It has been like poking a hole at a bee hive over at the RPG community. Dave Arneson was hospitalized, prematurely announced to have passed away and then confirmed to have left us for the gaming heavens. On the other hand, Wizards dropped a bomb by announcing that they are immediately withdrawing all of their pdfs from being sold.
Naturally, the RPG bloggers and forums have a lot of things to say about this whole hubbub and the noise level in the echoe chamber just went off the roof. Well wishers for Arneson and condemners of Wizards have been covering up the RPG bloggersphere and I have all but given up trying to cover the whole debacle, except for Dave Arneson. If you really need to catch up on Wizards, I suggest you go back two to three pages from the RPG Bloggers Network, you'll know it when you see it.
On the good gaming advice front, there's still been scrapes of good content coming. Villainy and paranoia seems to be the talk of the week and there's some really devilish GMing advice on turning your game into your players worst nightmares. But there's still other helpful and insighful tips and discussions on high level game play, the weather and roleplaying.
So here's the rundown for this week's readings.
Advanced Gaming & Theory
Alignment As Adventure
Some very good ideas of how to use alignments as a basis for adventure.
The Vicious Virtues of Villainy
The gamefiend's take on villain motivations, goals and plots and minions
Bard of Valiant
ChattyDM - Living up to his Name
The Bard interviews with another RPG blogger. This time she catches up with the renowned Chatty DM for his chattyness and ask him about his gaming style.
Bat in the Attic
Vin Diesel is one of us
Another video of Vin Diesel talking about his gaming life and his squeaky voice.
Ask The GMs: Weather, Not Climate
The dynamic duo from Roleplaying Tips gives some very good advice on generating weather and point out some pitfalls of using weather in your game.
Ask the GMs: Pacing Your Campaign
Another great round of advice on pacing your campaign.
Are You Playing Too Fast?
5 ways to slow down and enjoy the scene-ry of your game. Very interesting observation.
Chad Perrin: SOB
runnig high level ROLEplaying games
Some good points that we might have overlooked about high leveled gameplay.
high level campaigns: keeping conflict interesting
A couple of ways to keep high level combat interesting instead of lengthy.
high level campaigns: party balance
high level campaigns: the NPC bookkeeping problem
high level campaigns: character optimization
Some character issues in high-level games.
Filling in the time
3 things to do when you are taking a break or just waiting for someone to start the session.
3 reasons to run the gaunlet
3 things that a DM can do with a simple dungeon crawl.
Taking the Dungeon Out of Dungeons and Dragons
An interesting idea of incorporating skill challenges for exploring dungeons instead of using maps.
Reputation (Part 2)
3 types of heroes with reputations that they earned.
How RPG piracy works - Part 1
How RPG piracy works - Part 2
A very well research and detailed look into how RPG piracy operates. Really worth reading to know more about.
Be Careful What You Write
Something for RPG bloggers to keep in mind when dishing on your most hated publisher for your most favorite game.
Lord of the Green Dragons
Role-Playing Must Be Fun
The real meaning of fun in roleplaying games.
Mad Brew Labs
RPP-310: Roleplaying Promotes Wellbeing
An academic look into how RPG can cover all seven areas of play that are important to human development.
How to: Calculate Probability With Multiple Dice
Some mathematical formulas for calculating the probability of getting the results you want from your dice.
Vin Diesel's Melkor the Drow
A video of Vin Diesel acknowledging himself as a gamer and talks a little bit about his gaming life. You probably want to watch xXx again after watching this.
Masterplan - Software for the 4th Ed. DM
A great free tool for managing your 4E game.
Mess with Your Player's Heads!
3 simple ways to get your players paranoid.
RPG Blog II
Discussion: Gaming Companies That Get It Right
Since Wizards is showing poor customer relations, Zach asks which companies are doing it right.
In the Wake of PDFGate, Bargains Abound
Since Wizards have pulled down their PDFs for sale, other publishers have been selling out theirs with generous discounts and bargains. It's a good time to look around for anything besides WotC.
Tales of the Ink Knight
Give Your Cursed Items a Reason to Exist
Why does a cursed item exist?
Gice Your Cursed Items a Reason to Exit Part 2: Quirky Items
About not so harmful 'cursed' item, just annoying.
The Bone Scroll
Why are there Heroes?
Defining heroes by the social norms.
The Core Mechanic
Anatomy of a Villain
A good list of ideas to make your villains more memorable with a bunch of good links to villainy tropes.
Reputation (Part 1)
A guest post from the guys at Dungeon's Master on a series about reputation (see above). This post talks about the types of reputation.
The RPG Corner
For all your modern urban fantasy/horror campaigns...
Top 10 grimoires in the world by the Guardian. Very useful and inspirational to base a campaign on. A little wiki might be needed to get some more knowledge.
The Spirits of Eden
Wyatt sharing what he likes and don't like about homebrews for 4E.
Depth Versus Breadth: Guest Post by G. Kinslayer
What truly makes a master? Diveristy. Very well written.
How to Screw with the Players-Part I: Guest Post by G. Kinslayer
How to Screw with the Players-Part II: Guest Post by G. Kinslayer
A guide to completely make your players hate you.
Designing for Generational Campaigns: Part III Advancement
Designing for Generational Campaigns: Part IV Life Spans
The issues of having balanced power across levels and aging.