Tag Archives: Big Ball of No Fun

Weekly Roundup: New Oldest D20 Edition

A while back, we announced right here on the Weekly Roundup that the oldest d20 had been found. It was up for auction, made of glass, and belonged to some role playing ancient Roman. Well, an older one has been found. This one’s Egyptian. Guess the pharaohs were casting magic missile at the darkness before the cesars…

First up this week, we have a big announcement from Kobold Quarterly… that they’re closing. That may sound a bit extreme – the print magazine is closing. We wish them well, and hope this means even more quality Midgard stuff from them in the years to come. Speaking of which, they’re currently running a contest to find a writer for a new adventure.

Big Ball of No Fun talked a bit about the new Monk release for D&D Next that we saw this week. He also talked about a radical new way to deal with alignments – one that seems like it would work beautifully.

Dungeon’s Master had a fun idea to add a new dimension to your player’s roleplaying. Use bingo cards at the table. Not the kind with numbers and letters, but rather a list of things the player or character tries to do.

The Id DM had a really interesting article this week on the future of the RPG industry as it relates to the rise of digital media. Even if you’re not interested in the impact of PDFs on RPGs, there are some really interesting thoughts (and links!) in this article.

Alex Schroeder posted his own take on how to make a dungeon. For your home game, not for publication. He makes that distinction, and we think it’s important.

Hack and Slash encouraged us to contribute to the Abulafia wiki. It’s a wiki that aggregates random RPG generators. Sounds really really useful? Yeah. So we should all be contributing to it.

Finally, we posted a very rough prototype for our NaGa DeMon game (Backyard Wars) just this week, and we thought we’d point to three more prototypes that are up: John DuBoisBread and CircusesShorty Monster‘s Excitement and Adventure, and Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity‘s The Domain Game. By the way, there’s a “Roll Call” on the NaGa DeMon site, if you want an idea of who else is participating.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Reading A Night In The Lonesome October Edition)

Stuffer Shack had some great thoughts as to whether PVP in an RPG is kosher, or whether it’s bad form. Weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments their article.

Weekly Roundup: Columbus Day Edition

Tomorrow is Columbus Day. A day when we celebrate exploration and risk taking in the name of adventure, treasure, and discovery – so a great holiday for D&Ders to celebrate, even if you’re not from America. Oh, and if you have the day off, enjoy that too.

This week, Thoughtcrime Games had a very thought-provoking post on the role of story in your RPG game. How do we prepare story before the game? The answer may surprise you.

Coincidentally, The Alexandrian had an anecdote from this week as well that illustrates the Thoughtcrime Games article perfectly. Might be time to reevaluate your idea of story in RPGs…

DMG 42 started a series this week on a Megadungeon campaign he’s running. We stole some inspiration from him for our summer campaign this year, so we’ll be watching this series with interest.

Froths of 4e introduced a way to allow the creation of new magic spells through “spell research.” With the way 4e gives special powers to every class, we don’t see why this wouldn’t work for other classes too, just call it something different (e.g. “Martial Training”)

If you’re looking to try a new RPG, we were intrigued by the GM-less “Committee For The Exploration Of Mysteries” presented at This Is My Game this week. At the very least, good for a couple of one shots.

If you follow The Chatty DM on Twitter, you may have noticed that he traveled to France recently. Getting out of your day to day routine is a great way to find new plot inspirations; here are a two that he got on his travels over at Critical Hits.

On the arts & crafts front, check out Dread Gazebo‘s tutorial on making your own portable wargaming table for a couple of bucks.

Big Ball Of No Fun asks if character death and lethality are myths in all editions of the game, not just the newer ones.

Reality Refracted takes a look at the social contract around the gaming table – which tenets do you play by?

