Welcome to the 20th Weekly Assembly post! That means 20 weeks of gamer linky goodness lurks in this category if you’re brave enough to explore it. Fair warning: Given my workload in the next few weeks, forthcoming lists may not be quite so extensive as this one, but we’ll see how it plays out. So many wonderful links fly through my browser on a weekly basis, and I want to capture and share them all, so I may not be able to stop myself from collecting another 20+ links this week.
I’ll stop gabbing so you can enjoy this week’s data smorgasbord.
Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.
- April’s Blog Theme at The Gamer Assembly is “Gaming Fools”, covering the outlandish, crazy, and over-the-top games and situations that grace every table at least once. Have a gonzo RPG article idea? Contact us for guest blogger opportunities!
- The Call To Assembly, Volume 1, our collection of the first 2 months of Gamer Assembly posts is now available as a free PDF at RPG Now and as a not-free printed magazine at Lulu!
- Designing a Ghibli RPG by Brent Newhall starts brainstorming by listing useful pieces of existing RPG systems with the ultimate goal of making a game in the style of a Hayao Miyazaki animated film.
- Mechanics Skill – Modern Assembly by Brian Liberge Defines and explores the new Mechanics skill for the modern-day 4e D&D hack we call Modern Assembly.
- In What Does a Kobold Sound Like?, Brent Newhall suggests accents for various fantasy monsters in a quick (1:16) video.
Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.
- The MacGyver Theory by T.W.Wombat takes some improvisational GMing pointers from the king of hacking the ordinary into the extraordinary. Another in the Schrödinger’s Gun GMing series of articles.
- RPG Rx: Letting Players Drive Lovecraft by Brent Newhall advises place-driven adventures rather than GM-intensive mysteries for a more flexible Lovecraftian sandbox game.
- T.W.Wombat continues his Art Spotlight series by featuring the artist responsible for his logo: Jeremy Kostiew, Mighty Nightgaunt.
Other interesting articles and cool links.
Wizards of the Coast went public with their announcement about the next edition of D&D on Monday 09 January 2012. We’re collecting D&D Next links in our wiki. If we’ve missed any good ones that you’ve read, feel free to let us know in the comments or join us in the chat.
- Spotted by Martin Ralya and shared in this Google Plus post, Jason Zavoda transcribed Gary Gygax’s Letter from Alarums & Excursions #2. I hear some of the design ideas for D&D Next in this passage:
I desire variance in interpretation and, as long as I am editor of the TSR line and its magazine, I will do my utmost to see that there is as little trend towards standardization as possible. Each campaign should be a “variant”, and there is no “official interpretation” from me or anyone else. If a game of “Dungeons and Beavers” suits a group, all I say is more power to them, for every fine referee runs his own variant of DandD anyway.
- And while we’re looking at the early history of gaming, Your Blog Is Your Eighties Fanzine at Fighting Fantasist asks you to take the last five posts to your blog and format it like a cheesy home-copied game fanzine. Bonus points awarded for using typewriter fonts and filters to mimic early photocopy or even mimeograph reproduction.
- It’s been a year since it’s been updated regularly, but Hell Yeah, Gamemasters! is once again soliciting stories that describe awesome GMing.
- Story And Game at The Rhetorical Gamer explores how story and game can interact while pointedly avoiding talking about story games.
- Gaming as Women suggests using the term “flavor” rather than the more dismissive “fluff” in Crunch vs Fluff: The Argument We’re Doin’ Wrong. I wholeheartedly endorse the suggested licking of the Ravenloft book. On a related note, What Is Role Playing Exactly? explores different approaches to RPGs and the fact that a game means something slightly different to each person at the table.
- Nothing Is Fluff in a Fairy Tale at Playing D&D With Porn Stars looks at the 1e Oriental Adventures Wu Jen’s chosen taboo as an excellent example of how fairy tale logic inspires story more effectively than contrived system mechanics.
- Jeff’s Gameblog talks about having each player run a stable of PCs to cover different situations in Troupe Traveller. He also extols the virtues of using the 1e Oriental Adventures Event Charts in non-oriental settings, or even in Classic Traveller as a commenter suggests.
- Frothsof 4e offers a system for creating and handling OD&D-style Henchmen and Hirelings in 4e. I love the idea of generic themes to breathe some life into hirelings, and the Morale Score rides again!
- New D&D 4e DMs should heed Geek Ken‘s advice when he recommends Fallcrest – Where a New 4e DM Should Start.
