|Eow Links 98|
Eow Links 98
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 98.
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.
I have no favourite post this week.
A Manola-esque cut-down spell-list for Knave
I have taken Manola’s article, turned it into a checklist for filtering spell lists, and applied it to the Knave spell list. I’ve also made a few cuts and changes for idiosyncratic reasons that aren’t on the checklist. It’s my list, after all.
I Ran a Shadowdark RPG One-Shot
Spellcasters have to roll to cast a spell and as long as they succeed they continue to be able to cast that spell until they fail a check and it lost for the rest of the day. This also means that if a "Saving Throw" is required it is merely an Ability check by the targets.
Sometimes you wanna know the DC to fail at something.
Just pretend that you don’t know Play as if you didn’t know. You’ve spoiled a li’l corner of the game’s immersion and you’re gonna have to consciously strain to not act on what your character isn’t supposed to know.
Whipping out the dice every second comes at a cost to the tension of the game.
There’s a reason why the Stella Adler school of acting has you asking “what’s my motivation” — having this sort of clarity about a situation makes these sort of conversations immediately sharp and interesting
Blog!: Good God! What Is It Good For?
Rule Zero — write about what interests you and don't worry about anything else. Seriously. That is the simplest piece of advice I can give. The more you drill into what interests you, the more the blog will develop its own voice. I love reading people's idiosyncratic views on the game.
Warren Explains Why You Gotta Be Blogging
Anyone can start a blog and contribute to the wider RPG scene.
If you haven’t read OD&D you should, it’s really wild what they thought was enough for people to play a game. And really, they were right. People figured it out and made amazing things.
Analog role-playing game studies: a Brazilian overview by Tadeu Rodrigues Iuama and Luiz Falcão gives a short history of analog roleplaying in Brazil and some hints at the kinds of roleplaying research going on there.
Opens this gem of an article. Appears to have been written in 1996. Packs much history in a short read.
The Iron Coral – Actual Play Review – Into the Odd Remastered
Random character creation was great fun – we used the Oppendium in the back to generate random names, failed careers, capabilities, and manners. This added a ton of colour, with lots of laughing at the characters rolled up.
Cloning AD&D to Avoid Zero Days
So what I want to do is create something as close as I can get it to the original rules, and then add in commentary where appropriate to explain the hows and whys of the rules just as Gygax did in AD&D. In fact, I want to cover a couple of points I feel he missed that help explain why strict time, upkeep and training rules are a good idea, for example.
if you only run dungeons (or “adventure modules,” whether written by yourself or someone else), then the campaign you’re running hasn’t yet gotten out of second gear.
An adventure is: any situation presented to the players that provides some chance of reward while involving commensurate risk, but which may be refused.
Don’t Be Annoying During Social Encounters
The player’s objective was to be a spectacle and the center of attention to the exclusion of all other purposes.
Their “role-playing” had a selfish purpose. The player or players engaged in the conversation were completely focused on their own amusement. Nothing was achieved during the encounter other than a performance.
The referee may allow players to designate one relative of this character to inherit his possessions if for any reason the participant unexpected disappears, with or without "death" being positively established, for a period of one game month, let us say. At this time the relative would inherit the estate of the character, paying a 10% tax on all goods and monies. The relative must start at the lowest level of the class he opts for, but will have the advantage of the inheritance.
I’m looking for ways to run one-shot adventures that not only can you actually complete in one session, but in a short session with relatively unfocused players – because that’s how I’ve been playing lately. Ideally, I want these sessions to be well enough encapsulated to feel complete, and I want them to have interesting stakes, both fictionally and tactically.
Roll 2d6+ability mod+skill points, aim for 10 or more to succeed. Snake eyes always fail.
In the following system, you don't even have to say if they are rolling high or low or what number to roll. You can even roll your own meaningless DM dice behind the shield to so as to be extra mysterious. Click-clack!
Unlike previous zines Downtime in Zyan does not build on our knowledge of Immortal Zyan, it is a pure systems book - we get Zyan used as a frame to describe the systems but this is effectively setting agnostic and portable to whatever campaign you like.
If you and I were made to stray, then there was a cause. Something we had done or failed to do. And hidden within that action or inaction was a violation of some law or precept. Not a human law perhaps, but a law that the gods know. And our way out, if this is true, can only be found in identifying this felony and coming clean about it, if only to ourselves—and then serving our sentence, doing our time.
They told me I could run AD&D by the book and it would be good. I believed them, and they were right. They also told me it gets even better the longer the campaign goes, and I believe that, too. But man, if it isn't killer already. For me, this is the game I've been looking for my entire life. I already know it and we've just gotten started.
How Creativity Works, or 'The September Kingdom'
Creativity is the result, mostly, of happenstance. It's a maritime salvage operation. Your conscious mind is like a small boat, buffeted around on the waves that the broiling subconscious churns up.
People who've never read Dunsany, Haggard, Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson are copying the stories of the people those greats inspired, or the people who copied the people who copied the people...
But my framing of these adventures isn't very flattering, and with only their isolated descriptions, it might be difficult for you to draw your conclusions. To really make my point, it's necessary that we compare them to some sick adventures. So after each 5E adventure, I'll analyze another adventure that has some of that spicy "X factor" I feel is missing. Some are even fairly analogous!
Origin Story: How I Got Into The OSR
And after reading those books, I all of a sudden I had a version of D&D that I could keep in my head. I realized that unlike 2e, I didn't need to keep a bunch of chats and stats in my head. Instead, I could keep a few relevant numbers and relationships in my head. I had also found Matt Finch's manifesto about the old school scene. That too clicked with me.
It’s interesting to me because, apart from revisiting advice on setting up a campaign, I realise that the flavour of much of what I am looking for in my roleplaying is found in Rolemaster. I think the combat system of the game – or, more precisely, the way the combat round is organised – is perhaps a little too clunky for my tastes today but there are loads of elements I still love.
From there, I ran the Pendulum method and covered 205 years of history in the first sitting. I’m aiming to add one more event daily as part of my Tiny Prep until I get it finished.
The fantasy rules are a variation on the club’s ancient’s rules (which seems to get played most weeks as far as I can tell) and are pretty well understood by the regulars. This means there isn’t a nice document which explains how it all works, but a number of spreadsheets of reference material which I personally find rather hard to parse.
If you take the Rheingold and forge it into a suitable personal ornament, it will give you.....worldly power.
But you have to give up......Love.
And it is guarded by......Seductive beguiling maidens.
You can cast any spell you want. Or rather, produce any magical effect you wish, as there are no spells, nor any spell lists in this system. You do this by declaring what you wish to do to the Referee, who then selects a DC. Then roll 1d20+COG modifier (or your spellcasting modifier of choice). If you equal or exceed the DC, you successfully do what you tried to do.