Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Friday finally arriving! Unfortunately at my house, that also means that the Spring season of soccer is gonig to start and I’m going to be spending lots of time on a soccer field very soon… But you’re not here to read about my soccer woes!
We had a good week here at Game Knight Reviews, with three reviews (Shotgun Diaries, BP1: The Hidden Current, BP2: The Manor of Deceit) , an article about my use of social media, an article about tools for taking your gaming digital over the weekend, and today’s news.
Next week hopefully we’ll have at least a couple of reviews, possibly an interview, an opinion column, and who knows what else!
Now… On to the links! If you have any thoughts after reading any of these posts you’d like to share, I’d ask that you leave comments on the posts themselves. They deserve the feedback folks.
Food for Thought
- Looking for a new, unique bookmark? Like zombies? Andrew @ Geek Native has just the thing… Zombie hand art bookmarks made by Anna Sternik at her Etsy store!
- File this under A for awesome… Sarah Darkmagic, aka Tracy Hurley, received a terrific letter from a parent of some young gamers who think she and her site are great role models. I completely agree and give some serious kudos to Tracy and wish her continued success!
- Looking for a sword? Maybe one of these ten will suit your fancy. Great list of fantasy swords from Scott Taylor @ Black Gate!
- The story about the game store called The Wyvern’s Tale and it’s saga with their unethical competitor, Hillside Games, continues… But the folks behind The Wyvern’s Tale have risen above the crap with a great attitude and will continue their efforts, which is awesome. Though I live in CO and they’re in NC, I wish them all the best. (Thanks Morrus for the news at ENWorld!)
- File this one under C for Creepy… Spiders covered an Australian farm in spiderwebs after a recent flood. It’s insane to see how much webbing covers the ground! I can see this becoming a new gaming module or encounter soon. [Shudder]
- This week we had a solar storm that swept across the planet, but I’m always more fascinated by weather elsewhere, like Jupiter’s “Big Red Spot” and the winds on Mars. This shot of a dust devil on Mars last from the MRO is awesome… Makes me wonder what else we’ll see in these pictures. What types of weird weather do you include in your game worlds? Any 800 meter high dust devils to contend with?
- Do you ever consider the landscapes for your gaming worlds? Obsidian Crane @ Daily Encounter apparently does. This week he has a great article with plenty of pictures to inspire you to write (or improvise) better descriptions for places. His gorgeous selection of art should offer plenty of ideas!
- Along the same lines with some interesting landscapes is the Lowline project at Kickstarter, which aims to transform an abandoned trolley terminal on Manhattan to create a park underground! The pictures remind me a bit of the “vaults” from Fallout but I can see where they could be adapted for use in game worlds very easily…
Games and Gaming
- Do you write scenarios for gaming conventions? You should check out the article by Sniderman @ Savage Afterworld offering a set of 5 links to posts explaining the best approach to designing and running one-shots at cons…
- Or maybe you, like The Warden @ Optional System struggle with defining roleplaying adventures? He’s having issues defining adventures for Killshot, but the same issues probably exist for other games. Anybody have any suggestions for the Warden?
- Have you ever had a campaign where all your PCs are average Joes shoved into extraordinary situations? I think it would be fun to try. And Scott Malthouse @ The Trollish Delver seems to think so too…
- Last week we saw the first part of The Chatty DM’s “Castle Death!” article series, detailing a simple RPG for kids and parents. Well, there’s more! Part 2 and Part 3 went live this week! And I have to admit, I’m loving the running dialog between Chatty & his son.
- In case you’re needing some inspiration or love random tables like I do, you’ll want to catch up with Richard Pett’s series “Your Whispering Homunculus” @ Kobold Quarterly. Recently he’s done a series of four collections of d12 tables on everything from innkeepers to minor afflictions and damn near everything in between… My favorite though is the “Gelatinery” in “A Dozen Obscure Rooms”… Yes, they’re wacky and that’s why I love them so… Check out all the parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4!
- Gaming is one of those places where people say crazy things in and out of character. Stargazer @ Stargazer’s World shared some of his favorite gaming quotes and encouraged others to do the same. Some good ones have shown up already. What’s your favorite quote from gaming? Share it on the blog!
- Some RPGs are more lethal than others. Rolemaster was always one of the more lethal. Toon, not so much. But the Angry DM has some thoughts and suggestions about lethality in D&D Next this week. It delves into encounter balance and whether heroes vs. a balanced encounter should be able to brute force their way through or have to use specialized saves…
- In a similar, but completely different vein, The Hydra DM this week has a detailed article about scaling damage. Again, focused on balance, but goes through an example from back to front to show what level 30 monster damage would be like in level 1 terms…
- Have you ever wanted to feature gingerbread men in your 4E campaign but didn’t have the stats? Well now you do, courtesy of That Robed Guy!
