A few articles ago, I came up with a prompt for an all-fighter murder mystery tabletop campaign. Someone liked it so much that they’ve commissioned me to actually write one..
It’s been great fun! But it’s also made me have to think hard about how I’d go about making one. The hardest part, conceptually, was asking what a good murder-mystery to play even was. What I thought would be a simple question made me realize a lot of my examples gave lessons that were mutually exclusive.
There’s a really funny thing about economic conferences. They just let you in, if you sign up.
I attended the 2019 Inequality of Opportunity conference in Brisbane. I paid the entry fee, registered under Wholesome Rage as my company name, and they just… let me in. There I was, some random blogger, in a room full of people either with doctorates in economics or political science, or actively getting one. Many were presenting their papers.
A lot of fun. Absolutely terrifying.
Most Dungeon Mastering is planned from the story down, but most writers know that most of the good storytelling comes from the characters - which you’re not able to touch from your end at all.
The one broadly accepted exception to this rule is character creation. Most players don’t bat an eye if they’re told upfront - “Alright, no elves in this campaign, but there’s Reasons for it”, because they can hear that big capital ‘R’.
This means we have a little bit of leverage that we’re trusted with to influence the characters here for story reasons. And, both as storytellers and as game players ourselves, the natural question to ask is: How far can we push this? To what effect?