Plenty of hubbub about D&D Next hit the blogosphere this week. We took a small cross-section of feedback this week, and tried to balance it with all the other great articles that came out. Please let us know how we did. Enjoy this week’s links!
Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.
Nothing this week, but stay tuned for more posts about the fantasy setting we’re developing.
Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.
- Wish Fulfillment by T.W.Wombat at Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity: Giving your players exactly what they ask for allows you to change the focus of your game. Added bonus: it will totally freak your players out.
Notes From Abroad
Other interesting articles and cool links.
- May of the Dead Blog Carnival at Going Last: A month of undead and horror RPG articles? Yes, please.
- Real World “Dungeon” Cross-Sections at Hill Cantons: A set of real-world maps of dungeon-like environments in the real world.
- Variations on a Monstrous Theme at Wizards of the Coast: Bruce Cordell at Wizards of the Coast suggests expanding the toolbox used to create monsters, perhaps applying something like themes.
- Where Is D&D Headed Next? An Update with Mike Mearls…And the Public Playtest Begins at Wired: A solid overview of D&D Next, along with a long interview with Mike Mearls.
- An Incomplete Pictorial History of Totally Rad Throwing Blade Thingies at Jeffs Gameblog: Images of funky thrown weapons from film and TV.
- Hold On Loosely, But Don’t Let Go at Critical Hits: A quick anecdote on letting go and enjoying the game. Everyone at the table is on the same improv team.
- GM Tips: Story vs. Mechanics at Leaping Wizards: Sometimes, the mechanics prevent a player-character from doing something awesome and appropriate. GMs should override this.
- Steve Townshend on Dungeons and Dragons Improvisation at Sly Flourish: Tips on improving your improvisational GM techniques from adventure writer and actor Steve Townshend. Hint: It’s a team effort.
- UK D&D Drowathon Promotional Blog at UK D&D Drowathon: Check out the UK D&D Drowathon Promotional Blog. If you’re anywhere near Nottingham on Saturday 12 May, get yourself over to Mondo Comico by 11AM to play The Sun Never Rises, which starts the whole Rise of the Underdark storyline, and the first session of the Web of the Spider Queen encounters season.
- On the Turning Point at Hack & Slash: Why do campaigns often stop once player-characters get super-powerful?
- What If? Ed Sullivan Had Thor’s Hammer: A mini-Event for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, including a datafile for Thor.
- Email Your Ducks: 5 Kickstarter Freelance Hiring Tips by Daniel Solis at Daniel Solis: Sometimes common sense needs to be explicitly spelled out, like in this checklist for hiring potential freelancers for your Kickstarter project.
- Sword +1, Flame Tongue at Wizards of the Coast: Remember your first magic item? Did it have a story instead of just bonuses? Do you want more storied magic items in D&D Next?
- Reality Makes the Best Fantasy: Memorial Day at Troll in the Corner: Thoughts and plot hooks around military life and war come just in time for Memorial Day.
- Publishing #1: Introduction and Order of Tasks at Chaotic Henchmen Productions: This series of articles explores the process of producing and publishing an RPG product. It contains some great tips for the neophyte designer and publisher.
- Editing Gaming Products: Part 1 at Gothridge Manor: This series of articles deals with the editing process in RPG products. This first article gives reasons and motivation to set aside some resources (time and/or money) exclusively devoted to editing.
- A Few Tips to Editors at Ryan Macklin: For aspiring editors out there, here’s a short list of what an editor does and doesn’t do from the mind of Evil Hat editor Ryan Macklin.
- Tabletop Role-Playing Games: Perspectives from Narrative, Game, and Rhetorical Theory. (PDF): This 121-page Master’s Thesis studies RPGs in terms of immersion, interactivity, and narrative control. It also suggests avenues for further research. The D&D character sheet biography entertains me.
- Kinds of Player Skill at Playing D&D with Porn Stars: Exploring diegetic thinking, extradiegetic thinking, and mimetic skills in your game.
- The 10 Most Shameful RPG Dice: These 10 dice push the limits of sanity and utility.
- Dungeon Crawl Classics 0-Level Party Generator at Penny Arcade: As the title suggests, this online generator from Purple Sorcerer Games makes a PDF containing four zero-level characters for Dungeon Crawl Classics. Less awesome folks can feel free to roll 4d6 for stats instead of the far more awesome 3d6.
- Player-Controlled Resource Values [In The Lab] by Daniel Solis at Daniel Solis: It’s always interesting to watch a designer noodle over a specific game mechanic. In this case, Daniel plays with the resource value fluctuation mechanic used in Power Grid.
- First look: Game Design merit badge (and how you can help!): The Boy Scouts of America is introducing a Game Design Merit Badge in 2013.
- What Is Role Playing Exactly?: A solid overview of the basic concepts of role-playing.
- On Optimzation at Hack & Slash: An article on game balance and optimization. What if character design choices spring from the story rather than from pure game mechanics?
- Hit Points, Our Old Friend at Syntax Error: Sage Latorra contrasts the D&D Next approach to Hit Points to his own views and approach in Dungeon World.
- On the Front Burner: Terrorform at Sand & Steam: Tracy at Sand & Steam Productions provides an introduction to a multi-generational post-apocalyptic game idea, in which the players are people left behind during a terraforming of Earth.
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 the art of the nap (aka the Short Rest), creepy pictures of the abandoned LA subway system, and epic tier necromancy powers and monsters.
- Roving Band of Misfits publishes their Weekly Roundup column every Sunday. This week’s D&D Next Playtest Is Here Edition gives us lessons learned from D&D 4e, interviews with Mike Mearls, and using Lords of Waterdeep as a plot generator for your tabletop RPG. Also, kudos on the RPG Charity Pack Match effort to help out the Wayne Foundation!
- 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 Fantastic Maps from Jonathan Roberts, an analysis of 2d20 Advantage and Disadvantage effects in D&D Next, and the Star Wars Radio Play which will have you laughing for the entire 80 minute video.
- 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 guidelines to make gaming events more welcoming to female gamers, intentionally de-identifying yourself as a geek, and ways to get more women speakers at your event.