The Impossible Trinity: Actor, Audience, Author

Impossible Trinity
One of my favorite concepts in economics is the impossible trinity, a macroeconomic framework that explains why monetary policy can’t do everything it wants to do all at the same time. Monetary policy design is hard, and I love that “the trillema” reminds us that we can’t always get what we want, even if we get to set monetary policy for a whole country. Lately, I’ve been thinking about an impo...
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Picking the Right GM Move in PbtA: Part Two

Picking the Right GM Move in PbtA Part 2
You can read part 1 here. Navigating the Territory In the first post of this series, I talked a lot about harder moves and softer moves, how to make them, and what those terms mean. I argued that any move can be made harder or softer, and that there’s no quick and easy rule to figure out when exactly to make a harder or softer move—it’s the GM’s job to make that judgment call. I ended the piece ...
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Picking the Right GM Move in PbtA: Part One

Picking the Right GM Move in PbtA
In the Powered by the Apocalypse community, we’ve gotten used to a few pieces of terminology we use regularly—in particular, we talk a lot about soft and hard moves. Steve Segedy of Bully Pulpit Games wrote a post all about soft and hard moves, aptly titled “Soft and Hard Moves in The Warren (and other PbtA games)”. It gave me a lot to think about, and it lead to some interesting discussion on Goo...
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Podcast and Video Roundup

Podcast and Video Roundup
Although all of us here at Magpie Games keep ourselves pretty busy writing, designing, and publishing games, sometimes we get the chance to talk about them as well! Several of us here have been on podcasts and YouTube videos to discuss projects we’re working on, and here’s a roundup for your listening ease.   First, Mark was on Game School Podcast with Chad Parish and Satine Phoenix...
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Tabletop Mashup: XCOM 2

Magpie Team in XCOM 2
In this series of posts, Brendan will tackle games outside of the tabletop RPG realm, dissecting them for any useful tidbits to apply to tabletop RPG design. XCOM 2: a game of soldiers, aliens, bad calls, upsetting mistakes, a really cruel RNG (random number generator), and many, many explosions. There’s a tactical level of squad-based combat, in which you move your soldiers around what amou...
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