Happy Independence Day to those of you in the United States. Be safe with those fireworks.
The holiday yesterday at work should have allowed me ample time to get this post up in time, but I spent a vast majority of the day with three friends playing D&D (version 3.5 for those that care), and it was a great time. Much fun was had throughout the day. However, the marathon gaming session (with a break for some grilled meats), ate up pretty much the entire day. That’s okay. The downtime from the stresses of Real Life and other responsibilities really helped me out!
Now on with the links for this past week!
Douglas is at it again with his comparisons of how various RPGs handle aspects of gaming. In this one, he takes on firearms. As expected, the GURPS section was the longest because that game has more details about firearms, bullets, and ranged combat than any other system I’ve come across. Of course, you don’t have to use all of those detailed things. They’re there for your enjoyment, not befuddlement. His breakdown of the various games he approaches is spot on, and really gave me some insight into how the rules wrap around the use of firearms.
Mike continues talking bout physics in gaming! Actually, this is his wrap-up post on the topic, and it’s a good one. The best part of this article, for me at least, was the “Campaign Consistency” section. I’ve house ruled before. We all have. Sometimes on the fly because those crazy players make hare-brained schemes that just aren’t quite covered in the rule book (these are the best times for me, BTW). This section of his post really helped solidify an approach and logic chain for me that will help me make better house rules and “on the fly” adjudications in the future.
Walt has five great tips on how to handle that “moody player.” You know the guy/gal. They’re dragging down the fun everyone else is having through their attitude, grousing, and general grumpiness. I’d be willing to bet we’ve all been that player at some times. It happens to the best of us. Maybe by reading this article, you can self-identify and self-correct before it becomes a large problem for the others at the table.
I’ve given a swing or two at doing something like this, and it’s always come out uneven, not quite on spot, and off in places. Douglas’s efforts here are much better than any I’ve seen in a long time. They’re also easy to understand how he got what he got, and how to put the rules to use.
Last week, I groused about my handouts not being all that helpful in the game because of lack of use by the players. Mike took my complaint to heart, and dropped this very helpful article into his blog. If you’re finding that your handouts don’t have the right punch or usefulness to the story being told, check out this article (and the one I linked to last week). Phil’s article from last week was very helpful in getting my thought train going. Mike’s article from this week is immensely helpful in drilling down into those ideas and assisting me in finding different purposes for handouts. Mike’s article reminded me of when I ran Top Secret S/I back in the early 1990s. I used handouts (dossiers, tactical maps [aerial and satellite image type stuff], photos of enemy agents) to good effect. Since then, I’ve mainly run fantasy-based games, and that’s where my handout usage falls short. Mike’s article has helped me realize the various purposes of handouts, and that’s given me some ideas for things to do with them in my fantasy games. Thanks for the great article, Mike! It’s just what I needed.