence of God (duh)
Place your bets now on whether we'll have to confront the Simulation Problem or attain Theodicy first, folks.

[UPDATE: just finished the campaign. In the second to last session we attained Theodicy by confirming that God isn't omnipotent. Can't believe that joke prediction actually happened.]