People forget that Car Wars was pretty much an RPG where the car was your character.
Jeffro brings out Car Wars to show that, if you are worried about the plot of your adventure, you're doing it wrong.
The question is asked, “What are your favorite ways of coming up with an engaging campaign plot line for role playing games?”
My answer to this is that it’s an inherently wrongheaded question: If your campaign has a plot line, you are not just doing it wrong.
You have repudiated the very concept of fantasy role-playing games!
The most common structure in “plot oriented” game sessions is going to be the Pathfinder/Wizards series of combat encounters that are
perfectly balanced to the party’s assets such that they can win against a “boss” of some sort with their last hit point. At the campaign
level, you would then have a series of these scenarios that are strung together that all culminate into a satisfying climax where
something resembling an epic plot is resolved.
This is no doubt a lot of people playing tabletop games in this manner. Is it legitimate or is it intrinsically, morally, and ethically
wrong to do it that way? Now, you might think I’m being facetious, unnecessarily bombastic, or just plain silly… but I honestly think
that it really is WRONG. And the reason is… it’s boring!
Not that we didn’t have linear adventures in the bad old days before this new type of play became the norm. I just ran the Car Wars
adventure “Convoy” for someone this summer and it’s about as linear as it gets. Heck, even the combats are played out on road sections
where the average speed of the combatants is sixty miles an hour.
That bit about Pathfinder is spot-on, especially related to the society-play oriented "adventures". They have a plot with a setup, a middle, and an end. They are a preprogrammed set of adventures. "Here is your mission", followed by rolls based on knowledge:local (or similar) to see what you find out, followed by your choice of one or more venues (sometimes) to find out more - but some clue will always lead you to the next, and then finally, the final encounter. In some of the more cleverly written ones you can take two paths, but you end up at the same endpoint. Sometimes you can finesse exactly how you resolve a particular encounter, but in many of the encounters combat is assumed, and they are indeed literally calibrated to the expected strength of the party.
I'll join in and play, if that's what's being run, but I'm never running a PF game again - Adventurer Conqueror King system is a hell of a lot more fun.
Near Future Traveller
Omer G. Joel who has done some work related to the Cepheus Engine, a retroclone of the Traveller 2D6 science fiction role-playing system, is creating a near-future science-fiction horror background owing it's atmosphere to Aliens, Event Horizon, Firefly, Stalker, Dead Space, and Outland he calls Hard Space It uses smaller ships (1000 tons or less), no artifical gravity or grav sleds, a corporate semi-dystopian future in space. Jump tech relies on alien artifacts that aren't understood, and hunting around things man was not meant to know can lead to some nasty consequences.
Peter Grant, who has written on his time as a prison chaplain, has a few thoughts on prison reform
Any time a project starts spending time policing people's opinions outside of the code, the time spent on that is time not spent on improving the code, or for the less coding inclined, the documentation. And SJW's often get into the less technical side and start thought-policing and kicking out coders who don't accept the latest code of conduct, etc.. While it's a small project, we've got an attempt at virtue-signaling by changing the license to use a software package such that organizations supporting policies that they don't approve of are not allowed to use or incorporate their software.
Eric Raymond comments on it. The discussion there and at his post linking to it at G+ are worthwhile.
Change My Mind - Is Trump a Fascist
Stephen Crowder does another episode of his series of sitting down to talk to people. The first woman reminds me of several people in my extended family. Not a neverTrumper but does show his alt-lite side.