Eow Links 18

Eow Links 18

"Eow" for End Of Week. Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 18.

For more weekly links, head to The Seed of Worlds Shiny TTRPG link collection or Alex's Blogosphere posts.

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.

On the right side are flowers from Loïc Lebas, he works with my friends at Studio 4D2. Scary stuff ;-)

← last week links

Theory review #6

Tommi Brander has a series of posts under the tag teoriakatsaus. Half of them are in Finnish, the rest are in english and are links to TTRPG posts and YouTube videos. Treasure hunt.

Conflict: environment

Too often, combats in roleplaying games take plain in a featureless terrain in bright sunlight. This then reduces the combat to a contest of who has the biggest numbers - the most combatants throwing dice, the biggest to-hit or damage throw, and so on. In Conflict we suggest a more substantial approach. There are many aspects which can make combat more interesting, and make players and referee think - and make it more than a competition of dice throws and numbers.

AD&D1e: Weapon vs AC

The Weapons vs AC table in AD&D1e is one of the many examples in gaming of a good idea executed badly. It was very obviously an afterthought, unplaytested and shoved in at the last minute because some gearhead player demanded it. It is a good idea because on the face of it, weapons should have some variation between them other than the sheer amount of damage they do.

Technical or tactical advantage, got to have it.

Chekovs Things: managing adventure hooks in long-haul urban campaigns

I have ended up with a list (literally on the back of an envelope) headed 'Chekovs Things' where I am tracking all of the big things floating about in the setting. These are effectively the un-exploded powder kegs that were falling through the cracks in my week-by-week tracking.

Xaosseed explains one of his technique for managing his campaign. I love the diagram he shares.


They are cunning little beasties, all too aware of their relative frailty, when compared with their brethren, the hobgoblins and bugbears. They would be cautious. They would lure you into traps, kill zones and crossfires. You too should be cautious, should you meet them.

This evokes The Riddle for me. Goblins should take inspiration from winners.

B2: Derivative Works

B2 "The Keep on the Borderlands" has inspired multiple homages and conversions to related game systems. These provide a wealth of ideas for DMs running the classic module, or can be run on their own.

The Keep East of Eden, where the old memories point at.

Low Fantasy RPGs – Part Two

we looked at some of the options for Low Fantasy gaming – here are three more if you want some one-shots where magic is awful and terrifying, and the players are rooted in mud.

Nice to see a reference to Wolves of God.

Alternative Spell Rules for Knave

I prefer spell rules that make casting spells a risk to resources used at will rather than a built-in power that works X times per day. So, I thought of some alternative spell rules for Knave that suit my preferences. They also give PCs a new use for their INT score.

Taking a risk to cast a spell.

The Game in our Heads

When I'm really enjoying a game, I'm not really thinking about the rules. Maybe they're so simple that they don't demand much thought, or I've just internalised them through enough practice. Either way, the bit that matters is the Shared Reality that we're talking about at the table.

I love the "The Game in our Heads" word combination.

Hit boxes, not HP

When you are hit, check off one of the following (replenish once per level each day, between fights):

The lesser in a list of evils.

What Do I Have To Do?

There’s no formula. You write and you keep writing and eventually, you get good at it.

Designing Dilemmas for Dungeon & Dragons

The most important difference between a good adventure scenario and a bad adventure scenario is meaningful and interesting choices. Dilemmas are the some of the most challenging and interesting types of choices you can present to players. A properly designed dilemma will have your players squirming in their seats. A great dilemma will bring out an emotional response. A powerful emotional experience is what creates memorable events that players will talk about for years to come.

In Praise of the 20 Page AD&D Character Sheet

So this is how I amuse myself. I made a 20 page character sheet from one sheet of paper.

Be Prepared to Take the GM Leap

If you’re a player in your RPG group, but also have the ability to run a game, I suggest you be prepared to run a game at the drop of a hat. Your current GM can suffer from burn-out, overload from Real Life, work stresses, or just might run out of ideas as to what to do next with the game.

Information overload: organizing > creating

creating RPGs is nice. But so is finding and classifying them, so you can choose what to read; revisiting old games, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every few years; discarding games that are bad (and saying it in public!) so we don't waste our time; and so on. Another great idea: getting a game and telling people what is unique/special about it, since most of every game will be repeating something written in the seventies anyway.