Eow Links 55
2022-01-16

Eow Links 55

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 55.

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

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

My favourite for the week is the "Alternate Ability Rolling Method" just below.


Alternate Ability Rolling Method

Dislike the swingy 3d6 method? Choose which die to roll. Choosing the d4 is safe from any negative. Each higher die step increases the risk of a negative but also adds the possibility of a higher bonus. Relax... there is no -3.


Session Blogging - Why I Bother Recapping my RPG Sessions

Players like to read about their exploits every week. I know of at least one player in our group who loves to see their quotes in print. They know that they can always send me an update or an amendment if they want to highlight something or heaven forbid if I got it wrong.


Exhaustion for Death, Devilry and Derring-Do

Generally speaking, however, exhaustion doesn’t crop up much in the core D&D rules. Given how clean and simple the mechanics are, I think they could be utilised to greater effect. Some ideas to get the ball rolling…


Super-condensed D&D (kinda)

Accidental Deaths in Horrible Dungeons


Referee authority

I don’t want to discuss whether the bandits can hear us, whether the flaming skulls would have known where we are, whether the vampire would have thought to scry on us. Without negotiation, it feels “more real” and my in-game decisions carry more weight.


Final Fantasy's Impact on TTRPGs

Final Fantasy is a cultural institution globally. It was at first designed to emulate Dungeons & Dragons, and then took off to become a thing all its own.

Game Review: Ryuutama: Natural Fantasy Roleplay

Many of the other elements of the game are clearly influenced by a combination of Dungeons & Dragons, and Japan's top 8- and 16-bit era Fantasy RPG video games. Battlefields are set up with front and back ranks on opposing sides of a battlefield like Final Fantasy 3 and onward. Characters may concentrate to improve roles or cast spells using an MP (mental point) pool in keeping with JRPGSs Hit points and MP increase with level.


Steep XP curve

It’s valuable that people can adjust their own difficulty, balance, and push-your-luck tempo.


Recommended: The Witcher on Netflix

What makes it feel very old school is that a lot of people die in terrible ways. Normal folk have no chance at all when a monster shows up. Even armored warriors get shredded by the monsters. The Witchers have to be very cautious and clever to survive an encounter with a monster and some of them don’t. There is real danger and often it is from other people, not just monsters.


Le Château des Sortilèges

The late 1970s and early 1980s were a fascinating time, as many of the foundational concepts we now associate with fantasy were in the process of being formed. I imagine this process was especially fascinating in countries outside the English-speaking world about which I know comparatively little.


DUNGEON! & Dungeons

While DUNGEON! isn’t a roleplaying game in the normal sense, it still contains some of the basics of dungeon exploration: navigation as a puzzle, risk and reward calculations and turnkeeping.


Spending the Dragon Hoard without counting every copper piece

The coins you swept off the floor, pryed from the scales of the dragon's corpse and dragged down the mountain are not only coins. They are a catalogue of civilizations destroyed by the dragon’s greed. Spending this kind of ancient coinage attracts attention.


Storytelling: Narrative Wet Bulb Temperature

Telling jokes at a funeral is hard. Even entertaining an urge to do so is perhaps not a decent thing to do. At best, you might get away with telling a poignantly humorous anecdote about the deceased as part of a eulogy.


Review: Calidar: In Stranger Skies

Perhaps my standards are too high - having read a bunch of Hornblower and Honor Harrington in the past couple of months I have definite views on how a captain should run their ship. The harsh discipline that Aubrey of Master and Commander or Hornblower impose comes from their crown authority, from the nation they and their crew serve, the articles of war, a source of authority greater than just them.

Smaller slices of a bigger pie - older D&D editions on Roll20

This suggests that it is not that non-5e communities have been losing players, more that 5e is capturing the new comers who are joining the hobby.


The Secret to Realism in Games

A more technically correct term would be verisimilitude, because the fiction of games can only ever seem real, not be real.


If Dungeons Offer Riches, Why Don’t the Authorities Loot Them?

Dave Arneson and his group saw how much his dungeon resembled a tourist trap and they exaggerated it.


Dungeon Keying Theory: On Background Information and Implied History

a lot of this 'history' takes place in the DM's own head or notes, and it doesn't particularly matter how it is presented in that sense, but in published materials, the question becomes: how much of this history should be revealed in the dungeon key, and how much should be left implicit?


“I did my own research!,” or, Lead rot by any other name

Many collectors have noted that some figures begin to show signs of corrosion where the metal begins to “rot” away turning into a powdery, greyish dust.