Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2023

The "Thanksgiving Story" Story

Thanksgiving really is one of the most American of holidays (if you ignore that weird Canadian version , anyway). Even more than, say, Independence Day, there's a clear disconnect between the celebration itself, the story it's commemorating, and the actual messy history. It is, in its own way, an origin myth of (white) American identity - of Europeans fleeing persecution to a new land, which welcomes them through both a bountiful harvest and the kindness of a native population willing to share it with them. It's the pilot episode for Manifest Destiny , blatantly ahistorical to even most elementary school students, and, weirdly enough, genuinely accepted as such. Most depictions of the holiday, at least prior to the rush of Cold War hagiography that presented American history as a theatrical attraction with a "NO COMMIES" sign at the entrance, was focused on the imagery of food and family. Specific foods at that, making this one of the few ritualistic meals to surv

DMs, GMs, and AIs (Oh, My!)

Playing TTRPGs solo has been around almost as long as TTRPGs have been a concept. While a traditional TTRPG is a social group activity, solo roleplaying games can be more like a journaling experience or guided storytelling through a gamebook (some of which involve dice and stat-tracking, and even modified versions of rules from group-centered games). We’ve talked a bit about solo-tabletop RPGs before - the trouble with solo gaming when want to go beyond the limits of what's been written into a gamebook or published electronic RPG is the GM/DM. There are, of course, many ways people have attempted to solve this . There are the Mythic Game Master Emulator books . There are storytelling dice if all you need is a nudge in a direction. There are even systems that attempt bring in a few different approaches into a single package like RPG Solo . While these are all fine solutions, they all came out before we had AI, or at least before we had what we currently refer to as "AI"

Dual-ing Personalities

Playing in a tabletop game can be challenging, even when you have just one character to control. Your options tend to open up much further when you can add even just one more to the mix, a nearly overwhelming feeling most GMs know all too well. Almost all of us have run into the situation where we have a friend who can’t make it to your gaming table that week, and we've all had to come up with ways to mitigate that absence. You might cancel the session, have the missing character off on another mission, etc. We’ve even mentioned those options in previous posts . We could even duel over which solution is the best - the answer will change from person to person and table to table. This week, we'd like to talk about one solution: dual character playing. As we said above, one character is challenging enough, so what issues can a “second personality” cause, and what are some tips to make things run a bit smoother? Buddy up with Never Say Dice as we discuss just that. There are a lot

Partyin' with the Party

Celebrate good times. Come on. It’s a celebration. (I will.) Between birthdays (and births), deaths, adoptions, holidays, graduations, engagements and weddings, honors of all kinds, personal milestones (like a 100th blog post ), and everything in between, our regular lives are simply filled with opportunities to celebrate. Just looking at the month of November in the US we have Dios de Los Muertos, All Saint’s Day, All Soul’s Day, Daylight Savings, Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving... and that's just hitting the “big” things in the US. That leaves out all sorts of official (like Native American Heritage Month) and unofficial (National Fast Food Day) recognitions. It also doesn’t recognize that Halloween just passed and holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa as well as many others are on their way. While we may have touched on adding holidays in other posts, it would be good to talk about celebrations in general. So take a moment to celebrate with your parties an