|Eow Links 71|
Eow Links 71
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 71.
My favourite for this week is Stories are important, "Be a philosopher; but amidst all your philosophy, be still a man - and there are orcs out there with stuff that needs taking"
The GM could choose to run a committed game on a regular schedule but it’s ok to take a break when things get hard. (...) Take a break when you need to. Players will understand.
Perhaps it is the French perspective, perhaps it is just Studio Agates house style but we have in Encyclopedia a setting that both feels real and different but still has logical places to run all your favourite tropes should you so wish.
Your players love you. And though I know nothing else about you, that is enough.
I felt the game, as I had seen it played, was not actually a good representation of 5e, that nobody was actually reading the books.
My most important precept is everyone at the table is responsible for their own fun.
Why this movement is a thing at all is because many of us are enthused about this style of play. We see many games and play styles out in the wild that say the opposite – that the rules text is the be-all-end-all, that you have to play games with some heed to the “designer’s intent”, that you can’t trust anyone to fairly adjudicate even though we all agree to these games and roles by way of free association. The FKR is a contrast to all of this.
This entire position is centred around an ‘everyone gets a prize’ mentality that incentivizes being lazy, not figuring out how the fucking rules of the game work
Game circumventing play? Reminds me of Utopia of Rules.
I suppose a simpler way of saying this is that I am "intensely relaxed" about people buying adventure modules purely to be read and never played, but the best modules to read are likely to be ones which the designer has made strenuous efforts to make consistent and robust. This is very likely to be correlated with quality in all other respects.
There is this wacky idea in RPG land that whatever you put out should be for a “wide audience.” Good luck with that.
I say semi-hypothetically because, in my experience, such players are vanishingly rare. Slightly more common are players who simply aren’t interested in certain kinds of decisions. The good news is that these followers are usually just fine with other players making decisions for them.
It can be useful to know a PC's age in elf games. Why just a couple weeks back a character drank some wine in Shmégel Manor and aged 30 years. Then they shrugged and drank until they turned to dust.
What if we gave every weapon something to do with bonus actions?
None of this advice is meant to put people in boxes, but rather to create the effect that our personal identities always exist in a dialectical relationship with our societies. While we may see ourselves in one way, our societies and cultures have their own ways of categorization. While many see this as a front for liberation oriented resistance, others find meaning and freedom in living up to the expectations of their culture’s categories. Roleplaying games can be an avenue for either of these responses.
Every model builder should know what kitbashing is. Why isn’t mapbashing an established technical term among map makers?
The only way for a new territory to join the map was to actually attach itself to what came to be known as the mother territory; the holy land. And the only way to do that was to share a land border or oceanic rim with it, and wait to be absorbed by a map update.
It’s my contention that roleplaying games offer a pathway to a rich and empowering experience with others. These are not merely games designed as distractions but a communal ritual which opens the doorway to reflection, experimentation with roles, problem-solving, and the invocation of powerful mythic symbolism. Taken together, roleplaying games are a form of narrative collaboration which can reach deeper than other forms of story media.
That is to say, it would appear that the Julian calendar is the result of Julius Caesar’s own research. He didn’t farm out the work to experts, he was the expert. When Pliny cites four schools of thought about measuring the sun’s progress around the ecliptic — the Chaldaean, Egyptian, Greek, and Italian schools — it’s Caesar himself that represents the Italian school.
The campaign is set in the Loch Leglean tribunal, on the west coast of Scotland in Stronchullin Burn, in the year 1220. There are a large number of hedge wizards and Ex Miscellanea in Scotland, and the Order of Hermes enforces its usual Code with a very light touch.
I agree that major NPCs deserve a well-written entry; but LG is elegant and immediately translatable into meaningful information. Think of it as a condensed profile, just add water and a little creativity.
(I can think of no better illustration of why "the human brain is like a computer" is an utterly foolish way to think about ourselves than reflecting that, of all the works on politics, political theory and political philosophy I have read, it is Turgenev's Fathers and Sons that stands out head and shoulders above the rest in the understanding I feel it has given me about political belief. A computer would understand politics by reading a textbook on politics. We understand it best through stories - and the madness of our current politics is surely in large part due to the decline of reading of serious novels and biographies.)
I have been doing D&D prep almost exclusively using index cards for the past few months. In that time I’ve honed the format of my monster cards down to a specific template. I designed the template to be usable for both groups of monsters, or single monsters. I am often running hordes of similar creatures with a couple of unique ‘bosses’ and these templates serve that purpose well.
You are reading the first monthly roundup! I will use these to recap whatever it is I worked on over the last month so let’s jump into what happened in April!
Arthurian, With A Twist: A campaign that leans much more into the Celtic roots of Arthurian legend, Chronicles of Prydain style. A game less about the militaristic chivalry of later medieval knighthood, and more about the local tensions of syncretic, communal cultures meditating on their place in the world rising from the ashes of the old imperial order – an order which they themselves partially embraced and partially rejected.
One of the foundational films that shaped the games that we played is Excalibur (1981). In this episode we look back on the film and consider how it can continue to inspire our gaming.
Either way, it starts unoriginal and then you push on it and twist it and think about points of view you’ve never seen in fantasy novels or never seen in the way you wanted them to. By the time the players make characters and the dice hit the table, the idea will gain a fresh point of view. All we have to do is get over the shame of being unoriginal.
40 years ago today (it is already May 1st in Japan), Hobby Japan published the 3rd issue of its wargaming magazine “Tactics”. It contains several articles on role-playing games. People say this is the first material about RPGs to be published in Japanese.
16 / Caria is an important reference. It’s a region in SW of Turkey and an old ethnic group active there and in the Aegean Sea’s islands. Indeed, I believe Aegean Sea to be an important thematic inspiration for Liurna, but Carians might have influenced ER in many other ways too.
04 / It means names with sounds that don’t exist in Japanese will be altered (like l & r, v, some other combinations …). As Elden Ring uses a lot of foreign names, there are often two steps of interpretation and potential alterations. One to Japanese and one from it.