29 May 2024

Review: Infinigrad: The Weird City Toolkit

tl:dr; a shiny new iteration of the go-to urban generator for Suburbs, Buildings, Guilds, Foes, Dungeons and Quests.

Infinigrad: The Weird City Toolkit by Gorgzu Games is the current iteration of a toolkit I have been gleefully using for years - in its first iteration as it was released in parts on the Lizard Man Diaries blog to create cities for my Lizard Kingdoms campaign and it has remained by go-to whenever I want to get granular and creative in an urban environment. Books like World Without Number give you great high level stuff but Infinigrad is the one that takes you down through the suburbs to the room by room.

Conceptually, I belive this sprang from the authors desire to have a toolkit that would support random generation of episodic weird fantasy heists or cyberpunk style 'runs' - each session would see a newly diced up location in the infinite city complete with atmosphere and opposition and off the players would go. What is is now is a hugely detailed set of urban location generators from the suburb scale down to the people and things in the rooms which can be deployed to support any urban setting from fantasy to far future.

The book itself is, to my mind, a solid improvement in useability on older versions, cleaner text layout, easier to read and same great content expanded in useful places. The art through is AI, by "the Daemon Midjourney", as has been the Authors style for years. This may or may not sit well with you but for the vibes of Infinigrad it works as a dreamy, twisted place where people *do* have the wrong number of fingers and generally look twisted, warped and uncanny.

The DriveThru package also includes a bunch of HTML generators - Building Stocker, Guild Dog Generator, Job Generator, Suburb Generator, Suburb Street Stocker and Universal Stocker - which you can just click-to-use instead of rolling dice to look things up. I think I will be sticking with dice on the table and the pdf but these are a nice quality of life inclusion for those who want them.

27 May 2024

Shiny TTRPG links #174

Links from an interesting week on the web, seasoned with a trawl of the archives. For yet more links, see the previous list found here or you can check the RPG Blog Carnival or on Third Kingdom Games news roundup. Originally inspired by weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links.

The Welsh Piper gave us Realities of Fantasy Treasure

Goblin Punch wrote Dungeon Checklist

Mindstorm gives us Collaborative Worldbuilding: Glimpses

Great & Small: The Roleplaying Game Of Animal Fantasy gave us Defending Your Territory

Silverarm shares Fixing Moria: Metro System Megadungeon Design

DAILYADVENTUREPROMPTS gives us DM Tip: Lining up the Pieces

Enthusiastic Skeleton Boys wrote D&D isn't fun enough (or: Enthusiastic Skeleton Boys)

Tabletop Curiosity Cabinet gives us Splitting the Overloaded Encounter Die

25 May 2024

Remixing: Spelljammer Light of Xaryxis Part III

tl;dr: how the players actually bounced around the sandbox made by chopping up Light of Xaryxis

In the first part of this remix I wrote about what I did
* Read through Light of Xaryxis (LoX) and rework the framing of the campaign.
* Adapt the adventure by breaking it up into 'plot chunks' which could be separated.
* Created a system for all the action to happen in.
* Dropped the various plot chunks into places that made sense - this got more focus in the second part of the write up.

Below are the records of how the players moved among the various planets where the encounters from the adventure were scattered. Overall it worked well, with the start holding fairly true to what the adventure lays out then going all over the place in the middle before running through the ending more or less as planned out in the book.

To give context for all the movements described, the roster of planets in the system was:
0. The Snuffed Star – the guttering remains of a star, where a prototype starseed had fizzled
1. Gorondirs Throne – small, with a fiery moon that makes it habitable, dwelling of the Sussurans, quasi-Xaryxian loyalists
2. Mystra’s Mirror - small, flat waterworld - uninhabited
3. Hrungirs Roar - titanic air world with a fiery moon and a habitable earthen moebius-strip, seat of the local astral elves, system capital
4. The Great Belt - chain of asteroids within an extended atmosphere inhabited by miners of many origins
5. Obsidian Depths - vast water world, inhabited only by great aquatic beasts
6. Fanthirs Ruin – enormous earth world, once populated by dwarves, now a mindflayer hold
7. The Ring Sea – water belt with rocky clusters and a great moon within it
8. Tears of Joy – tiny warm water world with a population of raft-dwellers

