Monthly Archives: July 2021

Investigative Horror RPG Homebrew, Part 4: The Hollowing Curse

Standard diseases in most roleplaying games are often quickly detected and easily cured with low-level spells. Pathfinder Unchained disease rules as well as the Horror Adventures disease rules can be useful for making more dangerous diseases. The following is an example of a disease that is more challenging and is especially suitable for investigative horror roleplaying games.

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Gurdjieff and Games, Part 3: Where Games Can Go Wrong

To understand, according to Mr. Gurdjieff, where games can go wrong, besides the previously mentioned depriving of children of time to play games or depriving oneself of work-rest balance, one must understand where humans can go wrong (and have gone wrong).

The same problems experienced in life are the same problems experienced in games, only on a smaller scale. This difference in scale can be used to one’s advantage—one can use games to learn about oneself and others to understand the basic problems of humanity in a limited and relatively safe environment. Some of these problems are detailed here in brief.

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Reading Gurdjieff: A Sense of Proportion

It is important when approaching Beelzebub’s Tales to adopt certain exegetical principles. For the sake of productive interpretation, it is useful to assume: 1) that Mr. Gurdjieff’s writings were composed from a higher reason than our own, and therefore, 2) every detail in the text has meaning; and so 3) because of its near-infinite meaning, we cannot know everything about the text, but 4) we can still draw practical teaching from it despite the limits of our own understanding; and 5) that the author can satisfactorily explain himself from his own writings.

In addition to these recommended exegetical principles, having a sense of proportion of the many ideas of the text in relation to each other and to the whole is also important—in other words, not distorting significant ideas into insignificant ones, and vice versa.

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Homebrewing an Investigative Horror RPG, Part 3: Advice

original photo credit: Martin Schmieder, Stuttgart

Recently, I read an excerpt from a new horror supplement for the most well-known roleplaying game in the world—you know the game. The excerpt was advice to players and game masters on how to play or run a horror roleplaying game, or any roleplaying game for that matter. I won’t rehash the advice—it can be found all over the internet. For players and game masters alike, it was bad advice. And rather than rehash why the advice was bad—as has already been pointed out by so many others—I’ll just offer the advice I follow when I run horror or other genres of roleplaying games.

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Gurdjieff and Games, Part 2: Children’s Games and Fun Fair Games

Salem, MA Carnival Games. Credit: Toby McGuire

A survey of Mr. Gurdjieff’s writings revealed that games are mentioned many times: in ‘games’ played by the Greeks and Romans, in the English ‘sport’, in children’s games, in games played at French fairs, in games specified by name, including baccarat, roulette, snip-snap-snorum, chess, wrestling, and billiards.

Here we look briefly at what Mr. Gurdjieff wrote about children’s games and fair games, and their value in relation to the Work.

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