I postponed the last two Links of the Week posts because I have been busy working on another project and really have had time to do much blog post reading. When I go blog reading I do it in blocks of time measuring in hours. I have not had the time in large enough blocks recently to do that.
However, I have come to realize that Google+ is full of awesome stuff. The links below have been mostly (almost entirely, actually) drawn from links thrown to me by people in my circles over the last two or three weeks.
Because I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, the list of links is getting stupidly big. Not only do I have a lot of links, I want to say (or show) so much about them. I’m deviating even farther from my normal routine and posting this Thursday night, because if I wait until Monday it’ll just be worse.
There will probably be no Links of the Week on Monday, but I hope to have another announcement.
Hall of Fame
22 rules for storytelling, according to Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats.
When I design a scenario, I’m not trying to plot a story. However, the resolution of the scenario should result in a story.
Many of the rules here can be applied to good result. For instance.
#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
When designing a scenario I don’t necessarily know where it’s going to end. I try to weave my scenarios together to some extent, so sometimes my players just ‘pass through’ a scenario. However, there are elements of scenarios that can be considered important enough to be treated much as ‘endings’, and a really good thing about them is that if the party fails, that still resolves the scenario and they got to experience ‘the best part’. Make it big, and make it exciting.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
Well… I’ll note the first thing that comes to mind, but I don’t get attached to it because I’m reasonably certain something will come up soon that will be better.
#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
As above, not all apply directly as written, but even when they don’t you can decide to not follow them.
Added to the Hall of Fame under Writing Guidelines and Tools.
Creative Commons Licensed Cartography
I would like to thank Alex Schroeder for mentioning Paratime Design in a thread on Google+.
Alex’s link was to some Creative Commons Licensed Cartography. This page has links to galleries with dozens of maps in various styles and subjects.
I had never heard of them before, but I’ll be taking a closer look sometime soon.
Paratime Design Logo
Added to the Hall of Fame under Cartography and Maps.
Charles Ryan wrote a very approachable piece on the population and structure of the Medieval Kingdom, for some assumed value of ‘medieval kingdom’ that seems to be common among gamers. He describes population density, settlement density and distribution, and feudal structure.
Including mentioning that “feudal structure” is a bit of a mess and nowhere near as simple as many people seem to think. I remember talking about this with Joseph Browning at GenCon 2003 (Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe had just come out) and it was somewhat enlightening.
Did you know that it would be entirely possible for the King of England to be required to provide troops to fight himself?
See, if Henry has land (probably managed by a seneschal) in France while he rules in England, and France declares war on England, then when Louis sends out the call for troops it will bubble down until Henry’s seneschal gathers the men required by the feudal agreement and sends them to Louis, who puts them in a boat to England to try to defeat Henry.
Thus le baron Henri could be required to provide troops to fight King Henry of England. Who needs subtle machinations and cunning plans to confuse things?
There is more information on the subject available elsewhere for the morbidly curious, but this post is a straightforward and approachable treatment that will probably be sufficient for verisimilitude for most people.
Added to the Hall of Fame under Setting Design.