Tag Archives: Some Space to Think

Weekly Roundup: Back in the Saddle Edition

Well, here we are, back at it. It’s been a while because of, well, life, but things should start getting back to normal. Let’s start this week off with a bang. Also, stay tuned for a contest later this week! (Thursday) I really think you’re going to like this one, so be sure to check back.

First up, LifeHacker posted an interesting article that a bunch of people were tweeting about. It discusses the ways a story activates our brain. And, of course by extension, a game where story is key.

If you’re a fan of random tables, check out this really cool table of Dungeon Odors from The Iron Tavern this week. We’ve seen a lot of random tables, but this is one is unique – and a great way to add a little something to atmosphere.

Over at Dead Orcs Society there are some fun ideas for a new campaign. Perhaps you could incorporate one or more into yours.

There was a post this week at 2D6 Cents that outlines the way to make a hero for the RPG Becoming. As I read through the post, however, I realized that these steps could be used (loosely) to make any hero for any RPG. Check it out!

At Some Space to Think we saw some thoughts on stunts. Call them whatever you want, but every character needs something cool and unique to call their own. What should they look like?

Finally, Dice Monkey had some thoughts about playing RPGs with kids, and reported on RPGKids. We’ll be looking at another kid friendly RPG in a few weeks, so stay tuned for that.

Weekly Roundup: Weekend of Cons Edition

Ok, so it’s no longer Gencon (obviously) but there are (at least) three other major cons going on this weekend: DragonCon in Atlanta, WorldCon in Chicago, and Pax Prime in Seattle. With all that gaming going on, we’re not sure there’s even anyone around to read the roundup! Well, for those of you not at a con this weekend, here are some articles to soothe the disappointment.

Speaking of Pax, if you’d like to watch this year’s D&D Celebrity game (with Chris Perkins, Wil Wheaton, and the Penny Arcade guys) you can find it here. Really good stuff, and always fun to watch them play. It will (most likely) also eventually be archived on the WotC D&D Youtube channel.

If you’d like to win a copy of the 3 D&D 1st Edition reprints, The Secret DM is running a contest until the end of the month.

Over at The Broken Binding, our Subcontracting Your Villain Work idea is being tried.

Sly Flourish had a great article on how to design your own zone wide environmental effects. There are also examples. Environmental effects can really add a special layer to an encounter to make it memorable.

Some Space To Think wrote two great posts on skills and skill systems which set a lot of people thinking. We noticed these further thoughts from 2d6 Cents, though we suspect there were probably more responses in the blogosphere.

If you wish you were still at Gencon, check out Brian Liberge’s Gencon interview with Shelly Mezzanoble about the Rise of the Underdark campaign over at Stuffer Shack.

Gaming As Women had an article this week with some questions to ask of characters to bring them closer together as a group. You know, make them less of a roving band of misfits, and more of a team.

IntWisCha tackled the subject of Social Conflict. No, not when your gamers argue about tactics. It’s about how to end conversational conflict in our games on a “high point” the same way a fight ends with the killing blow.

As a followup to last week’s talk about the very successful Reaper Bones Kickstarter, Wired had an article highlighting it. Apparently, it was the third biggest Kickstarter ever.

And finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you to this week’s WotC playtester profile. They talk to friends of the show Alphastream and Going Last.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Totally Unrelated Link Edition)

Roleplaying Tips blogged about how to get your players to hand you Checkov’s Gun.  If you don’t know what Checkov’s Gun is, you can check out TV Tropes.  Do so at your own peril (and only if you have several hours at your disposal).

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?
(4/9/11) 

RAWR! Lil' Flame is coming to get you!

 

Weekly Roundup: Shameless Plea For Votes Edition

This week, the folks over at The Illuminerdy posted the finalists to their RPG Hook contest, and we’re on the list! Head over there and vote for your favorites, and if one of your favorites happens to be the one by @bandofmisfits, well, we won’t complain… but really, we just want to see LOTS of votes!

This week, The Learning DM listed a few ways to use poker chips in your game. Leave something in the article’s comments about how you use (or would use) poker chips in your games.

