Links of the Week: May 14, 2012

Considering my last Links of the Week went up only five days ago, this one seems to have a fair bit in it.  I’m still lagging way behind on my blog reading (and my own writing again; it’s been busy) but I’m still seeing a lot of good stuff out there.

Didn’t get a lot of reading or writing done this weekend.  Spent Saturday going to the street market in town (those vegetables, especially the tomatoes!) and a few other errands.  Spent today on Mother’s Day stuff — we went to Victoria to hit the Times Colonist’s annual used book fair, then wandered around downtown for a while looking at a few other stores (including a FLGS) and getting some ice cream (or chilled chocolate-covered cheesecake, in her case), then visiting with my mom and then making pizzas for supper… all on the hottest day yet this year, 28 Celsius (82 Fahrenheit).

A good weekend, really.

Blog Posts

… and the sky full of dust

I’ve always liked books, and in RPGs I’ve always liked special books — Call of Cthulhu was a really cool thing to me, and I am reminded that I want to write a post on grimoires for the RPG Blog Carnival I’m hosting this month on Fantastic Creations… and I’ve got a few days off this week, so maybe it’ll happen about then.

Simon Forster presents a page on Random Books that I may make use of when I write that post.

Another Caffeinated Day

A brief article about Journeyman Wizards.  I took a different approach to the topic, but like mine this one lends itself to adventuring and a couple shifts in play style as the character advances through the ranks.

Atomic Dragon Battleship

Richard provides a high-level description of how you might implement a Champions D&D, an idea that I have toyed with several times over the last decade or so.  I like HERO System for its engineering, but don’t much care for the game play — D&D is more my style.  This is far from a complete treatment, but it does address a few important points.

By This Axe I Rule!

As readers of Tenkar’s Tavern know, he started an Adventurer Conqueror King campaign a couple weeks ago.  It might not be so well-known that I’m one of the players.  I play James Ironwall, son of one of the retainers of the folks that originally forced the goblins out and settled the area (who, while not being very strong on the book learning and having a few… challenges, seems to have some talent with tactical problems — probably too much time listening to his Pop and his friends talking about the Old Days).  As such, I’ve been taking an increased interest in Adventurer Conqueror King, and while I’ve got the core rule book I”m still waiting for the Player’s Companion.  I think it was avilable in PDF, but I want my hardcopy.

Anyway, CharlesDM wrote a Templar class that looks like something I may be interested in playing at some point.  We’ll see how far I get with James first, though.

Fantasy Paper Miniature Models

Eddnic starts May of the Dead with paper figures (not the kind you fold and put into a little stand-up thing, these are printed, cut, and expanded to fill space on the board normally) of a Devourer and a four-armed Skeletal Wardancer.  In May of the Dead’s second series he presents a skeletal Clown and a Skeletal Wolf.

Godsend: The City of Bones

Simon Forster, perhaps better known for his blog …and the sky full of dust, has started a new blog for his campaign, Godsend: The City of Bones.  He started talking about this campaign a few months ago, and as I recall I included links to some of the preliminary work in a Links of the Week post.

Lurking Rhythmically

Erin is considering actually publishing her Pellatarrum setting as something you can buy (download and/or Print on Demand)?  Sweet!  I see a lot of potential in this setting, and would love to see it presented in more detail and more completely.

Before she can do that, though, she has a few questions to ask to help her think about what she needs to do.

Servitor Ludi

J is for the Jolly Roger… d20 table of Freebooter-Themed Foibles, because who wants a regular, boring pirate?

Subterranean Design

Subterranean Design is in my Hall of Fame, and pictures like this are why.

Derweze, the Door to Hell
Derweze, the Door to Hell
Derweze, Door to Hell, wider view
Derweze, Door to Hell, wider view

Follow the link to see just what this is and how it came to be.

Tabletop Diversions

Danjou’s Hand presents a No-Budget No-frills Pencil and Paper d12 Dungeon Generator, “a very simple generator for use in solo dungeon crawls (with or without miniatures) when you don’t know or don’t want to know what the dungeon looks like ahead of time”.

I haven’t had time to examine it closely, but I know I’ve looked at and for several similar tools over time.  This one looks simpler than many, but that appeals to me.

The Closet Barbarian

Gene discusses Adventure Formats the OSR, starting with an examination of how adventure presentation and format have changed over the years, then proposing a format for OSR site-based adventures.

