It’s Monday, and I just don’t feel right without publishing a Weekly Assembly. Odd, that. I think the cancellation of the regular series gave me permission to miss a week or two at a time and not feel badly about it. I’ve changed the name to the Nigh-Weekly Assembly to reflect the new not-every-week status.
This week is filled with GenCon prep, or CONCurrent prep if you can’t make it to Indianapolis. And to help you prepare, have some free downloads and other inspirational links. Enjoy!
Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.
Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.
- The Places of Pyre: The Warriors’ District by Brent Newhall at Dr. Worldcrafter: Explore warrior training facilites in the dead city of Pyre, and try an ancient test as you try to survive the Gauntlet of Chains.
- 50 Games in 50 Weeks: Houses of the Blooded by Brent Newhall at Dr. Worldcrafter: In Brent’s quest to experience several new games this year, here’s how he reacted to his first time running Houses of the Blooded.
- Another Classic? by Adam Page at Daily Encounter: Another Classics Return preview article that uses the name Greyhawk as inspiration for a new secret society complete with a 4e PC theme.
- Scarlet Witch – Marvel Datafile by Brian Liberge at Stuffer Shack: Brian writes up the Scarlet Witch for your Marvel game.
- Quicksilver – Marvel Datafile by Brian Liberge at Stuffer Shack: Need a fast villain? Try Quicksilver for your next Marvel game.
- On Scaling Monsters by T.W.Wombat at Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity: Why should PCs have all the advancement fun? If you’re willing to put in a little work, that Kobold Archmage could give your party a run for their money.
New products and special events announced this week.
- The GM’s Real-World Reference by Tristan Zimmerman at Kickstarter: Here’s a collection of one-page snippets of places, events, and people from the world we all share to inspire you to create something in your game world. I really like this idea.
- Dragons Gameboard by Brass Monkey at Kickstarter: A virtual tabletop that the entire table can control through their Android or iOS devices? Color me interested.
Notes From Abroad
Other interesting articles and cool links.
- Third book, “Magical Environments, Effects, and Events” released for free. at Reddit: Looking for a magical bit to add to your fantasy game? How about a Chrono Storm or Fate Volcano or Willpox? Take a look at these three free collections of goodies for more ideas.
- Composite Skill Bonuses in the d20 System at Loremaster: If your PCs are using several skills at once, why not collapse them into a single roll? This method also handles cases of “missing” skills, like having the Paladin sneak past a group of Ogres using a distraction. An excellent idea from FASA’s Star Trek ported to D&D’s skill system.
- 1st Edition AD&D Special Edition at Original Edition Fantasy: A look at the pros and cons of the premium reprints of the original 3 AD&D books.
- The “Google Translate” Name Game at Intwischa: Need a name for your game? Fire up Google Translate and plug in a couple of relevant words. Problem solved.
- Tenkar’s Minor Magical Tidbits – Backbiter at Tenkar’s Tavern: Need to increase your backstab multiplier in AD&D? Put one of these short swords in your game. Nicely done, and not a huge power boost.
- AD&D’s Apocalypse and Hereafter at Hill Cantons: AD&D’s random tables imply that the world has recently been devastated, with fortresses in the wilderness overwhelmingly populated with brigands.
- Star Wars High School Breakfast Club: Great art for high school versions of Star Wars characters, and an excellent mashup with The Breakfast Club.
- Elf & Magic-User Sumerian LL Spell Names / Command Words at Darves Hill: Using Sumerian words as either arcane names or verbal components for Labyrinth Lord spells. Great resource!
- Here be dragons: A look at virtual game tables – TechHive Beta Blog: A look at the state of the VTT arena with mini-reviews of Roll20, Tabletop Forge, and MapTool.
- A Billion Years? at Monte Cook Games: Monte dives a little deeper into what he wants out of a setting a billion years in the future.
- Playtester Profile: NewbieDM at Wizards of the Coast: Nice interview with NewbieDM as part of the D&D Next Playtester Profiles series.
- FATE SF: Interview With Sarah Newton, Part I at FATE SF: A great discussion of old school systems and new rulesets with the designer of Mindjammer.
- DragonQuest: Remember the old RPG from SPI/TSR called DragonQuest? Someone managed to get several versions of the rules online.
- The Storyteller’s Tools at Some Space to Think: What happens when the storyteller doesn’t have all the answers about where the story goes next, like when a GM starts the story and the players pick it up?
- MEOW: a way of looking at conflict resolution at Deeper in the Game: A way to think about conflict in RPG rules, using a four-axis model. Useful for determining if the creative decisionmaking work you and your players want to do fits with the rules.
- Hackmaster Basic is Free! at Kenzer & Company: Kenzer & Co. have released Hackmaster Basic for free. Go grab yourself a 231-page PDF with cover art by Erol Otus.
- In Praise of Modules at Untimately: Why use a pre-fab adventure? “…to charge my own creative batteries by basking in someone else’s creative light.”
- The Google Plus Epicenter Shift at Hill Cantons: A look at how the vibrant gaming community on Google+ has changed the blogosphere for good and for ill.
- On Interesting Treasure, The Snake Ring at Hack & Slash: Nice ring with open-ended rumor/lore story ideas attached.
- Reality Makes the Best Fantasy: Traffic and Crowd Control at Troll in the Corner: Ever thing about how crowds and traffic impact your game setting, especially in cities? Use these questions to flesh out crowd dynamics in your game.
- Make-A-Geas at Critical Hits: Make Vanir dance like a monkey on a string as he completes your quest at GenCon this year.
- THAC2, OD&D AC, and Combat Ranks at Untimately: Sometimes the simple approach makes sense, like sticking with only 3 armor types from OD&D.
- On the Monster, Random, Wandering or Otherwise at Hack & Slash: Analyzing random vs. wandering monsters and what each type costs the party.
- RPG Pitches goes live! at Teutonic Blogging: Need some help pitching a new system to your players? Take a look at this tool for a list of inspiring taglines by system in German and English.
- Experimenting with 4E at Robert J. Schwalb: This article picks apart the bonus progression in 4e and sees how changing the progresion would change the game.
- 5 Ways You Don’t Realize Movies Are Controlling Your Brain at Cracked.com: Written to focus on movies and TV, but these points are every bit as relevant to RPGs. Stories can hack your mind and make you believe, and there’s no way for your brain to tell reality from fiction. It all boils down to what you focus on.
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 some great ideas for underground encounters, a guide to personality traits and motivations, and signature attack powers for your Epic-Tier 4e characters.
- Roving Band of Misfits publishes their Weekly Roundup column every Sunday. This week's Gencon Excitement Edition gives us a history lesson featuring the second roleplaying game ever invented, 10 reasons why D&D is better than an MMORPG, and how to draw old-school maps in Excel.
- 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. I don’t see a post for this week as of the time of publication.
- 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 Backup Ribbon Project, and Not In The Kitchen Anymore’s latest sample of online harassment.