|Eow Links 63|
Eow Links 63
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 63.
My favourite for this week is Are OSR Games Good for Introducing New Players To the Tabletop RPG Hobby?, "Players don’t need to know the rules".
Dynamic timelines in OSR play by Doof, presents an abstraction of time management, this one alike the usage die.
It doesn't focus on, or even have rules for, gaining experience or item acquisition to increase character power during play - as a player you determine how much risk you want the character to undergo to continue to advance at the time of creation, and then you play that character.
The contents within are a d100 table of countryside encounters that are, as the name says, mostly harmless. Laid out in alphabetical order, running from Ants and Ash trees to Wrens and Writers, each entry is a few lines, sometimes an adventure hook, sometimes a strange bit of lore associated with the creature or plant in question. A nice flavour injection for encounters or low stakes encounters by themselves.
There are also four other reasons wights are scary in my game.
As you can see, the replies are quite long, and the GM has quite a lot of leeway in them to interpret the player's instructions, and make decisions on their behalf.
“Blorb” is a principle-based approach to sandbox roleplaying by Sandra Snan at Idiomdrottning. It emphasizes prep and the philosophical realism of the world as it is prepared. Once the session begins, game design and worldbuilding pause until the session concludes. Agency belongs to the players during the session to preserve this realism.
I prefer the nom de plume of Tibbius because in my day job I'm an intellectual property attorney who works for a very respectable and non-controversial small firm.
Because they don’t know the mechanisms, they interact with the only thing they know about the game; the shared mental construct that’s been created through the dialogue between referee and the players.
You might know this already, but I had actually been pretty apprehensive towards damage-only combat rules for a while for the same reason! I don’t like HP bloat and I appreciate that armor makes opponents harder to defeat without just upping how many numbers you need to make to make their numbers go down. It was only because I’ve been exploring jrpg-style mechanics for my project (emulating Pokemon, Megaten, etc.) that I began considering one-hit combat at all!
Chaos Adds Fairness / Random encounters, NPC Reaction Rolls, and Morale checks add surprise even for the GM, can change the course of the game, and add unexpected twists. I will use these whenever it makes sense and weave it into the narrative.
Folks who say they improv when they DM have a structure that they have often internalized. (...) The worksheet below is meant to be a tool for jotting down bullet-points for pre-game daydreaming as well as in-game note-taking. Names, places, ideas, encounters, whatever inspirational bits you need when the game is on.
Regardless of what’s said in the OSR or by more run-of-the-mill grognards, the reason all of those rules were gone by Third Edition was because people weren’t using them and in many cases didn’t like them. It’s not because we don’t want rules for hirelings or castles or godhood, though, it’s because for the most part those rules were not good.
If you want a D&D game where sensible monsters try to save their lives through escape or surrender, then how do you, as DM, decide when morale breaks?
I used to 'solve' this problem by just telling the players what they'd found, and how it worked. (...) But recently I hit upon a compromise solution that I've started using, and am pretty happy about. I don't know whether others have used it, but I'll share it here in hopes it helps someone else.
My baseline for the research below is Old School Essentials, which should be aligned with 1981 Moldvay/Cook Basic and Expert D&D. The purpose here is show how various methods of rolling skill checks stack up against prescribed skill checks by class.
There does seem room for both a weird and scientific approach to magic in the same RPG setting. Magic in an RPG does not need to represent a complete canonical system. Leaving room for the unexplained helps magic retain a sense of wonder.