Eow Links 71
2022-05-08

Eow Links 71

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 71.

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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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"


On Taking Breaks

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.


Fateforge Encylopedia

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.


To the GMs I’ve never met

Your players love you. And though I know nothing else about you, that is enough.


How I have run D&D for two years

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.


FKR & Storygames

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.


That is why you fail – An analysis of the corrosive effect of Artpunkmanry in the essay ‘Never As Written’ by Luka Rejec

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.


Running Modules As Written

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.


The Run as Written Debate

There is this wacky idea in RPG land that whatever you put out should be for a “wide audience.” Good luck with that.


The Railroading Manifesto – Addendum: I Want To Be Railroaded

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.


WIS+15= Starting Age

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.


Weapons and bonus actions (5e)

What if we gave every weapon something to do with bonus actions?


Sex and Gender Systems in RPG Worlds

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.


Mapbashing

Every model builder should know what kitbashing is. Why isn’t mapbashing an established technical term among map makers?


The Map

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.


Why Play Those Silly Games?

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.


Who designed the Julian calendar?

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.


Druids’ Dale Saga

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.


Alignment As Moral Shorthand...

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.


Stories Are Important

(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.)


OSE Monster Index Card Templates

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.


April Roundup

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!


A Grab Bag of Burning Wheel Ideas

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.


King Arthur Pendragon RPG (with David Larkins) Ep.53 (Part 2) (Part 1)

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.


DM’s Academy question about originality

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.


Tactics: May/June 1982

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.


thread about Eldenring lore

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.

thread about Eldenring lore lost in translation

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.