Links of the Week: December 26, 2011

Last one for this year, seventeenth time links post in this series (two meta-posts, one announcing the series, one looking for an RSS aggregator to make my life easier — I expect to have more on this in a week or two).

I just realized and remembered, I’m hosting the RPG Blog Carnival next month, with a topic of ‘Fantastic Locations’… and ‘next month’ starts on Sunday.  I’d better get my act together.

Happily, I’ve got a few days off this week, I’ll get things tidied up a bit, blow the dust off some older articles and refresh them to current standards, and we can have ourselves a time.

I’m running a little late this week (about an hour and a half) because I was busy this weekend, but here is my round-up of last week’s links.  Many of the regulars, plus a couple of new blogs that are looking good so far.

Kickstarter Projects

Realm Coins

(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1095993227/realm-coins)

A nifty little project that looks to be well-funded: $11,611 of a $5,000 goal, so I expect this one will pass.  I think it unlikely that enough people will back out to cause it to fail.

I’ve been resisting this one because as cool as the idea is and how much I would like to have a slew of these coins (I would dearly love to dump a bucket of them in front of my players when they find a treasure), I actually can’t justify the purchase right now.

This campaign closes closes in January 15, 2012.

There is a similar product available at Campaign Coins  (http://www.campaigncoins.com/) that run about two or three times the cost per coin.  However, Campaign Coins has designs that are more fantastic, and more designs (more shapes and multiple denominations).

Boneyard

Infera-Origins and setting part one

(http://bonefather.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/infera-origins-and-setting-part-one/)

Apparently the Boneyard isn’t entirely about undead.  Infera appears to be a demonic-based campaign setting… where things don’t go horrifically wrong too often because specially-trained Sorcerers prevent it.  The authorities say so.

Emergence Campaign Weblog

Young Wizards goes Beta!

(http://ruscumag.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/young-wizards-beta/)

This post announces the beta release of Young Wizrds.  I haven’t had time to review the document or, frankly, pay much attention to the project.  I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far, though, and I’m happy to share news of a project milestone.

Congratulations.

Exchange of Realities

Reprise: 0 and 1, or The Problem with RPG Combat

(http://www.exchangeofrealities.com/2011/12/26/reprise-0-and-1-or-the-problem-with-rpg-combat/)

Ravyn wonders why we can’t all get along…

No, not really.  What Ravyn really talks about why we should play through RPG fights, and how to make them interesting.  One of the first suggestions to improve things is to make it important how the fight plays through and ends, rather than just ‘who won’.

Fame & Fortune

damned city: bacino

(http://satyrelite.blogspot.com/2011/12/damned-city-bacino.html)

No, this is not the joyous city of Italian bacon.

The Free RPG Blog

How to write a free RPG — Chapter 2: Research

(http://www.thefreerpgblog.com/2011/12/how-to-write-free-rpg-chapter-2.html)

After you decide what you want to design around and write about, you need to figure out exactly what it is you want to write, and gather the information needed to write about it.

Geek Native

Amazing landscapes carved into books

(http://www.geeknative.com/25015/amazing-landscapes-carved-into-books/)

There are a few reasons I think I could never do this.

  1. I hate damaging books.
  2. I don’t think I’ve got the patience to do this.
  3. I know I don’t have the technical skills to do it.
  4. I’m not entirely certain I’ve got the imagination needed to envision these scenes and how to design them.

I am very impressed.

Greyhawk Grognard

Dwarven Heraldry

(http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2011/12/dwarven-heraldry.html)

Dwarven heraldry is similary to, but not the same as, human heraldry… this makes sense.  Joseph does a good job devising and explaining the differences.

Hack & Slash

On Skills

On Why Realism and “Making Sense” are Terrible

(http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-why-realism-and-making-sense-are.html)

I have to agree quite a bit with -C here.  I’ve found that the quest for ‘realism’ tends to get bogged down in petty detail that either gets derailed by a bad model or ends up with results fairly similar to the coarser models already in place.

Overall, I find that internal consistency and reasonable predictability (“he’s bigger, stronger, better trained, better armed… yeah, I should expect he’ll win”), with easy play, is easily worth more than extraneous and redundant detail that slows things down.

I’d Rather Be Killing Monsters

Have a Super Christmas!!!

(http://www.heropress.net/2011/12/have-super-christmas.html)

Wow does Michelle Osorio have a pretty voice.  And a geek sense of humor, great stuff.

