Links of the Week: January 9, 2012

I think I might call this the Shatterworld Edition.  It seems Niccodaemus has most of the links this week.

RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations

I’m reading all the carnival posts I find — all I’ve read so far look really good, thanks for taking part! — and have decided to round them up separately in a weekly post on Thursdays.  Even though it excites me to see them, I’ll leave them out of my normal Links of the Week posts.

I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with the turnout so far.

Kickstarter Projects

I haven’t become aware of any really exciting (to me) projects this week.  At least, that I can afford; the 3d printer project looks really cool but I can’t justify the expense.

Monster Stand-Ins (Plastic Card Miniatures)


I’m still hawking this one.  It’s a little over a third of the way funded and there’s more than a month left, but I’d really like to see it succeed.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea


This one is funded and I just backed it myself.  It’s cool enough I thought I’d remind people of it before the project closes January 15 since there is a stretch goal.  Tim makes a more impressive case for giving Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers your cash at I’d Rather By Killing Monsters….

Continue reading“Links of the Week: January 9, 2012”

Fantastic Locations: Resources for the Lands of Chaos

In the last couple of days I’ve reviewed some books that have information that looks useful for developing fantastic locations.  Of those there are four that I look to most often. Revised System Reference Document The only thing I’ve found in the RSRD regarding chaos lands has to do with …

Fantastic Locations: Places of Power

A common trope of fantasy settings is that there are places of unusual power.  Whether they are ley lines (or better yet the confluence of ley lines), nodes of power, holy sites, or something else, there is something about them that makes them valuable and useful.  They are typically fairly …

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“So,” says I, “The plugin that broke my site last time has been updated.  Let’s give it a try, I know how to disable again after if they didn’t fix that niggly little thing.” Install plugin, check niggly little thing, deactivate after finding niggly little thing still isn’t right.  Forget …

Fantastic Locations: Sources of Fantastic Elements

A few days ago I described how I identify fantastic locations.  I have given an example of how I describe a fantastic location, in some detail, using a fairly standardized structure. I don’t think I’ve spoken much about how I define them, so I’ll take a run at it now.  …

Fantastic Locations: January 5, 2012 Roundup

Don’t mind me, just fixing the year in the date.  Not 2011 any more…

I anticipate a fair number of posts for this carnival, so rather than waiting until the end of the month for a roundup I think I’ll aim to do one every Thursday.  I’m having a lot of fun reading these posts, thank you to everyone who has written and made me aware of them.

Runeslinger is first out of the gate with a brief treatise (but medium-long blog post 8-) ) about how a place can be fantastic due to emotion and perception more than inherent properties of the place itself in Fantastic Locations & the Fantastic Things That Happen There.

He didn’t beat Dariel Quiogue by much, though, who provides a selection of Fantastic Locations in the Jangalan Isles.  The Hari Ragat setting fascinates me, and I understand there’s a FATE version coming — exciting news.

The Black Campbell has stepped up with an article on how to choose locations that can be described in an evocative way, and then provide your players with the tools to add the awesome needed to make the locations fantastic.

VBWyrde describes Weeleena’s Tea House, a place that reminds me somewhat of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories in its sheer alienness-as-human-convention.  I want to find out more about this place, but I think I almost don’t want to understand it, it might be better suited to remain something of a mystery.  I’m impressed.

Ravyn at Exchange of Realities has a couple posts so far.  The first is on Fantastic Location Essentials, identifying the things she expects from a fantastic location as opposed to just another place.  In Ravyn Freewrites: Location? Location! she talks about how things and places become wonderful, the events and circumstances behind the fantastic.

Fictivite tells us about the Gulldaw Amphibious Prison.  Brick and mortar prison?  A oubliette dug deep into the floor of a cavern?  Those are for normal prisoners, this is a place that rescuers probably would want to ask just how badly they want to rescue their friend… and I’m guessing it’s not a very popular guard assignment.  Another example of why ‘fantastic’ doesn’t need to mean ‘I want to go there’.

I’ve had a couple of posts on the matter myself.  In the first I ask What is a Fantastic Location? and describe what I look for to answer that question.  The second was to forward a link I found of the Weirdest Cities People Actually Live In.  Finally, so far, today I posted a description of the Ghost Hills, the site of one of the more unfortunate events in the history of this part of my campaign.

Fantastic Locations: The 6 Weirdest Cities People Actually Live In

I have to thank Fustians So Sublimely Bad for this one.  The linked Cracked article describes some of the stranger places people actually live.

In descending order:

  1. Neft Dashlari: A Russian oil rig that got out of hand
  2. Manshiyat Naser: Cairo’s garbage town
  3. Miyake-jima: A Japanese volcano town that is frequently covered in deadly sulfurous gas
  4. Yellow Fleet: A small fleet of abandoned ships in the Suez Canal
  5. Dwarf City: A Chinese city full of little people
  6. Kowloon Walled City: An anarchic city of 33,000 in 0.01 square miles that apparently actually worked for thirty years, until the Chinese government tore it down.

If you’re looking for inspiration for a cyberpunk or distopian future setting, I’d start my research here.  Wow.

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