Eow Links 67

Eow Links 67

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 67.

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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Behind The Screen With D&D

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.

Capsule Reviews #1

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.

2400 devlogs

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.

Magical Mishaps & Calamitous Curses

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.

My Dream WotC 5e Book

And I know exactly who I would hire, from a big range of indie artists and developers.

Untitled WB:FMAG Hack

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.

Travail Saga (JRPG-ish 2d6)

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.

Palladius: On Husbandry, c. 350

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.

On Story vs Games in RPGs

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.

Meet the Publisher: Ava Islam

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.

Make Everything More Interesting?

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.

Thoughts on What We're Playing

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.

Public domain art (sources)

Anyway, here are my sources for Dark Fantasy Basic

Healing needs a bed

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.

Bandit Lures

"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 &...

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.

Cyclical Resource Management

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.

Musings about running games and the stuff I like and dislike

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.

Expanded Wilderness Travel Rules

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.

The best adventures from Footprints, seven free old-school modules!

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.

Generating random content for RPGs using Artificial Intelligence

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

Module Recommendations

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.

The Complete Oracle is an amazing act of preservation by...

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

Ages of Life

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.

Magic is negotiating with the referee

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.

What blorb gets wrong: a reply

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.

Travel Procedure – the parts

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?

Notes on the Simulacrum Wilderness Exploration Mechanic

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.

Making Your Own Sword

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.