That Word


Actually, it’s more like a phrase. The phrase is ‘role playing game”, and I rather doubt anybody has designed or written a role playing game. They’re more adventure guides. Which is to say, guides to having adventures in imaginary worlds. And seeing as they are guides to what is happening in that imaginary world, you can’t even call them stories.

On Mechanics

The thing to keep in mind on Adventure Guides is that they don’t really have rules. That is to say, what mechanics they have are descriptive, not prescriptive. When a velocity is given for an object that is not how fast a rule says it can go, that is a description of how fast it does go. Under a different set of conditions it could be faster, or slower.

Also keep in mind that with descriptive laws you really can’t cheat. Relativity in part describes how fast an object can go in our reality. You can’t accelerate past the speed of light, you don’t have infinite energy and that is what you need to get to the speed of light. A mechanic says your character takes 1d6 times an exposure roll of 1d6 in damage, that he takes between 1 and 36 points of damage depending on luck and how he lands. There will always be times when a person falls 100 feet and gets minor injuries (a total of 10 points), while another falls just 10 feet and suffers the 36 points of injury.

But Besides That

What an Adventure Guide really provides is a set of guidelines for describing an imaginary person and his imaginary world. That’s all it needs to do.

It’s basically what any “RPG” does, presents a setting where adventures can take place, and a set of mechanics describing those involved in the adventure and how they can participate. Whether it’s John Wick presenting Houses of the Blooded or Ken St. Andre and his Tunnels and Trolls, both are presenting a guide to playing a role in a make believe land, and the land to adventure in. That’s all adventure guides need to be, and should you require the restrictions most often found in a game, that’s your problem.

Give it a Shot.

Try them as guides and see how it works out.

An Observation

Stress is not your friend. Most especially when you are autistic and can’t really handle what you’re getting.

Tomorrow I’ll be getting an apartment, until then I’m fretting my brains out. What I could use right now is a friendly dog, square miles of meadow, and a ball. The three together should keep me distracted and wear me out. The last would give me a good night’s sleep.

In any case tomorrow means a big change in my life, I can only pray that I survive.

The Words you Use

In most RPGs violent interaction is known as “combat” Which is what it is when you get right down to it, but a term such as “combat” is most often associated with what are known as wargames, or with the family of formalized conflicts most often associated with war.

There is an alternative. The word here is “fighting”. It’s basically the same thing as “combat”, but has different connotations from “combat.” Both combat and fighting basically mean the same thing, a violent struggle between two or more parties, but fighting is really understood to mean a violent struggle between two parties on an informal basis.

For this reason I have decided to refer to violent struggle in an Adventure Guide as fighting. Since that is what the participants are essentially doing, fighting. It’s my way of telling those playing that they are not involved in a wargame. Rather, what they are involved in is an adventure occurring in an imaginary setting while playing imaginary people.

Also be aware that while combat can occur between groups of people, fights happen between individuals. You could have a single combat involving units of thousands, but when fights are involving you are going to get thousands of fights. That can take a while. My advice here is to focus on a few people, as is what most often happens in life. Just remember that adventures involve individuals, not mobs.

So remember that an adventure guide cannot be a game, for ADs are meant for and written for individuals.

A Home!

I’m officially no longer homeless, though I can’t move in till this Tuesday Jan. 22nd at 9:45am PCT. I’ll be paying $291 a month in rent, so I should be able to afford an iMac in July of this year.

In other news; I’m about ready to pass out. Staying up is being a struggle, so once this gets posted I’m heading back to the tent to see if I can catch up on my sleep.

With my apartment I’ll be able to see my cardiologist and urologist about my heart and kidneys. In addition, IHSS (in home senior services) can do things like keep the place neat and prepare meals, so I’ll be eating better and I may have more energy.

But that’s enough for now.


What I suggest

Simplify Gutenberg. Give the editor a metablock which acts much as the classical editor blockdoes, and to which additional blocks can be added. Then to them what we’ll call “sub-blocks” can be added.

I’m just not comfortable with things that are just too much, so please make Gutenberg simpler.

On The Myth of the RPG

First Thought

There aint none. Not really. What you have are skirmish miniature games where the participants can play roles if they wish,but playing roles aren’t necessary.

Pretending to be someone else doesn’t have to involve killing things and taking their stuff. You don’t even have to succeed at anything, for often the mark of an individual involves how he handles failure. And very often your opponent’s success can mean success for you.

As a Game

Now RPGs aren’t impossible, just dang difficult. It isn’t goals you need to achieve, but a measure of how well you played your role. At no time can that ever be objective, for playing roles is a subjective thing, and judging how they are played is perforce subjective as well.

Nor can such an effort ever be balanced, for even a small world is going to be complex, sometimes complicated, and they shall always be that which is better or less than you. Just remember, where a dragon may slay a kobold, a swarm of kobolds will always boss a dragon around.

My Preference

I’d druther treat them as guides. Guides to living a life in an imaginary setting. While they’re not really happening, you can treat them as if they were happening. For nothing has to be real in order for us to treat it as real.


So I’ll be writing about adventure guides in this blog; guides to adventure in which the mechanics of how a world works are presented, and advice on how to handle adventures in an imaginary world.

Saving Science

On the matter of saving science I have this recommendation, use it.

Use it for everything. No matter what the subject, use science. It doesn’t matter whether science can prove or disprove a subject, use it. Politics, religion, bigfoot, use science.

Science is not what you use to prove or disprove anything, science does what it does. And your liking or not liking the answers you get is not the fault of science, that is your fault.

Use science, use it properly, and accept what it tells you. 

Page 1 of 2
1 2