Eow Links 24
2021-06-13

Eow Links 24

"Eow" for End Of Week. Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 24.

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.

I weaved a few links together.

Last week links


Ruprecht has been running a Best of the Web since February 2019.

Some time ago the Wall Street Journal Online came up with a daily post called Best of the Web. They culled interesting stories from everywhere and posted with snarky comments. It grew stale after awhile but I always liked the idea. The concept is similar to blog aggregators but guided in a more useful way. So that's is what this Label will try to be, except weekly or monthly. We'll see.

From Eow25, I'll add Ruprecht's Best of the Web on top of my EOW links, so that everybody can benefit from his take.


Jeremy Friesen started amplifying the blogosphere:

I suppose that’s enough for this installment, don’t expect regular posts in Series: Amplifying the Blogosphere. Then again, don’t expect regular posts. Any long time reader should know, I don’t have a publication schedule and write whatever is close to mind.

Amplifying the Blogosphere (v2021-06-06)

From Eow25, I'll add Jeremy's on top of my EOW links as well. Looking forward to this series of him.


The individualism of modern D&D

I heard an interview with Lew Pulsipher where he stated that he felt from 3E onward, teamwork was downplayed or perhaps even discouraged. I got to thinking about it and I think he is correct. I think the concept that players build their characters rather than generate them does encourage this behavior. The character optimization game that occurs before the character ever goes on an adventure also contributes.

Travis Miller in the comments

And if teamwork was discouraged across the whole board? Divide et Impera.


Thoughts On Delving, Burning and In-Betweens

All this got me thinking about ways to inject some OSR into Burning Wheel and vice versa. A quixotic task. The two systems exist in vastly different spaces, and operate on vastly different mechanical chassis. Creating a character for B/X D&D can be done in minutes; burning a character for BW can take all afternoon. OSR wants you to accept that your character can die any moment; BW tends to make death rare and dramatic.


Character Creation GMing

Ask questions, act on the answers, listen, empathize, expand and know when to stop. Don’t give it all away during character creation. Save something for play.

So, if character creation is going to take a whole afternoon, let the entropy flood in.


On Crafty Players & Homemade DM Screens

The crafty players plumbed the depths of metal-workshops across the nation and backed it with sheet metal. So now this, along with a handful of magnets gives a universal sticking surface

Actual Test: Shadow of the Spider Moon (Fantasy Space Combat Rules Part 1)

After my Calidar books arrived in the mail, I thought the time was ripe for testing the D&D space combat systems against one another to see which was most fun.

Current contenders for testing are: - Shadow of the Spider Moon (3.5e) - Aces High (5e, from Arcadia #3 by MCDM) - Spelljammer (AD&D) - Calidar (OD&D update) - Crawljammer (DCC)


"A Meaningful Campaign"

One is that the "diverge, meet, diverge again" is very much in the model of, say, Thieves' World, where there are persistent characters who make temporary alliances. I have heard fiction in this form referred to as picaresque, but looking up the actual properties of picaresque I'm not so sure (I do like almost all of those in my D&D though). The temporary nature of "bands" is again emphasized. "interesting set of choices and consequences" is a very gamey thing to say, as is "separate the superior players from the lesser ones". Gygax here is talking about D&D as a game that you can be better or worse at, and I think would not only say that it is acceptable for some players to fall behind as a result of bad choices and bad luck, but desirable.


HELVÉCZIA: Picaresque Fantasy RPG

a deck of 32 cards in case you want to play a hand with the devil – according to Hungarian card sharp traditions, the tried and true blue Piatnik card set, NO IMITATIONS ACCEPTED!

A swiss deck of cards has 36 cards, not 32. Speaking of Hungary, it's interesting to learn that a William Tell Deck was designed there and used throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire to express resentment against the Habsburg. The Swiss got free from the Habsburg centuries before.

Marcell Jankovics, Hungarian Animator

There are very few animations which look like Fehérlófia, and none that look exactly like it: Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen compares with its feverish visions and golden colours, and also with its modern yet deeply respectful treatment of its source material. Jankovics’ animation works with bold shapes and radiant colours. It is psychedelic, although without recourse to drug use: it aims to depict the unreal, and employs unreal visuals to this end. It is heavy with symbolism, from the spiritual to the psycho-sexual (of varying subtlety), and it is particularly rich in motifs taken from folk art: flowers and geometric patterns which shift, move and meld into each other; jagged shapes contrasted with flowing curves. There is a splendour to the film’s imagery, and it is a visual journey from start to finish.

A treasure we need to preserve.


SNAFU

SNAFU is about ordinary soldiers, drafted into an endless, pointless war in space. It's a gory meatgrinder, aiming for fast character creation and chaotic battles. Bring spares.


"a Roman denarius minted in 89 BC. (...) the reverse shows the abduction of the Sabine women by Roman soldiers."

Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part I: Beginnings and Legends

Given the tendency to treat Roman Latin as this sort of high language, delivered with posh-sounding (particularly to Americans) accents, many students are more than a little surprised to find that the actual contents of Latin literature are often rather less elevated than they might have expected (we will actually be seeing some of that rather less elevated Latin in this series).


Soulslike campaign suggestions

The PCs are all named in a cryptic prophecy that implies they might save or doom the world

The same spare again and again and again.


WOG Ear

Ribbon Fetishism

I love books that come with ribbons. Lately I've been using 3x5 index cards as bookmarks. I can add notes and indices on the card for easy referral. As long as the card stays in the book...


Wizards in Rayon Stockings: Some worldbuilding notes on plastics.

How reasonable is it is include plastics in a pseudo-medieval fantasy world without fossil fuels?

So much interesting knowledge to be gleaned there. Kudos.


Mood Music

Tony brought along the soundtrack from The Last Emperor and the ethereal, far-eastern vibes were perfect.