|Eow Links 59|
Eow Links 59
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 59.
My favourite for this week is Antiquity Tuesday about the "furca".
Magic ... by metaphysics / with a more or less randomized effect based on casting check / by creatures / with a fixed effect, from an expansive list that implies engineering arbitrary effects / with a fixed effect, from a limited or quirky enough list to make every spell distinctly its own thing / with significant consequences or price / as GM fiat / as narration rights / defined as a formal effect, without an obvious necessary fictional interpretation
Quixote could be the patron saint of role-players...a man looking for adventure and all-too-willing to escape into his own imagination in order to find it. All long-time D&D players have some measure of The Don in flowing through their veins. If they didn't, they'd be doing something else.
Journeys and travels are a fantasy staple. As such, RPG players have long tried to include this essential element in their games only to find the experiences fall flat.
. during character creation, you can opt to start adventuring, or risk a misfortune roll and learn more skills
. magic is a bunch of skills, and not much more, so very free form
. there are no experience points and levels to be gained
The act of making encourages you to share it with someone. The thing you made comes alive when you show it to your friends, write it up and put it out on your blog, or publish it as a zine. Someone else improves on it or takes it in a direction you didn’t imagine or anticipate and brings it back to you. You take that and use it, share it with other people, there is more tinkering, more sharing, new relationships.
This is the genius of ASCII-based roguelike games, of course: by providing an initially alienating aesthetic, they end up becoming more immersive than the most cutting edge PS5 offering, because you get caught up in a world that is as much, if not more, a product of your own imagination as the designer's. (The additional stimulation to the brain is also partly, I think, what makes them so addictive.)
The binder cover has interior pockets. I printed stuff on digest sized pages and used dividers to organize them. This was followed by a couple of pocket inserts. Then after I added some punched digest sized graph paper and digest sized punched paper with ruled lines. Then finally a pouch with pens, pencils, and index cards.
I may write later how the game came from a long unfulfilled desire to retroclone Stormbringer 1st Edition, and how it surprised me and became an engine for Moorcockian multiversal heroic fantasy in a literary mode instead. The minimalistic game design work I’m doing on this game, is teaching me how tabletop roleplaying games rules can come from the world, and why they don’t always need to be expressed in dice-and-numbers mechanics.
There are three ranks. You can get shot just as easily in all three ranks, so the ranks only affect your own shooting, and mêlée attacks.
Also... I like how Dark Fantasy Basic turned out. 1d20+stat+skill, versus 1d20+HD, and that's it. Works well, and you could hardly make it simpler.
Jack’s going to use Trouble-wise to establish that he’s going to lure them into a bit of trouble; maybe some goblins or a pesky owlbear.
It might be challenging to write a novel or direct a movie, but that author or director has complete control over how fast or slow events progress. When you’re GMing a game, with players staring back at you and wondering what’s going to happen next, that control is illusory.
how to differentiate inhabitants of the plane of Neutral Law
This would mean that our kobolds occupy ~2.5 US homes in the 1970's. Another question: What does a 1970's floor plan look like if converted into a dungeon?
I get the impression by this point in the evolution of the game that the item weight tables had become a tradition. No one particularly cared that a two-handed sword was 25lbs. in the game and only 5lbs. in real life. Certainly, however, the idea that an item's encumbrance was related to its accoutrements had disappeared: whetstones, cleaning cloths, oils for armor and weapons, sewing kits, etc, all appeared as separate items for sale in the equipment section of the PHB.
Unlike D&D the legionary didn't fight whilst carrying this load. The two advantages of the furca, or carrying pole, was that you could wear armour whilst using it to carry goods and that it could easily be dropped if you were ambushed en route so that you were unencumbered in a fight. And you could carry the three pilums along with it fairly easily.
Yin magic users do not cast flashy spells, but rather do things like influencing others or preparing potions.
With free-form maneuvers, the target of violence must weigh whether they can afford to avoid the effects of it. At 0 HP, their force of will is extinguished and they are at the mercy of the other.
It gives you a lot of tools, but you can't (and shouldn't try to) use them all in one session. There is enough going on with actions, resistance rolls, engagement rolls, flashbacks, taking stress, resisting harm, Devil's bargains, etc. that it can feel like juggling chainsaws.
Let's say your average player Börje Bajskorv wants to research a new spell for his character. He writes down the complete spell description - intent, usage, whatever, even a preferred spell name - on a piece of paper, and passes it on to another player/DM.
Additionally, economics is oftentimes our most familiar battlefield for acquiring our goals. Most RPGs take it as an unquestionable assumption that the long-term point of the game is to somehow advance. You attain power or prestige or whatever rewards the players can be motivated to chase. The traditional XP-for-Gold system is one of the most tried-and-true methods of this, and was originally created with the intention of being fully woven into domain-level play.