06 February 2023

Shiny TTRPG links #106

Links from wanderings about the web. More can be found on the previous list found here. The original inspiration for all of this is weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links. You can find even more links on the newly-automated weekly blogroll on r/OSR or the RPG Blog Carnival or a roundup of non-blog news on Third Kingdom Games roundup.

Plastic Polyhedra provides the prompt for February 2023 RPG Blog Carnival: Procedures

Archons March On shares Mud Flood Dungeonry

False Machine writes Imagining Roteopia

Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque on The Dream of Dungeons & Dragons

Methods & Madness writes A glance at Basic D&D, B/X, and some clones (LL, OSE, BFRPG, DFB, BECMI and others)

Welcome to the Deathtrap proposes that on systems we Roll Your Own

04 February 2023

Reflecting the richness of the world in your NPC Encounters

I saw Throne of Salts check-list for 'building more diverse worlds' - I already had all the layers from generating with Azgaars, so I wanted to see how much more I could wring from this.

The killer point for me was "Cultural / religious / ethnic minorities will always exist, there will always be some sort of cultural exchange or interaction going on even in the most isolated and tiny locales. Migration and diaspora are written into our souls (for is it not said, that the open road still softly calls?)"

Layers from Azgaars Fantasy Map Generator


So - while we have the day to day majorities, we can break in with the neighbouring cultures and religions. This being menagerie world, ethnicities are already all over the place with the many many animal-lings; I am just running that as a random-roll layer that drops in on top of all the chunkier elements.

My standard NPC creation workflow is:
- What this person is like individually (randomised traits)
- Their background / ancestry (randomised background)
- What they care about (picked faction)

I see what we look at here dropping into the background aspect - breaking up the monolithic aspects of the different groups of animal-lings.

01 February 2023

Creating Unlockable Encounter Tables

Springing from a nice layout on Developing A World Through Encounter Tables by Welcome to the Deathtrap on how they make encounter tables I wanted to walk through how I made mine for Southern Reaches.

Given the drop-in, player-guided nature of the game, it becomes more important to get a bunch of ideas down in an encounter table so when I come cold to some nook of the campaign later, it is all ready to go. For other campaigns the players are on a more steady trajectory but for more open world, they could go anywhere. I decided to dust-off the unlockable 'hidden depths' style of encounter tables so I could get everything down in one place.

Rather than going with all the options which is good for creeping conditions, a chaos scale or the like, I just picked out 6d4 and 2d12 to give a day/night shift. This boils down 30 options (with some duplicates) to 23 but pulls a bunch of the interesting things off a special list with a sub-1% chance of getting rolled to give more variation and make some of them more likely to turn up, especially at night.

30 January 2023

Shiny TTRPG links #105

Links from wanderings about the web. More can be found on the previous list found here. The original inspiration for all of this is weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links. You can find even more links on the newly-automated weekly blogroll on r/OSR or the RPG Blog Carnival or a roundup of non-blog news on Third Kingdom Games roundup.

Trilemma Adventures delves into play-styles by setting A Taxonomy of Roleplaying Utterances v0.1 then using it to classify an old-school session in Further RPG Transcript Analysis: Old School and compare that to Critical Role RPG Transcript Analysis: Critical Role and pull out the game-play loops from both using what behaviours follow which others.

From the Sorcerer's Skull shares The Gygaxian D&D Implied Setting Recipe

Indre Auge Blinks asks What is high-trust trad adventure design?

Elfmaids & Octopi racks up the tension with Doomtracks

Rise Up Comus on how wizards are always at fault in Two mistakes

The Grisly Eye gives us Cities in Cities

The Dododecahedron gives us Refereeing Forgery

28 January 2023

How Much Would We Spend On A VTT?

After the hoax '$30/month for the new D&D' screenshots went around I dug around to see if we have any indication of what the market might bear as a price point and I think it is ~$10/month.

Apparently the screenshots below are a hoax cooked up by someone long before the OGL fiasco but they did start an interesting conversation - people were outraged at $30/month but at the same time there was recognition that a bells-and-whistles VTT would have a cost and people would in theory be willing to pay for something they perceive as value. So what could people be convinced to pay?

I'm going to take the current DnDBeyond and Roll20 price points as a starter - $2.99 for basic DNDBeyond, $5.99 for all the bells and whistles, $4.17 monthly for Roll20 basic, $8.33 for everything. Imagining that the OneD&D VTT does provides a virtual tabletop like Roll20 and holds all your charactersheets, rulebooks etc. like DnDBeyond and charges you a combo price for it we can start by smushing both those services together and say basic would be ~$7, deluxe would be ~$14. Certainly those could be rounded down but we're trying to get a sense of how much could be pried from the hands of our fellow gamers on a monthly basis so we shall lean high.

25 January 2023

State of the Blog (post #401)

Have kind of tread close to this recently with the end of year but hey, 400 is a milestone.

Overall its been a decent year - views punched up from ~3000 a month to ~4400 a month which is a good bump. There was definitely a solid chunk of Russian bots and cyberwar scouts in there but apart from hollow numbers they did no damage here. Oddly comments have dropped off (but it felt like they bumped up recently). Twitter followers has plateaued - got up to 608 or so and stabilised about there which is pretty much flat from 100 posts ago. I have spun up on Mastodon as a back up should the bluebird go away.

I was originally going to replicate the template of the 300th blog post with stats and so on but you've seen all those recently on the end of year post so lets not waste your time. I think a more interesting question is what is this place for?

23 January 2023

Shiny TTRPG links #104

More links I found interesting from the past week or from archive dives. More can be found on the previous list found here. The original inspiration for all of this - weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links. You can find even more links on the weekly blogroll on r/OSR or the RPG Blog Carnival or a roundup of non-blog news on Third Kingdom Games roundup.

In the light of recent events, let us recall A Knight at the Opera wrote Oh God There Are So Many RPGs (A Guide)

prokopetz proposes Inadvisable tabletop RPG premise #137

Tabletop Curiosity Cabinet shares Downtime Activity: Worshipping a God

Goblin Punch gives us Puzzle Do's and Dont's + Some Examples

Frog Factory starts the year with Three d100 Battlemap Generators

On Dungeon-building we have:
From Kuroth's Quill with #Dungeon23 Resources - Mega-Dungeon Tools of the Trade
Aaron The Pedantic holds forth on Dungeon Space: Introduction & Torches
Plastic Polyhedra On #dungeon23 and losing myself in old school dungeon stocking tables
The Dododecahedron with 100 Dungeon Entrances
Goobernuts' Blog gives us Giant Tree Dungeon – #dungeon23
Wondering Monsters? shares #Dungeon23 Bloodlands Hexcrawl Location 1

For our Dwarf corner for this week, fittingly we go digging in the archives:
Goblin Punch has Some Words on Dwarven Gender
A Blasted, Cratered Land gives us Facts About Dwarves
The Oblidisideryptch writes Dwarves Dwarfs Dwarii
Nuclear Haruspex on Dwarves and Orichalcum
Dapper Dungeons saw Dwarves of living Stone
Cyborgs and Sorcerers wrote Races Re-Imagined: Dwarves