Below is a mid game map with the long diagonal mapping the 'rings' of the system using the old Spelljammer notation. The closer rings (top left) are one day travel at Spelljammer speed, the further apart rings are two days travel apiece. The astral boundary is bottom right corner - so a fair ways out. The map is from mid-campaign but as you can see, there is quite a chunk of distance, multiple days travel between the different planets - so this hex-crawl became *lengthy*.

22 May 2024

Orc-shifted world (RPG Blog Carnival)

For this months RPG Blog Carnival because the prompt it’s not easy being green from RPG Wandering got me thinking about orcs - and how the world changes, if any, if we slot orcs into the central world spot that humans typically occupy.

What if orcs and goblins were our 'base' for our fantasy world in place of humans? Taking standard D&D fantasy world, you get lots of mixed entities from the influence of magic, the planes, dragons, etc. What does a world look like where the assumed base block of the world is an orc?

This is not Orkworld where we assume Orks are the protagonists in otherwise standard fantasyland, this is assuming a world grown up around orcs rather than one grown up around humans.

There looks to me like three major blocks of creatures that would change to 'orc-based' versions
- those changed by the influence of magical forces - planars
- those combined with other fantasy races through heritage
- those affected/cursed during their life

20 May 2024

Shiny TTRPG links #173

Choice links from this week on the interweb including some sweet Jams! For yet more links, see the previous list found here or you can check the RPG Blog Carnival or on Third Kingdom Games news roundup. Originally inspired by weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links.

Prismatic Wasteland creates Barkeep Jam

The Colours of Pentagrams proposes reCalled from Action - Blogging Challenge

Gnome Stew gives us Give them a War Room: Player Facing Threat Maps

Rise Up Comus gives us Legojam: Castle Hexcrawl

u/i_am_randy shares 11 years of running open tables at local game stores

Archstone Press writes Running Your First Sandbox

18 May 2024

Review: Royal Blood - A Game of Cards

tl:dr; a fun tarot-based heist game, great for whipping up vibrant characters and an intricate challenge for a punchy one-shot.

I got to play this as part of the forever-DMs support group - and it turned out it was on my drives so great chance for a review. Royal Blood is from Rowan Rook and Decard of Spire and Heart fame. I think I got this as part of a bundle and had given the blurb a read but it did not click with me - but now after playing it I have a lot more time for it, I could see this being useful for folk as a world-builder even for other games.

The high concept is that you are a 'Royal' - one of the court cards from the tarot deck - with magic flowing in your veins. Above the world are the Arcane - those who managed to claw or trick their way up to quasi-god-hood, recognised as one of the major arcana of the tarot. The game is about pulling off the heist that tears our the heart of power of one of the Arcane - to ascend yourselves potentially.

Art by Banana Chan

Mechanically it resembles Blades or Spire - not dice thrown but the minor arcana drawn and success depends on the value of the card - yes but, yes and, etc. The design is riotous - great evocative writing set over some bright pages - zine-sized, not a huge amount on each page but punchy and does what it needs to.

15 May 2024

Own Personal Blorb/AntiBlorb

tl;dr: I like Blorb because it anchors on the concept of the oracular dice, that the DM facilitiates, guides the odds by writing the tables to be rolled on, but the dice decide fate. I like Anti-Blorb because it reflects how engaged players paint in the world too.

I read the original Blorb article and thought 'yes, of course' then I saw quite a lot of dismissiveness from commenters I otherwise respect that made me question had I missed something. After further digging I figure that the reasons they disagree is the portrayal of the principles of blorb as iron laws as opposed to a neat heuristic to make a GM's life easier. For that I find Blorb is great.

