Links of the Week: November 7, 2011

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.


Boneweire, Another Caervold street gang


… and a rather creepier than usual one at that.  They can be hard men to keep down.

Campaign Mastery

October Blog Carnival Wrap-up: A cavalcade of posts about goodies


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.

Dread Gazebo

You Got Your MTG In My D&D


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.

Evil Machinations

Beyond ‘Fred’: Names for Victorian Games


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.

Gothridge Manor

My Stack of Monsters


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

-C is at it some more, this time providing tables for magic armor.


Crowd Funding Games


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

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

The Notable Noble — Nicknames and Their Power


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.

Notable Nobles — Part the Second


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.

Mythopoeic Rambling

Light on Lolth from the Land of the Rising Sun


Theodric continues his examination of Lolth, this time heading over the Japan and the spider/woman/goddess influences in their mythology.

Badges of Faith: Wear with Pride


Theodric reviews Badges of Faith from Rite Publishing.  It looks like a product I’d be interested in getting my hands on.

Nevermet Press

The RPG Blog Carnival Archive


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

MapTool Macros

OnlineDM continues his series on MapTool macros.

Reality Refracted

Politics In Game


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.


RPG Mapping Tools Part 2 – Dungeon Maps


First were battlemaps, now Tony gets into dungeon maps (including some I’m not familiar with).

Sea of Stars RPG

Places in the Sea of Stars — The Court of Stone


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

NPC Motivations


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.

Worldbuilding Diary: Introduction


Dennis provides a broad overview, with tantalizing details, of his setting Adel.

Stargazer’s World

Putting fantastic back into Fantasy


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.

Sycarion Diversions

A Different Division of Rulebooks


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.

Triple Crit

Black Jewels


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.

Unofficial Games

Roll for Awesomeness!


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

Print Publishing In a Digital Age


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.


  1. Thanks for the link love. Now the trick is coming up with more topics for the series. I feel like I put so much passion into the introduction, I don’t know what else to say! Perhaps it can become a “behind the scenes” place for new article talk, I suppose.

    By the way, I’m getting a 404 on the RPG Blog Carnival links.

    • Good catch, I buggered the link on that one (lost the http://, so it got treated as a local link).

      The introduction does a good job of giving an overview the world you’re building. I could see a fair amount of it in what I’d read in other articles, but this overview put it into context and made it more clear and meaningful.

  2. Yay for more BJT fans in gaming! There’s a pretty decent PBP following, but as far as tabletop goes I worry I’d only have fans of games like Houses of the Blooded (which you should check out if you’re a fan of Anne Bishop or Jacqueline Carey). I’d appreciate any input you might have for the game once I get more material written. Oh, and thanks again for the link. XD

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