Welcome back to the BEST READS OF THE WEEK! I read over three hundred blogs and search through the Google+ Pen and Paper Bloggers community for the best articles being put out by this hobby each and every week. Below are the fruits of my effort, but they can always get better! If you've got a blog you think is being overlooked let me know so I can add you to the reading pool!
After a lay over due to illness we're back and what an eventful two weeks it's been! We've got thoughts on dungeon ecology; thoughts on how to make your game better through focusing on the things that matter; adventures and setting concepts; crazy questions; and terrible things you can do to your players!
As always, these guys and gals spend a lot of time working on their blogs and if you like one of these posts be sure and let the author know by giving them a +1 on Google+, a like on facebook, a comment, or re-sharing their work with the wider community! Feel free to re-share this list, or any of the past Best Reads of the Week as well.
Best Reads of the Week!
Exploring the Foundation of the Megadungeon Food Web by JDJarvis, from the blog Aeons & Augauries: Whether it's your first exploration into a megadungeon or the hundredth time your battle weary characters are plumbing its depths there's going to come a moment where you find yourself wondering how all these vile creatures are surviving down here and not push up into the world above ground. When those questions come about you're going to need answer that goes beyond, "Magic, duh."
The Difference Engine by +Adam Dickstein, from the blog Barking Alien: How different are your monsters from the ones everyone else is using? Is it a statistical difference? A difference in hue or emphasis? Adam has a brilliant answer to these questions that will improve your game.
Adventure Company Voyages by +Jeff Russell, from the blog Blessings of the Dice Gods This post begins a new series from Jeff that promises to influence your home games for years to come. If you've never read any of his posts, or have lapsed in reading him, this is a great starting point. Get involved with this blog today.
Famous Ales of Greyhawk by Argon, from the blog The Canonfire Crier: If you're looking to add a few subtle touches to your game world to give it a greater sense of realism than this list from Argon is a great place to start. Use it for inspiration for your own ales, or steal the list directly and use it in your own campaign!
DIY Rust Monsters by Jim, from the blog Carjacked Seraphim: Jim's back at it! This time he's showing us how to create some great Rust Monsters with process shots along the way to help you do the same thing! In a time when so many of us are content with purchasing all of our gaming needs from established brands Jim continues to show us how much better things can be if we only make the effort! Great series Jim!
Is Mapping Unfair by Alex, from the blog Cirsova: In this thought provoking post Alex asks us to consider the idea that mapping what you're being told is exponentially harder than mapping what you see. Is he right?
Fantasophical Question: Veganism in the Dungeon by +Chris C., from the blog The Clash of Spear on Shield: In this post Chris proposes the sort of question that I love to ponder for hours on end. Well worth thinking about on an evening when you have a cocktail in one hand and a group of friends who love to argue.
20 Minute Adventure No. 3 by +Wil McKinnee, from the blog The Cuticle Chewer's & Well-Pisser's Fantasy Report: If you're looking for an adventure that will get your players looking to kick the ass of some seriously bad monsters then look no further. Wil's blog is always filled with great ideas and this one is no different!
The Anarchist League of Scientists by +Martin Thomas, from the blog Daddy Rolled a 1: If you're looking for a concept that will launch a campaign, than Martin has one for you. Lots of great ideas percolating in this post that can keep you gaming for years to come!
Forgotten Gods by OSRbaron, from the blog The Dice are a Lie: I love homebrewed gods and this one by the OSRbaron is well worth reading. Really cleverly done - even if he can't remember its name!
The Infinite Caravan by JD, from the blog The Disoriented Ranger: Are you looking for a megadungeon concept that isn't exactly like every other dungeon you've ever explored? Then read this concept piece by JD that will have you exploring a dungeon that may end with the destruction of everything that has ever been.
Underdark Musings - Company Game Trait Generator by +Gus L, from the blog Dungeon of Signs: Not only is this chart a quick way to generate NPCs, but Gus has ingeniously created a table to will provide players with a quick reference point for replacement characters! Just a fantastic idea for a game and for replacements.
Mixing liquid from the orcs spawning pools with healing potions by Cedric P, from the blog Le Chaudron Chromatique: Have you ever wanted to do something absolutely terrible to your players? I know I have, and this magnificent post by Cedric P is the sort of delicious action I love!
The Affairs of Wizards by +Tom Fitzgerald, from the blog Middenmurk: Do you feel like magic in your games has become to codified and familiar? So too does Tom Fitzgerald, and like everything that he concerns himself with, his solution to this problem is absolutely fantastic. On a related note, if you're not reading Middenmurk then you are absolutely mission out on one of the best blogs out there.
Scavenging Free D&D 4e Stuff from WotC's Site -- UPDATED! by mwschmeer, from the blog Rended Press: If you have any interest in Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons than this impressive list from Rended Press is the sort of thing that has to be a god send! Great list and an impressive effort!
Best of Dyvers!
Meaningless Problems that Wastes Far Too Much of Our Time: Just talking about all the silly things we fool with every day in this hobby!