Tag Archives: RPG Musings

Weekly Roundup: Kickstarter Fatigue Edition

I’m not sure what it is or why, but I’ve had some Kickstarter fatigue lately. Perhaps it’s because it seems like everybody and their brother has  Kickstarter that I “really need to support.” Not that the projects aren’t cool, because most of them are. I’m just a little burnt out on it. So I’ll be staying away for a while, maybe until some of the stuff I’ve already supported actually comes in. :-)

First up, I HAVE to mention the Deck of Many Things for Gamma World that was posted at Conversations and Other Words this week. The art was done by Wes Hall, and we mentioned that some was leaked on Twitter a few weeks ago. The rules were written by Michael Robles. Now you can get the whole deck, and rules, for free. Awesome!

This week, Nearly Enough Dice blogged about using new systems for one-shots. A great way to try a new system without committing to an entire campaign.

Blog of Holding talks about why 2nd Edition is due for a comeback. Agree or disagree, some interesting thoughts here.

RPG Musings makes a case for using maps and minis in D&D Next. I certainly love minis and maps, and have also used theater of the mind, but couldn’t imagine (see what I did there) eschewing maps and minis altogether.

Tao of D&D posted a cool list of adventure hooks that relates to some current events in the far east. I love the idea of using real events as jumping off points to in game story arcs.

One Inch Square continued his “Dungeon Command By The Numbers” series by analyzing Tyranny of Goblins. Perhaps I will get to play Kato in Dungeon Command some day…

If you’re looking for a really cool dungeon map, look no further than Crypt Thing. Looks like this is just level one folks, so there’s sure to be more of these awesome maps.

Finally, Jennisodes is running a contest – win a copy of Eaten By Zombies. Just enter your email address on her blog (on the sidebar). And while you’re at it, check out her interview with Robin D. Laws!

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Hirst Model On Ebay Edition)

Have kids? Young kids? Maybe it’s time you let your 4 year old DM! That was the gist of the article at Kids Dungeon Adventure this week. 

Weekly Roundup: Decompressing From Gencon Edition

Well, another Gencon has come and gone, and scores of nerds across the world (the world!) have seen a drop in their work productivity this past week due to something known as “Gencon Hangover.” We had a great time, and hope everyone at our tables did as well. As for everything else we did there, well, what happens at Gencon stays at Gencon. Wait, is that right? Hmmm…. at any rate, we assure you it’s not as mysterious (or naughty) as it sounds.

If you’ve never been to Gencon, and want a blow by blow summary from a noob, look no further than the great summary posted by The Id DM this week. (Including the fact that there also happened to be a bike rally going on at the same time) If you want a more veteran perspective, you’ll have to check out DeadOrcs’ post on This Is My Game.

Of course, if you’re looking for more Gencon goodness, you can’t go wrong with all the WotC seminars on one page, for your viewing pleasure. If you’d rather listen to them than watch them, then it’s over to The Tome Show for you! (Or you could check out a rough summary on the Forbes blog.)

Neuroglyph Games also talked a bit about the Gencon seminars, and why they convinced him to keep playtesting.

RPG Musings is starting a new campaign, and shared some steps they go through when planning. Good thoughts, as it seems September is a common time to start new campaigns.

Merric’s Musings has been reviewing old 1e and 2e adventure modules lately. This link is to a review of The Secret of Bone Hill, but there are plenty more on the blog. (We feel this is self-evident, but also feel it’s necessary to note that there are spoilers involved.)

The Other Side asked this week if the OSR (Old School Renaissance) is dead. Later this week, a followup was posted.

Of course, the other HUGE news this week that everyone was watching was the amazingly successful Reaper Bones Kickstarter. Just this week, 1000 Foot General posted a review on this new casting material.

And if you’re interested in the new Dungeon Command game (you should be!) check out One Inch Square‘s summary of the two sets, comparing their monster statistics.

Finally, sometimes resident artist Wesley Hall has posted a few pieces of Gamma World art he did for a project that never saw the light of day (Spoiler: GW Deck of Many Things). Only posted to Twitter, you’ll have to look here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (We felt they were awesome enough to deserve a wider audience)

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup:  (Mostly) Post Gencon Wrapup Edition)

Every DM knows that inspiration for their campaign is all around us.  From paintings, to literature, to actual history.  If you’re looking for historical inspiration, check out Illuminerdy‘s primer on the ancient Mexican city of Chichen Itza, complete with campaign and plot hook ideas.

Weekly Roundup: Papercraft Dragon Edition

This week, Wizards of the Coast posted a papercraft dragon on the D&D site. If you’d like to make one and display it on your desk, coffee table, or nightstand, here’s the link… just don’t take it in the shower with you. Below is the results of our efforts 

In this picture, I am moving his head up and down to make him talk. I swear that glass of wine has nothing to do with my behavior.

Do the characters in your game have no real connection to one another? Is “why are we adventuring together?” a question no one dares ask for fear that the answer will be a shoulder shrug? Try this exercise on the card provided at Some Space To Think this week.

