Sporadic Saturday Sweetness: 2017-02-25 1

Another crazy week at work, but I managed to survive. My health has taken a turn for the better, so I’m more on top of things than I have been in a long time.

I have some great links for you today, so let’s get to it!

The Thrill Of The Chase

In my past GMing, I’ve kept my chase scenes pretty basic. If a PC comes up with a great tactic for getting away (or closing in), then I’ll give them a bonus to the die roll. High roll extends the lead (or closes the gap) until it either makes sense for the pursued to clear the area and get away or the chasers to close in and start a more “zoomed in” fight between the people involved. It keeps the game moving, but it, quite honestly, boring for most everyone involved. If your chase scenes boil down to what I’ve just described, you really need to take a gander at Mike’s article on how to make chase scenes more interesting.


If your encounters are boring (or you find a single encounter to be falling into the “yawn pit”), then take some ideas out of this post by Johnn. I think my favorite one from the list is to make existing hazards more hazardous for everyone involved. Perhaps the “lava river” suddenly boils over its banks in the cavern and puts everyone in danger of being boiled alive or succumbing to noxious fumes?

How I created a magic book

When my PCs come across a book of spells, they find, quite simply, a list of spells in various levels that make sense for the previous owner to have had. More “yawn pit” time. (I’m sensing a theme across the board for the posts thus far.) This guide by Matt is a fantastic resource for coming up with an interesting, entertaining, and potentially engaging book the players can come across. Think of the story and plot hooks you can drop into the book! That’s what gets my creative juices flowing.

Essential Reference Library for Pulp GMs (and others): 14th Shelf

“NOT MOAR BOOX!!!” — That’s the scream of agony from my wimpy wallet. Mike and team have put together yet another excellent “essential reference” list. Quite a few good RPG references and such in here. The books that really caught my eye weren’t RPG books, but the “Buried Treasures” series. Those look really neat!

The Ties That Bind

Many years ago in a writing critique group a fellow writer had people loading up on a generation ship to escape Earth’s destruction. All of the key characters were orphans. All. Of. Them. He didn’t want to delve into the hardships of leaving family members behind. I told him that I could buy a single orphan among the cast of key characters, but having all (I think it was six?) of them be orphans was an “author dodge” and a “cop out.” He agreed and went back to planning his characters’ backstories. I wish this article existed back then to assist my fellow writer. If you want to play an orphan (which is fine, if that’s truly part of your backstory), then go for it. If you want a deeper family dynamic for your character, this article by Ang does the trick!

Secret Tunnels Beneath the Graveyard

I can see so many great adventuring possibilities popping out of this map, I had to link to it! It’s been a while since I’ve showcased a Dyson Logos map, and this one is fantastic! Great work.

What are hirelings good for?

This is a very educational post by Peter on what you’re really supposed to be having hirelings around for. This is list is more exhaustive than anything I would have put together at this time. Great work, Peter! I also really like the fact that you called out that hirelings are not supposed to be as powerful as the characters. This is key. I’ve had way too many groups in the past want to “hire” a cleric (usually a cleric) at their own level for an adventure, but pay them hireling wages instead of a fair split of the loot.

One comment on “Sporadic Saturday Sweetness: 2017-02-25

  1. Mike Bourke Feb 26,2017 12:25 AM

    Thanks, JT. Happy to hear that your medical subplot has come to a close.

    While the suggestions I offer in “The Thrill Of The Chase” will help, I have to admit that chase scenes are still the hardest things to do well, and very much unfinished business.

    Your wallet will be pleased to know that there are only two shelves left to go in the Essential Reference Library series. Most readers will probably be able to get out of the next – “inspiring media” relatively unscathed; a lot of what we are recommending will already be in people’s collections. The last one – the “honorable mentions” – is where the real pain will come – these are all the works we would like to have recommended but couldn’t, usually because of high prices (sometimes ridiculously high), low availability, or both. But it won’t surprise us if every reader spots at least one “must-have-at-any-price” item – that’s why they are being presented!

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