What Do Gamers Want From Gaming Blogs?

DragonWhen I started this blog, I just started writing about things that I really had to get off my chest regarding roleplaying games. Gripes I had with certain systems, reviews about new books that I bought. I didn’t really initially think to myself, “When I create this roleplaying blog, what kind of content and experience will my readers want? What content and experience will keep readers coming back?

Well, I started learning things pretty quickly just by examining my site statistics and the different comment amounts for certain posts. I’ve put together a random list of things I’ve learned in my first three months of Roleplaying Blogging.

What I’ve Learned Reading Site Statistics, Watching Reader Patterns, and Just Generally Paying Attention

1. Almost everyone here is a geek. And apparently geeks use Firefox. I was shocked to discover that well over 90% of the people surfing RoleplayingPro use Firefox.

2. Long posts take a lot of work, but sometimes get the least responses because readers lose interest trying to get through a really long post.

3. If you give away stuff, you will drive tons of traffic to your site. The people that are driven there will sign-up for the contest, and maybe check out your site a little. But even with all this traffic you haven’t necessarily converted someone into a user. You’ve just potentially raised their interest in the site.

4. Readers will go to your site for their own, often self-seeking reasons. Maybe they are going there to comment and place a link to their blog. Maybe they’re going there to get some ideas for posts on their blog. Maybe they are there to try to win some free prizes. Or maybe they are there for reading. They like what the blogger writes and actually use it in their roleplaying games, or for something else.

5. I’ve noticed that readers love to comment when you write a negative post about a game they like.

6. I’ve noticed that readers rarely comment on product reviews.

7. I’ve noticed that there are some roleplaying blogs out there with fairly simple content that have over 500+ subscribers. Then there are other blogs with phenomenal content that couldn’t crack the 25+ reader level.

8. The length a blog has been around seems to have a lot to do with subscriber count.

9. You’ll know if you write a good post or not by the comments you get.

10. Even a poor post can still get a lot of good comments if you had made sure to add some good pictures.

11. If you target your audience (geeky guys) with pictures that catch their interest, like a hot chick in a Princess Leia slave bikini, you will get traffic on anything.

12. Too many subscription choices confuse people. It is not an advantage to have multiple ways for readers to get your content; it is a disadvantage that they have too many choices to choose from.

Questions To Roleplaying Blog Readers

I have a bunch more observations.  These are just some of them that came to mind quickly.  So now I wish to post some challenging questions.

  • Why do you go to a roleplaying blog?
  • What keeps you going back to a roleplaying blog once you’ve gone there before?
  • What do most roleplaying blogs lack that you wish they had?
  • What do most roleplaying blogs have that you wish they didn’t?
  • If you could only go to five roleplaying blogs, which five would they be and why?

I look forward to any answers and comments you might have about this topic.

Getting Players Emotionally Invested in the Campaign

Role Playing DiceGetting Players Emotionally Invested in the Campaign

I’m asked a lot of questions about gaming and running games.  But the one I hear from other gamemasters the most is:

 

“How do you draw players into your campaign and how do you get them to care about it and become emotionally invested in the events unfolding around them?”

 

I love hearing that question because right away it tells me that this is someone who really wants to run a great game for his players, not just himself.  Ultimately I think the key to a fantastic campaign is the ability for the GM to put aside certain ego-centric aspects of running the game and focus more on the players’ experience of participating in the game.

 

Even though each gamemaster and every group of players are different there are several techniques that can be used to really draw players into the campaign.  The following are some of the things I have incorporated over the years in order to help immerse my players in the experience.

 

An Aura of Mystery

When I talk about mystery in terms of building player involvement I’m not talking about solving mysteries as part of an adventure, such as who killed Baresh the Mad; or what are the Eyes of Darkness.  Instead I’m referring to building and maintaining an atmosphere of mysteriousness in regard to the campaign setting itself.  Nothing draws players in quite as well as curiosity about the people, places, and events surrounding them.

