Eow Links 15
2021-04-10

Eow Links 15

"Eow" for "End Of Week". Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 15.

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

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.

Last week links


RPG Podcast Planet

Alex Schroeder has started a planet for RPG Podcasts

There is a French RPG Podcast Planet as well.

Alex sent a call on Reddit for podcasts to join and one of the first answers was The Lost Bay Podcast Lineup and Links. There are three episodes so far, they are excellent.

Another fledgeling podcast is Revolution Comes to the Podcast, I loved the first cast. It seems those first episodes center on the Appendix N of Revolution Comes to the Kingdom.


AD&D1e: House Rules

No backstory: The Dungeon Master will not test your patience with boxed text, we as a group ask that you return the favour. You don't begin with a story, you create one as a result of play. You will in the game experience a series of events, which you may later choose to tell as a story.

My newest players had to draw each a backstory card. The rest is the result of play.


Dexterity, the god-stat that failed

Dexterity is already the God Stat in 5e, and the last thing martials need is a nerf, however slight. SOMEONE in the world should be able to dump Dex

Eric builds on this comment to one of his previous posts and it makes for an excellent exposition on DEX.

Monster stats - minimalism x efficiency

Making smaller stat blocks is an idea I've been pursuing myself in the context of "minimalist D&D". But, once again, I realized "minimalism" might be misleading, so terms such as efficiency, essentialism or elegance might be clearer - even though the very concept of minimalist, as I've mentioned in the link above, is exposing the essence of things.

In search of Efficience and of Elegance.


a spaceship in Gridmapper

The things I learned

Last month, Joseph wrote about the campaigns he ran and what he learned from them, and at the time I thought to myself that someday I’d do the same. Well, I guess today is that day.

The format used in Joseph’s blog post is that he has four short paragraphs for each campaign: what it was, what worked, what didn’t, and lessons learned. We’ll see how well this goes!

Alex is also working on Gridmapper and recently added New features for Gridmapper.


Common language as memo-virus

'Common' language, sometimes under a different name, is a very persistent element of many imaginary worlds.

It has some ground in history, with various lingua franca languages, but in imaginary worlds Common usually is far more ubiquitous and widespread than any lingua francas would

The common language always makes me think of Koine Greek.

In my current campaign, the common language is a mix of Saxon and Norse. There is one new player that knows some Latin, that might prove useful.


Paradoxes of Defence

This good have the Italian teachers of Offense done us, they have transformed our boys into men, and our men into boys, our strong men into weakness, our valiant men doubtful, and many worthy men resolving themselves upon their false resolutions, have most willfully in the field, with their rapiers ended their lives.

It reminds me of people getting a certain level of proficiency in a martial art and gaining a colder head in the process.

I wrote a post about the Flower of Battle, an italian fencing instructor but two centuries before.


Six Cultures of Play

My main purpose in the above taxonomy is to help people better understand that there are distinct paradigms of play that esteem different things, tho' they can be sutured together (with all sorts of fun results) in concrete situations.

Classic, Trad, Nordic Larp, Story Games, OSR, OC/Neo-Trad, pick your faction ;-)


Out of Characters? Play the Monsters

Had a discussion recently about how to handle players whose characters have died during a dungeon crawl. One traditional solution, back even to Gygax, is to have new characters appear in the dungeon at the first plausible opportunity, maybe having been captured by monsters or being the remnants of another adventuring party. I don't really like that solution though

"A mind is terrible thing to waste"


Play Worlds, Not Rules: Design Challenge

I've said elsewhere that an adventure game needs little more than interesting choices regarding interesting people amidst interesting locales. (...) So, bloggers and referees and players and tinkerers, give the above formula a shot and let me know about it. Let's call it at three pages tops.

I almost want to print this "Play Worlds, Not Rules" in a big, bold, type and put it on my referee screen. But inside or outside?


Are you a better designer than a sixth grader?

When I brought Maze Rats over, she stole my copy and made her own adventure in 20 minutes flat. “Alright. Let’s play.” We roll characters. We got our standard ruffian fantasy adventure gang ready. Everything’s set. And then my expectations were shattered. “You start on your spaceship.”

Race Car: Beyond Palindrome

The Golden Rule: When in doubt, make a ruling as a table. Be consistent.

The Silver Rule: Add or subtract rules as necessary.


Weird & Wonderful Player Design Patterns (pt.1?)

Design Pattern: Write Event Cards

These are short blurbs, a paragraph at most, about an NPC, place, event, etc. Any key sensory details, relationships, or significance to other important Events, etc.

I like these patterns. That particular "Event Card" pattern, I think I map it to "Node Card", the vertices leading to nodes where "events" could happen.


Oh wow…

We both roll dice, If you roll high, your view of reality prevails, and vice versa, If we're close, we negotiate.


Japanese Play-by-Postcard RPGs: Net Games

A Net Game was a play-by-mail RPG with one world shared by a huge "net" of players. A given game would typically run for a year, during which you'd have one character and make one move - an in-world action - each month. While this may sound like a glacial pace of interaction, it only accounts for official actions; communication between players allowed for information sharing and coordinated efforts that could form the greater part of the game.


Hit Points as Bullet Wounds

But some people want something different. They want combat to be short, decisive, and deadly. Or they want combat to be a "fail state", a mistake that you instantly regret making. Or they want it to be more "realistic". Or they want it to be more concrete and less abstract. At the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past, reinventing the square wheel as it were, I have a proposal for how to do that.