- On Decisions & Delvers at Hack & Slash examines a list of the virtues of D&D and encourages implementing all of them in whatever version or variant you’re playing right now.
- Fred Hicks points to What the Hell These Game Developers Did with Your Kickstarter Money as an example of “Worst Case Success” with Kickstarter funding. Snagged from this tweet. See also The ugly side of Kickstarter: the risks in backing game dev campaigns are greater than you think at the Penny Arcade Report.
- 10 Free RPGs You Must Play at Trollish Delver lists several great and free RPGs. It’s hardly an exhaustive list (*cough*Warrior, Rogue & Mage*cough*Stars Without Number*cough*Voidjumpers of Space*cough*too many others to cover with coughing*cough*), but it’s well worth a look.
- Bradley at The Cheese Shop takes a look at several ways to handle the death of a PC in GM – “Your Character Has Met His End.”
- On Wednesday, the folks in charge of Paizo decided to solicit and answer questions on the /r/rpg Reddit in a thread called We Make Pathfinder — Ask Us Anything! Great questions and conversations are contained in those 862 comments.
- Why I’m Not Using the OGL at Strange Magic gives some insight into the restrictions hidden in the OGL agreement and what bits copyright or Creative Commons handles differently.
- Judd the Librarian at Githyanki Diaspora thinks that more games would have stronger foundations if more GMs took an active role with PC creation in an article entitled Leading Chargen, an Underrated GM Skill.
- Troll in the Corner tackles life’s inevitables in the series Reality Makes the Best Fantasy. Last week’s article looked at death, and this week’s article covers Taxes and Fees.
- And speaking of taxes, Benoit at Roving Band of Misfits gives some general guidelines on when and how to claim your gaming expenses as deductions in Deducting Dice: A Gamer’s Guide to Taxes.
- Experimenting: Free for Free – Product Publicity at Mithril and Mages hooks new readers by releasing the http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/101410/Treasure-Book-on-DemandLabyrinth Lord Treasure Book on Demand for free on DriveThruRPG as a marketing tactic.
- Jonathan Roberts runs Fantastic Maps, and he’s released some of his work for personal use in a section of his site called Free Maps, including a set of Creative Commons dungeon tiles that can be assembled in a nearly-infinite number of ways.
- Thoughtcrime released a couple of new games this week. Death by a Thousand Posts models internet forum debates and flame wars using dice in a quick multiplayer storytelling game. Good, Fast, and Cheap: Temptation’s Gate lets every player get exactly what they want if they’re willing to pay the price.
- Poor Abby Farnsworth from Hyperbole Games takes deckbuilding to the Salem witch trials an adds a dash of Monty Python. The design process continues, but the current rules, notes, and cards are available through the site for enterprising people interested in playtesting.
- With all this talk of free games, Stargarzer’s World wishes for a clean distribution site in We Need a RPGNow for Free RPGs!
- Tracy Hurley’s Joining the Party: PAX East 2012 went up this week on the Wizards site. Great overview of PAX East, great pics and videos, and great community links in the Tavern Tales section.
- Tycho’s Penny Arcade news post on Friday inspired Vannevar to turn his words into a jpg. Spotted on Reddit.
A roundup of roundups featuring links of interest to the tabletop RPG community.
Please let us know about other weekly roundups in the comments!
- Game Knight Reviews comes out with Friday Knight News articles on Fridays. Check out this week’s Gaming Edition to see sci-fi art at the Concept Ships blog, managing time to keep your game on track, and making a successful game out of a failed quest.
- Roving Band of Misfits publishes their Weekly Roundup column every Sunday. This week’s Open Submission window halfway Closed Edition gives us campaign endings from two angles, a Wizards of the Coast podcast featuring Lords of Waterdeep, and setting up scenes instead of locations for a successful sandbox game.
- Keith Davies maintains In My Campaign and on Mondays he publishes a collection of Links of the Week including recommended Kickstarter projects and interesting YouTube videos. Take a look at this week’s collection which includes impelementing danger rooms in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, how basic needs cause massive pleasure, and faithfully translating tabletop cameraderie into the online world with the Roll20 Kickstarter.
- Gaming As Women gathers links in their This Week in Gaming and This Week in Feminism series of articles on Sundays. Both series are collected under the News category. This Week in Gaming features the Farewell to Fear Kickstarter, a well-done apology to women gamers from the Oatmeal, and a question: Does the success of Tabletop mean that analog games are getting more popular?