|Eow Links 81|
Eow Links 81
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 81.
My favourite for this week is the hero the land needs, "We are going to tell a story about the farmboy becoming the great hero and deciding the fate of the land"
I’ve discovered it is quite fun to grab a random clue and then imagine what it might be pointing towards. From here, having come up with a creative conclusion, I can work on two more clues which would support the hypothesis. Armed with three clues to an entertaining conclusion, I have found it’s an enjoyable pastime to then build an adventure around that idea.
A brief introduction to honkaku and shin honkaku mysteries by Tara Cheesman describes two Japanese genres of crime literature with elaborate closed room mysteries theoretically solvable by the reader.
This actually lends to a faster pace of game. A strong party can go down in the dungeon and kick butts. Maybe some extra-deadly dungeons like Stonehell and Barrowmaze are good options to even things out.
Basically, most spells or class abilities have the format of a title, a sentence or two of fluff/flavor, then a mechanical description. But how often does the first sentence not really match the mechanics?!?
The problem in a nutshell is that anything available to these armies prior to the advent of the railroad that can carry food, also eats food (except for boats, but rivers and coastlines may well not go where you want to go). We may call this problem the ‘tyranny of the wagon equation’ as a number of readers have noticed the similarity to the tyranny of the rocket equation.
Now if something is happening to the character instead of the other way around, we have another tool for this: the saving throw. Like an ability check, it's a great tool to improvise the success or failure of an external force affecting a character.
The idea here, at least as I understand it, is that a 'line' precludes a particular thing from cropping up during play entirely, whereas a 'veil' is something that can happen, but only ever, as it were, 'off-screen'.
Tellability is not about whether the story is good or bad. It is about whether the storyteller can literally sit down and (almost unconsciously) work out how to tell it at all. In whatever medium — screen/stage, comicbook, live oral performance, or prose. Skill is usually medium-specific, but tellability is a property of the story idea. If a story idea lacks tellability, the story won’t get told.
The depth of research into Central Asian histories, cultures, and mythologies is evident here, however. There are several posts on spirits and shamanism (and a shaman class!), all written with a cautious awareness that they are engaging with a still-living continuum of peoples and religious traditions.
Not all loops are procedures! Some loops are subtle, work in the background of play, and use other mechanism as a driving force (like the token economy in Belonging Outside Belonging games). However, I think that by zooming out to game loops, we can gain a better grasp on procedures.
Envision the fictional world as a tree. Going from foundational roots to the branches: worldbuilding / locations / vignettes / clues
Salt Mages, though, spend their lives mastering the ten forms defined by the accepted two-color and three-color combinations of the five salts. Each two-color combination fuels a different category of magical spells while the three-color combinations unlock special magical abilities.
If the measure of the quality of the supplement is the fizz of inspiration it generates, then this is top quality. It hits a nice balance between the crunchy mechanics of how to do strongholds and followers for yours party but also heavily salted with inspiring background and the implications of both players and NPCs having access to these powers.
This is kind of a big project I've set up for myself, going through all the core AD&D 1e spells and doing my own conversions to OD&D/BECMI standards.
The encounter is meaningless if it matters neither how the player-characters interact with it nor whether they interact with it at all. This goes to a fairly deep-seated mantra of the OSR that games should be impactful.
GDW created one new title every 22 days for 22 years. Of course we closed down after 22 years because we were all burnt out - it was like being on a treadmill. It was a wonderful experience, we had a good time and we did innovative things. I’m proud of that that time.
A significant problem with intuitation is that much of the processing of information is happening subconsciously and intuitators are often incapable of explaining their reasoning behind their conclusions or even understanding them themselves. Intuitation is rarely able to provide proof for any insights an intuitator might have, but it is still extremely valuable in directing investigations or to provide warnings for possible attacks or traps.
One of the things that always tripped me up moving from Holmes Basic to Moldvay Basic and then to AD&D was movement rates. Let's go back to my universal stat block breakdown and look at the movement rates for the Orc.
Mork Borg is an RPG about what you do in the face on an inevitable apocalypse. ARC: Doom Tabletop RPG (2021), by momatoes, asks a similar question, but against a less absolute backdrop. There is a thimble of hope here for those willing to risk everything.
The hero characters begins as a tabula rasa. They make all rolls at +2 (their proficiency bonus) and have six hit points. They are technically speaking first level. (...)
The game starts by the hero player describing their character’s ordinary life circumstances. They have to be boring; a farmhand, (...) a smith’s apprentice, something of the kind. The character does not get a background, but the player can choose two skills, and a couple of tool proficiencies; if their narration includes some, they can take them now, or they can take them later as flashbacks. They do have to be ordinary stuff.
As the game progresses, the hero player can choose a character class, assign their attributes, select the rest of their skills, and so on, typically accompanied by a flashback if the element is new to the character as we know it
While I've been slogging away criticizing and houseruling old games, T.W. has been busy working on his indie game, Dimm City. Part TRPG, part art project, part interactive mind-bending story nexus. He describes it as "Cyber / Solarpunk."
Nothing is older than yesterday's blog ... or so they say. After 10 years of exploring "all things D&D and role-playing" on The Disoriented Ranger blog, most of it during the Golden Age of the so-called OSR (and some of it in the Silver Age, I presume), it is time to look back and see what I deem worthy of conserving.
People—not everyone, not all the time, but some of the time—will start to think it’s all made up as you go and lose some of the buy-in, the sense of stake and consequences.
Thank you for including my Salt Mage post in your links. I am happy that it made the cut for this week.
Thanks a lot for sharing your work!