Eow Links 91

Eow Links 91

"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 91.

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 a TTRPG blog, please consider joining the conversation.

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Why I like minimalism

I can add my own stuff with minimum hassle. This is why I do not use multiple saving throws, separate XP tracks, level limits, class limits, ability requirements, etc., in my games.

Theory review #78

The ethical generation of AI art by Levi Kornelsen looks at the effect on artists and on matters of attribution and copyright.

The Perilous Wilds

Even where you might use this with other systems, these thoughts on what moves to do are good guidance on where to focus attention. Quite a lot of 'how to run wilderness exploration' and even 'how to run a game' advice is salted in here amongst the mechanics.

RPG Linguistics

Each language satisfies a narrative function. (...)

Proceduralism On a Red World Alone

The current incarnation of On a Red World Alone has been an experiment with a novel procedure of play. The primary aim is to compress the traditional adventurer-to-conqueror campaign structure, so domain play can occur from the first session without ever displacing adventure play.


Metagaming in TTRPG is to make activities and practices about the gameplay, which doesn’t animate it until they’re introduced to the fiction. In other words: techniques, practices and habits signalled and applied to the table, but not yet facilitated to the gameplay. Creative, potential input, which didn’t change the fiction yet.

I’m Looking For My People, Not More People.

Every time someone new looks for a game on the Cleveland D&D Facebook group, Adventure League is recommended multiple times. More people in the hobby who think the typical campaign is a linear, railroady, interactive narrative masquerading as a game is a good thing?

On the "problem" with AI generated art

There is no way in hell that illustrators are going to go out of business as a result of AIs like Midjourney, or Dall-E, or Stable Diffusion. The systems simply aren’t capable of giving you what you ask for. If you think that’s “just around the corner”, you are showing your ignorance about how hard the computational problem of language comprehension is, and how incredibly important lived experience is to providing context even when you know the meaning of the individual words.

The Rest of All Possible Worlds: Appendix N (+1)

This is Appendix material, so I suppose it's Spoilers, in a vague sense. A peek behind the curtain. But, well, some of the references in (say) my post on Pavaisse were not subtle.


Mostly, though, Beyond is a relic from an earlier time in the history of Traveller, before the game had evolved to the point where one needed to know a large amount of background information scattered over multiple books to be able to understand its setting.

Just Because a Dungeon Numbers Every Room Doesn’t Mean Players Have To Explore Room-by-Room

If I had run Expedition to the Barrier Peaks when it reached me in 1980, the first session might have ended in frustration. Barrier Peaks includes lots of empty rooms. Of the 100 or so rooms on the first level, fewer than 20 contain anything of interest. I would have dutifully let the players poke through 80 rooms of “jumbled furniture and rotting goods,” gaining “only bits of rag or odd pieces of junk.” Two hours into that grind, my players would suddenly remember that their moms wanted them home.

Solitaire Storytelling: A Tale Before You Go

The Deck of Selves returns to provide someone the character meets and what they do, such as someone who reminds the character of a loved one and sings a song from the character’s childhood. The Deck of Truths offers them a choice, such as what they may offer to the person they’ve met, and dictates to what degree the choice will cost them. Finall, you draw a card from the Deck of Endings, which gives you the starting line of the story’s conclusion. “We tell this story on this holiday to remind us…”

One-on-One Play

What they need to do, then, is find creative ways to navigate around their deficiencies. This navigation is always an opportunity for character development that a player wouldn't get otherwise in the context of an adventuring party; left to their own devices, a player learns something about how their character approaches problems they would generally let someone else in their group handle instead.

[FR] Les briques narratives

A good improvisation has to be quick and interesting. One could also ask from it to be invisible (in other words, the audience cannot differentiate between prepared content and improvised content), but it's an obligation only if one is strongly looking for immersion or for robustness for the fictional world.

D&D's Obsession With Phallic Desire

Building upon this previous understanding, this article will argue that D&D can be read as an expression of masculine or phallic fantasy. Specifically, the structure and symbolism of the D&D game align with certain structures and values of patriarchy. The game is designed to last infinitely by shifting goalposts of character experience in terms of increasing amounts of gold pieces acquired; this resembles the modus operandi of phallic desire which seeks out object after object (most typically, women) in order to quench a lack which always reasserts itself.

The Productive Tension Between 'Phallic Desire' and 'Messy Soup'

At the same time, it would be evident to anybody who had ever spent time with human beings that when they really enjoy a particular pastime and spend a lot of time thinking about it, they come to be able to identity wafer-thin distinctions within it through excessive familiarity. This is not a feature of nerds who like D&D; it's a feature of people who like things.

Two cubes

Two six-sided dice, where one with three blank sides and three two-pip sides, and the other has three one-pip sides and three two-pip sides, have an equal distribution of 1 through 4.

House Rules for the Mythic Plateau

I also use Reaction Rolls and Morale Checks for monsters but these are hardly house rules, just gaps being backfilled from older editions. I like them as it makes encounters more than 'scream and charge' and fits well with this menagerie worlds Pratchett-esque attitude of 'people come in all shapes and sizes' and you never know from sight who might be friends or foes.

Fun and Challenges

I've lately started to think "funhouse dungeon" might be too glib a term for what we're talking about in most cases. The essential feature of dungeons of this sort is not that they're chaotic jumbles devoid of any rhyme or reason but that they include lots of deadly challenges intended to test the mettle and ingenuity of the characters who dare to enter them.

Pause for a Minute

The most important use of "pause for a minute" is to make sure players and the DM are ok with the content or situations going on in a game. It gives everyone a way to say "hang on, I'm not digging this" and stop it before it cascades into something worse.

One Handed Hex Map Stocking

Stocking an hex map with the help of randomly drawn MTG cards.

Gus L. Free Adventure Archive

I've created an Archive of all the free adventures I've written since 2012

Threat Assessment is an Important Part of the Game

They can gauge the power level of their part, the type and numbers of a group of monsters, and be able to judge easily whether to engage or try to avoid the encounter. Just like the artificialness of "dungeon levels" helps a party decide on their level of risk vs potential reward, knowing the monsters is information that experienced players (and by extension their characters) can use to make decisions. And decisions are the heart of game play.

Let Me Tell You About My Fantasy Heartbreaker

It was a good system, but it had a few bugs.

Between Two Cairns

I have a podcast! It’s called Between Two Cairns. It is co-hosted by Brad Kerr, creator of many popular OSR products. Each week we’ll be discussing a new RPG product (adventure, dungeon, etc), with an aim to shed some light on stuff we think is cool or deserving of attention (even if we don’t necessarily like it)! There are presently two episodes to download. Have a listen!