It's been another week of good readings. There's been some heavy and in depth discussions on rules and players which shows an interesting contrast to how we approach gaming. On the lighter side, there's a couple of posts on skill challenges and the PHB2 along with the usual dosage of good advice to improve your game. Expect to see villains going to be the center of attention this week and next week.
There's been alot of talk about Arcane Power too but I sort of gave up trying to follow those because they almost said the same things. All I can say is that the RPG Bloggers Network seems to give it a unanimous thumbs up so it's probably worth having the book in your game.
Let's get on with the good stuff.
PHB2 In Play: The Bard
Gamefiend giving a comprehensive review of the 4E bard. Bards don't suck anymore.
How To Design a Skill Challenge Part 6: Strategies
How to let players make strategic decisions before going into a skill challenge.
Well-Meaning, Nihilistic, Civilized-yet-Deranged: Three Villains
Three villain archetypes.
Bard of Valiant
5 Worldbuilding Links
Viri pointing us to the directions on how to improve your worldbuilding.
4 Villains Ideas You Didn't Think Of
An interesting link on some historical personas who weren't really villains.
Bat in the Attic
Can't stop the sand from running out of the box!
A very good article on running sandbox games.
More Than Just Minions
4 new ways of using minions differently.
Stalker0's Guide to Anti-Grind
Exchange of Realities
But What Can I Do?
PCs have to feel that they are making a difference. Some good thoughts for creating plot hooks.
Life and Times of a Philippine Gamer
Support Squad #1: The Researcher
Support Squad 2: The Driver & The Hacker
Lord of the Green Dragons
What applies to Game Rules applies to Game Setting
Some thoughts on how we should see rules and setting 'canon'.
The Academic Study of Dungeons and Dragons
Why D&D or RPGs in general aren't taken seriously in the academic field. Would really like to see the reference list. There seems to be some pretty interesting books on the subject.
Mad Brew Labs
Designing Games at a New Level
Some advantages and disadvantages of levels in RPGs.
10 mechanisms of a good villain.
The Culture of Outcome
Some thoughts on player-driven narratives and post-resolution mechanics. (Thanks to The Harping Monkey for pointing this one out)
Character Motivations: Why Adventure? [Part 1]
Character Motivations: Why Adventure? [Part 2]
A two-part series on why do characters adventure due to campaign circumstances and character choice. Some great ideas on creating better character backgrounds.
RPG Blog II
They Don't Remember The Mess (Too Much)
Why DMs shouldn't sweat about the details too much.
RPG Dumping Ground
Celebrations of Life and Death
Some interesting plot hooks and ideas on birth, marriage and death.
Sham's Grog 'n Blog
D&D Essentials and Concepts
10 concepts introduced into the game by Dave Arneson that we should be thankful for.
Three Cheap 4e Game Aids
3 dirt-cheap to free accessories you can use for your game without buying the more expensive ones.
The Bone Scroll
I Disbelieve Illusion
How rules and setting can affect players' suspension of disbelief.
The Ghost Tower of Dustiness
(Mostly) Free Typefaces I Use for RPGs
Feeling old school? How about some old school fonts?
The RPG Athenaeum
Quandry-Based Villain Creation
Villains created by your PC's actions. An interesting approach to villain creation.
Expanding Skill Challenges into adventures
Uncle Bear giving some ideas on how to turn skill challenges into adventures.
4E Bringing You Down? Try This!
Some new ways to make combat, skill challenges and magic items in 4E fun.