The Alexandrian

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Places to Go, Places to Be

Places to Go, People to Be has translated two more of my essays into French. This time it’s Don’t Prep Plots and Don’t Prep Plots: The Principles of RPG Villainy.

Interesting factoid about Don’t Prep Plots: It includes the summary of a plotted adventure. After presenting that brief summary, I included this note:

(This is derived from an actual, published adventure. Names and milieu have been changed to protect the innocent. Bonus points to anyone who can correctly identify the original source.)

I actually expected that someone would quickly twig to the identity of the published adventure I was talking about and identify it. But no one ever has.

Don’t Prep Plots: The Principles of RPG Villainy, on the other hand, was the first Patreon-sponsored post here on the Alexandrian. As always, my appreciation goes out to all of the amazing Patrons of the Alexandrian, without whom this site would be a more barren place and PTGPTB would have fewer things to translate.

Previous translations from PTGPTB include Three Clue Rule and Node-Based Scenario Design.

Here’s a quick miscellanea of some Alexandrian-related material that you can find around the internet at the moment.

Martin Tegelj has posted the latest installment of the RPG campaign he’s developing based on my pitch for Doctor Who: The Temporal Masters. There are currently six adventures in the series. Although only some of them are directly related to the Temporal Masters, I recommend checking out all of them:

A Conversion Before Christmas
Something Old, Something New
Dawn of the Temporal Masters
The Riot
(Prelude: Donna)
Fugue State
Alliance of the Daleks

Bastion Rolero - Translating Three Clue Rule

Three Clue Rule in Hebrew

Hebrew is another language I am completely illiterate in, but Oded Deutch has also translated the Three Clue Rule into his native tongue as כלל שלושת הרמזים.

The Three Clue Rule has proven to be something of a “gateway drug” for better GMing, so I’m always excited to see it getting out in front of a larger audience. Thank you to Martin, Jose, and Oded for being awesome!


You may remember that Places to Go, People to Be translated the Three Clue Rule into French last year. Now they’ve begun translating Node-Based Scenario Design as Création de scénario en noeuds.

Unlike the Three Clue Rule, I have nothing particularly clever to say about this translation. So here’s a semi-interesting factoid about Node-Based Scenario Design: After finishing the original set of essays, I somehow managed to lose the Photoshop file I’d used to create the various multi-colored node diagrams. (This is uncharacteristic for me: I actually have an entire directory dedicated to housing the original work files for the graphics here on the Alexandrian. The directory dates back to when the site launched in 2005 and exists for explicitly this purpose. I still have no idea how I managed to lose the PSD file.) As a result, whenever I’ve done a follow-up on the original series which requires a similar node diagram I have crudely patched it together by copying and pasting the original JPGs.

I keep telling myself that some day I should rebuild the original file. But I also keep telling myself that some day I’ll learn how to use Adobe Illustrator properly so that I stop abusing Photoshop by using it for anything even vaguely graphical.

Those of you who follow the site closely have noticed that it’s been dead for a little over a month now. What happened?

Well, basically, I was horribly ill for more than a month and there were some pretty serious health problems in my immediate family, too. The final assessment is that I was sick for 36 days straight, culminating in an “immune system collapse” that resulted in 9 days of pneumonia. Although I had a couple of semi-functional days in the middle of things, I basically lost the entire month of December plus a little extra.

A different perspective, and one that may shed some light on just how ludicrously behind on things I am, is that I usually clock 140-160 hours of work each month (including projects here at the Alexandrian). In the month of December, I logged 18 hours.

I’m generally not a big fan of wringing my hands in public about this sort of thing, but one of the things that fell through the cracks as my regular schedule disintegrated was the monthly Hangout for Patreon patrons. And I wanted to take a moment to publicly apologize to them for that. I’m currently brainstorming a way to make that up to members of the Hangout Club, and I’ll let people know more about that as soon as I’ve come up with something suitably awesome.

When can you expect more regular content here at the Alexandrian? Well, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have a slate of new material up before the end of January. However, I’m still very, very far behind on… well, everything. And I’m not going to just crank out some random crap for the sake of posting it. So, basically, there’ll be new stuff here at the Alexandrian as soon as I can product the kind of thoughtful, high quality material y’all have come to expect from the site.

Thanks for your patience! And I hope you’re all doing much better than I have been!

Places to Go, People to Be has translated the Three Clue Rule into French as La Règle des Trois Indices!

I can’t read a word of it, but it does remind me that in French the word for “clue” is the same word as “indication” — i.e., it is something which indicates something else. (I think I first encountered this when reading essays about the Arsène Lupin stories.) That seems like a particularly useful bit of alternative etymology in the particular context of the Three Clue Rule (or Three Indication Rule), since the rule can actually be applied widely beyond the format of a mystery.

(For those curious, the English word “clue” derives from “clew”, which originally referred to a ball of thread: Just as Ariadne’s thread led Theseus to the entrance of the labyrinth, so clues will lead you to the solution of the mystery. The example of the labyrinth, I suppose, just indicates another way in which the provenance of the Three Clue Rule can be extended.)



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