Hacking Technoskalds summary of Sandra's original model we have three tiers of in-world truth when the group sits to table and the curtain raises on the session:
Explicitly-noted facts are in the GM's binder to be uncovered as play begins
Rules or mechanics (including random tables) which generate truths about the world through play and how the dice fall
Improvised facts are things the DM will create in the moment to fill in gaps not covered by the first two

I find the toughest challenge over long form campaigns is keeping things consistent in-world. Everything reverts to the mean fantasy land mulch in my brain if I do not have some big hooks to hang a seperate world off - and things that remind me of the random little stuff I thought up that would be cool at some point. Setting it out in tiers helps me because it recognises the practical reality of some big set pieces get written up that you are going to use once the players find them, some stuff you are going to make up as you go along - but the intermediate tier is little systems and encounter tables is what helps keep things consistent.

I am fascinated by the description of 'blorby' by Fail Forward as a 'highly detailed pre-written setting' because it is to me one of the ways of *minimising* the detail you need to write into your setting. You generate some reasonable principles for the world - a good encounter table permits the players to wander wherever in a hex crawl for as long as they like. Combine that with mechanics like an overloaded encounter dice to allow any given encounter table entry to serve multiple duties - the encounter, the spoor, the lair, etc.

I like the specific expansion of anti-blorb - which again, weird name - because it maps to my table experiences over the long run.

Per Liches Libram Antiblorb follows the hierarchy:
explicit GM notes and overwise established truths, and if none exist
if the facts would be known to PCs, established player headcanon, and if that does not exist or is inapplicable,
if the facts would already by known to PCs, player fiat, and if that is not applicable,
procedures like random tables for generating truths flagged by the GM in advance, and if none exist,
GM fiat

My first read of 'player fiat' was very character driven 'my back story says' but when I think about my tables with longer running campaigns then it is much more the "I figure that..." of players deducing elements of the world that the DM simply had not yet considered. The DM may have arrived at a different answer if they had come to it alone but with the players here creating perfectly world-coherent answers, why not write it down and make it canon.

Pure unstructured improv for me runs the high risk of me whacking into some inconsistency that players will latch onto and either burn time on something that is not there or require immersion-busting back pedaling. The least wild improv I do the better because things getting generated off pre-thought-through procedures ought to be in-world consistent and support the players general vision of the world. Ideally this then sparks more player headcanon and player driven fact-making which then gives me more world-coherent material to riff off.

I like how Knight at the Opera talks through this approach and the benefits of this 'selective prep'.

It is also helpful as anything after long, draining days or weeks when the creativity within any given thing I am improving might be trying to draw from a dry well.

It helps me structure my creativity and keep the worlds consistent and different from each other, especially when there are gaps between games and switching between worlds.

Godspeed to those who can sit down and extemporise entire campaigns - I used to be able to do it back in college running IOU while my expresso machine ran continuously but not no more. These days, I blorb, because if I come up with a good idea, great! If the players tell me what great idea is implied by stuff I told them earlier, great! If I'm stuck but I've got some tables I can pull a quick random-but-tailored encounter out of, also great! And finally if I find myself way down this list - nothing prepped, the players don't know what should be here, it is off the charts of stuff I have thought of before - then we are in genuine blank space of the world and that is also engaging. Whatever I come up with here in this blank space is going to be informed by all the things it wasn't which at least is better than starting from absolute zero.

Joesky Tax - d6 Abandoned Heist Hauls
1. Smashed chest of small coins, obviously fallen from a great height, bloody scrapes along one edge, short trail of coins away
2. Multiple antique urns, with fading illusions to look like one of the urns, which has an illusion to look differently
3. A great rusted pile of chainmail, swords, helmets, halbards and other gear, within which glint gold and some gems
4. A tipped over coffin with a scarred lid, something crudely hacked off the center of it, scrolls tumbling out across the ground
5. An extremely obvious burial sight hides a chest of the local tax collectors. Multiple trails come too and from the burial pit, signs of multiple reburials.
6. Heavy bundles of fresh furs from a large, dangerous predator. Getting a bit gamey but treated soon might be sold for good coin

13 May 2024

Shiny TTRPG links #172

A fair few interesting links this week. For yet more links, see the previous list found here or you can check the RPG Blog Carnival or on Third Kingdom Games news roundup. Originally inspired by weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links.

