|Eow Links 60|
Eow Links 60
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 60.
My favourite for this week is the pencil is mightier than the board, "the table is a surface to roll dice and put your papers down to write".
Treasure trove of links.
and then at the end of the third career, when the last player went, a twist of fate was rolled up. And when that fateful table was consulted, instant death it was. 💀
The focus is on dark fantasy tropes: flawed heroes, terrible villains, corrupting magic, ominous ruins and damned wastelands.
A cadre of designers (hopefully a growing one) are interested not just in rules, settings or systems but in the procedures we use to run games. This is something that is often taken for granted, but paying attention to them is useful for veteran players and referees and downright enlightening for beginners.
I will be using many of the ideas Kane discusses in his videos. One I particularly really want to give a go and see how it plays out is using art instead of maps in the VTT.
They wish it had gone to some super simple no-crunch indie engine. But 5e is a real treasure of a flexible and lightweight core system that has already been endlessly expanded and enriched in a sustainable way.
I thought that when we fought I was to blame / But now I know you play a different game / I've watched you dance with danger, still wanting more / Add another number to the score
If you really want to make this a bit more 'gamist', have the players draw four bones at the start of each session. Those are their die rolls they can use. They can then coordinate with each other, helping out poor rolls with good domino placement. A player can still draw from the pile once per roll if they aren't happy with their hand.
One of the things that I love about reading older role-playing game materials – whether they’re old books, magazines, or zines – is that so often you can tell that the authors have no pretense at being “right.” More often than not, they’re likely to begin talking about any topic by hedging what they say with phrases like, “Some say,” “Few know,” and “It’s rumored.”
I am no fan of massive statblocks and fiddly special rules, so I'm happy to put this table in my bag and use it as a Monster Manual. Monsters don't need to be built with PC rules. I can derive rough stats from the HD and give things abilities or behaviours that fit what they are in play.
The different spells drive different CRs. But with huge spell lists, the DM has trouble choosing the right spells that drove that CR! That’s one of the reasons why WotC has changed the design in Monsters of the Multiverse to use smaller spell lists and shorten the spell lists
Our current campaign has been rather casual. Most of the group have had situations where regular gaming wasn’t possible. If we only played when everyone could make it, gaming would be rare. Once or twice a month if we were lucky. By not sweating the absence of a player, those of us who can game that week get to play.
There is mountains of advice on how to go about World building online. Some of it is useful and some of it is not. I would argue, that the experience you wish to offer your players will determine what kind of World building exercise will serve you best. Different games and different campaigns demand different amounts and types of information both at the start and during play.
The concept of Theatre of the Mind is entirely not new. It harkens back to radio terminology when The Lone Ranger and similar shows would be broadcast across the waves and into your home for you, the listener, to enjoy. All manner of techniques would be used, including descriptive storytelling, sound effects, onomatopoeia, and dialogue in order to create an image for the listeners. If that rings with some familiarity, then you have seen why the term made the hop to the TTRPG realm.
The less visual input you get from stuff that is on the table, the more the mind is encouraged to create an environment in your head that reflects the details in the GM’s description of what you see.
By the early '80s, critical hits were one of those rules that everyone knew about and many used, even without being able to point to a section of D&D's actual rules that supported them.
All of these instances have the common factor of being are 'world-opening' - nothing the players had previously done was wrong, they just suddenly realised they were playing on a much bigger space than they have been thinking about before
Lots of this is general good game-mastering but there is solid, targetted advice that shows lots of table testing and a focus on how does this book help me run a fun version of this game at my table. We come to expect this level of polish and user friendliness from Mr. Crawfords works but it is still worth mentioning, long may it last.
So up she got, because they used their power and the rules say that that’s how that works. It’s all there in natural language, and while I could ass-pull a reason, players get to use their toys to solve problems. They had a problem, used a solution, and up she got.