There were a bunch of great posts this week brimming with ideas you can use in your games. To kick them off, we have A Simple Trick To Keep The Spotlight Moving by John Arcadian at Gnome Stew. I think the title may be overly modest, however, as this trick could keep the whole game moving. I love the idea of using the timer to return the GM’s awareness on where the game is going.
In another item from the Gnomes, Scott Martin points out that even the best of us can’t always be on top of our game. Sometimes we have doubts, get injured, or fall sick. Imagine the added sense of urgency when the players learn that their usually unbeatable opponent is rendered temporarily vulnerable. Scott mentions lots more great ways to use this trick in his Acting at Less than Optimal.
Most RPG systems give us lots of ways to spec out a character’s abilities and skills. Far fewer provide methods to describe their personalities. In Your Character’s Psychological Profile, Ameron at Dungeon’s Master describes a method of breaking down a character’s personality into a few parameters, and gives examples of extrapolating those values into a more holistic description.
This one was both too old, and too non-gaming related to technically fit our normal links, but I loved it too much to resist. When Islamist rebels took northern Mali, I remember cringing at the stories that started getting out about what they were doing to the people and the area’s historical sites. Luckily, even as they held the area, locals in Timbuktu were working in secret to save their heritage. People of Timbuktu Save Manuscripts from Invaders by Rukmini Callimachi at the AP is both a great read, and could provide an interesting twist on a “behind enemy lines” game. Your superspy character might be willing to risk his life to get intelligence from the enemy General, but would he how far would he go for an ancient book?