I read quite a few blog posts this week, as I usually do, but only four really caught my eye. Some were about upcoming conferences, some were specifically about D&D 4e and some were just not my cup of tea. Here are the four that I saved links to:
I fully agree with James on his post in that most spell names are “bland and clinical.” In my own RPG, I’ve committed this sin, but it was more for the sake of ease of use by new players than an attempt to add flavor. Yes, I have spells that are named after the wizards that created the spells, just like in past editions of D&D. That’s as much “flavor” as I wanted to add to the spell names. I feel that it should be up to the players and GM to collude on creating new spells, or simply renaming spells to give the game more flavor. This way no one is left in the dark.
Ahh… The mathematics of role playing games. I love ’em. I eat ’em up with a passion. I’ve done many math problems by hand and even gone so far as to write small bits of software to do some very complex mathematical functions for me. I wish everyone had as great of a grasp of the numbers that run “behind the scenes” to die rolls as I do. It would make most gaming sessions run easier as people would stop asking, “What are my chances of pulling this off?” They could number crunch in their head very quickly (like I do) and then know the general odds, which is very close to how things happen in real life.
I’ve been guilty of drawing a map or three, randomizing some cities with store names and such and calling it good. Of course, most of my “guilt” comes from a severe lack of time. I tend to gloss over the cultural details in my head as I design nations, and then flesh them out as players enter the areas and start asking questions about their surroundings. I’m familiar enough with history from all sorts of ages and cultures that I can easily make up the details on the fly and do a pretty good job of it.
What to run next? Great question that comes up quite often in my present and past gaming groups. I only wish I were this organized when it comes to it. I also wish my gaming groups (past and present) had more decisive people in them when it came to new gaming systems. I’m definitely bookmarking this page and using it as a template moving forward for trying to help me decide which game system to run next.