Usually, when I’m late on the Friday Faves, it means Real Life has kicked me in the head hard. This has become more and more common as of late. However, this one was on purpose. I only found three links last week that caught my eye. I’d hoped more would pop up over the weekend, but it doesn’t appear to be the case.
There’s lots of grousing about broken Kickstarters (can’t we celebrate success instead?). There are some blogs that fell into the “RPG A Day” pattern, and most of the given topics don’t really excite me. Sorry. I’m not trying to be a downer, but it doesn’t really grab my attention. Gnome Stew fell off my radar this week.
Maybe this is a post-GenCon slump, and everyone is wiped from the con? I’m not sure. Perhaps things will pick up next week. Now on with the three links I found last week.
Douglas explains why he chose the games he did for the Violent Resolution series. It’s actually a pretty good breakdown of the games themselves, and can be used as a guide on how to go about evaluating a game system for inclusion in a group or for running a campaign in.
Mike’s second article in this series is broken down into two parts: Creativity and Creation Guidelines. I’ve never lacked for creativity. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always had it. Could be that I was an only child until I was seven, and then by the time my sister was old enough for me to truly interact with, I’d found D&D and never really looked back. I remember a family reunion where I’d just purchased the Top Secret S/I box set, and I spent the entire time consuming the books, handouts, character sheets, etc. and coming up with adventure ideas for the spies. Yeah. I blew off family I rare saw for a game. That’s how serious I was about it. Anyway, back to Mike’s article. If you’re having trouble “being original” or “being creative” do not fear! The first half of the article dives into how to get inspired, find a creative compass, and go on from there. The Creation Guidelines section helps you focus (and rein in some of) that creativity in the form of character classes, monsters, maps, and places. It’s a really great article, and it’s made me even more excited to see the rest of the series.
Mike has an interesting approach at modification of the D&D initiative system to make it resemble a little more like the Hero system initiative/phase/action/turn/round system. I’ve always loved the Hero system of speed determining number of actions in a round. It’s intrigued me, and I’ve adapted it (in some form) in other game systems. I modified Cyberpunk 2020 to allow multiple actions (without penalties) if you got a high enough initiative score from boosted stats or a great (exploding dice!) roll on initiative. The way I worked it was that things went from the highest score to the lowest on everyone’s first action. Then on the second action (if any), we went from highest to lowest again. Repeat for third actions, which is where I stopped the scale. Of course, this meant that a really high initiative score could result in a player going twice in a row if they faced a mook that didn’t roll all that well, and then on the next round, if they went first in the round, that’s technically three times in a row that they went. Not entirely fair, but most of the time it leaned in favor of the PCs. They’re the heroes of the story, so I didn’t mind the slant of the system, and it kept things simple.