How to Open Your Mind in 5 Minutes

Take a moment to notice the sensations you normally ignore. Are there thoughts in your mind, floating below conscious level? Are there feelings in your fingers and toes that you can barely notice?

Many people have these elusive sensations. If you don’t feel them or aren’t sure, take a deep breath. They will come to you soon.

Why am I talking about these shadowy feelings?

Because you can use them to open your mind.

Continue reading

How to Use Alignments as Motivation

I start this article with a confession: I don’t really like alignment. I tend not to use it, either as a player or GM. In my mind it doesn’t add much, only serving as an opaque label for whole swathes of roleplaying fodder.

Compare “I love my kingdom, despite its faults” to “I am Lawful Neutral”. The alignment adds nothing interesting to this description. Even worse when it is used in place of it.

Anyway, rather than simply hate it for the rest of time, I started thinking about ways I could make it a bit more interesting. Continue reading

Encounter: Scavenger Hunt

The mad wizard Golbern has awakened the Scorpion Legion from its eons of slumber. When they last arose, they almost destroyed the world. A mighty Archer, wielding the powerful Bow of Wisdom, eventually defeated them.

Before his death, the Archer buried the Bow. He believed that it was too great a weapon to remain in the world. But, should the Scorpion Legion rise again, clever and brave heroes could follow the clues that lead to its resting place.

The party found the Archer’s map in some ancient, forgotten library. One the back was scribbled the first clue…

Continue reading

Resources: Humanoid Art

This post has been a long time coming.

Over the past few months, I’ve churned out some art based on humanoid races. I’ve experimented with different styles and techniques. Some of this art has been posted on Twitter, some of it has been used elsewhere in this blog. Some of it is fresh from my fingers.

Continue reading

Memory Update

I talked before about practicing creativity while learning a handy trick for memorising numbers. Those of you who follow my Twitter know that the first time I tried this for 27 numbers between 0-26, I recalled them with 74% accuracy. Better than without using this technique, but hardly a success – that’s one error every four numbers.

But I’ve been practicing. I bumped the amount of numbers I memorise up to 30 – not a huge increase, just enough to get it to a nice, round number. My range has more than doubled – I now can memorise numbers between zero and 60.

My accuracy is through the roof.

I’ve yet to have a perfect run. I have this tendency to make simple mistakes. But I’m routinely scoring 98% accuracy – an error of just one or two digits out of 30 two-digit numbers.

Obviously, I still have a lot of work to do. My accuracy needs to reach 100%. I need to finish committing my system to memory – it’s only useful if I can remember all numbers, not just those up to 60. And memory enthusiasts are probably laughing at my paltry 30 number capacity. They’d also think my speed is ridiculous. Still, it’s not bad for maybe 20 minutes a day, most days of the week.

Learning this new skill has reintroduced me to something wonderful that happens when practicing. My abilities rose quickly, at first. I’d increase the range by five or ten per day and my accuracy was trending upwards. It was fun. But then I hit a wall. It was a struggle to visualise my subjects verbing my objects. It was even harder recalling them later. I could feel my mind working hard whenever it needed to translate an image to a number, or vice versa.

Then one day, it felt good. It felt right. I could feel it deep within my body. The images popped into my head bright and clear. My memory palace was vivid, intense. Real. I could smell the grass, the dust and the pot pourri. I could hear the floorboards squeak beneath my feet. I was fast and precise.

The process was a pure joy.

I didn’t score perfectly that day. When I was translating the images back into numbers I made a simple mistake – I paired the right image with the wrong number. But I was faster and more accurate than ever.

There’s no thrill like when your abilities leap forward.

Now I know how PCs feel when they level up.

Encounter: Triumphant Darkness

Playing with evil characters introduces a whole new set of difficulties. The biggest challenge is managing the PCs – Jokers ruin the game for everyone. The other side of the coin is the campaign – what, exactly, do you want the evil PCs to do?

This encounter – Triumphant Darkness – kicks off a mysterious, post-apocalyptic campaign where the PCs are some of history’s greatest villains. Your players will explore a world that has fallen before a great evil, with pockets of increasingly desperate resistance. Will they serve the evil, fight back or carve their own empire in the ruins?

Triumphant Darkness [PDF]