Friday Five: 2011-02-18

Sorry. Only four links this week. Either I didn’t have time to find the good ones this week, or most of the posts I found fell short of my standards of usefulness for sharing. I do recall quite a few D&D 4e posts this week, and I just can’t bring myself to call them “useful” unless the information there also assists people in gaming with other systems.

I Hate Skills

I Love Skills. If a game has less than 100 skills, then it doesn’t have enough. The problem with (A)D&D (any edition) is that there were not and are not enough choices. That’s the problem with the system they had/have. Don’t get me wrong, I love almost any incarnation of (A)D&D, but they’ve always had a weak skill system. Robert states that skills restrict the game rather than setting the players free to do as they will. When you only have a handful of quality choices for skills, then that is absolutely true. When you have enough choices (again, well over 100) then the choices for freedom of action and customization of a character are practically limitless. Yes, it makes character creation a little more difficult, but it frees up so many things during game play that the up-front cost is well worth it.

One Spell Can Change the World

In a game long ago in another age and in another world, I played a thief/wizard who played the part of local hero and private investigator. He loved to cast Speak With Dead as part of his duties and adventures. Mainly because he was in the realms of Ravenloft and with each casting there was a chance of catching the attention of one of the Lords of Ravenloft. Even though the game went on and onĀ  for quite a long time, I never did have to face the music. Either I got lucky on the die rolls that the GM hid from me, or he fudged a few things…. because I cast that spell lots during the course of the game. Martin is right… This spell does change the world.

The Architect DM: Open Spaces Design Toolbox

Not everything happens under a roof or beneath miles of stone and dirt. Sometimes, they happen out in open spaces, and Bartoneous is not talking about out in the wilderness… He’s talking about streets, alleys and plazas within the city walls. It’s a great post and anyone thinking about designing a city needs to read it.

Networking: Going Beyond the Gaming Group

In this post Patrick states that a GM needs to have multiple groups in order to stay connected to the gaming world at large. I couldn’t agree more. I used to do this all of the time, but with older ages comes more responsibilities beyond gaming. I wish I could keep up with everything going on in my local community, but that’s just not an option open to me anymore. *big sigh*