By and large I agree with the proposal. I think it quite suitable for OSR games since they are often played with rules sets that are similar but not exactly the same.

However, when I play D&D it’s not usually OSR (Erik’s Adventurer Conqueror Kind campaign aside), and while I like the ‘one page dungeon’ idea (in this case applied to sectional small-scale maps) I often favor facing pages for encounters, including any special notes or rules likely to come up during play.  I rather like the idea of Justin Alexander’s Sidebar Reference System [I really should add that to the Hall of Fame]; a brief reminder of uncommonly-applied rules that are likely to come up would be quite handy.

The Mule Abides

Tavis Allison — one of the co-creators of Adventurer Conqueror King — offers an untested idea about Memorizing Spells with Assistance that looks pretty interesting.  I have sometimes wondered what RPG wizards get out of having apprentices (weak, fragile subordinates whose protection and training probably costs more than their help gains), this might be some kind of explanation.


Dragonshire E-Z Lock Building Construction Set

Fat Dragon Games is bringing back their Dragonshire construction kit.

The E-Z LOCK terrain system allows you to create fully modular 28mm scale terrain layouts for your RPG or wargame. This set, DRAGONSHIRE, features rock and stucco/wood frame style walls for medieval villages. This kit give you everything you need to create your own building design in a downloadable PDF format, and once you have the set you can print and build as many pieces as you like and never run out or need to purchase more. Additionally, our layer options allow you to customize your buildings so each looks different.

I like Fat Dragon Games products, though I don’t often get to use products like this (most of my RPG play is online — originally IRC and MapTool, but we’ve been having a lot of success with Google+ and Tabletop Forge lately).  It’s nice to see this product come back.

Project closes June 8, and is 2900/500 funded.

Dungeon Crawler ECG Mines of Khurgan Expansion!

What, what?  Based in Kitchener, Canada?  Kickstarter allows projects outside the US, or in Canada at least?  Well now….


Anyway, Dungeon Crawler is an expandable card game (I imagine that’s a lot like a Collectible card game except you just buy more cards in sets — something like Dominion, though I expect they play much differently), and Gifted Vision want to get some funding for an expansion.  Makes sense to me.

A card-driven dungeon crawl game is something I’ve wanted to see for quite a while.  I’ll have to check out the original game, which I likely would not have heard of if not for this Kickstarter project.

This project closes July 1, and is 927/5000 funded when I looked.

The Book of the Empress

I decided not to back this one, but they made their goal on January 29 (15,600/10,000).  I wanted to mention it because this weekend they provided a breakdown on where the money went.

That is some good budgeting.  “So we covered all but $25 of expenses” is just about spot on, and they are still left with hundreds of copies of the book they can distribute and sell.  No profit yet, but assets are up.  Good work, guys.

Two Guys SpaceVenture – by the creators of Space Quest

I remember the Space Quest games from when I was in school (most of the Sierra games made their way around my school, from floppy disk to floppy disk…).  Well… I remember I liked playing them, I don’t remember much specific about the games themselves because I didn’t get to play them much – my PC at the time had nowhere near the capacity needed for them.

Ah well.  I remember I had fun, and the creators are back together to work on a new game.  They’re looking for somewhat more than the average Kickstarter ($500,000), but I suspect they’re going to make it, there is a lot of love out there for the old Sierra games.

Project closes Jun 12, and was 148,058/500,000 funded when last I looked.


Crayon Dragon

A touching little story.

I’m not really sure how to describe it beyond that.

Horizon: Richard Feynman – No Ordinary Genius (full version)

Richard Feynman’s birthday was this week.

I’ve always been impressed by Feynman, but I hadn’t seen this show before.  He was a remarkable thinker.

There is a bit of related information with links to a couple of videos at Happy Birthday, Richard Feynman: The Key to Science in 63 Seconds.

Karl Stefanovic loses it on air over his ‘LONG STABBY THING’

I rarely watch news programs.

But if I lived in Australia, maybe I would.

Noah Cover of “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO

Okay, that whole “don’t judge things by their appearance” thing?  Yeah, this is a good example.

I saw the picture presented in the link, thought “eh, I’ll take a look, see how he does, it might be amusing”.  The lead-in where he talks about it was about what I expected.

He then proceeded to blow me away.  That is not the voice I expected.

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