The Harmon Circle in Play

The Harmon Circle in Runsheet 14 does many useful things for me while I’m GMing:

  1. Provides a sense of time for running within a scheduled slot.
  2. Provides a sense of position in the narrative arc as play proceeds.
  3. Provides ambiguous prompts that are blended into the Shared Imaginary Space in play, producing thematic character-driven narrative arcs without plotting, railroading or predicting.
  4. Assists in the pacing of events and action, culminating in a satisfying sense of closure or cliffhanger.
  5. Produces a physical chronological record of play that can be expanded later into a set of proper notes.

Once I know how long the timeslot is, I pencil in times around the circle. As play proceeds and the story emerges, I take notes (at an angle if necessary) within the circle itself.

The matrix below the circle (in the RunSheet) is for the allocation of Experience Points, which in CORE are typically distributed at the end of the session.

Below is an example of such a record. This is session 1 of the DayTrippers campaign at LegendsOfTabletop:

DayTrippers @ LegendsOfTabletop – Session 1: “Dream Job”

You can listen to the episode here:


Original Content

Fiction, nonfiction, technical articles, website content and marketing copy for the small and weird

Editorial Services

Proofreading, Line Editing, Copy Editing, Developmental Editing and Consulting for works of fiction


Information Architecture

Organization of content for optimal concision and understanding, on the web or in print

Publishing Services

Preparation of your manuscript for publication in both print and electronic formats

Game Consultation

In-depth analysis and suggestions for improvement of game rules and organization


Concise and comprehensive manuals and guides for your software or group activity

Looking for a hybrid publisher?
As If Books publishes fiction (mostly of the speculative variety)
and games (mostly of the roleplaying variety).