Eow Links 51
2021-12-19

Eow Links 51

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 51.

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.

← last week links

Favourite? May I just link to All Dead Generations as suggested?


Collaborative Subsystems

in about half a decade of playing with freeform spell systems and my lockpicking subsystem and all other varied manner of subsystems, I had never run into this problem before. What was the difference? I have an anecdote that I think might be pretty illustrative.


A Historical Look at the OSR — Part V

Though people then and now have tortured the issue to arrive at a definition that just so happened to include all their favourite D&D editions and clones while excluding anything they didn't like, what the OSR was is easy to define: it was simply a rebirth of interest in old-school Dungeons & Dragons, specifically as its original designers intended it to be played.


What Is “The Game” of Dungeons & Dragons?

The OSR uses the mechanical apparatus of Gary and Dave’s rule set but apply our own conceptual models. This works because the original ruleset has enough open-ness (permeability) to allow you to create scenarios and settings that aren’t completely wrapped up with the mechanisms.


A Syllogistic Approach to Game Choice

I highly suggest that when we talk about D&D and other TTRPGs we keep it to a syllogistic model. That is to say, we need to point out that "If you want X-Play experience, then you need to use Y sorts of rules and foster Z at your table."

(...)

* I you want a game where players do not feel constrained by character generation rules and are not heavily focused on character customization, use one where gear has more of an impact than statistics on character outcomes, such as Index Card RPG or Knave.


Why do I never see links to All Dead Generations?

But one thing still does stand out that really brings something new (back) to the table that has significant value to help understanding how those old games tick and how you can make them really work without existing experience going back to the 80s. Which is Gus L’s “new” site All Dead Generations. This is an excellent resource I never really see mentioned anywhere.

Something always happens on a 1!

The result of this is that even when my mind is getting overloaded with input from the players and I am trying to establish what happens next, I only have to look at the die in front of me and remember “Something always happens on a 1!”


Review: The Dungeon Dozen

What makes this a really nice book to pick up, besides the art, is the great indexing that let you quickly find inspiration for whatever situation you have - there is both an alphabetic and thematic quick reference in the back - need something related to dragons you get specific tables from the quick reference or anything where a dragon is mentioned in the alphabetical index. Even just the titles of the tables are inspiring.


Brazilian monster sketches (Rick Troula)

So, here is my next project: a collection of Brazilian monsters for 5e (might do an OSR version if there is enough interest). These first project is focused on folklore, urban legend, and maybe some prehistoric animals.


Ibn Battuta’s Maldivian Coup Plot

The Maldives were plagued by an evil djinn that visited every month. And every month the people had to sacrifice a maiden to get the djinn to leave. A hafiz (someone who has memorized the Quran) named Abu’l Barakat al-Barbari was shipwrecked in the Maldives. He waited for the djinn and defeated it by reciting scripture at it. Everyone was so impressed that they converted. The djinn still comes back every month in the form of a great ship full of lamps and torches, but as long as the islands remain Muslim it doesn’t land.


Writing a One-Page Campaign Guide

When you're getting ready to run a new campaign, write up a single-page guide for your players to get them on board with the campaign and steer your campaign in the right direction.


The "Willow" Spell Research System

A magic-user can cast a random spell of a level they could possibly cast at any time. They just sorta say some words that come naturally, wave their wand around, and see what happens. If you have not prepared the spell in question, this is called chaos magic.


L.F. OSR on The Lost Bay podcast

In this episode we talk about hacking printers, hand stamping zines, bone folders, being a nerdy craftsman, and the future of the indie RPG zines in these uncertain times of paper shortage and supply chain disruption.