Eow Links 31
2021-07-31

Eow Links 31

"Eow" for End Of Week. Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 31.

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.

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 quiet week. My favourite post is Design Commentary: Big Rock Candy Hexcrawl. I chanced a few comments on each posts, bear with me.


The Art of Magic

A lot of the fans of Ars Magica tend to be history buffs, and the setting reflects that. There’s an awful lot of detail in the setting (it is based on the real world), which can be overwhelming to a newcomer, and it’s spread out across a lot of books (at least in 5th edition). It can be ignored as much as you want, but that might not be obvious, and players who don’t know much about 13th century European history might be put off. On the other hand, most of what I’ve learned (and actually remembered) about history I learned playing Ars Magica. I also learned quite a bit of latin.

I wish the upcoming editions of Ars Magica used the illustrating team behind Medium Aevum. That would be enticing.


Forged in the Dark

these rolls in Powered by the Apocalypse and Forged in the Dark games, are even better: they mandate a resolution in one or two rolls, and then you just move on. Next scene!

The flashback scenes are so clever. Before the mobile phone era we planned more thouroughly and kept reserves. Now everything is more casual and defaults into "fixes". Asynchronous losing to synchronous.

I go back to playing and planning. If the heist is not planned but directly played and time is malleable too, then playing is planning.


Unboxing 7TV: FANTASY

The 7TV development team scoured the Fantasy genre, pulling out archetypes, and there is everything from Night Elf Matriachs (bit of an Oldhammer-ism there) to Dungeon Adventurers, to irate Villagers and grumpy Camels and everything in-between.

Intriguing.


TLB Podcast #10 - Perplexing Ruins - Darkness Moves/Broken Luck

Perplexing Ruins is an illustrator and a writer. This episode might be a little different from the previous ones, maybe a little longer, and a little more intimate. Because Perplexing is a friend. He is one of the first members of our little indie RPG scene that I’ve met.

A nice interview by Iko of his friend Perplexing Ruins. Perplexing towers in Germany and Midwest contemplations.


Empirical Data on Spell Levels?

This brings us to why spells in D&D from earliest editions to 5th have the level they do, if it's not through some magical model of energy. Yes, it's play balance.

It is based on a paper entitled Judgments of efforts for magical violations of intuitive physics.

I sometimes think about the fictions built together as having some kind of consensus physics and that magic is consensus exceptions to that physics. Playing might be supported by our planning capacities, or playing is training our planning capacities.


One-Roll Mass Combat, and Some Other Warfare Rules

They include a mostly one-roll system for resolving battles and various rules for marching, feeding your troops, paying your troops, and attrition.

My dream is still to play the battle with something like L'Art de la Guerre.


Review: DragonRaid

One thing implicit in the game is that all other creatures except for humans do not have souls and can't be saved.

SPI's Demons (1979)

At first I thought it was an add-on or supplement for the DragonQuest RPG. They look rather similar really. But closer examination revealed that it was really a board game.

Scarier and scary. Is that Bush Junior on the cover of DragonRaid?


Actual Test: Aces High Aerial Combat at the table

The flying longboat was nose heavy and not very maneuverable so I let the sorcerer decide to trade 30ft/rd of speed for an extra stunt dice each round as they liked.

I am currently preparing a Nachthexen session and I enjoy reading those aerial combat rule tests through that lens.


Design Commentary: Big Rock Candy Hexcrawl

It is about exploring a fantastical, idyllic wilderness inspired by a variety of American folk songs, particularly the song of the same name. The map (and the territory) is generated using the tiles from the Settlers of Catan board game.


Forgotten Gems

This is gonna be a low-effort post: a discussion on Reddit reminded me of all the forgotten little games of the OSR.


Ceramic Tarot Cards

I could imagine a setting where, instead of scrolls, ceramic cards are used as magical effects containers. Breaking the card would release the effect.


The Caller and the Vietnam Hypothesis

Curiously, none of the other players say anything.

One, two clicks away from Fantasy F*ckin' Vietnam.

What did the soldiers and engineers bring back from the war? New ways of building castles, new words, culinary tastes, nightmares?


d20 Unexpectedly Intelligent Monsters in the Monster Manual (1977)

Many of the "secretly intelligent" monsters remain under-appreciated and/or underused, at least with respect to their intellect.