Not so prodigious a list this week, but still a lot of blog posts to read, and where I want them, format for inclusion.
With any luck next weekend I’ll have time to review WordPress themes for one that comes closer to what I want (and is easier to hack on than this one, if it isn’t quite what I want). Things may look a bit different come next Monday (or Tuesday). Once I get that down, and I can free up my after-work schedule somewhat (also hopefully soon), I should even be able to start writing my own material again. Echelon‘s not going to write itself.
That said, I’m finding a lot of really good material out here, so the time spent reading isn’t a problem, it’s valuable research.
… and a rather creepier than usual one at that. They can be hard men to keep down.
Mike provides a summary and links to the articles from blogs taking part in this carnival. Some of these posts have already turned up in my Links of the Week… and I see here a number of blogs I haven’t read.
Nope, nope, finishing what I’m doing here, first.
Talking about how Magic: The Gathering was a useful resource for his campaign.
Looks reasonable to me; it’s always disappointed me that Wizards of the Coast never released a Dominia setting. I can understand why, but it still disappoints me a little.
One of a series of posts regarding names appropriate to various times and places in the real world, and useful for establishing reasonable-sounding names in roleplaying games.
Tim posted a picture of (almost) all his monster books.
This looks like a fun game. I’ll have to get all mine together… I’m guessing that even with duplicates removed it’ll make an impressive stack. Or two, for stability reasons.
Hack & Slash
On the Magic Armor
- On The Magic Armor: A Table Part I (http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2011/10/on-magic-armor-table-part-i.html) covers mundane (if unusual) appearance.
- On The Magic Armor: A Table Part II (http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2011/10/on-magic-armor-table-part-ii.html) covers additional sensory aspects.
-C is at it some more, this time providing tables for magic armor.
Chase talks about crowd funding games, where supporters pledge (with credit card number) to support a product. Funding gets released to the producer only after the funding target is met (and there are cases that the funding target is met several times over), so risk is limited all around.
I really like this idea. I’m supporting several projects this way and plan to continue. So far I have pledged to support
- Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places from Troll in the Corner.
- Castles & Crusades Classic Monsters Monster Manual from Troll Lord Games.
- Adventurer Conqueror King from Autarch (technically I missed this one at Kickstarter, but I ponied up and Autarch added me to the beta group).
- Legends & Labyrinths by Justin Alexander
There are a few more I’m considering, including the Miskatonic School for Girls Deck Building Game. If play time is under an hour, it’ll probably be a go, it’ll fit nicely into our lunch break at work.
Land of Nod
Matt provides some guidelines for describing the nobility of a more or less feudal kingdom. I like how he’s got the nobility farthest from the throne (geographically) generally being the highest level and those closest being lower level. I’ve always figured this makes sense for D&D-style worlds because these are the people more often involved in military endeavors and fighting on a regular basis. I can easily imagine nobles from closer to the capital sending their sons to the border courts for ‘seasoning’ (and hopefully gaining some military honors before returning home… and to see how much ‘better’ they have it at home than in the ‘outland courts’… or maybe get that idiot son killed off heroically… or the not-so-idiot son that threatens his father’s position in court killed off heroically…).
As with A. L.’s post below, this could be a multiple-win decision for a politicking noble.
Also, and this is the origin of the post title, he includes a table of nicknames and related effects that might be used when describing the various nobles.
Matt continues his exploration of the nobility, including a few specific examples derived using the material from the previous article, and provides another table of ideas for fleshing out the nobles.
He also points out that the Borderer stats from the previous article make sense for the founding kings and architects of empire, the guys who carve out their own kingdoms for their thrones — not all kings are insipid and weak-willed compared to those who protect their borders.
Theodric continues his examination of Lolth, this time heading over the Japan and the spider/woman/goddess influences in their mythology.
Theodric reviews Badges of Faith from Rite Publishing. It looks like a product I’d be interested in getting my hands on.
Oh wow. I just followed a link from Campaign Mastery, above, and found that the carnival has been roaming around for about three years now, covering different topics each month.
I think I might sign up to host one, this looks like fun.
After I get my links of the week process streamlined.
Online Dungeon Master
OnlineDM continues his series on MapTool macros.
- Condition Tracking for D&D4e (http://onlinedm.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/maptool-macros-condition-tracking-for-dd4e/).
- MapTool states: Tons of useful D&D 4e conditions (http://onlinedm.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/maptool-states-tons-of-useful-dd-4e-conditions/)
A. L. explores things to consider when running or playing in politics-based scenes.
I think he’s right about why many people don’t like such scenarios — they sound a lot like a place I used to work.
First were battlemaps, now Tony gets into dungeon maps (including some I’m not familiar with).
Sea of Stars RPG
One thing that seems lacking in many campaigns is wonder. The fantastic and inexplicable.
I really like this idea, a court of golems, crafted by a dragon, because the dragon had an obsession and the ability.
This is the sort of thing that makes me want to learn more about a setting.
… and the sky full of dust
Simon expands NPC reaction tables to explain why they feel that way.
Spirits of Eden
Hey, cool, I’m in Dennis’ blogroll. And it appears ‘blogroll’ is in this editor’s dictionary.
Dennis provides a broad overview, with tantalizing details, of his setting Adel.
Just as it says in the title, Stargazer describes ways to make fantasy roleplay fantastic again, something I have a great interest in. Things have gotten too predictable and balanced and structured around here in the last few years.
John writes a brief responses to Greywulf’s suggestion that D&D follow a model more like Warhammer 40k. I’m responding to John’s post rather than Greywulf’s because John focuses on the bit I want to talk about, the division of material between books.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the idea altogether, to be honest. Having a simple core rule book does make sense, and expansions for various topics, but individual codices for each race or class or concept? Not as expansion material (such as the Legend of the Five Rings “Way of…” series), but needed to play with that race or class (or whatever division) doesn’t set right with me.
I admit, if someone were only interested in one topic (dwarves, or paladins, or whatever) I could see why that person might not want the extra fluff. Maybe it’s because I’m more a GM and designer, but if I have to have something that looks like a splatbook I want it to be big enough to be worth the trouble of looking at. I honestly liked how Wizards of the Coast did their “Complete” series (Complete Arcane, etc.; not the TSR Complete * Handbook series so much).
I need to think about this some more. In some ways it makes things easier, in some it makes them harder, and I’m not sure it is an improvement in content quality.
Lindevi is working on “a Black Jewels Trilogy hack for Lady Blackbird”. Brief research indicates that Lady Blackbird is a free RPG I’d never heard of… but if there’s a setting hack for Black Jewels I’ll certainly take a look. The books were a great read, I’m prepared to take a look at another RPG (oh no, my rubber arm! Stop twisting it!) to watch how they fit together.
Awesomeness is a wholly-desired measure in Echelon, and I love to see players make tactically unsound decisions because they’re cooler and make for a more fun story. If the mechanics reward good story over good decisions, I’m willing to think about it.
A Walk in the Dark
David compares two print on demand offerings, one from Drive Thru RPG and the other Lulu, on cost, product, and quality of results. Since I hope at some point to have Echelon in print, this is of some interest to me.