There were some remarkably good posts in my reading this week.
Hall of Fame Additions
Matt of the Land of Nod described half a dozen ‘shades’, variations on the colors of the chromatic dragons.
He also describes what happens when dragons of different colors fall in love (or at least mate, regardless of how they feel about each other).
Science & Technology
MIT Pirate Certificate
I don’t have a section for simple “this is so cool”, so this’ll have to do.
Apparently at MIT you can now be official certified as a pirate (part of the PE program — Archery, Fencing, Pistol, and Sailing).
I have no words for how this makes me smile.
This is perhaps the best category to file this under… enter your surname (optional) and address (required) and watch a video of chaos your town.
It didn’t get it quite perfect for me, I live in a fairly rural area and they estimated the location of my house. Shame about the neighbors….
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.
When I say ‘end of the month’, I mean the end of March!
Yes, they’ve extended the free offer so it runs until March 31. So if you (still) haven’t jumped on this deal you still have a few weeks to do so.
Between are the Doors
It looks like Fictivite’s skipping ahead and not presenting each of his new pantheon members in individual posts, but Portable Pantheon 2012 has been released as a PDF and is available for download.
Johnn Four describes a Plot Stat Block for summarizing a scenario. I’m going to want to review this to see how it fits in with my setting and scenario design materials (I tend to think more about the setting and let scenarios happen), but it looks like it’ll be a useful addition.
Ruth is a big lover of all things Cthulhu. She has gone to the trouble of compiling the complete works of H. P. Lovecraft, and has gracious enough to make the entire thing available for download in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats.
Fred Hicks describes the action order system used in the new Marvel RPG. It is a significant departure from anything I have seen before, and it looks like it is a wonderful fit the genre it is modeling. I’m not going to try to describe it here, I don’t think I can do it justice, but… I think I may do as he says and steal it. Or at least, consider how it might fit Echelon, because I think it probably could do so, rather well.
Dragon Age Oracle
Daniel found (and provided links to) the Esoterica of Thedas Volumes 1, 2, and 3. Dragon Age really deserves some more of my time; I took a quick look through a couple of these and they look sharp.
We get to read about Halfling Holidays in Pellatarrum. I think they say a fair bit about halflings, really.
Old School RPG Planet
Alex Schroeder has set up an OSR blog aggregator that collects posts from almost as many sites as I do in my local aggregator… and I see a huge number of sites that I don’t currently have. I suspect I’ve got some work to do.
I’ve considered setting up a public aggregator like this. If I’m going to the trouble of maintaining one, I’d just as soon share the benefit of my effort. I’d likely index the posts (I find it hugely useful in my local aggregator), though I wouldn’t expect to display nearly as much of each post as Alex is. Another project for another day.
Clearly, I have too many easy-access dungeons.
Subterranean Design is one of my go-to sites for visual inspiration and ideas for adventure sites. This is a picture of Stephen’s Gap in Alabama. Most of my dungeons have historically been relatively easy to get into, but really, why should that be? This looks too cool to not use.
Swords & Stitchery
I’m going to hold onto The Flesh Markets of Kavaguthiarob for sometime when I need a creepy perversion-of-flesh kind of location (or perversions of flesh that evidently visited).
John’s got a Few Links to Keep Around, and they look to me like they like could be handy.
The Artifact RPG
Loc discusses Using the Kano Model for GMs as an analysis technique to determine how much effort should be spent on various game elements. I’ll want to consider this a bit, but I think it’ll end up in my GM toolkit.
The Book of Worlds
Harald describes an alternate magic system for D&D 3.x inspired by Ars Magica. I would need to think about it some more before I’d consider using it (it’s not yet playtested, and my first impression is that it’s more complex than perhaps it needs to be… but I haven’t spent much time thinking about it). However, it looks like it may be a good start to a skill-based casting system, which is something that interests me greatly.
The Retired Adventurer
John describes a colorful idea. People can usually remember songs and chants much more easily than text or lists, so in a land without maps, perhaps directions are given using songlines that describe lyrically how to get from one location to another.
Not the way they do in Dora the Explorer, which is just a list set to rhythm, but an actual song where the tempo, rhythm, and meter carry information about the route.
The Welsh Piper
Erin is working on the Minocra Campaign Map, using MapGen2 for random terrain and building on that. The links from this particular post took me to some pages on hexmapping that I’ll want to examine in greater detail.
In fact, there seems to be an entire set of articles here that interest me, conveniently linked in a ‘Read These First’ list.
- Hex-based Campaign Design (Part 1)
- Medieval Demographics Online
- Hex Templates
- Hex-based Campaign Design (Part 2)
- Arr-Kelaan Hexmapper
- May the Hex Be With You
- Greenfish Relief Map Generator
- FT Pro and Real-world Data
- Inkwell Ideas Hexographer
- Random Noble Houses
Brendan posted a list of 20 Quick Questions regarding Rules applied in a campaign. It took me a week and a half, but I finally got around to answering them for my upcoming West Marches-style sandbox campaign.
On the one hand, thinking about the answers to these questions has given me more questions to answer (more work!), on the other they did a good job of identifying things I want to expand on (make better! And easy ideas for new posts!), so all in all this was a good exercise.
Now, Jeff’s questions… I should look at those again, too. I know I’ve been meaning to review and possibly answer them.
Erik tells us of the Strange Secret of Echo Valley… and frankly, ‘strange’ barely touches on the weirdness here.
I am certain I played in this group. Though as I recall our ‘George’ was named Eric.