Friday Five: 2011-06-24

Prep-Tools Part I: Campaign and Adventure Planning

Need to plan some phase of your game? How about a session? or an adventure? or a story arc? Well, the fine folks over at Campaign Mastery have just the post for you! Go check it out.

D&D Math – Adding the Numbers

This post made me laugh until my gut hurt. Nope. It’s not a humorous post at all. I just have past experience with a fella who had to use a calculator each time he rolled d20+str+base_attack+weapon_bonus+situational_mods to determine what his final score was. He refused to add up all of his personal bonuses ahead of time because it “confused” him to do so, so it was “heavy math” each time he rolled a die. It was very painful for me and I’m glad I don’t game with this fella anymore. I’d always make sure he sat next to me at the table because the player on the other side of him would look over his shoulder, do the easy math and then “hand sign” the numbers at me to tell me what he got. I’d make the determination of hit/miss and move on to the next player while this fella did his “heavy math” on his fancy graphing calculator. Had we been in a time crunch (e.g.: One shot session at a conference.) I probably would have asked him to step away from the table since he stole so much time from his fellow players while doing his calculator routine.

Dave Millar’s wonderful tool! (Mapping tool, that is)

Geomorphs are Cool. Really Cool. An online tool that uses geomorphs to create maps makes them Uber-Cool. Way to go, Dave! Many thanks to Rob for posting the link and sharing it with us. (I’m linking to Rob’s blog, and from there you can find the link to Dave’s tool on your own. I don’t want to “steal traffic” from Rob’s blog by linking around the source of my information.)

Crapping on your Dream: Freelancing 101

Dammit, Mr. Schwalb! Stop crapping on my dreams! Ok. Ok. I get it. Freelancing is hard. Anything worth doing is hard. The problem here is that it’s rough to make a living at mere freelancing. I applaud all those people that manage to pull it off. I’d love to join their ranks, but living on a McIncome is out of the question at the moment. Thanks for putting a realistic light on the subject.

Hot Button: Should Players have an expectation of balance?

The only campaigns in which a player should expect to win every fight because of “balance” are the ones that are the most boring. There is no threat of death, loss, challenge or accomplishment. Some of my best moments in role playing have come from overcoming incredible odds and pulling off the near impossible. Just having victory handed to me on a silver platter, isn’t victory. It’s a gift. It’d be like buying front-row, 50-yard-line seats to the SuperBowl and only having one team show up on the field to play. Sure, there’s a ball, some turf, a few helmets and two end zones, but it’s not a game. Not by a long shot.