Zero-Sum Games And When To Avoid Them

In game theory, zero sum games are when in order for one player to win, another player has to lose the same amount. Poker and many board games are an example of this, and it works well for them. Roleplaying games, by their nature, are not zero-sum games – but they can contain zero-sum conditions. […]

UML for Gaming?

Falling back on another programming-related post, because I didn’t have anything else planned for today. UML stands for Unified Modeling Language. It’s a standardized set of notation and symbols for modeling workflows, data diagrams, etc. It’s different than flowcharting because it covers details – though still high level – of how a process is supposed to work; […]

Successful Kickstarters!

In the past few days, a couple of very cool Kickstarters have wrapped up. Last week was Jason Pitre’s Spark rpg. Today was Godmachine Production’s Apotheosis Drive X. They were very successful, not only in terms of blowing away their funding goals but in the buzz that they generated. Both products showed an enormous amount […]

Recursion in RPGs

Before you read any further, I need you to go to Google right now and search for “recursion” and take note of what Google suggests under “Did you mean”.Being a database guy, recursion is a very good friend of mine. But what does it have to do with rpgs? There are two ways I can […]

Quantum Libet

Quantum libet is Latin for “as much as you please” and is used in medical shorthand on prescriptions. Seeing this (and struggling to come up with a post topic that starts with “Q”) made me think about a number of related concepts that I’ve been flitting around for the past month or so. Namely, the […]

More Programming in RPGs

In response to yesterday’s post, +Robert Hanz brought up that a discussion of messaging and the actor model in RPGs might be a good thought exercise, so I figured I’d take a shot at it. This is high level and steamrolls over a lot of nuances and details within the actor model. I’m not going to tackle […]

Object Oriented Principles in RPGs

Being a programmer, I like to think programming concepts with regard to games and rules systems. Sometimes I go a bit further, like the time I built a .NET Silhouette vehicle design program or built a SQL database out of the Mekton Zeta Plus construction rules. Today’s topic is object oriented principles in roleplaying games. […]

Non-Protagonist Characters

First off, I’m not trying to redefine the “non-player character” Cougartown-style. I’ve seen the term “Non-Protagonist Character” in several games, and it fits how I consider NPCs better than “non-player character” does. If you don’t like it, there are extensions for Chrome such as Word Filter and similar ones for Firefox (and I’m sure others) […]


As I start to wind down writing the rules for Fate of Vimary and begin to turn my eye toward actually playing, I’m going to have to confront the elephant in the room for any Tribe 8 game: the metaplot. Now to make sure this discussion gets off on the proper foot: I’m for metaplot. […]

Experience and Character Improvement

I totally shot myself in the foot last week, because I knew that I would need an “E” themed entry for the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, and I put up Elfquest as my Flashback Friday entry anyway. So instead I’m going to continue my series on the types of things I prefer or like to see […]