Lair of the Stone Kobold

(http://stonekobold.blogspot.com/)

A new blog and one I don’t have time to examine in depth, but given that the first series is an analysis (of AD&D 2e weapon proficiencies, for what it’s worth) I suspect I’ll want to look it over in more detail.

Land of Nod

Hell South Preview 9 — Oedipal Shrines and Anesthetic Jellies

(http://matt-landofnod.blogspot.com/2011/12/hell-south-preview-9-oedipal-shrines.html)

Another view into Matt’s Hell hexcrawl.

The Queens of Elemental Earth

(http://matt-landofnod.blogspot.com/2011/12/queens-of-elemental-earth.html)

Matt describes five sisters, sometimes worshiped as goddesses (probably in part because they appear to be made of stone and have magical powers).

Nevermet Press

Krampus

I don’t know what it is about Krampus that he became so popular this year (because he’s the anti-Santa, maybe?), and I’ve been so busy this month I wasn’t able to even read this carnival.

Pelgrane Press

Night’s Black Agents Competition

(http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=7023)

I’ll be honest, I’m not particularly interested in the contest.

However, I am very interested indeed in the ‘Conspyramid’, a mapping tool (on paper, not software) for ‘designing conspiracies’.  It looks like could be used for campaign planning with very little change.

Role-Player Hater

A relatively new blog (first post was two weeks ago), but it shows promise.  There are some flavorful campaign elements that could be easily incorporated into other settings.

Religions in Gaming, or Why I Hate D&D Gods

(http://roleplayerhater.blogspot.com/2011/12/religions-in-gaming-or-why-i-hate-d.html)

Three ways gods in D&D can be changed that might totally change the tone of a setting.

Story Fishhooks: The Everfog

(http://roleplayerhater.blogspot.com/2011/12/story-fishhooks-everfog.html)

A creepy idea for a campaign element, and it interests me enough I would be prepared to consider it a facet of a fantastic location.

Cthulhu Cthursday: The Ipod of Erich Zann

(http://roleplayerhater.blogspot.com/2011/12/cthulhu-cthursday-ipod-of-erich-zann.html)

This is a pretty cool Cthulhu modern dev…

Oh shiny!  The dictionary used by TinyMCE recognizes the word ‘Cthulhu’!

*cough* This is a pretty cool Cthulhu modern device, useful to investigators but, like most such, probably not something you want to spend too much time with.

Though it might explain the popularity of certain consumer electronics.

Roleplaying Tips

Hierarchy of Evil

(http://www.roleplayingtips.com/gm-techniques/hierarchy-of-evil/)

Malcolm describes an 11-step process for devising a campaign around a hierarchy of evil.

… and the sky full of dust

Maps & Insets

(http://www.theskyfullofdust.co.uk/?p=1653)

I think it unlikely I would go to the trouble to do this myself, but done well, this technique can provide useful information and attract people to the map.

This was prompted by a post at Telecanter’s Receding Rules (see post link below).

Stuffer Shack

Designing Fantasy Cities: Purpose

(http://stuffershack.com/designing-fantasy-cities-purpose/)

An important question to answer when designing a city: why is it here?

Designing Fantasy Cities: Size, Part 1

(http://stuffershack.com/designing-fantasy-cities-size-part-1/)

Some things to consider about how settlement population size affects the nature of the settlement.

Designing Fantasy Cities: Size, Part 2

(http://stuffershack.com/designing-fantasy-cities-size-part-2/)

The other side of ‘city size’, geography and how much space the city takes up, and what it means.

Designing Fantasy Cities: Residents

(http://stuffershack.com/designing-fantasy-cities-residents/)

Another important consideration when designing a city: how the people living there will affect the nature and style of the city.

Sycarion Diversions

Paper Pills — A Different Kind of Red Box

(http://www.sycarion.com/paper-pills-a-different-kind-of-red-box/)

John has some ideas about what would make a good starter set of information for players and GMs, including internal packaging.  I like where this looks like it’s going.

Telecanter’s Receding Rules

Map Insets

(http://recedingrules.blogspot.com/2011/12/map-insets.html)

Telecanter describes a way that may make maps more interesting to players by providing spot detail that must be elided in higher-level maps.

The Time of Troubles

(http://dndnights.blogspot.com/)

I don’t think I’ve read this blog before, but a quick look at a few articles and the titles of others in the archive suggest I want to spend some time here.

4 Comments to "Links of the Week: December 26, 2011"

  1. December 30, 2011 - 2:40 am | Permalink

    Thank you for mentioning I’d Rather Be Killing Monsters… in such illustrious company :)

  2. January 1, 2012 - 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the mention dude! Glad to see someone likes my stuff.

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