Sporadic Saturday Sweetness: 2016-03-19 4

Things are rolling smoothly. I did pick up the Pathfinder Humble Bundle and the Paranoia Class Bundle of Holding recently. There’s lots of great PDF goodies in there for me to consume. I’m not sure I’ll review any of it, though. Paranoia Class is a great game, but it’s no longer available in “regular” outlets. No sense in wetting someone’s appetite for something they can’t acquire, and the Bundle of Holding is already expired on that one. As for the Pathfinder Humble Bundle, it was all stuff that could be obtained through the Paizo store. I might review some of the PF Society adventures I downloaded, but I’m not sure just yet.

I do intend on getting more game review material up. It’s been way too long since I’ve done that, and that was my original intent of this site. We’ll see how that goes in the near future.

For now… we have links!

Buying the Canon

Angela has some wicked-good advice for anyone who wants to adapt a favored material (book, comic, TV show, movie, etc.) into an RPG setting. I’ve tried to do this a few times and they were all miserable failures. I tried to immerse my players into something I was already in over my head with. It led to them drowning in information. Don’t do that. Treat your beloved adaptation like you would a “typical fantasy realm” and filtering in small bits of information as you proceed through the game. Think back on your first exposure to the material and realize this is what the original content creators probably did with you. You can do it. Check out what Angela has to say for more assistance than what I’m giving here.

The City of Letath

I love these maps. They remind me so much of the city maps from the Forgotten Realms Gray Box from way back in the day. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Dyson.

Pickin’ and Choosin’: Cherry-picking RPG Elements

This post spoke to the game designer in me. I’ve created quite a few RPG systems in my time. I’ve also created more settings than I can recall. However, the crunchy, numbers, mechanics, and moving parts of the system is what this post reminds me of. In the early 1990s, I worked with some friends to create a system. I took lead on the project and scoured every single RPG we collectively owned for parts to *ahem* “borrow” from. I cherry-picked the elements I thought was best and made copious notes about it all. Then I sat back and looked at the cherry-picked elements with a holistic eye. This meant some mechanics had to go, others had to be found, some had to be tweaked, and they all had to be merged together into a cohesive whole. It took 6-7 major (very major) iterations in the system to get it playable. We went our separate ways (as life does that to people sometimes), and I continued to work on the system. I continued to iterate it. As new systems appeared, I cherry-picked little things from them and incorporated them into the game. It’s to the point where it’s 99% playable, and just needs some spit-polish. Maybe I should get on that, eh? We’ll see what the future brings. Thanks for the post, Mike. Good one.


I can’t say that I’ve ever had the post game blues. I’ve had the post campaign blues, regardless of how things ended up. I guess the hope that I have in my heart of looking forward to spending more time with my character next session keeps me going. When a campaign ends, I know that I’ll most likely never have a chance to “be that character” again, and this always makes me a little sad, even if I have great stories about the character or how the campaign came to a close.

You’re Gonna Carry That Weight

I’m a pretty lenient GM when it comes to encumbrance. It’s just not something I really care about. It doesn’t affect the story we’re collaboratively telling… unless someone gets really stupid with what they are carrying. Then it becomes part of the story whether they want it to or not. If I go a little nuts with the number of coins I drop into the PCs laps, then what they do with the pile o’ loot becomes part of the story as well. I’ve had many a group of PCs walk away from some treasure hordes, never to return, because it was too vast to catalog and carry. Those are great moments.

The Impact of Re-Roll Keep Highest HPs in 0e

Math! Graphs! Hit Points! What’s not to love about the analysis of numbers in role playing games? What? You mean you don’t get all excited about this? Sorry. I do. If you get all jittery and jubilant about the crunchy math bits of gaming, check out this pots. It’s a great one.

vary your vampires

This post brings up a great point, but it shouldn’t just be limited to vampires. The post itself has a great focus on vampires, and I like it quite a bit. However, the thought experiment needs to be expanded upon some to a vast majority of the “standard monsters” roaming the fantasy lands. When you’re creating an adventure and populating rooms, copses of trees, ambushes, or any area with some critters, think about it. Just the smallest tweak in a monster (even if it’s just appearance or “skinning”) will really bring out the joy (and maybe fear) in your PCs hearts, even the most jaded and experienced of players.

GURPS 101: Patching Holes (Poison, Disease, Influence Rolls)

When I saw this title, I thought the article might be about fixing up some flawed rules in the GURPS system. All game systems have flaws. The large the word count making up the rules, the greater the number of holes a system will have. As we all know, GURPS has a vast library of rules supporting the core books, so it was a safe assumption on my part to think of this as “patching the game” instead of “patching a character” which is the intent of this post. If you’re looking to create a character immune (or resistant) to poisons, diseases, and influence rolls, then this a great post for you to take a look at!

Choosing A Name: A “Good Names” Extra

I’ve always had a fairly easy time coming up with names, both for NPCs, PCs, and in my fiction. I don’t know why I’ve had an easy time. I wish I could articulate it as well as Mike has here. His approach is very similar to mine, so if you struggle with coming up with decent names for your world, check out the post.

Other Monster Languages

This is a cool list of other monster languages for intelligent weapons, NPCs, weird tablets/scrolls/tomes found laying about. Excellent list, Delta!

Stealing when you should have been buying…

Ahh… The classic problem if always saying “yes” to the desires and whims of PCs. It can dig a huge hole for the GM, especially when they have future plans for events and encounters. Saying “yes” to everything will invariable invalidate plans. John hits the nail on the head when he says that the GM should dig deeper into the “oddball” requests to see what the PCs really want to accomplish. There might be some alternate paths that can be explored that won’t totally trash the theme or storyline the GM has in mind.

The Lost Ossuary

Holy Crap! When saw the flat version of this map, I was impressed. Then I was confused by the arrows pointing between various tunnels and such. Then the overall shape of the map clicked with me. It’s a cube! Scrolling down to where Dyson had constructed the cube blew me away. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a use for this map, but it’s in my permanent bookmarks!

4 thoughts on “Sporadic Saturday Sweetness: 2016-03-19

  1. Mike Bourke Mar 20,2016 7:52 AM

    Looks like the links are beginning to flow, hopefully the readers follow 🙂

    Much appreciation for the compliments on my articles. It’s strange that the article on names has been the most divisive that I’ve posted in a year or more; a number of readers have said that it’s too complex/convoluted a process, while others have said that it’s exactly the way they do things, or was exactly what they needed.

    Tomorrow I’ll be posting an update to the article (more content, more examples, same URL), so don’t forget to check it out – and have a great week 🙂

    • J.T. Evans Mar 20,2016 10:28 AM

      It’s strange how a single article can really bring out the “sides” on a concept. In my fiction writing world, I often hear people struggle with names and how to reflect cultural differences without being too heavy handed. I’ve passed your article around those circles a bit as well to see if it can help them.

  2. Peter Dell'Orto Mar 20,2016 9:00 AM

    Sorry if the title of my post threw you. But the GURPS 101 series, at least as I write it, is explicitly aimed at GURPS players. It wouldn’t be a good place for “fixing the system.” It’s meant to explain your options and give you a better handle on how it all works straight out of the books. That’s why I don’t put any optional rules in them, or suggest changes.

    • J.T. Evans Mar 20,2016 10:26 AM

      I should have seen the pattern in your titles already, Peter. I guess I was have a dead space area around my brain when I saw your title. Despite my confusion about the title, I still liked your suggestions and input. It was a really helpful article!

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