This week we found a few examples of homemade crafts, most notably the sarcophagus build for the mummy and Cthulhu Barbie. And, as always, we have a pile of links running the gamut from making good art to undead plants to mythical adventure inspiration to hardcore game analysis to being happy about playtesting. Enjoy!
Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.
Nothing new this week, but we’re getting some great things organized for our setting.
Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.
- 4 Reasons to Be Excited About D&D Next by Brent Newhall at Dr. Worldcrafter: Brent P. Newhall lists 4 reasons why the D&D Next playtest is exciting.
- Deadweed by T.W.Wombat at Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity: A research report on a newly discovered undead seaweed. Includes stats to use it in your D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder game. Also uses elements from Gamer Assembly’s forthcoming fantasy setting. An entry in the May of the Dead Carnival.
Notes From Abroad
Other interesting articles and cool links.
- Three Best Practices of RISK: Legacy-Style Game Design by Daniel Solis at Daniel Solis: Daniel Solis chimes in with some lessons learned for game designers in the design of RISK: Legacy.
- Traveller 5th Edition by Marc “Traveller” Miller at Kickstarter: Marc Miller is Kickstarting Traveller 5 “The Ultimate Edition”. He’s already made the funding for a print run, and the stretch goals are starting to roll out.
- Adventurers of Old: Perseus at Sarah Darkmagic: A look at the story of Perseus vs. Medusa through the eyes of an adventure designer.
- The Inquisition: Do I Fit? at Troll in the Corner: One player’s story of jumping into an existing D&D game. Good for thinking about characters changing players mid-campaign.
- Hanafuda and the Seasonal Random Effect Device at Monsters and Manuals: How to use a Hanafuda deck to inspire random events in your game.
- Magic Disciplines at Untimately: How would you retool magic in D&D to easily handle a progression of spells? Here’s an interesting take on it – choose a magic discipline and then you never need to prepare spells in that discipline.
- The Closing of the Forge at Deeper in the Game: One game designer’s farewell and thank you to The Forge Forums.
- Protection from Chaos Part XI: The D&D Next Online Playtest Agreement at Loremaster: Rob Bodine, an attorney in Washington state, picks apart the playtest agreement and summarizes it in non-legalese.
- Introverted Wife: Cthulhu Barbie: Follow along as this Barbie transforms step by step into Cthulhu Barbie.
- Players, Trust Your DMs. DMs, Be Worthy Of That Trust at Life and Times of a Philippine Gamer: A look at the D&D Next playtest rules seems to suggest that the designers are trusting DMs to make more calls that aren’t in the rules.
- Fighters: Freedom to Improvise at Life and Times of a Philippine Gamer: Take a look at this list of suggested combat maneuvers or stunts suggested by the list of conditions in D&D Next. Be sure to read the comments for some thoughts on permissive vs. restrictive rules.
- The Fat Game at Playing D&D with Porn Stars: The challenge has been laid down: make a really cool RPG, fat with lists of mechanically interesting options and lore.
- Preview: Never Unprepared at Stargazer’s World: Michael Wolf gives a review of Engine Publishing’s forthcoming book about GM prep.
- Finding Probabilities of Odd Die Combos at Gnome Stew: Here’s a method to figure out the percentage that you’ll roll a 14 on 1d4+1d6+1d10.
- How closely tied together are rules and setting? (And how… at Google+: Can you run a Steampunk game under D&D rules? Great discussion here about play style, setting, rules, and where these three intersect.
- My problem with Kickstarter at Stuffer Shack: Providing all these great RPGs to fund is doing a number on the RPG industry.
- Dude, where’s my first level? at Jeffs Gameblog: Jeff hopes for a little less power in future playtest versions to model the fragile characters in OD&D. Be sure to read the discussion in the comments about playing smarter instead of using more powerful characters.
- Shortlist For 2012 Diana Jones Award Announced by Robin D. Laws at Robin D. Laws: Here’s the list of things up for the 2012 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming.
- Save or Die, and other “Bad” Game Design at Dread Gazebo: One Gazebo’s reaction to all the debate on what’s in or not in the current D&D Next playtest. It’s all about options in a modular system. “If something is defined as core in a modular system, you can just unplug that core and fill it with whatever you want.”
- National Game Development Month: Set aside some of June for NaGaDeMo, and design your heart out.
- On Six Things You Don’t Know About Save or Die at Hack & Slash: From an OSR perspective, you need to be pretty far down the rathole to hit Save Or Die effects, and they have a hard time actually killing your character.
- NEIL GAIMAN: Make good art: A Zen Pencils rendition of “Make Good Art” in comic form.
- Game Designers: Please hire professional editors. at Google+: Curt Thompson makes a plea for game designers to seek professional help to make their products professional. An interesting discussion follows exploring hobby vs. business and amateur vs. professional.
- This is an adventure: A story of an adventuring group told in four images of fantasy pack contents. Add your own details, but don’t forget the owlbear jerky and dwarven cigars.
- On the Wilderness Codices at Hack & Slash: An explanation of different types of wilderness travel encounters, how to handle them, and examples of each. Extremely hepful.
- May of the Dead Mummy at Terrain Wench Productions: A fantastic hand-sculpted sarcophagus and terrain using a mummy mini.
- Along Came a Spider: Choose Your Own Marvel Adventure at Exploring Infinity: What better way to introduce the concepts and game play of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying than a choose your own path solo adventure?
- Think Beyond Your Character Sheet at Wizards of the Coast: “If you play a Fighter and you never do anything but make attack rolls, that is your fault.” Try something different! The system of statistic checks can support whatever you and think of, as this Wizards Forum post reminds us.
- A New Horror Damage Idea at Ryan Macklin: Removing the numbers from damage and replacing it with a picture of the damage to PCs really ramps up the tension for your horror game.
- Caves of Chaos Player Map at Untimately: For those of you playing through the Caves of Chaos for the D&D Next Playtest, how about a map that doesn’t give away secrets? Also includes links to a few other maps of the Caves of Chaos.
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 a detailed analysis of the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic in D&D Next, character death causing player grief, and using Warhammer Quest cards to randomly generate a dungeon map.
- Roving Band of Misfits publishes their Weekly Roundup column every Sunday. This week’s Why I’m Taking a Hiatus Edition gives us the results of the One Page Dungeon contest, the influence of other genres on D&D, and paper treasures for your high fantasy 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 a no-budget no-frills pencil and paper d12 dungeon generator, a Google doc of in-print 1st edition AD&D modules, and a fantastic collection of maps for RPGs.
- 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 feedback to the Hitman: Absolution trailer, gender swapping in Kickstarter rewards, and how brand loyalty works with D&D Next’s business strategy.