Monthly Archives: February, 2012

Links of the Week: February 27, 2012

Well, falling behind a bit again, but here are this week’s links.

I’m trying to straighten out my sleep schedule, so I can be properly rested (which leads to eating better and working out more and apparently way more patience with people).  Getting up to seven hours of sleep a night is costing me two to three hours of Cool Stuff every day, and something’s gotta give.  Priorities are: family, work, writing (I did some this week!  But it’s not ready to post), then reading.

Still, some good stuff this week.

Kickstarter Projects

Building An Elder God

We’ve got a small gaming group at work (three regulars, plus a couple of sometimers) that get together at lunch.  All sorts of games are played, some more regularly than others, but we’ll try just about anything that plays in under an hour.  We also seem to have an innate love of the tentacle.

I skipped Miskatonic School for Girls, but this looks like it’ll fit really well.

We are so playing this when I get my copy.

Your friends helped to do a little light research

On how to call up a gibbering horror from beyond

But now those jerks want to call up their own god

What’s a cultist to do?

Building an Elder God

A game of Lovecraftian construction

Build your god

Shotgun your rivals…

.. or banish sections with the Elder Sign

Heal your own beast with the Necronomicon

Be the first to complete your god

Fun for cultists aged 6 to 600

It’s almost 60% funded with almost four weeks to go, I’m pretty confident this one will pull through.

Heh, cool… I’ll get to build Elder Gods on my lunch break.


Links of the Week: February 20, 2012

For those interested in petty details and statistics, I’m now aggregating over 500 RSS feeds.  Of those, a handful aren’t RPG related but are related to my interests (a couple on cooking, a handful of art sites)… but it’s still more than 500 RPG sites.

This amounts to about 150-200 posts a day on average, or somewhat over a thousand posts a week (about 1500 during a busy week, such as when they announced D&D 5e).

I estimate it takes about an hour per day to triage this.  On a bad day this is also enough time to examine in detail any interesting pages I find… on a good day, it might take another hour or two.

It’s taken a little while to get to the point of this being convenient and reasonably efficient, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s going now.  I still need a better way to convert posts (and more, series of posts) to EPUB for my ebook reader.  Cut and paste into Word, load into calibre, then convert to EPUB… not a convenient process.

I’m rearranging things slightly in my presentation here.  I think the less-itemized presentation works better than the more-itemized presentation I was using originally, and I want to make the separation between major sections (Hall of Fame, Kickstarter, and Blog Posts) a little more clear.

Hall of Fame Additions

Age of Ravens: Known World Gazetteers

Lowell of Age of Ravens has been reviewing the GAZ series of gazetteers for the Known World/Mystara.

I always liked this series, especially how each one focused on a single region and how much the regions varied.

This is an ongoing series, so this page will be updated as new entries are available.

Between are the Doors: OSH Pantheon

Fictivite at Between are the Doors is one of the more frequently linked writers in my Links of the Week.

In this series he is presenting a pantheon for Old School Hack, working from five up to eighteen gods.

This is an ongoing series, so you can expect this Hall of Fame page will be updated when new entries come available.

Blog Posts

Division Nihil

Marshall is looking for ways to devise a magic system.  I’ve run into similar difficulties with regard to this and am interested in seeing how he solves them.  I’ll also be putting some more thought into the matter myself.

Echelon d20

This week I have had some time to actually do some writing of my own!  I’m thinking about how the paths of immortality might fit Echelon, and I have reconsidered the talent slot table to make talent selection more manageable.

Gnome Stew

Matthew gives another view of threat levels varying by region.  He inverts the model (find the danger hot spots and build down, rather than safe areas and build up).  It looks to me somewhat more likely how it really happens, but functionally I expect you end up with something close to the ‘normal’ way (from low-EL to high-EL areas as you move away from the safe places).

Points of Light

There is a poll at Wizards of the Coast regarding multiple attacks.  I find I agree with David’s discussion of multiple attacks — if it is possible to get multiple attacks through basic skill, they should not be penalized.  There’s no real call for it, and if your character build is one that depends on multiple attacks in order to stay relevant (as with D&D 3.x fighters) the bonus needs to stay high enough to be useful.  On top of that, as I said in my post “Falling off the RNG” attack target values should be recalibrated anyway.  Using good BAB as the baseline so ‘fighters are challenged’ leads to all sorts of problems.

Shatterworld: Behind the Scenes

It seems Niccodaemus is feeling a creative block and needs suggestions about things to write about.  I’ll have to think about this, I know there are things I’d like to see more of.

