|Eow Links 57|
Eow Links 57
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 57.
My favourite is Old School Gaming and Brechtian Drama.
That's how I'm approaching the D&D game these days, anyway. My game is always "on," even if I'm not running it. My game is the world I run; my "campaign" is the record of the deeds of players that adventure in my world. I am my world's master...it's Dungeon Master.
Tom Moldvay included an extensive list of inspirational source material in the D&D Basic rulebook (pg B62). While similar to the list appearing in Appendix N in the AD&D 1e DMs Guide, Moldvay's list is more extensive, and includes non-fiction.
It also says the progression from low to high level in 5e is not as hard a drop-off as real life or old school gaming might assume which makes sense. Your average adventurer with access to healing magic is going to be a lot more survivable and have more chance to progress.
The alternative is the GM asking the players "Here's the situation. How would your character get involved in this adventure?"
Arles, which had been a thriving Roman city with an amphitheater, an aqueduct, a chariot-racing track, a theater and full city walls shrunk so severely that the remains of the city moved inside its amphitheater, repurposing it as a new set of city walls, with the town square in the middle and houses built in the stands.
I think the first and most important thing players must do to really vibe together is enthusiastically embrace each other’s contributions. But I suspect many players spend their energy on selling their own ideas in the hopes of winning over the necessary participants.
Something we can do, on an individual and a collective basis, is to reject the predominant culture of the hobby and to strive for a community with non-commercial interactions between members.
I see Dragon's LARP influence in choosing to leave the game system almost up to the players and instead offering suggestions for narrative pushes and pulls. This is a prescription for play minus rules to a fuller extent than I have seen in a book for games, such that I wouldn't even call Wanderhome a rulebook as much as perhaps an adventure module, to borrow some admittedly limited old-school phrasing.
I like having high powered evil wizards, liches, demons or other spell casting baddies in my campaigns. I assume they didn’t achieve their power by being stupid, ignorant, or incompetent. When I start creating the major NPCs and monsters for the setting, I think about how they might have achieved their power and how they might maintain it.
His games include the acclaimed Songs of Blades and Heroes skirmish/war game, the astoundingly successful Four Against Darkness game line, and also my favorite skirmish game Battlesworn.
For those who aren't interested in an array of artificial alloys that make everything easier, I have worked out more detailed numbers for the AD&D coins, but trust me that you probably don't really want to use them. Still, here they are.
After all this time, I've still haven't found a magic system that I like 100%. This is the current iteration I am working now. Numbers are made to fit with this other previous work, though they can work with any rules using roll-under, under a magic stat such as wisdom or intelligence.
Delving into the chthonic realm to brave its dangers and bring forth its hidden treasures so as to make one's name. Surviving by one's wits. Acting rather than thinking - succeeding by accident over design. Living life as one encounters it, rather than through the implementation of carefully thought-out plans. Winning the girl in the end not because of one's intrinsic attributes, but because one is imbued with more vitality than anyone around.
I'm not doing a lot of gaming these days. I've canceled Open Quest more than I've run it. I like buying gaming books. I like buying them a lot. I sort of like reading them. I like world/setting building. I don't like prepping for game sessions. I don't really like running game sessions anymore. I'm at this really weird spot. I like the idea of gaming, I just don't seem to actually like doing it anymore.
but to be honest, the game itself is solid and the designers, at least, deserve credit for that. When what you’re buying, though, is the expensive licensed version of what the RPG hobby has been producing in one form or another for the past 45 years, well…it’s fair to ask some questions.
I did a diagonal read of The One Ring 2nd edition under Target Number Eriador.
NPCs go under the location they are currently in. It’s location-based.
Social level / Town and island stuff go in the A7 box. Rumors and treasure maps and rival groups. Geographic level / Domain game stuff and also locations of dungeons and islands go on my huge Inkscape file that has like 30 layers. The player-facing equivalent go on our wiki. Meta level / House rules and scheduling go on our wiki. Random tables and DM-facing tools go in my A4 accordion file, which can also house printouts for home-made modules.
when you reach 0 HP (or take damage while already at 0 HP), make a save vs death. If you fail, you die. If you succeed, you take the number you rolled on the d20 to pass the save and reference it to the permanent injury table below to find out what effect (usually a permanent injury) you suffered while avoiding death. And... that's it, basically.
One of the main problems of railroading and illusionism is removing agency from players. Not only do their choices cease to matter, but also they are tricked into believing that they do. To use someone else's analogy, it is like letting your little brother play Street Fighter with you, but giving him a joystick that is not connected to the console.
Photocopies of Moldvay’s & Schick’s OD&D house rules. We scanned them in three batches, which I here arbitrarily designate A, B, and C.
In some ways, D&D’s starting point represents the end point that Brecht was trying to get to. D&D emerged from tabletop war games, which were essentially materialist and lacking any form of poetics or conventions associated with conventional storytelling. Whereas Brecht had to shake off the traditions and practises of a very old art form, RPGs had the benefit of a blank slate.
These toolkits, GM emulators, or “oracles” are gaining ground and embracing different systems and genres, complexity and randomness. I think we’ll see a growing market for these as awareness grows, and as we see with many elements of our hobby, a burgeoning culture of understanding and criticism leading to creators armed with superior knowledge producing superior tools.
Most of us are putting a new coat of paint and dropping in our favorite pop cultural references into a game of exploration and fighting and "tell me what you do next" and rolling some kind of dice to decide.
A lot of TTRPG players feel like Dungeons & Dragons™ is the battlefield in which their childhood memories, their safe harbor, the hobby that helped them build up relationships, and the game that they have loved must be defended. It is where their hobby will be shaped. But that isn't quite the case.
Ian Yusem is publisher editor and writer of Hull Breach, an anthology book, collection of adventures and articles for the Sci-Fi horror RPG Mothership. In this episode we talk about Ian's experience both as an author and as the editor/publisher of Hull Breach, the importance of layout, playtesting techniques, how to write horror RPGs.