Eow Links 58

Eow Links 58

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 58.

For more weekly links, head to The Seed of Worlds Shiny TTRPG link collection. For monthly links, look at 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.

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My favourite for this week is Monster Descriptions by Grumpy Wizard.


Drunken incompetent regional magnates: the purpose of aristocracies

But pre-modern aristocracies have a function, one that is not easily circumvented before the rise of the modern state, and understanding this function can help in making settings where all the obligatory dukes and barons and whatnot actually have some reason to exist.

On the difference between magic and technology

Magic is the capacity to add surprise.

Like the deus ex machina of Greek theater is a surprise (and hated by Aristotle for it), it suddenly provides an alternative path to the one everyone’s expecting. It turns away from the predictable course.

Buying RPGs

I’m recommending Classic Traveller because there is no character advancement, at all. No experience points. You’re starting adventuring as a complete and competent person, and that’s it.

Theater of the Mind Abstract Terrain Generation

The roll describes the starting position of the PCs and their foes relative to the terrain. It's very important to roll as per the regular wandering monster rules to know how far away each side is from the other.

One Man's God: Gods, Demigods, and Heroes

The book was certainly making the rounds in my schools' various D&D groups and it was used EXACTLY as Mr. Kask told everyone not to use it as; a high-powered Monster Manual.

Monster Descriptions

Players decide if the characters are scared. They are playing the characters. As referee, it’s your role to create scary situations. It is up to the player to decide if the situation is actually scary.

SageDaMage: Weird & Wonderful Interviews

From there, I kept exploring the boundaries of my limits on what was too little or too much. Turns out, it was all attitude. I like the FKR because its style can, theoretically, be applied to any game. To really enjoy myself, I just needed to sigh and let go the importance of rules.

[FR] Attention les mirettes, on a été interviewer les auteurs de MIR


A beautiful-looking game getting crowdfunded. French only, unfortunately.

Game Review: Swords & Wizardry (Complete)

More importantly, spells are very simple, needing only level, range, and duration. Systems like spell resistance that often caused precious spells to fail are simply not there. Magic feels special in a way that it doesn't in later editions where magic was slowly "balanced" to simply parallel other class abilities.

Kata Kumbas

Kata Kumbas featured an original rules system – I Signori del Caos was derivative of AD&D – and, more importantly, a setting based on a fantastical version of Italy (or Laitia). Laitia has many inspirations, from Orlando Furioso to Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales to sword-and-sandal movies. As a result, Kata Kumbas has a comedic and picaresque tone, especially when compared to most English-language games available at the time.

The Problem of PC Spending Power

Now imagine a bunch of adventurers arrive after a raid on a nearby megadungeon, with 20,000gp worth of treasure to spend. They will overnight triple the size of the economy. Should all costs therefore not triple in value?

Productive Voids, or The Unfathomable Agony of Rule Holes

This kind of guidance constitute a kind of ‘meta-move’, providing procedures and insights into the actual running of the system beyond its hard and formal crunch. And, crucially, it shows that the designers have trust in you.

Alistair MacIntyre's 1974 Dungeon Designs

Precious little survives from the first year that D&D hit the market, and while MacIntyre's design concepts do not constitute a complete dungeon, that are a great example of the creativity that dungeon adventuring triggered in the minds of the earliest adopters almost fifty years ago.

A Setting Via Propaganda Posters

To follow our Cosmic Defence Brigade piece, a setting, leaning heavily on Dream by Wombo. Inspired by events of the Empyrean Dynasty game.

Grendel Mendel: Using Punnett Squares For Monster Design

To achieve that, I use a sort of "Punnett's square" based on [melee or range] x [dmg or special] (...) and below I will explain (1) how I envision each quadrant, (2) how this tool can be scaled to a small force, a singular "boss" monster, or a whole dungeon level, and (3) provide some examples.

TSR Style Guides

These guides help you figure out how to make a book look like a certain style that you love. Some folks are not keen on doing this, which is fine. I always talk a big talk about doing it but in the end I tend to go my own way. But I have much respect for people who pull it off nicely.