Eow Links 61
2022-02-27

Eow Links 61

Xia Taptara 黄晓声

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 61.

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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Is this really a week to have favourites?

 


Troika!

The most striking mechanic is its initiative system - each character has a number of initiative tokens (usually 2), these are drawn at random from a bag to decide who goes when, with the inclusion of an end round token adding more random drama to the mix.


My favorite D&D (and OSR) likes and dislikes - what are yours?

Likes: / Simplicity, usability, conciseness, lack of clutter. / Focus on reaction, morale, hirelings. / Easy to house-rule. / Monsters are easy to run.


Juggling hex scales between map creation tools (Azgaar, Watabou)

Working with different hex-scale maps has turned out to be something of a surprising headache for me so I am going to outline where I got to in the hope of saving someone else the strife. Very short version - there are two magnificent easy-use tools out there that are effectively at two different scales and using them both at the same time took me a while to get my head around.


My dream for the 2024 D&D edition

My philosophy is that these two pillars (exploration, talking) shouldn’t live on the character sheet, but in the modules and in the DMG’s toolbox for creating homebrew adventures. Awesome social interaction comes from NPCs with desires, plans, secrets, relationship webs, and resources. Awesome exploration comes from fantastic locations filled with wonderful things to find, and the time pressure that comes from a rich encounter table.


Calendars, Not Just Maps

A calendar is most useful if it describes what will happen without player intervention. This is the best because it doesn’t assume any player actions. My least favorite is a timeline that assumes players will do this or that just because that’s what the designer expects. That’s not a calendar; it’s a script, and TTRPGs work best when they’re unscripted.


Hare-Raising Sword and Sorcery

While most of Usagi’s adventures are straight swashbuckling historicals, Sakai dips often into Japanese mythology and folklore to include supernatural elements that turn quite a few of the stories into S&S. Despite Sakai’s chosen style and the anthropomorphic character, he doesn’t hesitate to tackle adult, dark themes when he wants to


Star Wars ICRPG

I used the Effort mechanic for Lox to climb down the cliff face and for hacking the sensor tower. I honestly questioned this before the game. I have to say this is SUPERIOR to any other method of determining the resolution of something that might take multiple attempts (like bashing through a door, hacking a computer, repairing an engine). I absolutely love this mechanic.


Mechanically Faithful Clones of Dungeons and Dragons

a roundup of clones that more or less accurately reproduce old editions of D&D. After all, sometimes, you just want to play the original games without modern hacks. Or you want to hack it yourself. This is likely not a perfect list of faithful retro-clones; only the ones I have personally had a chance to read and make some notes on.


I'm Selling Out

More specifically, it's an adventure into a pocket of the shadowfell, in doomed pursuit of... something. You go deeper into the shadowfell, and the place changes you, creeping into your bones and wearing you down until you're just another part of its endless, bleak wasteland. The question at the heart of the adventure is not if you'll reach your destination. It's how much of yourself you lose getting there, and if it's worth it in the end.


What makes a game company “indie?”

A company made of just a few people and a some freelancers can produce table top games that are better in every way than the biggest company in the business. The internet has made it easier for that to happen but this isn’t new.


Burn After Reviewing

Henceforth, I’m only going to post ‘reviews’ of products I’ve played (as a GM or player). Most of my reviews have been like this anyway (for example, this one of Agon) but a fair few haven’t (...)
I’m going to try and put some focus on the play experience – what could be gleaned from the game that was surprising even after a read-through


Divergentism

This idea is consistent with one in Hitchhiker’s Guide, that the discovery of the Babel Fish, by removing all translation barriers to communication, sparked an era of bloody wars. But conflict in my theory is merely the precursor to a more profound universal mutual disengagement.


3 Reasons to Never Split the Party and How to Ignore Them

Players stay together as a courtesy to the game master.


About Damn Times: A Campaign Event Table

When I’m running a campaign I’ve found that it’s easy to have everything just remain in a state of delicate stasis instead until the PC’s come and screw it all up.


On Why Bother

What I am about to say, makes me sound like a mad man. I have no qualms about this, because we are all mad men here. If you were not, you would not have come here.

On the Rules of the Game

All roleplaying is procedural. If you're running a game and deciding things arbitrarily, that's a sign of an unskilled Dungeon Master. (Not that they know they are unskilled or will admit it, but they will talk about how hard it is to get a game together. This is serious Dunning-Kruger territory.)


Make Monsters, Not Monstrosities

My own earliest memories of Elmore's distinctive style are from the pages of Dragon, such as this piece, which appeared in issue #59 (March 1982).


Roleplaying games, History, Science and Technology

In today's post I will suggest you historical, scientific and technological dissemination works I think you may find interesting whether you are into creation of worlds (also known as worldbuilding) or you want to satisfy your curiosity and desire for knowledge.


Hand-Crafted Adventures

Don’t plan to publish anything. Focus on creating stuff that you will want to run for your actual players, not on impressing an impersonal internet audience that will probably never use what you create.


Pike vs. Lance

Chainmail anyone?


A Typology of TTRPG Consumers

Because games are manifestly meant to be played, the industry as a whole tends to assume the player is their primary consumer. The very act of making a game material is founded on this assumption; otherwise, the producer would be writing a novel, making an artbook, or doing something else not defined by playability.


Alternative Economics (Part 2: Interesting Choices)

Most of this post's contents will be schemes describing entire economies and how they function


Yochai Gal Interview

On Cairn and more.


"He Was Killed in the Very First Month"

Its poignancy is made almost aching at the thought of what the families of soldiers on both sides are experiencing as we speak.