Eow Links 32
2021-08-08

Eow Links 32

"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, temperature reaching 36 outside, damp and damper. My favourite post is the one by Xaosseed about campaign flare outs.


Château Kartenstein

même si le paquet de carte à deux euros que l’on a tous chez nous fait parfaitement l’affaire, il n’est pas rare que les groupes de Château Falkenstein qui s’apprêtent à commencer une campagne cherchent à marquer le coup en se procurant un paquet de cartes un peu « spécial » pour l’occasion. Après tout, si on est fétichiste des dés, on peut sans doute l’être tout autant des cartes…

Castle Falkenstein relies on cards. This post is in French but requires no translation, it's a series of pointers to beautiful card games that will enhance Falkenstein sessions or other games.


Powered by the Apocalypse, Part 8: 6 Tricks for Drafting Moves

Here in Part 8, I’m sharing six tricks, my six best and most reliable techniques, for drafting interesting moves.


- Do I need to buy the player in, or are they already happy to go along with it?
- Should you roll first then choose, or choose first then roll?
- Who asks and who answers?
- Is the outcome whole and indivisible, or should you build it up out of its component parts?
- Who’s vulnerable, if anybody, and should I switch it up?
- What’s the scale of hits and misses? How much should a 10+ give you, how little should a 7-9 give you, and how wrong can it go?


Retrospective of campaigns run - what worked, what did not

I saw a retrospective on a persons gaming (Failing Better on Against the Wicked City) and decided to tot up all the gaming I have been involved in over the years. The big thing I noticed here was there was quite a lot of gaps between games that actually gets accounted for by flare-outs, campaigns that never got off the grounds even after eating quite a lot of time in some cases. I will dig into the flare-outs and what went wrong in another post, but first - the great victories, the glorious campaigns run.

Campaign Flare-outs - learning from failure

To set the context of the games that I tried to run that failed to launch or blew up before hitting their stride we need to list the games I played in (as opposed to ran) as many of my failures were rooted in attempting to replicate what others had done that I had enjoyed.

The list of key lessons from the flare-outs is gold.


Second Look - The Moldy Unicorn

I had an interesting childhood. My dad was a big wargamer and would take me to conventions. I was a teenager before I realized that not everyone's dad played games or went to conventions. Or had a suit of chainmail or build castles to teach history.

Phil had his house burned down, among the surviving things is an ancient book. I wish all the best to Phil and his family. Thanks for sharing this piece of context between you and your father.


Overloading the Damage Die

The damage roll thus becomes both a to-hit roll and damage roll, because Defense is akin to a D&D armor class. This makes sense to me, because I always wondered why “how accurately do I hit them?” and “how much does the hit hurt them?” were two independent events. With the overloaded damage die the attacks that deal more damage are also more likely to hit.

That always gets me to think about First Legends where there is one d20 roll against a DC or AC and the margin of success is the damage.


Best of the Web - Divine Trickery & Modular Rulebook

"The Idea: We are making a modular BX document that includes multiple versions of every mechanic for you to pick and choose."

Someone should create a wiki. Start with an outline of BX using mil spec, that is every chapter is numbered, every subsection, and sub-subsection has a number as well. Then folks submit house rules under the appropriate number. We'd get a dozen different ways to generate attributes, Roll Initiative and angle Encumbrance slot ideas right off the bat.

I love this modular thinking. The game is a sum of mini games and the set is customizable.


The Internal Story Problem

The players learn who the characters are from decisions they make in the moment at the table. Through decisions the players make, the characters are revealed and players start to understand who characters are. At some point, there may be a shift. The character may decide they want something but the only way to get it is by changing how they do things.


Oiled wheel

Burning wheel is very slow in play due to discussing failure consequences ahead of time and gathering forks etc. Sometimes this is appropriate, sometimes not; these changes would speed up this part of play

House rules for Burning Wheel, with inspiration from Ron Edwards' Sorcerer.


Google Plus Mix Tape, Track 01: Flailsnails

My guess is that FLAILSNAILS, more than anything, probably congealed a joyful solidarity and a living culture of play in the OSR. Everyone was playing in everyone else's games all the time. Everyone got to know everyone else by seeing them face to face, and sharing adventures with them. Useful techniques were carried like a virus from one game to another. Things that didn't work so well were tried and left behind. People came to know one another's campaign worlds as living things by cycling through them in a low commitment, high-octane, gaming. People were led to push the limits in creating in kind of competition with one another.

Google Plus Mixtape Track 02: Super Band Play Culture

Since folks in the OSR scene were mainly on Google+, it meant that all the amazing long-running campaigns of the OSR had their own G+ communities. Google+ wasn't just a social media platform; it was a storehouse of living campaigns. When Google+ was dying, I found it unbearable that all these intensely shared worlds of play would vanish. All the posts about NPCs, all campaign hooks, all the giddy post-game exchanges between players, all the houserules, all the downtime activities, all the richly imagined information about the world--gone in a digital heartbeat.