News from Around the Net: 29-APR-2011

Wow. It’s been a long week this week, but Friday finally emerged from the gloom like a beacon of hope! That means I collected a few articles as food for thought along the way… Or at least I hope I did as I go rustling into my collection of bookmarks for the week…

  • Biscuits and Gravy at Ben’s RPG Pile offers some intriguing ideas on making magic items more concrete in gaming. Even magical food (Waybread anyone?) has its place in a campaign!
  • Dyson Logos. The name evokes images of gorgeous dungeon maps these days. So I was happy to see him share some of his techniques in A Dyson Mapping 1-2-3 Tutorial. I think even *I* can probably draw maps using his steps… it’s on my list to try this summer!
  • Words. Where would we be without them? And I have gaming to thank for much of my love of vocabulary. Over at The Phrontistery, there’s a great article about the effect D&D has had on language in From the Dungeon to the Dictionary. It’s amazing to think that the D&D effect has gone both ways and fed words back into the dictionary from time to time!
  • Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds points out 25 Things Every Writer Should Know from his perspective. My favorite thing is #5 – “Luck matters. It just does. But you can maximize luck. You won’t get struck by lightning if you don’t wander out into the field covered in tinfoil and old TV antennae.” What an image!
  • Magic. If you’re playing a fantasy campaign, it’s good to have some deeper understanding of the rules of magic in that setting… Trollsmyth asks “Whence magic?” and explores different rationales for magic that are definitely worth pondering…
  • In the “oh duh, why didn’t I think of that,” Jeff Rients over at Jeff’s Gameblog has asked 20 quick questions for your campaign setting that will make it much easier for your players if they already know the answers…
  • Justin Alexander over at The Alexandrian has introduced a new way to explain why spellcasters in D&D work the way they do… pan-dimensional parasites… I won’t spoil it – it’s disturbing and yet cool at the same time. Read it here.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages have cropped up in many RPGs over the years, but D&D has managed to avoid them. Dan, the Gestalt Gamer at More than Dice has offered some ideas on how to integrating them into class-based systems in Farewell to Arms: Disadvantages as Character Foundation. As someone who usually plays characters with disadvantages that don’t appear on character sheets, I think there’s some merit here…
  • Ok, so I know this isn’t exactly “RPG” news, but I thought it was interesting. Evidently there’s a Zorro reboot coming with Zorro fighting in a post-apocalyptic future… Wouldn’t it be a fascinating world to game in? Fallout meets Zorro? Hmmm…
  • Dave Chalker has raised the idea of the combat “Out” in an article at Critical Hits, but Mike Shea at Sly Flourish had an opportunity to explore the idea further in a recorded interview with Chalker recently. It’s fascinating listening at Sly Flourish
  • Orcus. He was one of the bad boys of the demon realms of D&D way back when I started playing in the early 1980s. The Wand of Orcus always held a particular strange fascination for some reason… Scott Taylor over at Black Gate (an amazing indie magazine for fantasy stories btw!) has written a great article that pulls together Orcus artwork at Art of the Genre: Orcus.
  • Abstraction is a tool writers in all genres use to make topics accessible and relevant, even if we don’t notice when we use it. Mike at Campaign Mastery has constructed an interesting article about how we use abstraction as GMs in The Nth Level of Abstraction.
  • Michael at the Id DM has started a new feature for interviewing members of the roleplaying community. First on his list, Jeff Gupton of Blackbyrne Publishing

What did I miss? Do you have a link I should include? Drop me a line at the GKR Contact page and let me know!

Stay tuned for the new GKR Newsletter to launch at the end of next week, so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss an issue!

Have a great weekend!!

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