Links of the Week: January 2, 2012

I’m trying a different way of laying out the links.  Instead of just itemizing them as I have been, I’ll try to fold them into something that provides a little more context.  I think this looks nicer, but I’m not yet convinced it is easier to use.  I’ll try it for a few weeks and see how it goes.  Let me know what you think.

I’ve temporarily removed the blog links to the right.  They were horribly out of date.  I aim to replace them with something better soon.

Kickstarter Projects

Monster Stand-Ins (Plastic Card Miniatures)

I mentioned this project in my Links of the Week for December 12, and I’d like to encourage people to sign up and back this project.  Joe does good work and delivers, and this looks like a useful product.  I’ve signed up for a couple sets myself.

… and the sky full of dust.

First theskyfullofdust asks how you design a workable character class, then Quibish conveniently provides a link to a system he’s built for customizing classes for B/X.

Then theskyfullofdust uses it to build the core classes for the Sorcerer of the Subtle Arts, for Men of the City: fighters and specialists, and for Clerics of the Church.

This was followed with a set of variant classes for sorcerers, specialists, and fighters, and Variant Classes: Clerics of the City.

He’s been busy this week.

Alex Schroeder: RPG

Alex provides lists of highlights of his year 2011 of gaming and of recommended reading of his blog posts, and looking over the topics I know I’ll want to look more deeply into them.

Dragon Age Oracle

Glimm is still at it, describing spell schools and a sorceress background that should help make Dragon Age’s magic system better-suit the Diablo setting.

Elf Steaks & Halfling Bacon

BeefGriller pondersa brilliant idea — Samurai Jack as an RPG Setting.  As someone who enjoyed the series and was very saddened when it came to an end, I think this is something that really should happen, for all the reasons given in this post.  Of the game systems he suggests would work, I think FATE would be the best fit, but I’d be interested in seeing a Savage Worlds treatment of it.

Gaming Tonic

There are several ways of tracking and applying character growth, in an effort to answer the question “Are You Experienced?“, and three options are explored here.

The question is asked, “Why Can’t We Play High Level?“, and I think it’s a good question to ask.  There are several reasons, I think, that seem to center on ‘the game breaks down’.  This post suggests inadequate system support.  I think there is also a mental disconnect between the players and the system.  The game changes nature a few times through the various levels, and it is in the range described here (levels 12-14) where things really start to get different.  It is around this time that the game moves from an easily imagined and understood model of something more or less realistic and into world-bending powers (for some characters, but not all).

Greywulf’s Lair

I have to admit that at first I was stunned by my ‘wow, that is dumb’ reaction to Greywulf’s free Points of Light campaign setting map, but after reading the article it actually makes a lot more sense.  It takes the normal Points of Light view and cranks it up, and I kind of like how it looks.

Hack & Slash

Continuing his skill deconstruction series, -C decides the Heal skill probably isn’t worth keeping, and I can’t said I disagree.  His evaluation of the Handle Animal skill is a little more ambivalent.  To be honest I’d probably get rid of it, I don’t think it has ever come up in play.

I’d Rather Be Killing Monsters…

Well now, the first season of The Game of Thrones, in six minutes.  Oh, and mentions a couple other highlights, but this is the one that has my attention.

C’mon George, finish writing the books so I can finish reading them.

Land of Nod

Matt wraps up his Hell South preview series.  The tenth entry in the series describes the Breezy Book and Sheva’s Chariot (and three other points of interest), while the final preview covers the Palace of Minos.

Lost Papers of Tsojcanth

I’m mildly surprised I missed this post from tsujcanth on quick unique spellcasters.  It feels fairly OSR-specific, but the link to the Dying Earth Spell Generator looks potentially useful, too, especially since you can prowl around and find the scripts used by the generator.

Nevermet Press

The Grumpy Celt provides an Introduction to the Ouroboros University, including the information that may be gained through various knowledge checks.  For context, he also provides some information regarding colleges and universities in the real world and how they fit into and are used in fiction

Reality Refracted

A. L. talks about the Importance of Normal.

Rolang’s Creeping Doom

Chris presents a Vornheim-inspired NPC Motivations Table that honestly took me a minute to figure out.  I’m still not certain if it’s just clever (and honestly, clever causes me more trouble than I like) or brilliant (which means I will probably like this a great deal).  I’ll need to study this a bit more and probably break out my PDF of Vornheim.

Role-Player Hater

E. M. Lamb is still reinventing the Mythos; the Elder God Nodens is relatively benign, for a bloodthirsty hunter-type.  The Great Old One Y’golonac isn’t nearly as pleasant.

From another post (containing basically just this video), he’s right.  This is a cool Lovecraftian short.

Yes, I would like to see where this goes.

Finally, another Story Fishhook: The City of Samakh.  I get the impression that this is a land where life is short and nasty.

Sarah Darkmagic

Sarah describes Heroica.  A fantasy LEGO game?  And there are multiple sets?  They must be interoperable, they must.  I need to take a look at this.  I wonder if I can get downtown this week….

Sea of Stars

seaofstarsrpg is right — technically, the Stone Golem Potion violates the rules.  It’s cool enough that I don’t care, though, and it certainly doesn’t look overpowered for the price.


Niccodaemus talks Of the Gods: Hydros of the Waters and builds an intriguing little religion around the dual-faced deity of the waters.  I love to see people who make the churches and religions in their campaigns more than a choice between sets of spells and special powers available to the faithful.

I’m a little surprised I didn’t include a link to his post Of the Gods: Pyros, God of Fire, a couple of weeks ago.  I think it was because I was planning to go over this site in more detail and pick it up then.

He later Answers Twenty Questions about his campaign setting, just as Jeff Rients might ask them.

Sycarion Diversions

John briefly considers Astral and Pranic Travel, a way of getting around without your body, and I have to think it could mesh well with my plans regarding Elemental Chakras.

He also has some More Thoughts About An Intro Box.  I like how this is shaping up, I think I’ll want to do something similar for Echelon d20… when I get that far.  The particular combination of starting material should allow people to get up to speed and playing quickly, without a large investment of time or effort.  Assuming, of course, that I write it correctly.  I started to write here about what I might do, but decided it made more sense to describe an Echelon Intro Box over at that site instead.


Symatt talks about having issues regarding books, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the same thing.  Maybe there’s a support group or something for people like us.

The Free RPG Blog

Rob presents the third chapter in How to write a free RPG — Writing and style.  While I’m at it, I’ll also point out an article he a wrote a couple years ago on how to organize an RPG.

Tower of the Archmage

I don’t know that I agree with the Archmage that arcane casters are too squishy, but I’ve long wanted to have low-level wizards with the trappings of Phenomenal Cosmic Power.  In this post, the Archmage provides some links to other sites with rules specific to arcane casters that give them some extra mojo, or a reasonable facsimile.


  1. Regarding Heroica, the sets are interoperable. For a bigger challenge, the booklet suggests having the heroes attempt multiple dungeons in succession without a break or resetting health. The player with the most wins is the winner of the game. There’s even a picture with all of the sets connected together.

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