Eow Links 13

Eow Links 13

"Eow" for "End Of Week". Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 13.

For more weekly links, head to The Seed of Worlds Shiny TTRPG link collection.

Quite long this week. I added images to make it nicer to the eyes, hopefully.


Most of the links below are found via the RPG Planet that Alex Schroeder built and maintains. If you have a RPG blog, please consider joining the conversation.

Links for Designing PbtA TTRPGs

Eighth, don’t argue about whether a game is #PbtA or not. It’s PbtA if its designer says it is; otherwise it’s not.

The first point being, go and read Apocalypse World. Will I succumb to the temptation?

Alex pointed me to Simple World, a lightweight, stripped-down engine for putting together your next PbtA game. Looks excellent.

CT: Skills are a profession

Part of the change from an inclusive to exclusive way of looking at skills is a change in Western society.

When roleplaying games began in the 1970s, it was fair for a GM to assume that almost all of their players could swim, shoot, climb a rope, start a fire and so on - they may or may not do these things quickly or well, but given time and effort and the right tools they could do them.

Now in the 2020s this is no longer so, as people live their lives in airconditioned comfort, in some countries people are not permitted to carry pocket-knives, starting fires is considered a sign of a future serial killer, and children spend more time sitting gaping in front of screens than outside in the mud with a stick and ball.

Less skills, more character.

Monstrous Mondays: Detailing a "Universal" Stat-block

Since I am going to be comparing several versions of the D&D game and various clones, I am going to need to pick a monster that is present in each one.

I can think of no better creature than the humble orc.

A diagonal view on the monster stat blocks through the eyes of the orc.

I like the 5th edition version where attributes STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, and CHA are displayed for each monster. My own orc is computed from 5th edition to some kind of SWN, it goes too far. I don't care.

Safety Tools

As an example, when getting ready to run Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden I wrote down potentially traumatic themes in the adventure and had quite the list at the end including:

Darkness, Deadly Cold, Betrayal, Paranoia, Murder, Incest, Isolation, Cannibalism, Mental assault, Ritual sacrifice, Parasitic monsters, Child endangerment, Violence towards animals

I was naive, I thought Icewind Dale was a Frozen pastiche.

Great Tables of D&D History

This is why I present here my personal list of favourites, all of which I have used extensively due to their usefulness and longevity. No distinction is made here on the basis of age, nor official or unofficial status: tables are a meritocracy.

50% of the posts are "d12 yellow hummers", so let's get back to the source.

Cheap Fixes for 2dX Random Tables

For instance if you want the weather in a region to be fairly predictable are trend strongly toward a specific result. But sometimes that median result becomes tedious when rolled repeatedly.

'D20/D21 bell curve' | ... strange things excite me!

2D6 – 2D6 + 10

My love for symmetry makes reintrepret it as 2d6 + 10 - 2d6 (ascend, descend)

game design by risk analysis

I work making giant robots safe and secure, so I already know robots in the context of risk analysis works. But what about risk analysis as a tool for game design?

Severity vs Likelihood.

Obliviax Oracle: my dive into FKR design

The referee describes situations; the players say how their characters react, asking for details as needed. When the referee is unsure of the consequences of a course of action, the table agrees on a question and a player rolls the d20 to get an answer from the table below. The referee interprets the result and describes the consequences. Traits, knowledge, items, favourable circumstances, etc. can add a bonus to the roll.

Eric Nieudan, of Knock fame, is getting liberated by the free Kriegsspiel.

Playing Das Schwarze Auge after 37 Years

So I remembered Das Schwarze Auge, the first German role playing game, published in 1984. It is also the first RPG I ever played. DSA1 is similar to Tunnels & Trolls and basic D&D (the red box).

I never played Das Schwarze Auge, but I remember seeing the eye on catalogs and not knowing/understanding what it was. I love these posts of people using old school games to play with their children.

Would you burn hit points to hit harder?

What if you could burn hit points to get an attack bonus for one mêlee attack? How much would you burn? 1 hit point? 2 hit points?

Fatigue sets in, but you won.

Wilderness Encounter Vignette Tables

tables that provide a little additional dressing to “set a stage” so to speak

One of those tables that you not necessarily roll, but read to get inspired.

HPS Doodle Tiles

These hex tiles are meant for use with Hex Kit. They are transparent png image files. There are over 100 tiles. All black and white except some hex outlines in a few colors.

The top image of this post is about this post. It looks really nice.

The Reasonable DM

It is an invitation for the DM to make a sensible decision on the basis of the social expectation of what reasonableness entails.

I love the "jurisprude" word.

Truer Combat as War

because combat as war says "if you're not cheating, you're not playing."

Our battalion commander was saying "Always cheating, always winning".

d12 faerie creatures based on fake etymologies

What I want are creatures whose names evoke an immediate image, without having to do all the work of borrowing real creatures form other sources.

Saturday morning and my feed reader reveals this post, I go through diagonally and I am tempted to place it top of the list.

Although I am tempted to establish the "no link to posts that are random table wrappers".