Eow Links 46
2021-11-13

Eow Links 46

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 46.

For more weekly links, head to The Seed of Worlds Shiny TTRPG link collection. There's also The Indie RPG Newsletter, and The Glatizant with its monthly links.

Most of the links below are found via the RPG Planet that Alex Schroeder built and maintains. If you have an RPG blog, please consider joining the conversation.

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Quarantine EoW again. My favourite post is Paths Not Taken: Initial Thoughts on Spell Casting, as it briefly lists magic systems then selects and tunes one of them.


Collections: Fortification, Part II: Romans Playing Cards

Roman fortification on the frontiers was designed to allow the Romans to maintain their territorial control with an economy of force precisely because the Roman Empire could not afford to maintain overwhelming force everywhere on its vast perimeter

And the distinction between resisting a raid and sustaining a siege.


Why Is This Monster Here?

When creating encounters, adventures, and campaign settings; I attempt to have a clear intention for everything I present to the players. Time to play is limited. Time to create material for play is limited. In the attempt to be time effective and time efficient; I am able to avoid unnecessary encounters that don’t add anything to the experience by continuously asking “Why is this here?”


Ulysses

Ulysses 31 was a Japanese-French anime released in the early 80s, charting the voyage of the titular hero through space after being cursed by the Gods of Olympus. You don't need to have studied classics at a posh English school to recognise that this children's cartoon was a sci-fi retelling of Homer's Odyssey

"Happy the man who, like Ulysses, has made a fine voyage, or has won the Golden Fleece, and then returns, experienced and knowledgeable, to spend the rest of his life among his family." (Joachim du Bellay)

Ulysses, done with travelling.


Focus on the World: The players are tourists

It’s an opportunity for players to be curious. They don’t have to ask for backgrounds or be subjected to hearing lore if they don’t want it. They don’t have to read the signs or ask a guide. They can just point to something or someone on a list or map and say “Yeah, let’s do this one.”


A Good NPC is a PC in His Own Campaign

Everyone who appears in a Jack Vance book, right down to the lowliest hotel receptionist, tramp, waiter or shopkeeper, feels like they could be the main character of their own novel, and it is only happenstance that this particular story is focused on somebody else.


What edition did you start with?

Short answer, all is confusion and I think the answer depends on where you ask the question. Data is in table at bottom of page.


Paths Not Taken: Initial Thoughts on Spell Casting

I feel that I’ll be able to get more mileage from a power construction system than from static spells. After all, spell construction can be applied to define static spells, so I can build my inventory as I go.


Chivalry & Sorcery (1977) is one of the early D&D-like...

That meant more to them than assigning numerical values to the heft of a sword and other combat oriented nuances. They applied it to the game world, making it one of the first RPGs to pull play out of the dungeon.

M.A.R. Barker’s Empire of the Petal Throne (1975) is such a...

So rich is the setting that it is actually perhaps a detriment. Like Skyrealms of Jorune, which it certainly inspired, Barker uses many strange words in the text of the setting materials that makes the world seem more realistic, but also make it feel remote and hard to understand.


A comparative exploration of OSR RPG Systems - The Mecha Hack

It’s an incredibly simple and quick game to set up and run with just enough crunch to make it satisfying as a mecha game.


Montaillou: The Spy-Infested Anthill Village

As you’ll see, it’s got loads of baked-in plot hooks that transcend the Medieval genre! This is the village of Montaillou, in what is today France, in the foothills of the eastern end of the Pyrenees (near the border with Spain). And around the year 1300 (or a little after), Montaillou was a hotbed of intrigue. Despite having a population of only 200, Montaillou lay at this amazing crossroads of heresy, inquisition, political rivalry, and personal drama that affected everything that happened there.

Annales school third generation. I loved the Montaillou book. It felt like meeting these people.


Chaotic Good Fun - A True Lie

Rather than getting upset by my shenanigans, the DM ran with it. Since Lord Farquaad was hunting just one obvious assassin, it gave the party all kinds of opportunities to bushwhack him. Ultimately, the lord survived all of these attacks and went on a crazy, bloodthirsty hunt for the party. He used my foolishness to really make this lord despicable.


Pacing a Convention Game Session - Björn Wärmedal

The last scene, the climactic ending, often takes thirty to forty minutes. It's basically everyone desperately thinking outside the box, dealing with one problem while running from the next and fearing that the third and fourth will be upon them any second. They'll do exactly anything reach their goal at this point, and it's glorious.


Mohs Scale to Marvel

This dates to 1822 when German geologist Fredrich Mohs established the system to measure relative hardness -- a mineral of higher-rank is able to visibly scratch the surface of a lower-rank material.


Jim Ward on the Why of Chits

Later printings of the Holmes Basic D&D set came with an infamous sheet of chits, pictured above, in place of dice. I myself was one of those kids that received such a set, which only added to my confusion in understanding how the game was placed, despite the instruction sheet included for using the chits.


Generic Adventure Game: Hit Protection & Hit Dice

this is another "0 HP" post, but I've been thinking about it while putting together this GENERIC ADVENTURE GAME by working backwards from monster stat blocks.