Finally, if you’re looking for something to listen to instead of read, or if you’re looking for advice on submitting pitches to Dungeon and Dragon, check out The Tome Show this week.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Winter Is Coming Edition)

First up, if you’re looking for story ideas, check out the link posted by Risus TOTM this week. It’s a story idea generator over at the TV Tropes site. (If nothing else, this is a great way to waste even MORE time at the TV Tropes site…)

Weekly Roundup: CONCurrent Edition

Perhaps you’re not going to GenCon. Perhaps you’re upset about that, and would still like to do some gaming that weekend. Have no fear – CONCurrent is an online gaming con that runs parallel to GenCon. You can check out their offerings here. There’s already a bunch of stuff listed to play, and there’s sure to be more as the event draws near. Is it the same as GenCon? Of course not. Is it a great alternative if you can’t make it to GenCon? Absolutely. Check it out, make some new friends, and learn some new games.

We don’t usually post articles from earlier than the previous week, but we have been known to make exceptions. Last week, we somehow missed this awesome roundup of all sorts of gaming aids over at Going Last. This is one you need to bookmark as a resource.

Don’t know if you’ve heard about this or not, but there’s a new, free, D&D-ish RPG out there called Heroes Against Darkness. It’s worth a look, if only for its price tag. Check out what Neuroglyph Games thought of it too.

Daily Encounter brought a little Greyhawk flavor into the Netheril 4e setting by designing a new secret society, and related theme. It’s part of the “Classics Return” blog carnival. (They’re accepting submissions until Aug 14, so if you have an RPG blog, get on that!)

Stuffer Shack recently ran a “Best Worst Villain” contest. We tried to choose one or two for the roundup, but we couldn’t. There are TONS of great ideas for villains here, so check out the list of all their entries.

The Welsh Piper has a great random table this week for creating religious orders. Perhaps they’ll figure prominently in your campaign, or perhaps the PCs stumbled across one. Either way, the article is a great primer, and the table is a quick way to generate one.

Big Ball of No Fun gives us some good ideas for making an NPC memorable, even when the PCs aren’t interacting directly with them. Keeping key NPCs in the forefront of the players mind is a great trick.

Finally, have you been wondering about Dungeon Command? Check out the review over at Breakfast for Owlbears. It makes us want to give it a try…

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: 2011 GenCon Schedule Edition)

Dice Monkey started a new series hacking Gamma World into traditional D&D. Also note the link in the article to Chaos Grenade, who is doing something similar.

 

Weekly Roundup: Ennie Nominated Edition

We were both excited and very humbled on Friday to find out that the blog (yes, this one) was nominated for an Ennie award! There are a lot of great nominations in the blog category as well as the podcast category (the two races we had a horse in) and we encourage you to check them all out. The entire list of Ennie nominations is here. On the list of nominations, we think you’ll find a lot of familiar names and products, as well as some new stuff you should probably get interested in. And now, on to the articles…

On Angille.net this week we learned that parenting tips can also be DM tips. How? Read on.

Someone on Twitter this week pointed us to an article in The Smithsonian Magazine that describes the lives of London’s sewer prospectors in the mid 1800s. We point you to this article for two reasons – one, to give an idea as to what poverty might look like for a campaign, and two, because some of the “sewer rumors” in the article could serve as adventure hooks. You’re welcome.

Amanda Valentine had some great thoughts on why you need to get kids involved in gaming. Your kids, your nieces and nephews, your grandkids. Bring them to cons, play games with them, get them involved in the community. Here’s why.

There’s a fairly new webseries on Youtube called “Tabletop.” Featuring Wil Wheaton, it highlights some of the board games you know and love. The latest episode features the RPG Fiasco. If you haven’t checked it out, do so; learn a new RPG, and enjoy a new webseries. Two birds.

Do you need some insults for your NPCs to throw at the characters? Look no further than the mix and match list on Big Ball of No Fun this week. Roll some dice and insult the players characters.

If you’re wondering why your players have lost interest in your plot, maybe you should try giving them one of these general questions to answerExchange of Realities finds questions like these are what keeps her interested in a plot.

We really like the Troll in the Corner series on “reality makes the best fantasy.” This week, we find ourselves asking what the adverse effects of heat are. Someone needs to turn heat stroke into a disease track. We are, after all, fans of describing the scene fully, and incorporating the seasons into your game.

