Friday Five: 2011-02-25

City Government Power Bases – Leadership

I needed this post! I’m great at designing cities in a logical and interesting layout. I can place shops, temples, castles, keeps, walls, streets, courtyards, fountains and squares with the best of them. I can even come up with reasonable population percentages, income levels, available cash/gold on hand and what types of merchandise are available in town. I can do damn near any kind of creation on a city that’s possible. It doesn’t hurt that I have almost every RPG resource ever published on creating cities and have absorbed them at a molecular level. So… why did I need this post? I suck at coming up with leaders and power mongers in cities. That’s my one serious flaw at city creation. Johnn’s post on the leaders of a city have gone into my permanent bank of bookmarks (and on this site,) so I can reference it to my heart’s content. Thanks, Johnn!

TheSheDM’s Tutorial on Building an Aerial Grid

I’ve seen 3D modeling done before, but never quite as simply, ruggedly and elegantly as this. The pictures are great, too! Go see what TheSheDM has to say on NewbieDM’s blog about creating 3D space on your battlemat.

You Broke What? – Describing Your Character’s Injuries

This post spoke volumes to me because I use something similar to this. Instead of having critical hits simply double/triple/quadruple damage per the weapon specification, my group uses a custom critical chart that evolved from a Dragon article for 1st Edition AD&D from way back in the day. The chart has been modified and morphed over the decades, and its current incarnation works great for D&D 3.0/3.5 and Pathfinder. It may also work well for D&D 4.0, but I haven’t played with it in that system, so I can say for sure. Anyway, the critical hit chart has things like broken limbs, punctured/ruptured organs, cut off ears, poked out eyes and a plethora of other nasties on it. We didn’t want every wound to have to be described in gory detail as that just slows down the game. However, those amazing strikes and wonderful miffs deserve some extra attention and they come into the game quite well.

RPG Background Music: 41 Awesome Soundtracks

This is the master list for any gaming group with some wonderful soundtracks listed on it. I’m missing quite a few. I see a trip to the local music store in my near future with this blog post printed out.

The Architect DM: Negative Space in Dungeons

When I was younger, if every square of the grid paper wasn’t occupied by a room or hallway, then I did something horribly wrong in my design. Things have changed for the better. Now, I’m happy with dungeons and buildings that have “negative space” in them that the adventurer’s can’t get to. This makes secrets more secretive and the layout/flow of the dungeon work much better. I think I learned a lot from running several Waterdeep/Undermountain campaigns since the published maps of Undermountain have tons of negative space in them. I wonder how many buckets of black ink TSR’s printers had to go through to print those poster maps with all that black in them?