DIY & dragons kicks off Summer LEGO RPG Setting Jam

Goblin Punch writes Deconstructing Healing, Potions, and Shrines

Technoskald's Forge gives us Blorb: The Technoskald Interpretation

Planarian Calamarium shares Unified THACO Resolution

Blue Bard gave us Say Yes to the Players

Coins and Scrolls gives us OSR: 1d20 Dungeon Merchants

Traverse Fantasy writes Materialist Magic / Magical Materialism

The Wondering Monster shares Motivating Players to Hexcrawl with Maps Found as Treasure

Hidden in Shadows writes It started with Blackmoor - Firsts

Loot the Room gives us Appendix N Part 2: Games

Nothing's RPG Zone shares Staying Classy in the Stone Age 1

Dice in the North gives us Delver's Tools

Elfmaids & Octopi shares Factions for Chagrinspire For a Prison Adventure

11 May 2024

Remixing: Spelljammer Light of Xaryxis Part II

With the campaign over, diving into a chapter-by-chapter pull-apart of Light of Xaryxis and how I turned it into a sandbox.

In the first part of this remix I wrote about what I did
Read through Light of Xaryxis (LoX) and rework the framing of the campaign.
Adapt the adventure by breaking it up into 'plot chunks' which could be separated.
Created a system for all the action to happen in.
Dropped the various plot chunks into places that made sense.

This post is going to go into more detail on the last point now - how exactly I pulled apart the adventure into how many chunks. The broad toolkit I was looking towards was The Alexandrian 'How to Remix an Adventure' in making a node based structure - where all the nodes here were planets. My initial work up had Chapter 2 happen then direct to Chapter 4, then Chapter 5 and after into 'sandboxing' where Chapters 3, 6, 7 and 8 were the recruitment quests for a different faction. Chapter 6 ropes in the vampirates, chapters 3 and 8 the mindflayers, chapter 8 the local barons and chapter 7 the local imperial loyalists.

To recap the system I rolled up:
0. The Snuffed Star – the guttering remains of a star
1. Gorondirs Throne – small, with a fiery moon that makes it habitable, dwelling of the Sussurans
2. Mystra’s Mirror - small, flat waterworld
3. Hrungirs Roar - titanic air world with a fiery moon and a habitable earthen moebius-strip, seat of the local astral elves
4. The Great Belt - chain of asteroids within an extended atmosphere, with mines and Bral-like asteroid cities
5. Obsidian Depths - vast water world, inhabited only by great beasts
6. Fanthirs Ruin – enormous earth world, once populated by dwarves, now a mindflayer hold
7. The Ring Sea – water belt with rocky clusters and a great moon within it
8. Tears of Joy – tiny warm water world, with a seafaring/spacefaring culture

Chapter 1 - tossed overboard entirely - replaced with a bridge from a 'space whaling' two-shot. I had the intro as the githyanki whaler captain be so impressed with them that they signed them up for what they figured would be a cushy number of a letter of marque with the Githyanki empire to go find a lost agent. This also served as an on-ramp to add players to the party. None of the book content got used as we never witnessed a Starseed drop from the ground. I could have recycled the Moondancer with Cpt. Sartell, Flapjack the Flumph, Traevus and his mutiny and all that elsewhere but I had no shortage of ships to use so they got sidelined.

Chapter 2 - used the Darkstar encounter more or less as is at the system boundary, just kept a more traditional hadozee crew to make the Dark Star and its mission a more orthodox fleet ship. My players, raised on Master and Commander, of *course* took the Dark Star as a prize. Rock of Bral was swapped out for main port in The Great Belt.