Finally, The Dungeon’s Master this week talked about some things that we normally consider taboo in our RPGs. If you game with a mature group, it might be time to incorporate some of this in your game.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: 2011 Ennie Nominations Edition)

At Daily Encounter this week, Obsidian Crane pondered the criteria for labeling a D&D adventure as a “classic.”  Lots of good points here, and definitely worth a read.

Weekly Roundup: D&D Next Playtest Is Here Edition

So, the D&D Next playtest is here, and that’s what everyone is excited about. We’ve tried it out as well, and will save our thoughts for a podcast or article or something. Also, we thought we’d evidence our receipt to the Wayne Foundation for the RPG Charity Pack Match we did:

Speaking of the playtest, a lot of people have blogged about it (predictably), but one of the coolest articles we saw this week was from The Online DM. He analyzed the math behind “advantage” in D&D Next (if it stays as published in the playtest…)

At Fearless DM we have some thoughts about lessons learned from 4e, and a followup article in response to one of the comments. It’s always great to see bloggers interacting with their audience.

Of course, Geek Dad over at Wired.com interviewed Mike Mearls, so that’s one you’ll want to check out. They talk about the playtest, as well as the direction D&D Next is probably headed.

Not to be outdone, Kobold Quarterly also interviewed Mike Mearls

And finally, Big Ball of No Fun had a great article on using Lords of Waterdeep as a plot generator. This is a great idea, and worth a look, especially if you’ve hit a little writer’s block.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Finished Mini Edition)

Age of Ravens had a thought-provoking article on when a player should reveal their character’s back story, and more importantly, secrets.
(5/28/11) 

 

Weekly Roundup: How We Find Our Articles Edition

We’ve been doing a weekly roundup for over six months now.  Some of you may be wondering, how do they find the blog articles for the Roving Band of Misfit’s Weekly Roundup?  Or maybe not.  Either way, we’re going to tell you.  There are several sources we have for articles:

  1. Twitter.  If someone we follow Tweets an interesting article, we give it a look.
  2. 4eblogs.com.  There’s no archive on this site, so if we don’t notice something in the first few days, we generally don’t notice it.  Also, the list of contributors to that site is short, and we like to keep the articles diverse.  So we don’t lean too heavily there.
  3. RPGbloggers.com.  As to the number of contributors, completely the opposite of 4eblogs.  Sometimes a single day’s worth of blog posts goes on for a few pages.  As to the amount of posts we have to sift through to find an interesting, relevant article… also the opposite.  We generally scan the headlines, and if something grabs our interest, we’ll read the article.  Since this site does have an archive, we can go back over the week’s blog postings at our leisure.

Next time, we’ll discuss how we pick articles, and what causes something to catch our eye.  But for now, some articles!

Paul from Blog of Holding posted an amazing graphic depicting all the monsters in MM1 by level and environment.  We can’t imagine how much time this took…

Dread Gazebo posted a homebrew skill specialization system for 4e that we really like.  Be sure to give him feedback (positive or negative) so he can refine the rules.

Every month, Wastex Games has been hosting a contest on their blog.  For May, the contest was “Tribes of the Land” where entrants were challenged to come up with a unique tribe of monsters.  We especially liked Wes Hall’s entry, which was presented this week: The Stone Raiders, a tribe of Cockatrice riding Goblins.  No, you read that right.

Trollish Delver had some interesting thoughts on why we may gravitate towards lower level characters.  You should weigh in on how you feel, as his musings are largely open-ended.  We’re especially interested in what The ID DM has to say, from a psychology standpoint… (As an aside, there’s a mention in the article of the Dungeon Crawl Classics; for more on that check out this article from Beyond the Black Gate)

Big Ball of No Fun posted a great way to get quick and easy building floorplans on the fly.  Just another reason to have a computer handy when you play.  (Don’t tell me that my players are the only ones who go off script and wander into random buildings….)

Finally, remember that episode of Community everyone was talking about a few months back?  The one where the cast plays D&D for the entire episode?  The A.V. Club posted an interview with Dan Harmon (Community’s creator) this week where he comments on the making of the episode.  You have to scroll down a bit; look for the picture of Chevy Chase holding the D&D adventure.

What cool articles did we miss this week?