Eow Links 64

Eow Links 64

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 64.

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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Universal Battle and War Framework

The framework allows for any scale of conflict to be simply fought - from a large skirmish to a year long siege, to a clash across the solar system by two opposing star-fleets. As such it eschews the granularity of individual troop movements and statistics. While the framework is a fully structured and ruled minigame; representing such breadth and variety of conflict requires a more narrative and abstract approach.

Borshak’s Lair (OD&D 3PP); The Rolls Royce of Orc Lairs

There is genius in the design as the dungeon is going to become gradually revealed as players are funneled back to earlier locations. The encounters and traps are wild but the pacing of the dungeon is likely to go from initially rapid to more methodical, as the myriad secret entrances are gradually revealed.

When Failing Forward Fails

Failure does not need to mean ending, nor does it need to mean the closing of future directions.

d20 Odd events at a nobles ball

The elaborate clock at the centre of the back of the ball room strikes the hour - it is apparently much later than you thought and the person you were talking with suddenly pales and dashes away out of sight. A moment later you come on two guests laughing that they interfered with the clock as a trick and you still have hours.

Matt Finch

The author of OSRIC, Swords & Wizardry, and the Quick Primer for Old School Gaming on Wobblies & Wizards.

Ukraine 2022- Why Are Our Wargames Wrong?

The professional games were better designed, included current intelligence, integrated tactical into the operational model and were superior in every way; except they were wrong.

On non-written communication (in Norwich)

In a world without central heating you would be way more interested in wearing woolen garments than you are now. And if you work outside in all weathers you had better believe you would be interested in wearing a fibre that stays warm even when it is wet.

Level 1 Should be Awesome

Unless you have brand new players, a 1st level adventure shouldn't feel like a training round. You aren't there to familiarize them with the concepts of the game: if they have already played a game like Dungeons & Dragons, they already know that stuff.

How Much Worldbuilding Do I Need For My Campaign?

Sometimes, some piece of worldbuilding grabs me and I expect the players will never see it and would just shrug and move on if they did.

I still work on it.

I enjoy worldbuilding. It’s fun to think about the implications of certain “What if?” questions. That all the reason I need to indulge in the activity.

Meet the Publisher: Appendix N Entertainment

The layout and ease of use of OSE have affected how I do things greatly. It still amazes me that none of us had thought of doing this sort of usable clean layout and style sooner in nearly 40 years of RPGs.

Conan, Context, Cool Shit & Consequences

Judd's Context / Cool Shit / Consequences was take for a ride on a Conan setting.

The Five Mechanic Game

A traditional, five mechanic game employs mechanics for character creation, task resolution, game mastering, combat, and then at least one subsystem of note. These five items fit together pretty loosely, which makes the role of a game master essential to keep information flowing between these mechanics; an ironic necessity considering how loose the game mastering rules of most games are.

Level Up Everyone and Everything

To get to the point, I propose that the players get to choose whether to invest their hard-won XP into their character, one of their items, an NPC they like, a settlement they’ve been to, their mount, or anyone or anything else they damn well please! This isn’t that radical. Or at least, I am not the only radical.

Coins & Calendars, Redux

I will combine my insights from both of those earlier attempts to develop a singular theory of managing time and society in a campaign. The primary concern is creating a fictional timekeeping system that harmonizes with different scales of play, so that players can zoom out and act in the capacity of months or years without much mental math to scale these activities.

A Divorce of Druids and the Reviewing of their Remove, Part 4: Winter

Its goal, like all comedy, is the formation of a new society, but it breaks from comedy’s archetypal shape by creating that new society through separation instead of union—and there, A Divorce of Druids arguably plants the seed of irony that comes to full fruition in Winter.

Simple Card-Driven Personality Generation

I remembered Tony Bath’s personality generation system from a book of his collected rules and advice for running Ancient (and Hyborian) Wargaming Campaigns. It’s a great book, an insight into early roleplaying and world building and continues to contain useful resources. Here is my altered and simplified rendition of his personality generation system.

What if you don't fudge your rolls?

As you can see, not fudging rolls is more complex than fudging. But I'd say you should try it. All these questions will spark the creativity of players and DMs alike, and it will change your game forever.

Get to the dungeon

If you’re writing a dungeon, don’t put a thing that is not the dungeon in front of the dungeon.

Otherkind Dice

“Otherkind Dice” is the casual name of a resolution system I came up with about two decades ago. Otherkind dice underpin a lot of my design work and — through PbtA — they’ve influenced a lot of the design work in indie rpgs today. It’s high time for me to lay them out for you in an updated, accessible, and relatively complete form.

The Deep and Wondrous Complexity of the World

A cursory knowledge of the history of the world reveals it to be of such complexity, variety and interest that no fantasy setting could ever be its match in richness or fascination.

For the Queen's Alex Roberts Interview

Well, the magic primarily comes from a playthrough of Aleksandra Sontowska’s The Beast. It’s a one-player journaling game that takes thirty days to play: each day you pull one randomized card, and journal on the question written on it. It has a very different premise (...) but the structure had a direct influence on For the Queen. I played it in September 2017 and it left a strong impression on me.

OED House Rules v.1.0.7

D&D House Rules in brieg / Attacks: d20 + HD + AC ≥ 20 / Scale: 1" = 5 ft., 1 round = 10 sec / Encumbrance: Stone units / Money: Silver standard / Classes: Clerics removed

Dungeon!, Strategos, and D&D

Instead of nibbling around the edges of the fully functional and enjoyable Dungeons & Dragons combat system, I’m going to imagine a different history.


What’s interesting about these games, and about DUNGEON! in comparison to Dungeons & Dragons is that they don’t involve a lot of fights to the death through slow attrition. Units (and adventurers) break and run or sullenly retreat, losing effectiveness rather than die completely.

50 tips and resources for making your own single-page RPG

The result? Tiny Tome, a book of 50 single-page RPGs from dozens of different creators, funding on Kickstarter for the remainder of March.


Q: Where can I buy weird dice?
A: All the places.

Play-by-post and the written word

Freed from the constraint of having to improvise suitable responses in real-time, the referee (and player) can really take their time to spin out a story. Of course, doing that improvisation in real-time brings its own particular excitement, but what asynchronous play loses in immediate thrill, it makes up for in texture.

Wargames and national security

Red teams, game design, tabletop vs digital, who makes the best games? don't know because of security walls, impact of games on players, real time timers placed on players, ... Weird and interesting.

[fr] Légitimation et diversification du jeu de rôle

Plus encore, l’évolution des mécaniques et la façon dont les divers jeux se répondent les uns aux autres témoignent de l’existence d’un discours technique sur le jeu de rôle à l’échelle mondiale.

If you allow me to translate:

Furthermore, the evolution of mechanisms and the way the various games reply to each other bear witness to the existence of technical discourse on role-playing game at the global scale.