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About This Blog

The heroes go on a dangerous quest and are fundamentally changed by the challenges they face.

The above sentence could be describing either the plot of a novel or a synopsis of a roleplaying game campaign. That’s because they’re both built using the same fundamental ingredients of story—characters, goals, and obstacles. In both cases, the audience wants to find out what happens next, and players and authors alike must decide how the story will unfold.

As it turns out, the tricks for crafting a good novel can be applied to roleplaying game campaigns, and roleplaying games can provide endless inspiration for books, movies, and comics. At the same time, there are plenty of places where writing and roleplaying games diverge, and pit traps await those who misapply advice from one medium to the other.

This blog explores those points of similarities and differences and aims to help writers, roleplayers, and gamemasters navigate their way around both. It is primarily interested in storytelling more broadly, which lies at the heart of fiction and—increasingly—of roleplaying games.

I began this blog as a writer who found her way to roleplaying and gamemastering. And I’ve talked to countless GMs and players who come to writing to flesh out their character backstories, chronicle their campaign, or detail a fictional world and its inhabitants. So no matter whether you’re a brand-new gamemaster, an aspiring author, or an enthusiastic roleplayer looking for more ways to enjoy the hobby—welcome. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay.

If you’re a new game master just learning the ropes, you’ll want to read A Glossary of RPG Campaign Terms for New Gamers, Find Your Ideal RPG Campaign Organization Method, and follow these 5 Tips for Gamemastering an RPG System for the First Time. Most importantly, Don’t Let Fear or Anxiety Keep You Out of the GM’s Chair. And when you’re ready to take the next step, here’s How to Become a Better Game Master According to Science.

If you’re a game master interested in using narrative structure and the ingredients of story to help you write RPG convention scenarios, or even adventures to put on sale, check out these articles on Crafting RPG Adventures from Scratch, The 3-Act Formula as a Mini RPG Campaign Template, and How to Create RPG Campaign Subplots.

If you’re looking to write fiction or possibly become a freelance RPG writer, you’ll want to follow these Five Tips for Submitting to a Freelance Writing Open Call, avoid these Five Freelance Writing Pitfalls, learn What Happens in the Different Editing Stages, or dive in headfirst to novel prep with the 31 Days of NaNoPrepMo.

If you’re a roleplayer, you’ll want to read these 5 Steps to Writing a Killer RPG Character Backstory, download the Seven Steps to Character Creation Worksheet, and possibly Discover the Narrative Worlds of Play-by-Post Roleplaying.

If you’re looking for something different, you can “Search the Stacks” using the dropdown menu to navigate by category, otherwise you can “Browse by Keyword,” which includes the most popular tags used on this blog.

If you can’t find a blog post related to what you’re looking for, I encourage you to submit your questions and ideas for articles through this contact form. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the journey!

A Brief History of TripleCrit

TripleCrit has been the personal collection of musings, resources, and ramblings by Katrina Ostrander since 2011. The name refers to the concept of a triple threat in football or theater, as well as the RPG house rule that says if you roll three natural 20’s in a row you instantly kill whatever you were attacking. Here, the three “threats” are the three ways I express my creativity: writing, roleplaying, and gamemastering. Each is a unique vehicle for storytelling with its own challenges and rewards.

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