Ye Olde Blog

Ozreth forwarded Ed Greenwood’s response at Candlekeep Forum to a question regarding sexuality in the Forgotten Realms.

Zombie Toast

Orion suggests a different way of handling divination and prophecy in RPGs.  The idea has some practical difficulties, but they are possibly less than the GM trying to predict the future and the consequences of PC actions.

RPG Blog Carnival Coming Back to KJD-IMC

The RPG Blog Carnival is coming back.

Last time, the topic was Fantastic Places.  This time, it will be Memorable Monsters.

From my pitch:

Bring a stat block, tell us of an epic encounter, go meta (like a lot of people did last month, and I loved it) and explain what makes a monster memorable. Whatever, it’s all good.

It should be fun.  The last one was more work than I expected, but had a very good turnout — over 40 posts from over 20 blogs, and a number of insightful and thought-provoking posts.

RPG Blog Carnival Logo

RPG Blog Carnival

Links of the Week: February 15, 2012

Huzzah!  A couple of days late, but I’m all caught up (up to 4:00 pm February 14, at least).  Finally.

No Kickstarter projects this week (next week; I just want to get this wrapped up).

Added to the Hall of Fame this Week

(Well, since I only started the Hall of Fame this week, everything that’s there now!)

Some of these (Discworld, Damned Cities, Of the Gods) are works in progress.  They’ll show up in the ‘recently updated pages’ widget as and when I update their pages.


Introducing the Hall of Fame

I’ve gotten more serious in my blogging and have been posting my Links of the Week for about five months now, and I’ve noticed a few things.

  • The same blogs show up repeatedly with a series of related articles (such as JB’s current Land of Ice series, or Niccodaemus’ series on the gods, or satyre’s series on damned cities).
  • Tracking down a series of posts, or even specific standalone posts, is getting to be annoyingly difficult.  The Links of the Week are nice to have, but digging through them all looking for links by topic is more effort than I like.
  • I find that I refer to a number of posts (my own and others) fairly regularly, such as Justin Alexander’s D&D: Calibrating Expectations, and my own campaign setting design articles (especially regarding Entity Definitions).

In order to make things easier to find, I have started a Hall of Fame where I aggregate links by topic so they’ll be easier for me to find, and so I can group related links together better.

Longevity and Level Limits

If the rules endow demi-humans with extremely long life-spans without level limits it seems logical that powerful, high-level demi-human NPCs would come to dominate the game world.

I am not entirely certain this is true.

I mean, I know this is not true in my campaign because I said so… but if we run the numbers I think it will be easily demonstrated to not be terribly likely.


Links of the Week: February 7, 2012

Well, looks like I’m gaining — I’m only a week behind now.  It’s getting quicker, though.


Google to launch pilot program for Android-based HUD glasses… I honestly don’t have much to add to this.  I want to see how they work and how well they do their job, and if it all comes together and the price is reasonable, I expect I’ll want a pair.  Because.

Not ‘Because anything’, just… ‘Because’.

… and the sky full of dust

Butterflies & Death examines the idea of the souls of sentient creatures being represented with various smaller things (butterflies, small dark stones, maggots) that manifest as the physical body breaking down and disperse on death.  An interesting idea, but I think it’ll make raise dead somewhat more difficult than normal.


Link of Fame: How to write a free RPG

Rob Lang of the Free RPG Blog has presented a guide on how to write a free RPG, and since it looks like he’s now done (which is his cue to add an Epilogue, just watch) I thought I’d present a list of links to each section of the guide.

All in all I like how it’s presented.  I’ve copied the entire thing to a Word file (so I can convert it to an EPUB and load it onto my ebook reader and read it during my commute, when I have more time to absorb the material).

Link of Fame: Digital Art Zone FREE 3D Software Suite Announcement

I cannot explain how awesome I find this.

Until the end of the month, DAZ is offering three of their 3d modeling packages (DAZ Studio 4 Pro, Bryce 7, and Hexagon 2.5) for free download.

FREE 3D Software Suite

RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations — Roundup, Take 3

This is embarrassing.  I feel bad about missing Simon’s post, but downright stupid for overlooking two of my own.

Keith Davies — In My Campaign

  • Fantastic Location: Rime Tower, Part 2 — Perspiration makes some decisions about what direction to go with this location and nails down some details.
  • Fantastic Location: Rime Tower, Part 3 — Implementation has an actual entity definition for this location.  There are still quite a few details missing (such as specifics about the various other entities this one would be related to and the mechanical elements) but they are probably just as well left until use (the other entities, to make sure they fit when used) or not truly important yet (the mechanics).