Greyhawk Grognard posted his first impressions of Dungeon Crawl Classic. This is a new RPG system with a real old-school feel to it. If that’s something you’re hoping for in D&D Next, DCC might be a good way to get an early fix.

The new Charactergen blog had a good article on the power of “yes, and” and its nemesis “well, actually.” (Disclosure: F-bombs) You’ll remember we talked about “yes, and” in a recent article about quests.

RPG Musings posted some thoughts on what classes could look like in D&D Next. Some interesting thoughts on how “classes” might be more like “roles.”

Steve Winter posted a week’s worth of articles on the subject of random encounters at Howling Tower. They’re something that were eschewed in 3 and 4e, and may be making some kind of comeback in 5e.

Finally, Save Vs. Death posted their submission to the One Page Dungeon Contest, titled The Tears of Mother Pestilence. By the way, if you go to the contest page, you can find links to all the current submissions!

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Did Ya Miss It? Edition)

While this isn’t really the point of The Dungeon’s Master‘s article, I found the idea of having character “trees” in this article intriguing.  Does anyone else play with a stable of characters as opposed to one character?

RAWR! Lil' Flame is coming to get you!


DDI Virtual Table vs. Maptool

Recently, I have become interested in playing D&D online. This interest stems from several things – lack of time to play in person, distance from people I’d like to play with, and the desire to play D&D in my underwear. Mostly that last one. At any rate, I’ve taken two programs out for test drives recently (RPTool’s Maptool and WocT’s Virtual Table), and with the D&D Virtual Table (VT) in open beta now, I thought I would do a quick side by side comparison. Please bear in mind that I do not have extensive experience with either of these programs; the opinions stated are first impressions. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup – Last Call for Dungeon Geomorph Dice Edition

Just a reminder, pledges for the Dungeon Geomorph Dice Kickstarter project we mentioned are closing this week.  It’s already fully funded, so if you pledge to the project, you will definitely get the dice.  We thought we would also mention that there is a new $12 level pledge that gets you a deck of cards with all the maps instead of dice.  These will be just as useable with the supplements we’re talking about developing for them.  So if you’re not into the price, but like the idea, the card deck may be for you.  And just to reiterate, we don’t have any financial connection to this project – only an enthusiasm for what we think is a really cool product.  So go check it out!

Initiative Or What? had a cool article this week on different found objects that were useful as props for their D&D game.  We especially like the idea to use novelty ice cube trays for casting 3D terrain decorations.

Many blogs were talking about the new season of Encounters that kicked off this week, but we especially liked the coverage that Gnome Stew gave to The Dark Legacy of Evard.  We’ll be participating in at least some of this Encounters season, for the first time.

Eye of the Beholder, written by Greg Bilsland, had a great article on acting in character at the table.  Whether it’s just using the word “I” versus “my character,” or using a funny accent, there are some great tips in this article for players and DMs alike.

In honor of the recent Free Comic Book Day, we thought we would also mention why you should be reading the D&D comic.  Ok, not us.  You can find the article over at RPG Musings.  We look forward to the graphic novel collection next month.

Finally, in case you missed it, Benoit had a guest post over at Dungeon’s Master this week highlighting the Drow Cloud of Darkness for their Exploiting Racial Features series.

Until next week…. keep reading!

Weekly Roundup – Regulator Con Edition

Well, you’ve seen the banner in the sidebar there for about a month now.  This weekend is Regulator Con, and we’ll be bringing you news, pictures from the battle interactive, and a podcast of a totally different format.  If you’re within driving distance of Gettysburg, PA, come visit, and if you’re not, stay tuned!

First up: In case you didn’t know, Wizards of the Coast premiered its Monster Builder this week for DDi subscribers.  The reception was less than warm, and A Walk in the Dark gave us a really interesting technical look into why.  I’m not a programmer, but I still found this article very informative.

And who could pass over the Dungeon’s Master article entitled: Avenger: Worst Striker Ever?  I mean, agree or disagree, just the name has you clicking the link.  You know you want to…..

If you’re looking to give your players a moral dilemma to wrestle with instead of a cave full of monsters to destory, check out Do the Ends Justify the Means over at RPG Musings.  A ton of good adventure seeds to steal there.

Greywulf’s Lair had a fun little article outlining the number of various monsters you’d need to kill to reach 1,000,000 XP (or, in other words, go from 1 to 30).  Neat.

Finally, The Fascinating World of Charles Ryan reminded us that sometimes we make bad character choices, and it’s ok for the DM to allow something more robust than a simple “retrain.”  He calls it the “First Session Rule.”  And there’s a good Star Trek reference to boot.

Whose blog did we miss this week? Leave it in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – The Weekly Roundup is Moving! Edition

So, our experiment with podcasting has been successful, and is going to become a regular fixture on the site.  Since we record and post the podcast on Sunday, we’ve decided to move the Weekly Roundup to Saturdays starting this coming Saturday.  Now you have something to do while you drink your Saturday morning coffee!  You can thank us in the comments.  After you read these articles.

Dread Gazebo had a great article this week on running horror in your games.  There was plenty of advice, including “All show is no show,” meaning the DM should keep information close to the chest.