 

I use this technique in virtually every aspect of my campaign.  In my current game I handed the players a map of their home area (The Seven Bridges Valley) at the start of the first session.  Right away my players began to ask questions; why is the village of Shadowhaven a ruin?  What is Monument Valley?  What’s in the Fellmarsh?  How come there are only six bridges in the Seven Bridges Valley?  These questions immediately got the players thinking about their environment.

 

Things that might pique your players’ interests’ (a few of which I’ve used myself):

  • A strange formation of stones, or perhaps just one unusually large stone, in the middle of nowhere.  Maybe they glow, or animals don’t go near them, or they’re surrounded by local rumors and superstitions.
  • An old structure (like a keep or castle) that the character’s initially mistake for a ruin only to later discover the building was never actually completed to begin with.
  • An old statue or monument that no longer has any indication of who it was of or what it commemorated.  The statue could be in a village square or perhaps at a lonely crossroad along some rarely used road.
  • A prisoner that has been locked up in the local keep for decades, one whose identity is known by only select few.  Perhaps someday the characters will need info that only the ancient prisoner possess.

 

The most important part of this technique is to allow the players to wonder about certain things but to keep them on track with more immediate concerns like adventures and the campaign plot arcs.  Then as time goes on you can satisfy the players’ curiosities by revealing something about the mystery or having it feature prominently in some new adventure.  Maybe that unusual stone formation is where a villain makes his last stand.  Or the heroes discover that it was the place where their arch-enemy transformed into a lich centuries ago.

 

In my home campaign one of my players, after having seen just the map decided that his character’s back-story was somehow connected to why Shadowhaven is no longer occupied.  This leads me to my second tip:

 

Player Participation in the Creative Process

I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine; I only do a portion of the work on my campaign, the rest is knowingly, and sometimes unknowingly, done by my players.  I like the players in my campaigns to feel as though they have helped create the world in which they play in.  Nothing encourages player buy-in like being part of the creative process for campaign and story development.  When allowed to participate in this way most players feel much more “connected” to the campaign and its stories.

 

I allow the players a lot of creative license in regard to the things that are important to their characters.  In my current campaign one of the characters has a sister who runs an inn.  I’ve given him complete freedom to tell the rest of us what the inn is like and who work there.  What the atmosphere is like and the nature of the clientele.  He went so far as to make up business cards for the inn.  Not only is the player more invested in the campaign but I’ve just had a lot of work done for me.  And if someday I need a building to be burnt down when brigands attack, or someplace for the murdered body of the Runespeaker to mysteriously pop up, I know just the place.

 

Character Back-story and Relationships

This one touches upon both of the previous tips.  Allowing your players a great deal of latitude in creating their personal history is an excellent opportunity to involve them in the creative campaign design process and a great chance to utilize a little mystery.  I don’t think I have ever met a gamer who didn’t like a bit mystery to surround his character.

 

When building back-story I encourage my players to be creative with people, places, and events, but not to worry about leaving a few “gaps” for me to work with.  Many possibilities spring to mind when it comes to character history.  Here are a few:

  • A PC’s brother was killed long ago; maybe the character knows what happened, or maybe he just “thinks” he knows.
  • An orphan raised by the church after finding her has a baby left on their doorstep.  Who are her parents?  Why was she abandoned?
  • The tough warrior who still feels guilty about the events surrounding his father’s death.  Is he to blame or does he just miss his dad?
  • An elf that woke up in a nearby wood 18 months ago with no recollection of his life prior to that moment.  Ok that player gave me a ton to work with, and boy will he regret that!

 

Another aspect I encourage amongst my players is building in relationships, both with each other and other NPC’s as well.  Not only is this a great way to tie players into the setting but it also gives you as the GM a bunch of ready to go NPC’s to use in the campaign.  Its one thing when the local Lord’s daughter goes missing but it is something else altogether when it’s the brother of a PC whom he’s had a long-standing rivalry with, especially when the brother is a local hero.

