To be honest, I was swamped over by this week's worth of readings and it was actually quite hard to keep up with blog posts on a daily basis throughout this week. Still, that didn't stop me from showcasing the best readings that I would heartily recommend!
So let's begin.
A Butterfly Dreaming
Adventure Design 101: The Plot-Problems
Adventure Design 101: The Plot-Story
A series that I've been keeping close eyes on because it gives very sound and basic design methods. The concept of interlocking problems is one that is interestingly explained and gives a perspective on weaving a plot together. Storyboarding is a method that I'm very familiar with but as pointed out in the article, the weaknesses are there for adventure design. Still, it's definately a good method to get things organised.
Advanced Gaming and Theory
An Adventurers Guide to Information Gathering
A great article that is useful in case you want to roleplay the information gathering and other non-cliche and realistic methods of finding a job/adventure.
A Guide to Dwarfen Society
A look back at the roots of the old school dwarves. He even spelled dwarven with a 'F' not a 'V'. This is very useful if you need a basic framework to work with for dwarves or just want to recall the memories of a dwarfen society. A very nice breakdown.
Bard of Valiant
Game Masters and Leadership Skills: Part 3
Game Masters and Leadership Skills: Part 4
Her ongoing series of Game Masters and Leadership Skills continues while touching on motivation for gaming and how to motivate your players.
Brent P. Newhalls' Home(page)
7 Tips For Writing A Better RPG Adventure
A newly published adventure writer shares a few tricks and sad-but-true observations about adventure writing for those who want to get published.
The Undead Are Coming!! A reply to Johnn
A great list of suggestions to a problem being faced by Johnn Four of Roleplaying Tips fame (which can be found at a link in the post). What simply amazes me about this post is how he look at organizational reactions through an offensive, defensive, altruistic and corrupt perspective. This is certainly going to be a useful way of thinking.
Dungeons and Dragons & Racism
This one made me laughed but it certainly has a valid point. It makes me rethink about the black and white or stereotype mentality in RPGs although it is just fun to ignore it sometimes.
Employing Dreams and Other Nocturnal Visions
A look at something that is quite cliche in fantasy RPGs but expands on its functions and further uses.
Dming 4e: What I've learned about encounter design
After much experience and observations, here are some ideas on how to prevent the grind of 4E combat.
d20 Math: AC, To Hit, and Diminishing Returns
Math heavy but very interesting and surprising discovery.
GM Control, Taking it Too Far?
It can happen but who's right to complain?
No one cares how long you worked
A forked thread from the one above that is very relevant to the ongoing debate. What draws the line between appreciation and railroading?
Music for your RPG
A link to a free ambient music site, specially composed for RPGs. Keyword: FREE.
Introductory Games for New Roleplayers
Basic tips for new roleplayers. Not only new but all female. What should you do?
D&D Burgoo Adventuring for the Young'uns
Now it's for the young ones and how to make it simple for them and yourself.
Creating Simple, Deep Playlists for RPG Background Music
Good basic advice on selecting music and what to avoid.
Doubleheader: The Triple Constraint of A Campaign
Doubleheader: You Do Not Have Time for That
Two different perspective on campaign design and committment. Very insightful.
Life and Times of a Phillipine Gamer
Happy Chinese New Year! and 3 Kung Fu games to look at to celebrate!
For the Chinese RPG player or those who really love oriental theme RPGs. Haven't played or read any of the ones he mentioned but it certainly stirs an appeal to me.
GM Time Tricks
Simple time management tips to make the most out of for designing your campaigns.
The Plot Thickens...
A new method called plot layering.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act - And Why All Gamers Should Fear Toxic Games
An Elegant Solution to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
I'll admit that this cracked me up and it's very interesting to know about some gaming-related legislations.
RPG dumping ground
Music in play
More links to more RPG suitable music!
DM's Toolbox: Healing Surges
Some suggestions on how to use Healing Surges becomes a greater variable in resource management for 4E.
Injuries and Wounds in Dungeons and Dragons
A houserule to make 4E combat more gritty and deadly.
So you want to be a GM?
A very good article on becoming a first time GM from the wisdom of Gygax himself!
The Art of the Near TPK
Race/Class Synergy in 4e: Tertiary and Racial Abilities
A deeper look into determining whether racial benefits that suit a class makes and break the build.
The Core Mechanic
Blog Comments - who owns the copyrights to them?
A pretty serious discussion that is sure to be a big issue among RPG bloggers someday.
The Noob DM
Failure is the Spice of Life
If our favorite movies were like RPGs, there would be so many turning points that could have failed. Pay attention to how plots can change because of failure.
The Spirit of Eden
My Take on Dungeon Mastery
Wyatt giving one of the most golden advice in DMing.
You, as the DM, should be one of your own most memorable NPCs.'Nuf said.
11 Ways to Learn New Games: Guest Post by Johnn Four
Very good suggestions for those wanting to break out for their gaming mold.
Points of Light: Guest Post by Thomas D
After reading this, I'm a bit eager to try this out in my pen and paper RPG-devoided hometown.
Is our players learning? (The real price we're paying for 4E)
The end is nigh! Not really but I do share his sentiments that are quite worrying about the future of traditional pen & paper RPGs.
All of these readings are taken up until 31 January because I won't be around on the 1 Feb until most likely 6 Feb. So don't forget to check out those too and let me know if you find anything interesting.
Till then, you can read all these stuff till I get back.