If you’re looking for a budget solution to condition markers, look no further than This Is My Game‘s post this week.  Geek Ken put together a freebie, and they look really nice!

RPG Musings gave us food for thought when they proposed the idea of short campaigns.  The advantage being, of course, closure for all involved.  A good idea for those who have never really had any because the group just sort of broke up for some reason.

 If you want to take your Gamma World game from levels 11-20, you need to check out Dazed, Save Ends‘s column this week on “Uber Tier.”  Monsters are no problem either, as just about any D&D monster fits in a Gamma World setting.

Finally, Alphastream weighed in on the “speed of combat” issue on his Wizards of the Coast blog.  He argues that 4e is far too engaging even when it’s not your turn to complain about how long the combats take.  Guess it’s time to open up the discussion again… leave him a comment!

This Saturday! Don’t forget!

Weekly Roundup – Podcast Editon

Just last night, we wrapped up the taping of our very first podcast. It’s going to be called “Level Up” and it’s aimed at PLAYERS (yes! I know!) who want advice and tips on character creation.  Keep an eye out for it right here on the site, we’ll be posting it soon.  And if you have a character creation question, or if you want ideas for the feat or power you should take next level, email us! The link is over there on the right. You could be featured in the next podcast! And now, on to the articles…

Someone on Twitter (sorry, don’t remember who) pointed us to David Ewalt’s Forbes blog, where this week he talked about how to get started in D&D.  In the wake of NBC’s “Community” episode featuring the game, many people are wondering how the game is played.  And of course, he suggests The Red Box.

The Dungeon’s Master had two different articles this week that caught our eye.  The first is a list of six items every adventuring party should have; there are some interesting items there that you may have overlooked.  The second was an article discussing ways to make sure everyone at the table is involved in a skill challenge.  This is especially important for groups that like to roleplay a lot.  We suggest you check both articles out.

Tarrasqueous had some interesting homebrew Gamma World “monsters” called “Gamma Portals.”  This was especially interesting to us, as we just finished the first Gamma World novel “Sooner Dead” where “ripples,” similar to Gamma Portals, featured prominently.  Kind of neat to see some crunch put to the fluff in the novels.

At-Will‘s Ryven started a great discussion of WotC’s plans to introduce multiclassing to 4th edition.  But really, the discussion is only started, and there is still a lot of speculation, as we do not have WotC’s actual mechanics in front of us.  Still, it’s fun to add to the discussion!

RPG Musings had a great article on roleplaying that everyone should read.  We especially like the idea of “taking ownership of the character’s actions,” and how that informs the way a player describes what the character does.

Finally, a non-D&D related blog article. On Twitter this week, @joyofgeek pointed us to Rands in Repose who wrote an article entitled “The Nerd Handbook.” How much of it do you recognize in yourself?

We’d love to find your blog! Leave a link in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – Postponed Game Edition

Well, inclement weather has postponed our game this week.  *Sigh*  Guess we should read some hot-off-the-press blog articles for our much needed D&D fix, and get together some article-y goodness for you while we’re at it.

Sly Flourish had a great buyers guide to D&D books for new DMs.  The book landscape has changed quite a bit since the outset of 4th Edition, so if you’re looking for everything updated, start here.

Icosahedrophilia (say THAT five times fast…) had a very interesting article on the history of miniatures in D&D.  Specifically, how the rules, as written, supported (or didn’t support) the use of miniatures on a battle map.  Good read, even if you’re only interested in the general history of D&D.

For all the Arts & Crafts and Hirst Arts nuts out there, Ben’s RPG Pile had a fun tutorial on building ruined hallways with your Hirst Arts molds.  Mold numbers and pictures included!  Woo hoo!!

And Finally, RPG Musings had an article on speeding up D&D 4e. I know, I know, everyone’s sick of the talk about “the speed of combat in 4e.”  Actually, if you read that again, the word “combat” isn’t there….hmmm….

If we haven’t noticed your blog yet, feel free to leave us a link in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – DDXP 2011 Edition

It’s quite possible most of you are still detoxing from DDXP.  We’ve got what you need! More D&D!  In the form of articles!  For you to read!  Check out this week’s best (non-DDXP)  articles.

RPG Musings pointed us to a great resource for campaign ideas that’s right in front of you.  Why didn’t we think of this first? Brilliant!

If you haven’t been following Sersa over at Save Vs. Death and his “Fourthcore” philosophy, you should.  There’s lots of great usable content over there, and all of it deliciously deadly.  Don’t know what Fourthcore is?  Never fear, this week a FAQ was posted.

And did you hear the news about the prison who won’t let its inmates play D&D because it threatens prison security? No? Geeks are Sexy had a great blog post covering the story.

The Weem posted a fun Twitter interview with WotC. Quick read, since questions and answers are limited to Twitter’s 140 characters.

Finally, The Labyrinth had a great article about the process they used to find a new player for their game.  While their success rate varied, you might find a resource here that you haven’t used yet.  Or you might just find the story of them trying to find a new player entertaining.

Leave us a link to YOUR blog in the comments!