Chapter 3 - wreck of the Lucid Edict is a great encounter, lifted as the 'faction quest' to get the local Mindflayers of Fanthirs Ruin allied against the Xaryxians.

Chapter 4 - the Ebonsnare neogi ship got turned into a wildspace encounter - I did not bring in the Space Galleon rescuers since the PCs were well able to take the Ebonsnare apart alone. The Stalwart and Incorrigible were available for use but never got used. All the content about the Rock of Bral got lifted straight over to the local asteroid port, including the astral elf ambush; interestingly, this set the dogs running for the PCs that the Xaryxians must be running a big spy network, how to find it and rip it out? Krux gets found, mentions the Second Wind but the party has their own ship so they ignore it and head to Topolah's for intel. Fel Ardra got recycled as the Xaryxian spy network encounter later, Flinch and Starbough never got used. Hastain the reigar gets placed as an ambush encounter at the asteroid port but the PC's keep doing fast, cunning port departures and coincidentally spoiling Hastains ambush a few times.

Chapter 5 - Topolah's tower and the scavvers were used as is, placed in the Great Belt. Topolah was much appreciated as a source of good intel and her advice to find Gargenhale was taken seriously. The Kindori pod never got used; but this bunch had already been space-whaling. The Gargenhale content was used as was, placed over Obsidian Depths, the big local ocean planet. Throwaway lines in the Gargenhale set up - two starmoth wrecks, evidence of a fight - all this provided lots of investigation by the players trying to reconstruct the timeline of events which took a lot of DM prep on my side to figure out reasonable answers. The players of *course* stopped to strip the Starmoth wrecks to the deck-nails, looking for valuables and intel.

Chapter 6 - Gargenhale and his mutinous crew played as is - though the TPK potential of the explosive cargo of the Last Breath was something I watched nervously as people split up during the fight. There was also a good chance to blow Xedalli to kingdom come before ever meeting her if things go sideways in the fight with Agony. Xedalli was however found and promptly re-imprisoned by the party aboard their own ship.

Chapter 7 - Xedalli got used as is. Pretty much all the long-haul voyage content is here in the voyage to Doomspace so that got repurposed into general travel encounters. Aartuks of Aruun got recycled as the 'faction onboarding' quest for the ssussurans of Gorondirs Throne, including the bulettes. Doomspace itself got chucked - I kept everything in-system, especially since it turned out to be large with weeks of travel between planets.

Chapter 8 - Vocaths base got re-framed as the mindflayers orbital trade station over Fanthirs Ruin. Arena of Blood got turned into the "mindflayer alliance quest" and went by the numbers. Prince Xeleths ambush of his sister was recycled to trip once Xedalli showed herself in public (wherever). Xeleths back-up snatch team got repurposed into the Xaryxian spy network as an ambush on the capital of Hrungirs Roar.

Chapter 9 - Alliance in Doomspace was re-painted and used as a faction-building challenge series to recruit the quarreling local eleven remnants on Hrungirs Roar, the local capital planet. The goals/ambitions etc remained but I switched the races to be residents of Hrungirs Roar.

Chapter 10 - From here on the adventure ran pretty close to 'script'. Citadel assault was played straight up apart from the githyanki knight encounter getting thrown overboard. With the players allying with mindflayers and *being* the local githyanki force it did not feel like a good fit.

Chapter 11 - Trial by combat went more or less by the numbers - some villain monologuing then a beefy fight with a Zodar.

Chapter 12 - Betrayal, fight-back and then final decision to destroy Xaryxis were used as is.

So after I pulled all those bits out and scattered them around, I threw in another faction on Tears of Joy to be an accelerator - they would join once a majority of others were onboard.