 

A few of the relationships that my players have created in our current campaign include:

  • One character’s mother sits on the town council and has several enemies as well as quite a few “interesting” allies.
  • Another character serves as a local guardsman assigned to the “house” of the first character’s mother.  He has a wife and two children who constantly ask him to put down his axe and return home.  Loyalty has him perpetually torn between his duty to the town, his family, and his allies.
  • Yet another character thinks he may have met the love of his life.  A sweet young lady who wants him to settle down and stay with her in the quiet little village of Cinderhill.

 

Relationships can become the absolute foundation of a campaign.  I’ve had players ask me “Why do I care about what’s happening here?”  Good relationships answer that question.

 

These are the primary techniques I like to employ but what about you?  What techniques have you used to grip your players and suck them into your campaign leaving them anxious and excited for next week’s adventure?

Support RPG Pro Girl Gamers w/Brown Sugar Scrub Purchase

Support a fellow gamer girl by visiting her site called Juniper Desert. One of the great things she has that people like is brown sugar scrub.

Abrown sugar scrub is ideal for exfoliating the skin on the face and all over the body. The texture of brown sugar is soft, not rough, so it glides smoothly over the surface of the skin when applied. It leaves the texture of skin supple and smooth, and with a delicious sugary sweet scent, it will quickly become a favorite part of your regular skin care routine.

The scrub can be applied all over the body in the shower or the bath, once the skin is damp. If you will use it on your face, simply wet the skin first and then begin applying. You can use your fingers to gently rub in a circular motion over each area of the face. Then simply rinse off the scrub with warm water and see the incredible results. You can use a washcloth, stimulating bath mitt, or an exfoliating sponge to work the scrub all over.

The brown sugar granules are excellent for buffing away dead skin cells and repairing dry or rough patches. It also helps the skin to retain moisture, so it is perfect for regular use in any season to keep both the face and the body looking healthy and polished. You may find that you don’t even need to apply lotion because the skin will be so moisturized and hydrated.

Sugar scrubs are so wonderful because they are invigorating, yet gentle enough for regular use. A brown sugar scrub is an easy and affordable way to pamper yourself right at home. You don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients or formulations to have an effective and fresh way to clear up your skin and get rid of those dead, dry cells.

So many factors affect the appearance and quality of skin, from the weather, to the foods that one eats, to the amount of water that one drinks. It can be difficult to get and maintain the texture and appearance that you want without using products or ingredients that are proven to work. It is so important to take the time to nourish the surface of the skin so that you look and feel your very best, no matter what the weather.

You won’t need to set aside much time to have a relaxing spa session in your bathroom with a brown sugar scrub. You can incorporate it into a skin care routine, using it on a weekly basis to remove impurities that have built up over time. Brown sugar is great for scrubbing because it is abrasive, but not harsh. Using a gentle motion to scrub the skin is the best way to slough off the dead layers and reveal the healthy, radiant layer beneath.

Radiant, revitalized skin is easily achieved with regular use of an exfoliating body and face scrub. You can even out your skin tone while enjoying the delicious, fresh scent of brown sugar. A brown sugar scrub is a truly sweet and soothing way to treat yourself and improve your appearance easily.

Keep Your Computers Documents Organized

Document Management Software is a piece of software designed to keep track of electronic documents and key details relating to them. This goes beyond the simple storing of a document and includes features such as version control, security and access control as well as a check-in/check-out system. Different pieces of software have different capabilities but all aim to make keeping track of documents easy and hassle-free.

Why Use Document Management Software?

While for small businesses it is fine to simply save your documents on a server or PC in the normal fashion large companies may find this leads to problems. Once companies start working on larger documents requiring collaboration and input from more than one person at a time it becomes essential that more advanced software is used.

The risk is that if two people open and make changes to a document at the same time when one of them saves the work done by someone else can be lost. Just one instance of this can  hours of wasted valuable work, add a few instances up over time and you’ll realize how much this mistake can make. The correct software can stop this from happening with a check-in and check-out system.