Newbie DM had some great ideas for getting poster maps printed on the cheap.  Also, there is an online printer listed in the comments that you don’t want to miss.

Some Space to Think had an excellent article analyzing why you don’t see enough role playing in your game. You may be surprised at the answer.

Reality Refracted raised some interesting points about social combat in RPGs this week.  While we wish there had been more of a resolution to the problems presented, there were a lot of issues that we were nodding our heads to. Especially check out the “There Are No Social Hit Points” paragraph.

Finally, if you’re one of the 3 RPG players that have never heard of Obsidian Portal, check out the advantages of using it from Geek Ken this week.

 

Weekly Roundup: End of Campaign Edition

This past week saw the last session of our two year long campaign.  The group of guys we DM for are all headed off to college.  We were able to finish the story quest that was introduced in the very first session, so we think everyone went away with a bit of closure.  What’s next?  We’re not sure.  Perhaps a Gamma World campaign with another group of high schoolers, and also getting back into playing and DMing LFR with a group that has recently drifted a bit.  Plus, we’re still involved in D&D Encounters.  Here is the week in articles:

Some Space to Think mused upon the differences between 4e and 1e – from a first person perspective.

Omnivoracious‘ “How to Write Betrayal” has some great tips that DMs can use in plotting out a story arc that includes… well, betrayal.

Also, make sure you catch The ID DM‘s article on a psychological experiment that was done in the 1960’s, and how you can incorporate a little bit of morality psychology into your game.

Save Versus Death posted the first of his new mini dungeon modules, Gallery of the Hate Blossom.  Weighing in at four pages, it’s a great mini delve, and we hope to see more mini delves from him and other sources in the near future. (There were also Twitter rumors of Fourthcore one page delves this week)

Finally, did you miss the contest at The Angry DM this week? If you follow us on Twitter, you shouldn’t have. It’s a cool logic puzzle worth trying to solve (and steal) even if you didn’t get your entry in under the deadline. (Answer is here)You can still enter the Illuminerdy contest though, if you’re looking to win stuff.

Weekly Roundup: Etsy Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I put something together with some leftover Hirst Arts blocks I had lying around.  If you want to see it, you can check it out on Etsy.  Also, don’t forget to head over to your local game store for free RPG day today!! Aaaaaaand on to the articles.

Some Space to Think discussed why the Underpants Gnome school of thought is a good way to plot out your campaigns.  Also, don’t miss the follow up article with specific ideas.

The Weem started a series this week that we think has a lot of potential.  Since most adventures start in a tavern, he thought he would break with tradition, and come up with other ways to get the party together.  Check out the first installment.

Shawn Merwin answered his own question over at Critical Hits this week – he is in the process of pondering whether 4e can be “old school,” and his initial impressions lean towards the positive.

A Walk in the Dark had a great article on how to create a non-lethal solo.  Especially at heroic tier, this can be difficult.

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a Gamma World videogame coming out.  We’ve seen it announced and discussed in a few different places, but The Savage Afterworld posted this article discussing it more fully, complete with pics.

Finally, Fred Hicks at Deadly Fredly (owner of Evil Hat Productions) gives some good advice to the aspiring game designer, and whether it’s a feasible career choice.  We especially like his comments on “luck,” as it reminds us of other non-RPG bloggers we read.

Origins is coming up!! Who’s going?? (Besides Hamblin)

Weekly Roundup: Finished Mini Edition

This week, I finished painting the mini for the winner of our “name the podcast mascot” contest.  Here is the finished product.  The mini is Reaper’s “Gilam, Dwarf Rune Spelunker.”

Click for full size

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did use what I’ve been learning from Gregwa’s “How to Photograph Miniatures” series when I took the pictures of the mini.  Check it out if you want to learn more.

And now, some articles:

Unless you were living under a rock this week, you already know that Paizo has announced a prepainted plastic minis line.  If this is news to you, get more info at Troll in the Corner where they make the announcement.

