Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Walking back from the carnage

I was talking about walking and hiking with some friends, today. It all started with the fact that a newspaper published an article claiming “walking is for the middle aged, hiking is cool”.
As I never had a problem with being uncool, and indeed I was not cool back when not being cool was not considered cool yet, I accept my role as a walker, and said as much.
From there we went on talking about how walking (or hiking, if you’re cool) is an excellent way for coping with trauma.
I walked miles and miles after my mother’s death, and after my father.
I find walking a good solution to recharge my batteries, and react to those periodic bouts of depression that sometimes come.

And there’s science behind it!

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The wisdom of the hack

81sjDZU2pxLI’ve been asked by a friend a few suggestions about setting up a pulp-themed scenario for a roleplaying game.
And who am I to deny the masses my wisdom?
Especially when the masses acknowledge me as a pulp guru?
So here’s what I wrote him…

Writing pulp means pleasing your audience by giving them what they do not expect while promising them what they expect.
In roleplaying, your players are your audience, so the first thing is to know your players, their tastes and expectations. And then surprise them.
Easy, right?

The balance between familiarity and surprise is mainly achieved through the manipulation of clich├ęs and tropes, with a few gimmicks to put the pressure on. Continue reading