Archive for November, 2003

November 24, 2003: 7:44 pm: Miscellaneous

There’s a new collaborative blog about gaming out there called The 20′ By 20′ Room, and if the articles posted so far are any indication of how things are going to go, it’s definitely worth a read. There are already some familiar names involved, like Jack and Ginger, as well as others that I probably should have been familiar with long before now. It’s well worth checking out.

November 23, 2003: 9:12 pm: Miscellaneous

Lately I’ve noticed that when I post to Flaming Monkey, the status of the blog doesn’t seem to change on the blogrolling lists of people who link to me. I can get it to update by using the form at, and when I post to Wake Up it seems to work fine, so I don’t know what’s going on.

: 8:49 pm: Game WISH

WISH 73: Player-Driven Shifts

What’s the biggest PC-driven shift you’ve ever experienced in a campaign? If you were a player, what made you feel like you could successfully change the GM’s world? If you were a GM, was this planned or something the PCs surprised you with?

At the moment I can’t recall any games where I was there for a major shift in plot (or world) that was caused by the players, as opposed to the usual evolution that is done cooperatively using player input. Reading through some of the other examples that have been offered by those tackling this week’s Game WISH, I can see that they do take place, but it doesn’t feel like a dynamic that I’ve ever witnessed in my own gaming. Have my games been unusual in that respect?

A pretty lame answer, I know, but there it is. If you’ve been in a game with me where a shift like that happened, and I’m just totally blanking on it, please feel free to point out my omission.

November 16, 2003: 9:15 pm: Game WISH

WISH 72: Character Interruptus

Talk about a few characters you had to stop playing before their stories felt finished. Where do you think they would have gone?

Back in the days when I was active on the old Compuserve RPGames forum, I had many characters whose games got yanked out from under them by GMs who either left the forum or, for whatever reason, decided not to keep running their games. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that since then I sometimes have trouble getting into a character’s story, which means I don’t get as attached as I otherwise might.

One that does stand out in my mind is Holden, who was my character in a PBEM game called Fires of Home, which I was in from 1998-2000. The game was set in a world made up of connected pockets of Shadow that hung in the Abyss, all sustained by a construct known as the Pyre. This meant it was cut off from the rest of the known Amberverse, at least for the most part. Holden was unique among the PCs in that he knew about Amber, the Pattern and the rest of it, as he had been trapped in this world when Brand first created it. He was also much, much older than any of the other PCs, and was in fact older than any non-Elder Amber character I’ve played before or since.

The thing that made the character really come alive was meeting Kieren (another PC), who was the daughter of one of the local nobles, and, it turned out, Holden’s niece. A near-death experience for Kieren resulted in the two of them falling deeply in love, which was a bit of a problem as they were each involved with someone else at the time.

The campaign eventually slowed and then died, which left their story unresolved. Holden has been working on a way to leave the world they were in and return to Amber, and it would have been interesting to see if their love could have survived the trials of a post-Patternfall Amber, as they were both descendants of Brand. There was also the matter of Holden’s other love interest, Kimber, who was going to be coming along with them. I’d like to think that there would have been an amicable split between Holden and Kimber, and that he and Kieren would have found some happiness back in the “real” world.

: 8:25 pm: Cons

In case anyone hadn’t heard, the next The Black Road has been scheduled, and registration is open:

The Black Road 2004 has changed dates from late May to late June — please make a note that due to hotel requirements we are now scheduled for the weekend of June 25-27. Our new (and lower!) hotel rate is $109.00 per night (deadline for hotel reservations will be on the website as soon as we have a firm date – we expect it to be sometime in mid-May).

Please note that the site has moved to:

You can register at — please note that early bird registration closes on Jan 31st, at which point our prices will go up. And right now there’s a $5 discount for those that register as GM’s and submit a game to run. Games can be submitted at (the deadline for game submission is April 23rd).

Moving the con to June knocked $30 off last year’s room price, which is definitely a good thing, and we’re hoping that the change in dates will also make it easier for some more of you to make it out to Massachusetts for this year’s TBR.

: 8:19 pm: Miscellaneous

Well, the first attempt at Flaming Monkey fizzled, but I’m going to get another monkey in here and set it alight. Hopefully I’ll be able to get up some actual momentum this week, and post on at least a semi-regular basis.