|Eow Links 67|
Eow Links 67
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 67.
Rules, character sheets, and dice rolls come behind the Referee’s Screen so that the players can focus exclusively on being in-role as their character. The players are presented with a naturalistic description of the situations they find themselves in, being expected to respond in-role and without reference to the mechanisms of the game.
In an attempt to manage the torrent of stuff that I grab off the internet on a regular basis, I am going to to cut down reviews looking at just 3 aspects - interesting crunch (things I can easily use at my table), inspiring fluff (ideas sparked or used directly) and pleasure in reading the thing in the first place.
These started as pretty brief changelogs, but over time, I got into more detail about the design process behind them, and how to blend them with other 2400 modules. And — somewhat to my surprise — the wordier I got, the more people got in touch to tell me how helpful they were.
When Magic becomes predictable and repeatable, it can sometimes veer toward banality, so this at least tries to maintain a bit of that delicious wonder should one go down this route.
And I know exactly who I would hire, from a big range of indie artists and developers.
Use FMAG's "binding wounds" rule: you can recover 1d6 HP after a fight, but you can't recover so much as to have more HP than you started the fight with. To recover your full HP, get a full night's sleep in a safe haven.
The magical powers listed here are not descriptions of exact spells, but suggestions of periodic elements of magic. What can be attempted with a magical power is determined by the PC and the possibility, difficulty and outcome of that attempt is determined by the referee and the spell test.
C 40. I am unwilling to make him who is a favorite foreman over the field; and why? For he will deem his work is well howsoever it may be.
The original RPG, on the other hand, before the corruption insinuated itself into the gestalt, were played with a completely different expectation. "We're gonna die horribly in that damn dungeon." That was the expectation because when you played D&D, original D&D, by Gygaxian 1st Edition rules - guess what? 98% of the time you died. In the one night. By the end of the session your characters were dead. Because the idea that the game is about risk was simply understood.
So the second half of that tag line is "Rules-light, procedure-heavy". The birth and evolution of that particular little marketing slogan is something I find quite amusing, as its metastasized out of my little sphere of influence, but the tag-line itself, for effective as it has been, is something I feel a little constrained by.
The response I’m trying get from players is an emotional one. This is hard to do. By being focused about what I give the most interesting detail to, I have a better chance of creating the emotion I’m going for.
Even so, good old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, particularly in its Gygaxian First Edition, remains the go-to game for many commenters. Indeed, its popularity is only slightly less than that of the current edition and way ahead of that of any other game mentioned in the comments.
Anyway, here are my sources for Dark Fantasy Basic
My house rule in this respect is: you need a bed to heal. Thus, if you find yourself in a survival show, you need to build yourself a shelter with a bed or you’ll die. You can’t be healing and travelling at the same time unless you bring a little house on wheels along.
"The Good Samaritan" is called "Good" and when I think it should be called "The Brave Samaritan". The moral seems to be frequently distorted to "he stopped to render aid" instead of "he stopped to render aid despite the risk."
Back to BasiX was a fanzine dedicated to B/X Dungeons & Dragons that ran for ten quarterly issues from 2017 to 2019 (and I believe issue 11 is in the works and maybe out at this point). This hardcover (2021) collects all ten issues and sticks them behind a fantastic new cover illustration by Matthew Ray.
Here, I am going to explore possible directions to incorporate resource management as part of the base structure of the dungeon exploration game without resorting to additional book-keeping or dice-reading.
The actual rules of a roleplaying game are the last thing I want to discuss about, especially when the fiction is unfolding at the table.
When I run wilderness adventures, I am fully in the camp of “the players never get to see any hex maps”. The hex map is a tool for the GM, just like random encounter tables.
After going through all 25 issues of the old-school zine Footprints, I am in a good position to say that a.) it's a treasure trove of gaming materials and a real community effort, and b.) it has a bunch of GREAT adventure modules.
Right out of the box, GPT-3 understands these tables. When I asked it to "write a table of random encounters for a fantasy TTRPG", here is what it came up with
Made a list of modules/adventures/settings that I like. One day I'll make little entries about each... maybe. It isn't complete so if your thing isn't on it, don't fret! I'll get there. Probably.
It is also a wild personal story for Bigelow. He was a high school junior at the time, but got professional writers, artists and designers to contribute to his magazine, which, mind-bogglingly, was sold around the world in over forty stores at one point. The Complete Oracle
One thing that all three systems fail to do pretty much anything with is the sense of physical frailty and mortality that comes with aging. The closest they come is simply decrease starting attributes. This just sort of makes your character worse. It doesn't bring home mortality or vulnerability in any very strong way.
Later in the game, he wanted to animate the dead bones presumed to be lying at the bottom of a lake and I agreed. Peter asked how many skeletons he’d get and I asked about his goal instead. He wanted the skeletons to hold the wounded beholder in place as he pulled the Moonlight Spear.
When everyone is the gamemaster, no one is the gamemaster. When no one is the gamemaster, the world has no consequences, no internal logic and, saddest fact of all, no danger. It’s a sujet-less stew that tastes of bland nothingness.
do players have to Navigate and Scout or can just put a Guide before the party? Can it be changed by the information they can get at starting location? Maybe Guide can be hired so the group could focus on Guarding/Providing? What if the fortune roll is failed – maybe the guide got lost and PCs have to make up for them?
I am going to use the process pretty much as presented I think... plus a few more things, of course, because home brewing. Here are my thoughts at the moment, including a bunch of to-dos.
Imagine a system as a mine. Within this mine is ore. You can dig it up. Imagine your game as a furnace. You can smelt your ore here, and end up with metal. Imagine the page as an anvil. You can hammer yourself a sword from all the metal you’ve found. The sword will change over time. You’ll have it with you, wherever you go. With a good enough sword, you don’t need to go to the mines.
(podcast) NSR with Yochai Gal
Yochai Gal's triumphant return to Wobblies & Wizards leads to our longest episode yet as we go over time talking about the NSR and finding out exactly what it is.