Friday TEN: 2011-04-01

Nope. It’s not an April Fool’s joke. I’m doing ten links this week! I’ve added quite a few new blogs to my list of ones to watch since I was tired of linking to the same old sites week after week. I’m continuing to add to this list of blogs. I’ll be updating my Blogroll on the left-hand sidebar shortly with the full list of RPG blogs that I follow. I’ll announce when I make that change. Now, on to the ten links for the week!

Gaming Convention Survival Guide

Convention season is coming up and people always tend to forget how to prepare, act, sustain and exist during this period. It’s understandable that this is the case since most cons are vastly overwhelming, but with some proper education and preparation, you’ll be in good shape.

“I’ll never be able to do this justice” Syndrome

This is a case of GM-block. It’s like writer’s block, but worse since it impacts your group and players. Let it be known that no amount of preparation will get you ready for what the players will do. It’s best to do what you can and then wing it from there. Sure, some games require more preparation by the GM than others, but only so much can be done up front. The key point is to show up, have fun and make sure your players are on the Fun Train right along with you.

Why Don’t They Throw Rocks?

The tactics, or lack thereof, of the Bad Guys can make an encounter too easy for the players. If they are fighting shambling oozes with rock-bottom intelligence scores, then that’s fine. That’s how it’s supposed to be. However, if the enemy is even slightly aware of their surroundings, nearby rooms and other items of note, then the call for reinforcements, use of terrain and lack of stupidity will really challenge the players. When this happens, the best memories are made around the table.

alt Dex

Jeff talks about using dexterity to affect what die is rolled for initiative and how that stat entry also affects what weapons can be used. I’m linking to this page because it gave me some serious food for thought on my own RPG. I can’t use his idea wholesale, but I can make some adjustments on things within the game based off of his ideas.

The Architect DM: On Dungeons

Dungeons have to make sense. World builders generally focus their attention on make the cities, wilderness, terrain, coastal outlines and such make sense per the real world experiences that we have with mapping Earth. Once a designer gets inside a building or underground, all logic seems to fly out the window. This is a deficit in the game that must be addressed and rectified if the world as a whole is to be sensible and as realistic as possible.

29 Minis Tips For The Frugal Gamer

Don’t have much money, but still want to do grid-based combat? Here’s 29 ways to accomplish that very thing. Go check them out! (I’ve seen or used many of these in the past and continue to do so today.)

Our own Helm’s Deep

I’ve always wanted to do a “hold the castle” type combat, but the mass scale of things has always made me shy away from the encounter. NewbieDM presents a great way to recreate a “Helm’s Deep” style encounter. I think it’s a great way of doing things in any system.

5 Mile Subhexes

I had linked to the subhex idea last week, and here’s a new take on the idea to make things more granular. Personally, I like the extra details this new method provides, but the old one is sweet in its simplicity.

A is for Abomination

JB has a great post about abominations and how they should shake the PCs to their very core. They should be so off the wall and abstract from real world creatures (or even typical fantasy beasts) that the players should wonder “Where the fuck did that come from?” and their characters should be very cautious in engaging the monster at hand.

GeekDad: Getting Past Rules When DMing for Kids

I can’t wait for the day that I get to role play with my son. He’s only three years old at the moment, so I have about seven more years before I start to introduce the games to him. Until then, I can prep and wait and see what kind of enjoyment I can play for the two of us. Of course, if he doesn’t like role playing, I won’t disown him. I’ll be very disappointed, but I won’t kick him out of the house or anything. Posts like this help give me guidance on how to approach the topic of teaching the little one how to game. If you have kids that are already “of age,” then this is a great post to read.