I unleashed the players and after a fairly direct route in to liase with Krux they found themselves aware of the problem (sun is cooling due to starseeds, Xaryxians are assholes, they are attempting to reconquer the place, we need to get the locals off their butts by doing things to get them on-side against the Xaryxians). After that they had a bunch of leads to chase down corresponding to encounters from the book set on different planets and off they went. I did not worry too much about what level things were tuned for because with my experience 5e players can usually nova their way through whatever you throw at them and this table were some hard-bitten 30yr D&D vets.

I retooled the milestone levelling to be check-list - once a certain set of encounters were done, they levelled, which meant that it took a while as they cruised around doing bits and pieces then they started completing things and levelled relatively rapidly into the end game.

All in all it worked pretty well - the players went off on some tangents I was able to catch and over all 80% of the campaign sessions worked through at least some content from the book so we got good use out of it. I will walk through how the players interacted with all this on another post.

Light of Xaryxis lends itself well to remixing this way as there are lots of elements that can be swapped around without greatly impacting it

08 May 2024

Further notes on running big open tables

Unplanned I ended up running a big table of nine for one of our open sessions recently - it can work, it is not to be feared and disdained as some might insist. I also got to play in a seven player, multi-faction brawl and ran a seven man table in the past months for other examples. Writing up notes as per Gorgon Bones best practices - Record your hobby experience.

I previously wrote up how I used to make it work in the 90s. In the past months I have run a table of seven and one of nine and it gave me a chance to re-test what I recalled as the way to do it and see was I kidding myself or suffering false memory.

What I remembered of my old methods were:
- make it easy for people to pay attention - either have people involved or make sure things are interesting to watch
- 'just use bears' - keep the monsters straightforward
- take breaks
- run a count down - hold people to making quick decisions
- ambush long discussions with random encounters
- Viking Hat DM'ing - strongly steering the table - though that was just how I ran things back in the day

Since the 90s things I picked up along the way that I thought would help are:
- Puzzles and terrain hazards are great
- Keeping the momentum going by telling people to be ready ahead of their turn

So from these recent sessions, things that stood out to me were:

Lots of bodies makes a mess of combat encounters - a lot of damage gets thrown out before a monster gets a second turn; add foes but keep those foes mechanically simple.

People mostly stuck together - everyone worked well except one or two 'self-centered' characters. Lone-wolves do not work as there is not the time for their running off alone. Getting the party moving through impulsive actions (just pulling the lever) can be fine to break debate-deadlock.

Weird, quirky characters are fine where the player knows how to play them so as not to be a drag. Large headcount tables live in the now, backgrounds are unlikely to feature strongly since there is not time to give everyone that kind of spotlight.

Vary between calling on everyone and letting some drive the action. Some players were happy to sit back and enjoy the ride, if things are being driven forward.

Watch the progress of the group as a whole - as long as things are generally moving forward you are doing ok. Some things get resolved quickly because of many bodies (combat), other things take longer (roleplay).

From the seven player table where sub groups split off regularly on mini-exploration runs, as long as people are doing entertaining things, others will be happy to 'watch the show' - a hub-and-spoke set up works where people do things and come back before doing another thing vs linear where people venture ever further away

From the nine player table - allow folk to run ahead with decisions, in particular being conscious of some players stopping to harvest or cast rituals or other time consuming stuff - note they are stopping to do a thing and see what everyone else is doing with their time. If the party feels it is critical, they will wait, if they feel it is indulgent they will move on and that gives a balance to 'bandwidth jamming'.

Pre-brief folk - recognise it is going to be a big table and ask their help keeping things moving - bring them inside the tent to help.

There was a cool puzzle as part of the nine player adventure, almost a toolbox for players to engage with as much as they wanted (programmable automata) and that worked well.

04 May 2024

State of the Blog (post #600)

I skipped out talking blog stats on the 5-year post, focused on meat-space so here we'll talk about how fares the online realm in a bit more detail.

