To Dance with the Porcelain Pig

I recently completed a large purchase of tabletop RPG books, getting ever nearer to having the complete set of Classic D&D Modules. I embarked on the journey of collecting the books years ago, but only recently started to really make headway. With the purchase complete I emailed the seller to say thanks and that I hope to purchase again. We chat some more and swap details about our favourite games wherein he reveals a large stash of other RPG stuff I was going to get one day. I want to jump onto the purchase right away, but funds are limited so I start making plans for later, deciding what I do and do not want and what takes priority. It then occurred to me, I had found my Porcelain Pig, and it deeply upset me. Continue reading

The Art of Immersion

It’s a common catch phrase; Immersion. In times of stress I crave immersion as a way to escape from the pressures of life and relax. For me it’s like meditation, only more effective in some respects because the environment is easier to control.

As I talk to others I have realised that while immersion is one on my fundamental survival tools, others struggle to really see the benefits. Among the bustle and pressure of modern life immersion can seen like an impossible goal. How can you possibly immerse yourself in a game when you have kids tugging on your sleeve, that assignment is due next week and you just received the internet bill for the month and some mongrel must be leeching your Wi-Fi because there’s no way you used that much data.

In an effort to help others find the nirvana of immersive gaming I’ve decided to share a few of the things I do to facilitate the process. While there is no sure fire way to stop that brain static, I hope these tips at least turn the dial down a little. Continue reading

Life as an INTJ Gamer

Both Incarnica and I test reliably as INTJ on the Myers-Briggs based personality tests. I might sometimes drift into the INTP zone, depending on the test and my mood at the time, but more often than not it’s INTJ. It can be difficult at times being out of step with 97%-99% of the world’s population, yet because of the nature of the personality type, computer gaming is a regular haven for me. However, MMOs offer a special set of challenges which I think are worthy of sharing. Continue reading

Definitely not a goodbye

RPGDollies is a labour of love for Incarnica and I, so despite a limited readership we post articles because we like to talk about what we are doing. We also like providing tips, information and inspiration to others where possible. However, we also have other professional writing commitments that must be met. In order to meet those other commitments, RPGDollies will have to become a tertiary consideration. We will still create articles when we can, it’s just that our weekly schedule will have to be reduced to sporadically posting when we can find the time.

We are still playing games and we still have a lot of things we’d like to share, so if you find value in our site please do keep checking in. Better yet, use the Contact page to send us a message and let us know what you’d like to see posted. Nothing is more inspirational to a writer than to hear from people genuinely interested in their efforts.

On an unrelated note; it was brought to our attention that the site navigation was not working effectively on some mobile devices. Our most sincere apologies for that. We will be having the site upgraded to a new responsive look some time soon, so if we suddenly go into maintenance mode don’t worry, it’s just us ensuring things are working properly.

So until next time,
Happy Gaming!

Game Mastery Part 4
Writing a Good Campaign Adventure

I really appreciate the value of a store brought premade adventure. They are great for learning the game and for filling in when you need a break from adventure writing. However I much prefer to write my own adventures. By writing your own adventure you can custom made the story for the characters you have, and piece each adventure into a larger meta-plot which gives the entire campaign a more epic scale and feel. Yet writing your own adventure can at first seem very daunting, so here’s a few tips on how I make best use of the option. Continue reading

Cursed, -2 Mop of Maturity

I’m the older of we two sisters. I’m the responsible one. I’m not saying Kaly is not responsible, because she is, she’s very responsible. What I’m trying to put into words is the terrible feeling I am overcome with, the feeling that stops me from just sitting down and playing a game when ever I feel like it. There’s an overwhelming sense of responsibility that kicks in, pointing out what needs doing. There’s always ‘just one more’ floor to be mopped, bench to be wiped down or cushion to be tidied before I can be allowed to sit and enjoy myself. Continue reading

Digital Romance

No, I’m not going to talk about online pick-ups, MMO cybersex or eRP. I’m going to talk about one of the few games that allow for a step into the Uncanny Valley, where you romance completely scripted characters in a single player roleplaying game. I am of course talking about the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, which to my knowledge, with the exception of dating sims, are the only game series that have made a serious effort in this direction. While I wanted to discuss both games I know how I tend to ramble, so with the release of Dragon Age III just around the corner I’ll focus on the Dragon Age series first. Continue reading

Gaming in the Australian Heat

Summer is coming, and the Australian heat is already on the rise. Computers can get hot enough without the added heat of pushing your processors with an intense game. The real trouble with heat is not just the risk of shut down, it’s the risk of long term damage to the system. It’s perfectly fine for those of you living in the luxury of quality air conditioning, but how do you handle the summer heat when you have nothing but a few portable fans and an open window? Here’s a few tips Incarnica and I use to beat the summer heat and still get our gaming fix. Continue reading

New Kickstarter throws down the Gauntlet to Hard Core eSports

I’m a big fan of Kickstarter and so far I’ve had good luck with backing winners, with one notable exception. One thing I look for in any Kickstarter is whether or not I believe the person can deliver. A new Kickstarter arrived in my mail box today which I think has the pedigree behind it to make it happen, so I just wanted to give it a shout out in hopes our modest little corner of the web can lend this cause some support. Before I talk about why Incarnica and I think this Kickstarter is worth backing, why don’t you pop over and have a look at it yourself here via Kickstarter: Desert Bus Grand Championship. When you get back, read on…

Continue reading

Game Mastery Part 3
The Art of Killing Characters

As a GM I hate to kill characters, and it’s not just about not wanting to hurt feelings either, there are very practical considerations. I work for hours to help each player carefully construct a detailed background, balancing desires with what the system allows. I also invest more hours creating stories that meld meaningfully with character stories, so players feel like their character is a part of a much larger world. When a character dies, there isn’t just the emotional investment, there is the investment of time. Yet, failure to kill characters can lead to a much more serious problem than losing the time invested. Continue reading