Eow Links 72

Eow Links 72

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 72.

For more weekly links, head to The Seed of Worlds Shiny TTRPG link collection. For monthly links, look at The Glatisant.

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 History or Archeology, "but I suspect being able to describe yourself as one or the other is a good way to improve conversations"

AD&D DMG (1995)

but it was said that this was the last of the DMGs that actually tried to teach you the game. The shadow of the same argument crops up in Alexandrians 'cargo cults' point - that there are lots of folk in the hobby that have seen adventure shaped things but the teaching of how's and why's fell away somewhere.

How to Play D&D for Free, Part 1: Structures & Routines

So, this is my attempt to outline the ruleset for the game I ran for my friends with a view towards what constitutes D&D as a cultural thing rather than as a series of book editions published by this or that company.

"Passion is inversely proportional to information had."

if a party thinks they are in an ambush situation, they may try to arrange themselves in such a way as to defend high-value players like Clerics and Magic-Users with meatshield Fighters and Rangers. On the other hand, if they never do this, you can set a different dynamic where those players are captured or incapacitated and the party is looking at a hostage situation rather than a TPK. It's up to the DM to receive the party's intentions or style and react accordingly.

laughing through a mouthful of blood

Reynard’s Maleperduis is an ideal megadungeon: a fox’s castle-labyrinth in which he hides from the consequences of his actions;

Hunt Rolls in Trophy Gold – part perception roll, part random encounter roll

Either way, I use the Hunt roll to learn new details to put on the bones of the adventure as I know it. The bones don’t change but the details do.

Meaningful Choice In Combat

I have become curious about a couple of aspects of combat which I noticed are more important to me than I previously realised. In short, it boils down to the sorts of meaningful choices I get to make in a fight.

The Trouble With Drama Mechanics

A character needs to want something, anything at all, but then the game needs to give space to let those conflicts occur, even when they aren’t as clearly or easily resolved as a gunfight.

Dragons & Hoards

But with advanced gaming, we are engaging with the campaign world, living in it and experiencing the thing. The treasure of a dragon (for treasure they must have, it is part of what makes a dragon a dragon and part of the raison d'etre of adventurers braving their lairs) must make some sense.

Picture of the Week - 18th Century Diorama

With a link to Prussian Dioramas in the comments.


This is something I've always strived for with my own games, but I've started to feel a dissatisfaction when the rules feel completely absent.

It's a difficult balance to describe. I don't want the GM or players to have to think too much about the cogs and gears of the system, but I want those few mechanical parts to be a more solid presence on the game.

Crystal Sphere generating with classic Spelljammer

So together with the in-house testing team we diced up a crystal sphere and its contents, to see how much adventure we could squeeze from an hours work.

Salvage Union: a short playtest review

I appreciate this simplicity. It is actually something I am playing with at the moment in one of my projects. You don’t alter the roll according to circumstances; you take them into account when describing the results and consequences. No maths, no headache.

Improved Rules for Foraging and Hunting

The idea here is that in an average wilderness environment, parties will not have much trouble keeping themselves fed by hunting, but replenishing their supply of rations will either take a considerable amount of time or require splitting the hunters up into several smaller groups.

How to Bring Player Character Backstory Into Campaigns Without Overstepping

When a DM tinkers with backgrounds, player characters may stop feeling familiar and the players may lose a sense of owning their characters. I’m always hesitant to introduce important NPCs from PC backgrounds because I’m worried I won’t do the characters justice or portray the relationship the way the player envisioned it.

"The Playable One"

Most interesting of all, at least to me, is that the advertisement emphasizes the supposed playability of Star Frontiers over its competitors in the SF RPG market.

The Joy of Sub-Games; the Guiding Five Hundred Refugees System

Now and again, the opportunity comes up to develop a sub-game within the campaign proper. My favourite example of this was my Riding a Giant Tadpole Over a Waterfall into a Lake Full of Giant Pikes(tm) system that I developed for an old Ryuutama game.

History or Archaeology

Designers who are interested in games-as-they-are-written (or designed).
Designers who are interested in games-as-they-are-played.

Personally I fall very much into the second camp, but I suspect being able to describe yourself as one or the other is a good way to improve conversations.

The Last Reality Boom

I remember questioning this a little at the time. After all, once you accept that one reality can be simulated, how can you know that any future time in which you "wake up", you have entered the 'real' reality? If one can fool you another can, and even those agents and systems may themselves be fooled.

Railroading in space and time (and the "future timeline" method)

If you want your PCs to meet Owain Gwynedd before he ascends to the throne for some reason, but they decide to travel to Scotland instead, you just forced yourself to avoid railroading your players: they cannot meet Owain because he is fighting in Wales!

Portrait of a roleplayer: the Father

I'm an idea person. I have all kinds of ideas, a steady flow of them. There is this kind creativity that needs an outlet, and with Dungeons and Dragons and RPG in general you can do absolutely anything: the more amazing and bizarre the ideas, the better. That works very well for me and makes me feel at home, I feel like I don't have to fit in somebody else’s box

House Rule: The Good Life (& Bonus HP)

One of the things that make the Hobbit and LotR feel real to me is how important food and accommodation is. Camping in the rain kind of sucks. Catching and eating a rabbit - even at the risk of giving away your location - is an important morale boost. I want a bit of that vibe in my game, and hey I already have a table for determining whether the weather is poor.

Tolkien-Style Maps

"I could argue that using a Tolkien style for an OD&D related map is sheer heresy. But the result is so awesome and I'll just shut tf up ;p"

More Paper Minis

They're ugly as sin, but they're the kind of thing you could quite literally fold together on the spot, mid adventure, if you really needed to.

Into the Oddballs for 5e

So: You roll 3d6 three times and 1d6 for starting hit points (or 4d4 if you want the median to move up a little bit at the expense of headroom). You put those where you want them. The rest of your stats are 8. Yes, 8. These are 0-level dorkusses.

Gridmapper new release

A web app to draw maps, with a strong focus on keyboard use. Mostly useful for dungeons, castles, possibly spaces ships.