Also out this week was the new D&D 4e video game “Daggerdale.”  Now, we’re not ones to buy video games because of the cool cover; we usually check out the reviews first.  Lucky for us, Critical Hits did just that.  Find out what they thought of the game before you decide to buy.  Or you could click here for other reviews.

Rob at Some Space to Think proposed a “unified GM rating system” and solicited ideas from the RPG community for categories that should go into the system.  Check it out to see what goes into the “Donoghue Score.”

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

Finally, TheSheDM (via NewbieDM) wrote about bribing her players to participate in worldbuilding and campaign maintenance this week.  While “bribing” players for all sorts of reasons is nothing new, her method is unique.  Check it out.

If you’re an RPG Blogger, don’t forget to check out our new Game Night blog carnival, kicking off this Tuesday!!

Weekly Roundup – Still No Legion of Gold Edition

 It seems as though pre-ordering something from Amazon, say for example, Legion of Gold, does not guarantee you receipt of said item on or near the relase date.  We are quite disappointed.  Looks like we will have to turn to the blogosphere to sate our desire for “new content”…

While he doesn’t post often, when The Angry DM posts, it’s generally quite prolific.  He sparked a Twitterstorm this week by “Tearing 4e a New One.” Of course the nerd rage was so fierce, he ended up posting an addendum.  Also, be sure to check the pings and trackbacks at the end of the comments for other blogs that followed up with a response! (Like this one, for example…)

Some Space to Think had two good articles this week, one on why you should be unfair to your players (sometimes), and a second clarifying what the author meant by “unfair.”  Thought provoking, and worthy of a read.

Matt Savage over at Rule Zero Blog made a call out to all fans of 4e who are concerned about the direction the game is taking.  Instead of leaving, he argues to make your voice heard in the proper channels, and here’s why. (Spoiler: It has to do with why MTV doesn’t play music anymore.)

We’ve talked before about The Architect DM’s series over at Critical Hits, but we thought we’d bring it up again to make sure you haven’t forgotten about it – this installment is about using negative space in dungeons.  Be sure to check out the old-school dungeons on graph paper he links to over at Boing Boing as well!

Robert J. Schwalb, noted designer for Wizards of the Coast, broke down 10 ways 4e is different than 3.5, and went on to give us his thoughts on them.  If nothing else, it’s an interesting look back at the ways the game has changed.

Which cool articles did we miss this week?  Leave them in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – Finished Sea Maiden Edition

Well, it’s been several months in the making, but I finally finished the Sea Maiden.  It took longer than I expected, but I also wasn’t working on it as intently as I would have liked.  Article and pictures to come soon, though we’re more focused on the “Where to get Gamma World minis” articles at this point.  So what went on in the blogosphere this week?  Read on…

Sly Flourish had a great article on using the 5×5 method to design NPCs.  It was originally meant to help design adventure hooks, but we think this is an innovative new use for the technique.  Not only do you get some cool NPCs, but you have some hooks already built in!

Three separate blogs talked about the speed of a gaming session, and all three came at the discussion from different angles. Some Space to Think talked about RPG game pacing in general – how to make sure there are no lulls in your game.  Arcane Springboard over at This is My Game made an argument for doing away with ongoing damage to speed up combat, and The Dungeon’s Master had general tips to speed up combat.

Ben’s RPG Pile reviewed the new set of Dwarven Forge wicked additions.  Check it out; his articles always have nice pictures to illustrate the subject at hand.

Board Enterprises had some interesting thoughts about whether or not you should map out locations in your campaign.  While a definitive solution to the problem was not presented, it certainly gave us something to think about.

Bartoneous over at Critical Hits had another great Architect DM article.  We recommend you go check it out, if only to find out the answer to the question “How much damage can your average structure really take before collapsing? Assume barbarian w/axe, not explosives.”

Finally, over at Geek’s Dream Girl, there was a great article on using all 5 senses when you describe a scene for your PCs.  Great advice in here, and something we’ve been thinking about for a while now.  Theory is good, of course, but putting it into practice is better.

Shameless plug time! Add a link to your blog in the comments!