On Traffic

Everything has gone weird - I assume scraping to feed AI models? The geographic origin of traffic here used to mirror where TTRPG-ers identified as their point of origin - 55% US, then 15% UK/Canada/Australia/Ireland, 10% EU, 20% rest - and over the past couple of months I've been getting *70%* of my traffic from the Pacific Rim - bouncing between Hong Kong and Singapore. That ain't real. Stripping off all that what I assume is bot-nonsense and traffic has been stable for 2024 so far at ~ 7800 hits a month.

Looking at this in the raw from blogger we can see the anomaly clearly - standard traffic is noisy, with occassional spikes with a quick drop of if I get featured somewhere. That big, sustained ramp-up since Feb 2024 is obviously nothing to do with me - either AI scrapers, backwash from other peoples cyberwars or whatever.

I am reassured some real folk do actually turn up because there are the comments and I see myself mentioned in random chatter now and then (shiny weekly links or the 1.2 million character sheets post). The r/OSR blogroll has been killed - the last one has just been left up and ... well throw your links in there to die I guess? I find the auto-feeds that folk set up on Mastodon are much more effective anyway so I am choosing not to fight this fight anymore. Farewell r/OSR blogroll, you served your purpose for a time. The two major replacements for getting the word out have been Sly Flourishes TTRPG Blogroll feed and the TTRPG network on Lemmy which is great because you can follow it on Mastodon and it just connects straight to your feed.

And again, I have to thank the following comrade-bloggers as those who bring readers here - both the long-standing Lizardman Diaries, DIY & Dragons, Chaudron Chromatique, Weaver.skepti.ch, Nothics Eye, Ynas Midgard, Uncaring Cosmos, Retired Adventurer, Kelvin Green, Awesome Lies, Spot Hidden, Shuttered Room, Wierd Wonderful Worlds, A Continent of Banalities, Archons March On, 3d6 Polar Bears and Advanced Mystery and Manners. I appreciate being on your blogrolls.

On content

Most popular posts of the past 6 months - assuming that all got equally affected by the bot-nonsense this is still some measure of what was popular.
Class/Race archetypes in 1.2 million D&DBeyond characters
Review: Reach of the Roach God
Review: Worlds Without Number
Campaign Spin-Up VIII - Fuzzier West March Sandboxes
Masquerade as social depth-crawl (RPG Blog Carnival)
Terrain, Terrain, Terrain
Landing the session ending for one-shots (RPG Blog Carnival)
Chekovs Hooks III: Loose Ends from Written Modules
Thoughts on a new "DMG of house rules"
Review: Beyond Corny Gron
Growing your game group (5yr Blog-iversary)

Of all of those, I am so glad I called out that I got all this data from Dice-scroller right at the top of the post about class/race archetypes post or this would be excruciating - I changed the colours to beef up the contrast and discussed the chart of all the data they pulled and somehow this post has become the 'go-to' post for discussing the dataset not their original post. Why, internet?

The review of Reach of the Roach God has shown legs which is nice but the Worlds Without Number one is really surprising - top 3 for Q1-2024 and it got published in Dec '21! Only other notable point is that the RPG Blog Carnival is providing good chewy topics to get the creative juices flowing on a consistent basis - join in if you don't already.

Another nice online moment was when Bruce Heard (of Princess Ark and Calidar) found the table-test I did of the flying ship combat system he published on his blog and reposted that Skyship Battle Playtest to his own blog. Praise from Caesar!

Additional online effort has gone into wrangling event notices on the RPGVienna forum and on the meetup - button mashing to get people to tables rolling dice.

On Goals

Since the last major check in I can cross off one major goal in that we brought the Spelljammer Light of Xaryxis campaign over the line - only my third campaign to hit their actual planned conclusion. Otherwise open night gaming continues, DM 101 session is at least scheduled and I am getting to play some Planescape as well as continuing Rime of the Frostmaiden.

I notice I have more fodder for 'actual play' and lessons learned posts, less time to do data posts - I guess that is a good sign of more actual gaming getting done.

Going to keep this thing running, it serves well as a place to document observations and lessons learned, flex creative muscles in the Blog Carnivals and so on.