Saturday, December 14, 2013

Best Reads of the Week! December 7 - 13

Welcome back to the Best Reads of the Week! I've been going though the ever expanding Great Blog Roll Call, now with over 260 different blogs, collecting the best reads of the week in one place. Recently I've been seeing a lot of people opining the death of the blog-o-sphere. As proof of this assertion they argue that many of the greatest blogs have gone dark and their authors have moved on leaving some mighty big shoes to be filled. Well there's still great content out there and some amazing new bloggers are stepping up to the plate, filling those empty shoes. Just looking at the selection of articles I've compiled this week: we've got a really great discussion on the way our work should be shared with the world, to how we design our game sessions, to new game settings, to space traveling vacation hot spots, to new game mechanics for all those sticky situations that blindside you during a game, and more! Yes, some of the old standards have gone, but the blog-o-sphere is far from dead.

As always, these guys and gals spend a lot of time working on their blogs and if you like one of the posts these fine authors have published be sure and let them know. 


Aggregate, Redistribute by Talysman, from the blog The Nine and Thirty Kingdoms: Have you ever considered republishing someone else's work without getting their okay? Talysman explains why that makes you a real asshole (my word). Consider the effect of your actions on others hard work. Great article.

Border Wardens: Adventures on the Edge of Civilization by Alexander Osias, from the blog Armchair Gamer: The foundation for a new campaign that has me wishing that I could join it. Hell, just reading it sends me rushing off to write my own materials around the concept. A great place to jump in on a fantastic blog. 

Creating a Boring Game with Intent by Mark Knights from the blog, The Iron Tavern: A fascinating look at how to increase your player agency by forcing them to make a decision without the bold neon signs we always leave for them. By the end of this article you'll be asking yourself if you should do the same, and if you'd be half as good at doing it.

Does Treasure Belong to the Players by Callin, from the blog Big Ball of No Fun: An interesting read on the idea of whether the Dungeon Master should work away at the treasures that the players in their campaign have accrued or if that policy is corruption of the social contract between the two groups.

Druid Initiation by Jack Mack, from the blog Rotten Pulp: It's incredibly easy to hate the Druid for being a tree loving hippie, but what happens when you make the class relevant? Jack Mack from Rotten Pulp is here to show us how to do just that by making the Druid one of the strangest classes in the game!

Henchmen by JDJarvis, from the blog Aeons and Augauries: Have you used henchmen in your games? Most of the folks I've gamed with have not, and this insightful article will tell you why they're wrong to put henchmen on the back burner.

Intoxicated in the Strange Stars by Trey, from the blog From the Sorcerer's Skull: While it isn't an extensive list, this small grouping of extracurricular intoxicants will send you off to the races. Trey has a great style for each drug and an easy format to follow for creating your own. Really enjoyed this one. 

New Monster, Dragon Gate by David, from the blog Tower of the Archmage: If you're like me then there comes a time when you're tired of having the same damned gate guarding every freaking entrance into the mansion your thief's trying to infiltrate. This new monster from David will not only rectify that problem, but it'll send you down a whole new path to challenging your players.

Not everyone is going to like the things you made, and that's okay by Wil Wheaton, from the blog WIL WHEATON dot NET: There are times when a project you've been working on is going to fail and some jerk will come along and pop your balloon. Wil's here to remind us that the jerk isn't worth listening to; and that when you're proud of something you've done, that's all that matters.

NPC traits from Griffin Mountain by Jim, from the blog Carjacked Seraphim: Have you ever designed a non-player character that would be great for your campaign but you just don't know how he'd react in certain situations? Well, Jim has found a fantastic little chart that can help you get more out of these NPCs!

On the topic of mature topics / Setting design decisions by Mark Van Vlack, from the blog Dust_Pan_Games: In this thoughtful blog Mark discusses the conditions and problems with mature topics. A pretty good starting point for your own internal discussion on the topic. 

Peter Adkison Talks about the Return of Primal Order by Christopher Helton, from the blog Dorkland!: A great interview with Peter Adkison. Well worth the read.

Pholtus of the Ur-Flan by Joseph Bloch, from the blog Greyhawk Grognard: I really dug this fascinating look into the god Pholtus. If you're a fan of the gods of Oerth this is one article you should add into your library.

[Review] The Habitition of the Stone Giant Lord and Other Adventures From Our Shared Youth by Tim Snyder, from the blog The Savage Afterworld: While I didn't play Dungeons and Dragons when I was a kid but this review by Tim makes me wish that I had discovered the game earlier. The book sounds amazing and I want it so badly!

The Fogwalk by Rose and Logan, from the blog Last Gasp: Are you looking for a seaside town with more atmosphere than you can shake a stick at; well, you're in luck! This fantastic article has everything you could ask for and more!

The Best from Dyvers this Week
It's Easy to Forget: In our lives as bloggers we tend to insulate ourselves from the reality of the world, and sometimes that can lead to major problems: like arrogance, self-righteousness, and outright prickishness. This is my reminder to avoid all that. 


  1. Thank you for including me on this weeks list !

  2. Hey Charles, I think I have pushed enough life into my blog, that it might be worth your while - feel free to check out and see if it is worthy to add to your blogroll.

  3. Back to more Greyhawk content, thanks to your gentle reminder. :-)


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