News from Around the Net: 13-MAY-2011 (the Triskadekaphobic Edition)

Happy Friday the 13th! If you have a fear of the number 13 or more specifically of Friday the 13th, today is probably not a great day for you. For the rest of us however, it’s just another Friday that we can go around walking under ladders, crossing black cats’ paths, and breaking mirrors left and right!

That said, here’s a bunch of links from around the RPG blog-o-verse for your (and my) enjoyment and edification. I love learning stuff!

  • Chris Tregenza over at 6d6 Fireball asks the question… “How much does an RPG cost to make?” Once gain, it’s awesome Chris lets us peer behind the curtain of the 6d6 system. And the bankruptcy quotient is definitely high for self-publishers, so his suggestions to combat that factor are welcome!
  • Meanwhile over at Campaign Mastery, Mike suggests a few ways for NPCs to get experience in “Experience for the ordinary person.” Far too often in my own campaigns, the NPCs have been forgotten and left stagnant in their little islands of personal experience. But no longer!
  • The concept of “Rotating GMs” has been around as long as I can remember. The idea of a shared world where two or more GMs share game running duties is tough to manage unless you set some boundaries. The Main Event over at Critical Hits has a few ideas from a recent experience doing just that.
  • The folks at Catalyst Game Labs have some upcoming releases for May… Though I never liked the Shadowrun system much, I loved the world and A Fistful of Credsticks kicks off a new adventure series in that universe. And I did enjoy the Battletech universe way back when, so I’ll be curious to see the updated Handbook: House Liao to see what’s changed with the Inner Sphere’s smallest house.
  • Fred Hicks at Evil Hat Productions has provided the sales numbers for the first quarter of 2011. It’s great to see that sales are staying steady for the producers of The Dresden Files RPG. We’ll hope that continues into Q2 and beyond!
  • Roleplaying Cues. Every character has a few we notice when we’re rolling them up or playing them for the first time… LanJemWezz at Dungeon Mastering offers some tips on how to appreciate low ability scores, choosing the all important stat bump at 4th level and beyond, and our characters’ language skills. Who knew choosing languages could lead to unique catch-phrases?
  • Technology. I’m addicted, I’ll admit it. And as I wait patiently for my iPad 2 to arrive (dang those shipping delays from Apple!), I noted that R.E. Davis at the Chaos Grenade took a look at using the Nook Color for reading game book PDFs. He makes some great observations and has some suggestions on what to use as your PDF reader of choice!
  • Leverage is one of those TV shows we’ve watched since it started to air a few years ago. And the Leverage RPG has been one I’d like to give a shot at some point. So I was interested by Logan Bonner’s article on Critical Hits about playing a slightly slimmed down version of the rules using “Approaches” instead of “Attributes”… Seems it made the rules a bit more intuitive, which is good when you’re running a fast game.
  • If you’ve ever been confused by what a “Work for Hire” is in legal terms, be sure to check out Frylock’s article on Loremaster from this week. Somehow the article breaks it down succinctly enough that even my anti-legal brain comprehended the concept. And if you’re doing any freelancing, this is a must read!
  • Ethics in game design. Sounds like a lecture topic, right? And yet, all the best campaigns I’ve played in have forced my characters to not only consider the consequences of their actions
    at times, but deal with the fallout. It’s that level of grit that really gets me going. And Dan Staines and Malcolm Ryan’s article “Ethical Choices in Videogames: Lessons from Moral Psychology” over at Words On Play offers some great insights on how to purposefully design ethical issues into games. This is one of those articles I’ll be reading a few times to get the majority of the juicy tidbits!
  • Vanir over at Critical Hits offers some tips on “Proper Villainy” this week with the proper application of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt and some obvious admiration for Darth Vader – the one from Episodes IV-VI, not from the “prequels that must not be named.” Somehow I think my bad guys will be a bit badder after taking these tips into account…
  • Keeping NPCs and PCs firmly in the mind of the players or GM during a game is important. So Greg Bilsland’s tips on staying “In Character” at Eye of the Beholder are very welcome. Playing in character is one of those things you learn over time as a gamer and I know when I get it right I feel exhilarated by that bond between me and my PC. These tips are straightforward, simple, and useful!
  • Do you remember all the comic images in the first edition Dungeon Master’s Guide from TSR? As a kid just learning the RPG ropes, those cartoons broke up the text in such a way that you had a little break in all the right places. Scott Taylor at Black Gate has published a great interview with the artist of those now iconic images – Will McLean. Check it out at the very least to see those cartoons again!
  • The May RPG Blog Carnival was kicked off this week by Greg Schuster at The Dump Stat… This month it’s about Crossing Genres in your games. Be sure to pipe in on how things have gone well or not gone well crossing genres in your own campaigns!
  • Looking for a way to help design a city for a fantasy campaign? Check out the “One Page City Template” from bliss_infinite over at The Warlock’s Home Brew. Templates and worksheets can offer some structure to an otherwise amorphous task… This looks simple to use and a great way to save time and energy.

And don’t forget the articles from earlier in the week at GKR!

  • See what the kobolds have been up to in the latest Kobold Quarterly.
  • Get some details on Brandon, Manitoba’s upcoming PrairieCon XXXII coming up the first weekend of June 2011.
  • And consider whether crossing the streams is bad in my first entry for this months’ blog carnival on crossing genres in campaigns…

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!

Have a great weekend!!

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2 comments to News from Around the Net: 13-MAY-2011 (the Triskadekaphobic Edition)

  • Glad you enjoyed the Nook Color overview! I bet you’ll be pretty happy with the iPad 2….buddy of mine has one and it looks NICE.

    • Fitz

      @Rev. Lazaro – Sweet! I’m excited to have yet another way to waste time and hopefully be productive. ;) Thanks for the Nook review though- I’ve been curious how one would work since I’ve seen many articles about rooting them and using them as Android tablets.

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