Eow Links 28
2021-07-11

Eow Links 28

"Eow" for End Of Week. Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 28.

For more weekly links, head to The Seed of Worlds Shiny TTRPG link collection or Alex's Blogosphere posts. There is also Ruprecht's Best of the Web and Jeremy's Amplifying the Blogosphere (not 100% TTRPG).

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

A nice mix. Things that got caught in my net. My favourite post is not from this week, but is linked to this week, it treads around games are not stories.


The Phonotactics of 5E Character Names

In all, I analyzed a list of 539 names. Since these represent at least 15 languages (one per demihuman race and eight for humans), that’s only 36 words on average per language, a small corpus to analyze on a per-language basis. For convenience, let’s assume these languages all share a common ancestor; I’m going to call this cross-section of languages descended from that ancestor Pan-Faerûnese.

I did not know of Phonotactics. It's very interesting, in French it's "Phonotaxe" or "Phonotactique".


Fate's Golden Rules

The Golden rule is “Decide what you’re trying to accomplish first, then consult the rules to help you do it.” To me, with the old text, that felt like an absolutely punishing way to play.


TLB Podcast #9 - Sam Leigh - Anamnesis

In this episode, we talk about the Rider Waite Colman tarot deck, memory loss, solo gaming, walking downtown on a sunny day, and much more.

I wrote about the Lost Bay this week. This 9th interview is with Sam Leigh author of Anamnesis.


Interrupting the Game to Refocus

Why the extensive amount of planning? Because the players have even less information than their characters. The players are trying to get an angle on a complex situation to which the game facilitator may or may not have extensive details.

Call for the orders of the day.


Map of 1444 Europe

The next level in complexity is the map of european cheeses.


Actual Test: AD&D Spelljammer (Fantasy Space Combat Rules Part 3)

Similar to my recollections from back when I used to war-game out Spelljammer fights, it was pretty tough to knock down a Spelljammer. You needed to go for the big ships with a lot of weaponry to get any kind of chance of inflicting a hull-kill.

How Many Did You Say? Describing and rolling amounts

What is probably the most immediately useful bit for a DM like me is the fact that 'several' says under 10, 'a lot' means about 15, then 'many' means about 20, and dozens is over 30 - those are useful descriptors to help get across how many raiders are coming howling across the valley while still giving me time enough to figure out how many there really should be.

That makes me want to balance quantifiers to players and wait for them inflating the numbers in their recaps.


Monster Miens by Type

Here is a table with some Monster Miens, inspired by the lovely Troika! Method of attaching a tiny table to the denizens of adventures in order to give them a little personality. While I adore the ones that are bespoke for each individual creature, I figured it might be useful to have something like this in a slightly more generic form.


Superficial Heroism

At the climax of the story, the protagonist has to make a choice. Great storytellers make that choice a terrible dilemma. The choice the protagonist makes is the answer to a question.

Heroes are sung. Their hearts might sing the tune of their childhood hero, but a hero singing his own praise is despised.

In the heat of the moment, the friend next to you is what counts. What you did for him may well be ground by some interpretation later on, but the immediate answer is a place around the fire of another day.

That modern luxury of not having to thank anyone, and not needing any friend. And thinking oneself an unsung hero.


Orcs

Which brings us to orcs, or goblins and fairies, more specifically. The ones populating the Monster Manuals aren’t really like those creatures of myth told in fairy tales, are they? Why? Because they’re not; they’re adapted, stat-ed; and because those creatures of folklore were rather fluid; never, ever, really concrete in folklore, either, were they? Goblins and kobolds were a panoply of beings, interchangeable with fairies, elves, brownies and gnomes. That’s all well and good in fairy tales, but we needed baddies to fight, didn’t we?

I was telling myself that this excellent post could be turned easily into a Wikipedia article or it could complement the current article. Please do not forget Hârn Orcs (Garguns), their lives are nasty, brutish, and short.


The Five Techniques (No Future #1)

the debut edition of No Future, a zine containing a new 1970s punk-scene Lovecraftian RPG scenario in each issue.

Ciaron played bass for The Gutters. Now he's dead, so you're headed to his home town for the funeral and to play a gig in his memory.

By the author of Revolution Comes to The Kingdom.


Jeu de rôle: le Partage pour Tous!

Les types de jeu proposés, épurés en termes de règles pour aller directement à l'essentiel, restent à la discrétion du MJ bénévole et donne à ces joueurs particuliers, souvent dans une situation où ils ne se sentent pas écoutés, l'occasion d'être au centre des choses, de contribuer à quelque chose.

In French, a very nice interview of a gamemaster working with young people fighting depression, helping with tabletop role-playing games.


Review: Witch+Craft, a 5e Crafting Supplemental

This book is exactly the opposite of "grimdark," wherein magic is everywhere and it is a tool to be used to make things better. I state this upfront because that is the pervasive philosophy of the book. It works, and it is a great one to have.

There is such a little witch living in my house. Maybe I should get the book for her.


The South Sea Scam Colony

We open with our villain: Charles Marie Bonaventure du Breil, the Marquis de Rays. He was born in 1832 to an aristocratic family in Brittany, the peninsula in northwest France. His family had suffered under Napoleon and the Marquis grew up close to penniless. Supposedly, a fortune-teller once told him he would be king of a utopia.

Not Gilles de Rais.


QR Codes – Random (OSE) Monster Table | Another oddball idea for you …

Drop die tables are interesting. How about a QR code version?

Tempting, but devices break the spell.


Ancient-school roleplaying: an exclusive Interview with grognard Bob Meyer

The main thing was to make the game fun and challenging. David, not burdening the players with rules and tables, freed our imaginations to just do whatever we wanted to do.

(...)

I have not given the players character sheets or any indications of levels. Again, this gives them more of a sense of reality.

OSR, ASR, FKR.


Monstrous Mondays: Bonnacon

The majestic bonnacon. It is a large bull-like creature with inward-turned horns, the mane of a horse, and it attacks by shooting flaming caustic dung at you.

Could it be a way to cover its retreat?