Welcome to the BEST READS OF THE WEEK! This week we’ve got Aliens, Yoon Suin, a rejection of the classic Race theory of game design, and more! Oh, and in an effort to make it easier to see what articles are related to, topic wise, I have included hashtags at the end of each. Let me know if this makes it easier for you when picking what you want to read!
As always, if you like something you are reading be sure to let the author know when you visit their page! Nothing inspires people to keep being creative like knowing they are appreciated!
No podcast version this week as I’ve got a slight cold going on. It’ll be back next week though!
BEST READS OF THE WEEK! MAY 31 -JUNE 5, 2020!
Space Station Gallery by John M, from the blog War in a Box: This post is a pictorial view of a space station diorama that John M has been setting up for a future game. It’s a work in progress journey through the project that gets my mind to working on ways that I could help set up similar play areas for my home games. #wargaming
How I Use Yoon Suin by Ian Robot, from the blog textgolem: One of the things that I find exciting about table-top role-playing blogs is that for practically any game, or supplement, you can imagine is there will be someone out there exploring and taking ownership of it. This post from Ian does just that by describing their actual process in using Yoon Suin and shows their readers how to do the same. #YoonSuin #OSR
10 Sapient Aliens for Mothership by Dan, from the blog Throne of Salt: Mothership is a sci-fi horror RPG that is steadily becoming my favorite space themed game and these aliens from Dan are a solid addition to the game. There is just enough there to drop them in to the game and watch things spiral out of control from there. #Mothership
Death and Intelligence in Dungeons & Dragons by Tobold, from the blog Tobold’s Blog: D&D 5e is a bit lackluster when it comes to killing characters which can often make the game feel less dangerous. For Tobold’s purposes though the game tends to be about as deadly as they would like it . . . for the last little bit. Now though they’re starting to contemplate increasing the difficulty level and making the possibility of death a bit more real with the introduction of Intellect Devours. #DND5e #DesentIntoAvernus
Building the Sandbox: The Ruined Tower of Zenopus by Nathan P. Mahney, from the blog SAVE or DIE!: For a lot of older gamers the Tower of Zenopus has a special place in their hearts – and for a lot of years it was hard for them to know exactly where that place was located in their fictional game worlds. Since the release of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, though, Zenopus has been officially located within the World of Greyhawk. And that brings up some interesting questions about how it fits into the wider, fictional world. Nathan is trying to answer. #Greyhawk #TowerOfZenopus #GhostsOfSaltmarsh #Mystara #DND5e
The Titanic Adventure by DMWieg, from the blog Save Vs. Poison: Like many Game Masters out there I tend to be a bit sour on time travel in my games. There’s a lot of record keeping, too many instances where one mistake can screw up everything, and even the published adventures are often poorly done. However, the Titanic Adventure from GURPS Time Travel Adventures is actually fairly intriguing and DMWieg’s discussion of it has peaked my interest. #GURPS #TimeTravel
RPG WAR MASTERY #8: WAR AS SET-PIECE by Ranjr, from the blog Ranger Game Publishing: Running a war during a role-playing game can be a daunting task for DMs. This guide by Ranjr is a good place to start exploring the concept for your home games as they describe the issues involved, how to overcome them, and provide the reader with some helpful ideas for solving problems in their home games. While not everything they suggest will work for every reader; this guide will, nonetheless, help you get your mind thinking about the problems you’re going to encounter and how to overcome them. #RPG #War
Big Damn Heroes . . . Or, Playing with 1-2 Players by ravencrowking, from the blog Raven Crowking’s Nest: There are many challenges when it comes to running role-playing games, but perhaps none is greater than getting everyone you’d like to play with to show up at the table at the same time. So what do you do if you’ve only got one or two players who show up? Ravencrowking has an interesting hack to help get the gaming running. #OSR #GameHacks
Simulation and Exploration by neopraxis, from the blog Neopraxis: The terminology that we use when discussing our games can often get confusing as different social groups within the table-top role-playing game community use the same terms to convey vastly different meanings. In this article neopraxis attempts to define some of the base terminology. #GameTheory
Behind Custom Races by John Laviolette, from the blog The Nine and Thirty Kingdoms: One of the ongoing problems with role-playing games is our understanding of what we mean when we talk about “race” in the context of the games we’re playing. John wades into this discussion with a unique take on how he’s creating custom races for his home games. Well worth reading. #GameTheory #RaceInGaming
Hollow Worlds of the Really Wild West by Owen K.C. Stephens from the blog Owen K.C. Stephens: Owen has been working on his Really Wild West setting for a while now and this post expands the weirdness found there in a really cool way. I love the “hollow world” theory when it comes to my games and Owen has really gotten my creative juices flowing with this post. #ReallyWildWest #GameSetting
Who do you Seek? by Cacklecharm, from the blog The Manse: This is just a fantastic piece. Cacklecharm has created a series of 12 NPCs for your home games that help make the world a bit deeper, stranger, and more complex. Each NPC is described by what you need first, and then how they act second. It’s a really great way to describe them and one that I’m totally going to be using as it helps organize your mind into the use as opposed to the set piece in your games. Well done. #NPCs
Rediscovering my love for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: a review of second edition by Nicklongshanks, from the blog Ironlands: Second Edition gets a lot of grief online, but reading this discussion of some of its strengths and weaknesses might just get you to give it a second chance. #ADND2e
IFAQ: The Houses at War by Keith Baker, from the blog Keith Baker.com: If you’re into the Eberron setting then you need to check out this look at how the Houses interacted with the Last War from the mind that created the whole thing. Well worth looking into. #Eberron
You asked for random birds, I deliver by Mark Van Vlack, from the blog Diary of a Failed Game Designer: One of the things I experienced last year was having a druid player who kept contacting every bird he could find to discover more about the world. To say I struggled in bringing in different types of birds would be an understatement. Wish I had this chart then to help me out! #Tables #Birds
Come for the Role Playing, Stay for the Game by Adam Dickstein, from the blog Barking Alien: In this insightful post Adam discusses the phenomenon of “plot avoidance,” or when players actively refuse to advance the story of the session. He doesn’t have a solution, but his description of the problems reads true to my experience. If you have any suggestions on how to fix this I’m all ears. #GameTheory