Eow Links 86

Eow Links 86

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 86.

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 System as Shock, "A deeper, more intense flavour of surprise, where something is truly unexpected, often forcing an urgent or complex response."

Brancaleone, Brancalonia and Maze Rats

My personal experience with the movie began with a trip to the local VHS Rental Place (yeah, I’m getting old) and a very cheeky clerk saying: “If you liked Excalibur, you gonna love this”.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and all my gaming friends had seen it, and our games were adjusted for the dose of grittiness and low-fantasy that Brancaleone infused in our minds.

The Desire To Believe

In relation to roleplaying games, I do not suspend my disbelief in the slightest. I am waiting to engage in the active participation of the “dream” because, at heart, I want to believe in the World, the Game, and the emergent Narrative. Perhaps this simply means that I am not a poet and would rather engage in frivolous imaginary games.

Wish You Were Here?

Phil Brumby recently visited Whitby, and just happened to take his copy of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire with him. Judging by the photographs he posted on Facebook (which are reposted here with permission), it was typical English summer weather while he was there.

One D&D, Character Origins

Controversially they shifted some of the benefits around race and background. A character race still grants distinct special abilities but now the attribute bonuses are determined by the background the player chooses. For example, picking the Guard background will get you +2 strength and +1 wisdom in addition to a set of skill proficiencies, tool proficiencies, an additional language, and what they calling a 1st level Feat.

Play Emotions

The virtue of my campaign depends upon the emotional satisfaction of my players… A rush is what players crave. They demand action, entanglement and conflict.

Play Emotions, not Rules.

Deconstructing 2d6

One plus one is always two, and three plus four is always seven.

The Way Gary Intended…

Gary intended for you to play the game as he wrote it so you would buy TSR’s products, pay the entry fee to TSR’s tournament at Gencon, and bring more revenue into TSR’s bank account. He did that by creating a narrative that if you didn’t play with it like Gary told you to play it then you weren’t really playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons!

One D&D!

System as Shock

I've been surprised by other players at the table, and by revelations from the GM, but I've only ever been shocked by contributions from the System.

Here shock isn't innately a good or bad thing, but it's always impactful. A deeper, more intense flavour of surprise, where something is truly unexpected, often forcing an urgent or complex response.

Meet the Campaign: Anti-Boredom part 2

So what system is going to work best for your anti-boredom campaign? Well, the one that lets you do your favorite bits of GMing and supports you through the parts you don’t like. I personally find that games which keep me engaged have more mechanics and gamify more elements, but not everyone is going to agree.

Abandonment of D&D

I think you missed the point that Gary Gygax was making. I don't feel that he was denigrating anyone who plays D&D; rather, he was disparaging the inequities of the system that allowed such ludicrous things to happen.

Natural Right and Relativism in Vance, Wolfe and Lewis

The result is societies dominated by the moral codes of the victors of such struggles - and laws and customs tending to be harsh, capricious and without any capacity for self-critique. This describes most of Vance's cultures aptly.

This. Isn’t. Sparta.

Sparta was – if you will permit the comparison – an ancient North Korea. An over-militarized, paranoid state which was able only to protect its own systems of internal brutality and which added only oppression to the sum of the human experience.

HD > hp

Monster: OOOOOOO

The Bone Age

Players are stone age humans, struggling to survive on an strange world where alien races war for dominance...

Comparing TTRPG player surveys in US and Germany

Could it be that there are other systems (Das Schwarze Auge, etc) that dominate in Germany? Could it be that there is a thriving scene that just does not interact with English language surveys? Yes to both of those. And it certainly highlights the potential blind spots in our online communities for those beyond language barriers or just not participating in certain sites.

Combat Across Chainmail, OD&D, and Greyhawk

However, Men & Magic (D&D Vol. I) offered an "alternate" combat system in case the reader would prefer it over Chainmail—having a similar chassis, especially with respect to armor class (it seems that Arneson or Gygax took 2d6 scores, inverted them, and turned them into the armor class range of OD&D), but using the newfangled twenty-sided die. It resembles much more closely the combat system that would be typical of Dungeons & Dragons but (…) without much of the baggage developed since.

Sandbox Links

I really want to create a hexcrawl campaign but I’m very noob about it. Can you suggest me some resources to learn more about this style of mastering?

Tips to the New DM - Part 1, the Campaign

This highlights the second thing that can go horribly wrong at the table, an overreliance on dice or chance for outcomes for things that don't really matter. If you let dice overrule sensible choices and the agency of your players, everyone gets screwed by chance. Things that shouldn't really matter suddenly are all important. Don't let it happen to you, only roll for the things that need to be resolved by chance. Let the kiddos have agency.

Why I Like Combat

Combat is sometimes a little act of rebellion against the kinds of GMs who don’t leave you much to do in the rest of the world. I love to explore the world and poke my character’s nose into places they would probably be best off leaving alone, but experience tells me that you don’t always get the freedom to do that. Which is weird, given the medium.

Shopping, Listing, Picking and Gambling for Equipment

One of the most important aspects of old school gaming is stuff. When you start, you need to know what stuff your character has so that you might better leverage that stuff in the dungeon into getting more stuff.

Starting Equipment Packages in Older Games

One fun method of randomizing starting equipment, particularly in classless character creation, is simply to make cards representing individual bits of equipment. You don't need anything fancy. Just write the names of articles of equipment on blank index cards. Throw a few really special or precious items in there, like single-use magical gizmos.

Introduction to Publishing Contracts for Indie RPG Writers

Over the past months, I’ve talked with several people who’ve signed or were considering contracts from four (at least) notable small “publishers” in the indie RPG scene. (Why is “publishers” in quotes? By the end of this post, you’ll know.) And by traditional publishing standards, these contracts are bad.

All the Doors Round Here

A large stone disk, well balanced on a central axis, spins within a round cutout. Alcoves cut into the disk allow a person to move with the disk and transit between rooms.

DiME: Diceless rules, number-based

James writes beautiful OSR games. One of them is Diceless Dungeons, an old school fantasy game that does not only not use dice, but no other randomizers, at all. Based on those rules, I’d like to present to you the following, generic rules for diceless games.

interview with a grumpy wizard [YT]

Jeff Jones interviews Travis Miller.

The New Dungeons & Dragons Playtest

The most significant change to how Inspiration works is this: although it still has the “impress the DM” component, you can also gain it by rolling a natural 20 on a d20 Test.