Mini Map Monday 9

9

 

There are a lot of spiral staircases in this map. It’s a great “switchhouse” for the PCs to get to different levels of the dungeon. But what will you do with those three rooms? Will manipulating something in one change the destination of the staircases? Or is there something more mundane, but no less curious, in them?

Weekly Roundup: Geeky Tea Blends Edition

We found the site Adagio, which offers a whole slew of geeky themed tea blends. I don’t care what your geeky love is, they have a blend for that. (for example, or also for example)

Of course, this past week had GM’s day. In case you didn’t know, the date is marked by the passing of Gary Gygax. The Charlie Tonic Hour had a remembrance of him this week.

Geek Smash talked about how to start your first RPG group.

Alphastream is converting the Saltmarsh modules to D&D Next. (Saltmarsh being a location in the Greyhawk setting.) Keep an eye on his WotC blog for a Living Dark Sun retrospective as well!

Fantastic Maps had a 4 step tutorial on designing a town or city.

If you’re looking for a chuckle, Monkey In The Cage lamented the lameness that is Half Elves this week.

For a less humorous rant, check out Critical Ankle Bites, who discusses what healing is and isn’t in D&D (sparked by the WotC discussion of Warlord healing in D&D Next).

On the board game front this week, we saw two articles extolling the virtues of playing board games with your kids. Yourneighborhoodtoystore.org talks about it here, and Growing Up Gamers discusses it here. As if you needed an excuse to play games with your kids! There was also 10 reasons to support the upcoming Tabletop Day (March 30) at Geek Native.

Finally, if you’ve been thinking about making a new RPG system, at Stuffer Shack this week Brian Liberge encourages you to stop doubting yourself and do it!

Gamma World One Page Dungeon Winner!

gardengang-thumbI am pleased to announce the winner in the Gamma World Deck of Many Things contest! The winner is John Quirk, with his entry “Tangling With The Garden Gang.”

In this delve, the PCs are sent to a labyrinthine garden to recover an artifact stolen from the nearby settlement of Galt. Something about a deck of cards or something. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Is D&D Next Combat Faster? Edition

I’ve more or less distanced myself from the D&D Next playtest at this point. I’ve had enough games to see where the system is going. For the most part I’m happy, and I’m sure I’ll dive into it when it rolls around. One thing I’m wondering, though, for all of you who have also participated: is the combat faster? I mean, at first, I’m sure it was. But now that we’re in the thick of playtesting, and everyone is familiar with the options and rules… is it faster? How much?

Speaking of which, this week Robert Schwalb wrote a great article about rules complexity, woven into a story about trying to run D&D for his parents.

4e isn’t dead yet! We know some people have eschewed it in favor of the largely unfinished Next system, but there’s still plenty of story to tell with 4e. Neuroglyph Games reviewed the book Alternative Objectives, which looks like a great resource.

Ethan Gilsdorf (author of the highly recommended book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks) wrote up a great article on LARPs and other “interactive storytelling” on his blog Cognoscenti. From the article: “Gamers say: We don’t want your mass-distributed narrative machine. Just give us a table, some pencils, some dice, some graph paper, and some company. We want to make our own world.”

Random Wizard had an interview with Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World creator James Ward. Oh, and he also gamed with Gary Gygax. Just sayin’.

IntWisCha talked this week about what to do (with your character) when you don’t know what to do (with your character). Interesting read.

Finally, check out this video of some sick explosion terrain effects, posted this week on Twitter by @BensRPGPile. (Go follow him, he doesn’t spam your feed, and always posts cool terrain stuff…)

Gamma World Deck Of Many Things Contest

Today is the last day to enter the Gamma World Deck of Many Things contest. So get on it!

In other news, I’ve been working on a system for “buying” Gamma World starting items, as an alternative to rolling randomly on a table.

I was hoping to post it today, but I really don’t feel it’s ready for prime time yet. Instead, to give you an idea of what I’m working with, here’s the list of starting items from all three books: Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: So God Made A Gamer Edition

If you watched the Superbowl this year, and saw the “So God Made A Farmer” ad, you’ll want to watch this:

On to the articles!

At the Pelgrane Press blog, Robin D Laws went on a mini rant about modules and adventures that say “should” when they really mean “can.” He takes on the passive agressive nature of this wording head on.

The Howling Tower took on a difficult topic – Class balance – in a thoughtful and thorough article. Is class balance achievable? If it is, should it be sought after?

Win a really cool castle (no, seriously, this castle is awesome) at the Terrainscapes Youtube channel! Check the video description for the entry form link.

Someone on Twitter linked this page this week; if you’ve got some time on your hands, and are a history buff, check out these texts that inspired JRR Tolkien to write Lord of the Rings.

Froths of 4e cleared up some 4e myths. Agree or disagree?

The Angry DM is at it again, this time ranting about PC backstories. It always seems there’s either none or waaaay too much. How do you find balance?

Dungeon’s Master encourages us to add more flavor and attitude to towns in our campaign.

Finally, on the non-RPG front, Boardgamequest posted a great list of games under $20. We own at least a few of them, and agree with all the recommendations. Pick up one or two of them yourself, and save a little cash!

How I Fit Three Dungeon Command Sets Into One Box

3sets1With the new Dungeon Command set coming out this week, I thought I’d write a short article on how I fit three Dungeon Command sets into one Dungeon Command box. Fair warning, however: some of my suggestions will have the purists among you gnashing your teeth and setting your computers on fire, but for the pragmatists, these techniques will work quite well. Continue reading