6) How can players make a world seem real?
By having an innate sense of direction in the world, and knowing the way things work in it. If the players can all point in a direction to say where something is without a map, you know they have their bearings in the place and are sharing that same sense of space. If players feel comfortable playing a scene with NPCs they’re hosting, and almost no input from the GM, they may have the world in their head, and under their fingernails.
7) How can a GM make the stakes important?
Technically. I mean, the obvious way is to change a difficulty number or something, but I prefer something a lot more organic: by driving the characters to care about something or someone. Since partial-retirement from the ADRPG scene, I run a lot less parties of sociopaths. I’m a sadist – I want to find where your buttons are… but I’m not cruel. I don’t necessarily want to punch them.
8) How can we get more people playing?
Invite them. And make sure our invitations are specific, and oriented towards making everyone feel as welcome as we can… which means getting out of our comfort zone a lot of times – trying to see how exclusive our groups might feel and breaking it down so that old legends and assumptions are replaced with new.
9) How has a game surprised you?
I was really pleased at the way Dogs in the Vineyard taught me to make failure a part of a character, literally, by assigning dice as consequences to some actions. I kind of adopt that for a lot of places.
10) How has gaming changed you?
As I’ve never not been a gamer, that’s hard to tell. I like to think it means I’m willing to keep somewhat more of an open mind because I have heard some stories, man.
11) Wildest character name?
Sjilana. Or M8k. I have nothing on the way Gorto the World King makes names, though.
12) Wildest character concept?
Nightlife game, “Weird Thing,” was a blue muppety creature who had an antagonistic relationship with bananas.