Interlude: Character Death

detail from an 18...

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One of the hardest things about rpgs [sic] isn’t prep, or out-maneuvering fire-breathing dragons but keeping a group of players engaged in what you are doing on a long term basis. – Advanced Gaming & Theory

Part of the challenge of any game is that you can lose. People tend to be competitive in many endeavors, not just games, and they want to win. If they know they can win, most games, and roleplaying games are no exception, become boring and stale very quickly. The very real risk of losing keeps a game fresh and interesting.

While most roleplaying games are not the game master versus the players, they are the players versus the environment.The environment challenges Read the rest of this entry »


Real Villains & Goal Setting: A Summary

Brad Richardson #12 of th...

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This series addressed creating villains and using some popular concepts in goal setting to make them more 3-dimensional and realistic as well as how to use that to create goals for adventures and campaigns. I had included a poll as well but it seems to be broken and has been removed.

Part 1: What does the Bad Guy™ want and what does he need to get it?
Part 2: Timing and the Plot Device™
Part 3: Breaking up Large Goals into Adventures
Part 4: Tricks and Tips for Villain Goal Setting

Read more for a form for Villain Goal Use. Read the rest of this entry »

Real Villains & Goal Setting: Part 4

Up to this point (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) we’ve pretty much taken care of the meat of how to set good villain-sized goals and work them into adventures for your party. Here are some tips to make sure you villain makes for a good game.

Be as specific as possible.

You don’t need all the detail right now but the more you can Read the rest of this entry »

Interlude – Pictures

If you haven’t seen this post by Chgowiz, go! And make sure you check out his lightboxes. Very cool!

Real Villains & Goal Setting: Part 3

Up to this point in part 1 and part 2, we’ve discussed what the villain wants, what he needs to get and how to use plot devices in villain planning. Now it’s time to set smaller, adventure-achievable goals and discuss timing.

Smaller Goals

Once you have set your lifetime goals, set a 25 year plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan. Then set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Each of these should be based on the previous plan. – Mind Tools

Our plan is somewhat different than that but Read the rest of this entry »

Real Villains & Goal Setting: Part 2

In Part 1, we discussed knowing what your villain wants to do and what he needs to do it. In this essay, I’ll talk about creating a plan and why to use plot devices.

The Plan

A table for each week

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The next step is to write down a plan of some sort. Most goal setting programs use a time frame of 5 to 10 years or more but we’re working with a game campaign so we’re going to compress things because more action in less time makes better game. So in order to succeed, Islan Xanti needs to be able to do this within a year.

Using a Plot Device

A plot device is an element Read the rest of this entry »

Real Villains & Goal Setting: Part 1

When I first wrote this entry, it clocked in at 2142 words and that was just too much for anyone to read and digest in one setting. And that was before revisons! So, I’m breaking it up into a series which should be alot easier to read and use.

What does the Bad Guy want?


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Setting goals and achieving them is a multimillion dollar business in the United States and most people have encountered seminars or essays on the subject. Most of my friends find the advice “fluffy” and not really relevant to their way of thinking – they’d rather blast music from the car stereo than chant mantras while driving. But the steps for goal setting and accomplishing those goals can be used to make a realistic timeline and plan for your villain.

The very first thing you need to determine is just what exactly does your villain want to achieve anyhow? Does he want to rule the kingdom, the world or destroy all life in existence? There are alot of goals a villain could have Read the rest of this entry »