- Character-focused games. You’d think this would be an “oh, duh!” kind of topic, but it’s not and everybody has a different approach. Mike Shea @ Sly Flourish has a great collection of articles this week on how to get more character-focused in your own games. Awesome food for thought!
- Christina Stiles @ Kobold Quarterly apparently has something against having a nice, quiet picnic. Ant men are terrorizing a village and something tells me they’re interested in more than the day’s lunch!
- Kaiju @ Kaijuville this week stated something I totally agree with… There are too many awesome gaming-related Kickstarter and IndieGoGo projects right now! And it seems I am going to shell out a few $$ in the near future. One of them, Dwimmermount sounds like a megadungeon I might have to delve into!
- One Kickstarter project not on Kaiju’s list is Zombies vs. Werewolves. I love the concept of a card game to see which side is scarier!!
- Or maybe you’re looking for some inspiration for a campaign on the high seas? Admiral o’ the High Seas at Kickstarter aims to offer a short sourcebook for D&D and Pathfinder to beef up sea travels and battles in your games.
- Beyond the Still Games is producing a game I very much want to check out… It Came From Beyond the Still (Aliens vs. Hillbillies)!
- Shaun Manning @ Comic Book Resources did a story this week about how the Forgotten Realms has been translated to comic books recently. In an interview with Ed Greenwood you get to learn a bit about the life of the Forgotten Realms and their creator!
- Have you ever wondered what it takes to license a property for use in RPGs? Will Hindmarch @ Green Ronin posted an informative article on some of the trials and tribulations they went through for the Dragon Age RPG…
- Raging Swan Press continues their regular release schedule with Iconic Characters this week written by Mary-ann Astle and Martin Tideswell, presenting ten 1st-level characters ready-to-play with details galore. Great for new players or when you need a character on the fly! There’s a free version for this one along with the regular version. Check out the product page for more!
- Tenkar @ Tenkar’s Tavern took a look at HAMMERAX – The Ancient World from Greywood Publishing. Apparently it uses the QUERP system, but the book pulls in the rules you need as well as the setting, so it’s sort of an “all-in-one” affair. And other than a font issue which apparently drove Erik a bit crazy, it sounds like a good way to get a look at QUERP…
- Tenkar also did a quick review of The World of Torn: Hand Drawn Maps, Volume 1 (also sitting in my own queue) from Torn World. It includes five hand-drawn maps by Alyssa Faden.
- Meanwhile, over at ENWorld, Neuroglyph took a look at Rattlesnake Games’ 4E module The Slithering Monsoon. It needs some improvement, but apparently is a pretty good first adventure module.
- Vanhavoc @ Troll in the Corner reviewed the 6d6 Core book of rules this week and gave it high marks as a “fun, lightweight system geared towards versatility and ease of use.” Well said! Pretty much I think it’s one of those universal systems that can be morphed into just about any genre or story type you want to tell.
- Are you a Traveller fan? Jason Packer @ Diehard Gamefan posted a review this week of Traveller Compendium 2 from Mongoose Publishing and found it full of fun content for your games.
- Though this is more of an overview than a review, Jeremy Southard @ Wastex Games posted an extremely detailed article about Torguga’s Treasure. Though I’d not heard of it before, it sounds like it could be fun with some pirate action!
- Looking for some apps as a DM/GM? Melanie Gray this week did a guest post at Campaign Mastery offering a list of six apps for Android, iOS, and Blackberry devices that might make your life easier. I might have to look for the DiceShaker D&D app just for fun!
- Or maybe you want some examples of different writing systems so you can create your own for your game? Omniglot is the place to go!
- Don’t know if you saw the announcement about the Outerra Engine this week, but I’m wondering if some enterprising game designer could use it to allow fly-bys of worlds like Forgotten Realms, the world of Game of Thrones, Dune, and many many more. 3D rendering of terrain would offer an intriguing view of these imaginary places, wouldn’t it?
- If you’re looking for “instant town, just click button,” look no further than the Town Generator @ Mathemagician.net. This thing is customizable up the wazoo and generates plenty of crunch to explore in an instant!
- Do you use MapTool? Are you looking at playing the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying RPG? The Online DM has a new framework in place to merge the two! A work in progress, but good news for online gamers looking to play with the new system.
That’s it for this week on the news front. If you want a bit more, check out the Weekly Roundup at Roving Band of Misfits, the Weekly Assembly from Gamer Assembly, and Chris Hackler’s “What’s Up With D&D?” at ENWorld. There’s definitely plenty of news go go around!
I hope everybody has a great weekend!
As always, if you feel I missed something (and it would be impossible NOT to), drop me a quick note via the contact page or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and I’ll add it to the list for next week!
- Friday Knight News – Gaming Edition: 2-MAR-2012 (gameknightreviews.com)
- Dust Devil on Mars (neatorama.com)