Rain of Articles Coming Tomorrow!

Ferretbrain, the webzine I’ve written stuff for since 2006, is shutting down, so I’m transferring all of my RPG and gamebook-related articles from there to here. Tomorrow, there’ll be a little flood of articles, as one per hour posts from midnight UK time onwards until my Ferretbrain RPG-adjacent back catalogue is all back up here. Thought I’d put this heads up here for the benefit of those of you following via RSS etc., and if you haven’t seen these articles already I hope you enjoy them.

More Search Engine Wackiness

In a refreshing change from people searching for information on fisting and getting to my Deathwatch posts, apparently at least one person has reached the site after making an ask.com search for “fuck hot fuck”.

I don’t know what the difference between a hot fuck and a fuck hot fuck is, but apparently it’s got something to do with my February ENWorld chart post? Go figure.

What’s Up With My Traveller Article?

Seriously, what gives?

My article about Traveller character generation gets a crazy amount of traffic. As in daily clicks direct to that page. The majority of pageviews I get are just for the main page, but when it comes to specific posts, the Traveller character generation article gets around 250% of the direct views its closest competitor enjoys.

I’m flattered that people like the article, but what’s up with that? What is it specifically about that one article that you guys enjoy so much more than my other posts, and what can I do to deliver it more often?

Excellent Search Queries Episode 2

Subsequent to this: today somebody got to the site by searching “what does one feel with insertions and fists?”.

Can’t help you, friend; it varies a lot depending on which supplements you use, what tier the Marines are at, what career paths people have chosen in character generation, which (if any) prewritten adventures you use, how seriously you and your Fisting partners take the whole thing, how well you know the other participants, how much you trust each other and feel safe in each others’ company, how relaxed you are and which and how much lubricant you use. There’s just too many variables!

What’s this then?

Why does this place exist?

A few friends of mine have started jumping on the RPG blogging bandwagon (blogroll to come later if I remember) so I thought I would too. Hence: this place.

No, I mean what’s it for, what are you going to be posting here?

Oh, right!

Whilst there’s plenty of gaming blogs out there which cover things like game mechanics, GMing technique and so on in the abstract, I don’t intend that to be the focus here (though if I hit on an idea which I want to turn into a post I’ll do so). Instead I want this blog to be mainly about actual play – and, specifically, picking over games I personally run, thinking about what worked and what didn’t, and seeing what lessons can be learned from it.

Is this just games you run?

Almost exclusively. I’m not averse to doing post-mortems of other people’s games as well, but in terms of actually airing that shit in public I’m not really going to do it unless they invite the conversation in their own space.

OK, so is this going to be griping about your players and talking about IRL interpersonal strife? Because I love reading about that shit.

So do I, but you won’t find it here. Nor am I going to be dragging anyone’s real names or internet IDs into posts unless they’ve actually given me permission to. Of course to an extent I will be talking about people’s reactions to the game, but I anticipate that it’ll nearly always be in terms of “the players seemed frustrated by this aspect of the system” or “this encounter gave X a chance to do this stuff, which they were excited about”, not in terms of “and then X yelled at Y and then Z was a big stinky poo-head”. There isn’t likely to be any IRL drama to report anyway since I’m well past the point where I’m up for gaming with people I wouldn’t want to hang out with in other contexts.

What sort of thing are you going to concentrate on then?

A non-exhaustive list of topics I expect to be thinking about:

  • GMing techniques used in the session – what worked, what didn’t, what might have been done instead.
  • Adventure construction, both in terms of pre-game planning and in-session improvisation.
  • Where I’m talking about using a published scenario, where I think it could be improved and potential pitfalls for other GMs using the same scenario.

Wait, you use pre-genned scenarios? What a noob.

Laugh all you like, but I think there are some games they are quite well suited to and – like, I suspect, most people – I usually run highly mutated versions of them warped to suit the players and PCs to hand.

So how regularly are you likely to post?

It will probably vary. I usually get my RPG on at least once a week but because I aim for a healthy GMing/playing balance there’ll be plenty of weeks where I’m not GMing at all. So if you are especially keen to find out when I’ve posted something new RSS is your friend.

When’s your first post going up?

You’re reading it.

No, I mean your first post with actual content.

I’m running a Deathwatch game on Saturday which should be the end of the PCs’ present mission, so that seems like a good time to start. So probably some time after Saturday.