Another risk intrinsic to poor document management is that version control will be lost. Version control is a system of retaining past versions so that they can be looked at or used later. Correct document management allows multiple version to be retained instead of the same document being saved over the top of previous versions.

Choosing the Right Software

Nearly all document management software will help prevent the problems listed above. Choosing the right software will depend upon compatibility with your current software as well as individual preferences concerning software. While most software for managing documents gives similar basic options, different software will give you different components which may be a factor in selection.

Benefits Of Internet Marketing

The increasing use of the World Wide Web has opened up doors for businesses to market their products online. As a result, many businesses, new as well as established ones, are marking their web presence to tap targeted prospects on the web. Online marketing offers various benefits to any marketer. Following are some of the important benefits of internet marketing.

Marketing your products on the web requires very little amount of money. With an investment of as low as 100 dollars per year, you can start your online venture. This is simply not possible in the case of offline marketing. As a result, even an average working Joe can pursue his online venture without leaving his job. Minimum start up capital and low recurring expenses are the primary reasons why most of the modern marketers choose internet marketing.

Exposure to a huge client base is another important benefit of internet marketing. When you promote your products offline, you cannot market your products to a huge clientele. As a result, the chances of making more sales are very less, especially when you are starting out; less sales means less profit. However, when you use utah seo by ontra to market your products on the net, you get an opportunity to promote and sell your products to millions of customers in a span of minutes. Increased customer visibility increases your chances of making more sales. The higher the sales, the higher will be the profits.

Quick results and better conversions are another important benefit of internet marketing. If you employ effective online marketing strategies in the right perspective, you will get better conversions and subsequently better profits. The rate of return on your investment is very high. Moreover, you will earn decent amounts of profits in a short time by putting dedicated effort in the right direction. Due to these benefits, more and more marketers are turning to internet marketing to make a successful venture online.

Effective Tips on Weight Loss

Effective Tips on Weight Loss

When I was a teenager, my weight ballooned more than 240 pounds. With a height of 5’10″, I was already categorized as an obese individual. Aside from the insults and ridicule that I got from other people, being fat has also placed my health at great risk. I easily got tired whenever I walk a short distance, and I also suffered from asthma attacks. Although my esteem was very low, I decided to work really hard in order to get a fitter and better body. With the help of a trainer, I was able to lose more than 80 pounds of fat. In a span of two years, I was already able to achieve my target weight of 155 pounds. The journey to my weight loss was never an easy experience. Nonetheless, the rewards and benefits that I was able to receive were definitely worth it. To help you lose more pounds, here are some of the weight loss techniques that I was able to do.

1. Do not skip or subtract meals — Most people would usually skip meals in order for them to lose weight fast. However, when I was working out to lose weight, my trainer told me to add healthier food choices instead of cutting down the ideal amount of food intake. Although reducing carbohydrates in the diet was very helpful in eliminating extra pounds off my body, I also added fresh fruits and vegetables in every meal to provide me the necessary vitamins that my body needs. I ate cherries, grapes, bananas, and vegetable soup, which are not only nutritious, but are also lesser in calories. However, it is also very important to make sure that the foods you eat will not go more than the ideal daily calorie count that your body needs.  If you have an over active appetite try calming it down with carallumafimbriata.

2. Do a lot of activities — Losing weight does not only happen inside the gym. In other words, you can do other physical activities aside from exercise that can help you burn calories. Some of these activities include riding bikes, doing household chores, washing the car, playing sports, walking the dog, and mowing the lawn. These activities are considerably more exciting compared to running on a tread mill for hours.  These activities have helped me tremendously in my weight loss program. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you should also stop going to the gym.

3. Try to walk all the time — Walking is one way of keeping the body active. So instead of using your car, you can try walking towards your destination if it is only a few meters or kilometers away from you. Walking will not only help burn more calories in the body, but it will also allow you to appreciate your surroundings even more. 5 htp is also a great supplement in your battle against the weight loss monster.

 

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