Friday, June 6, 2014

Best Reads of the Week! May 30 - June 5

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!

This week we've got some amazing content! We've got some of the best advice on scaling encounters in a long time; a discussion of the benefits of outlining; an analysis of a spell's progression through the years; a real world book that will make your jaw flat out drop; an interview with a truly old school rpg author; and a letter from Holmes on the Anti-D&D hysteria that once gripped the hobby!

As always, these guys and gals spend a lot of time working on their blogs and if you liek 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 reshare this list, or any of the past Best Reads of the Week as well.

Best Reads of the Week!

Not to Scale by Adam Dickstein, from the blog Barking Alien: There are problems that each of us have with the things that the various Dungeon Masters we've played under have done. Some walk away from the session, from the game, and from the hobby. That can easily be avoided if you take the time to learn what not to do, and this article from Adam's new series is a perfect place to start.

Your D&D is Dead by Callin, from the blog Big Ball of No Fun: Are you upset that the latest version of D&D isn't exactly like the one you started playing and that made you love the game so much? Callin has some thoughts on the matter.

The How's and Why's of Outlining by Jon Sprunk, from the Black Gate: If you're attempting to get a story together for publication on your blog or even to submit to a paying outfit then you're probably wondering how do you get there from here. The answer according to Jon is outlining your story so that you can accomplish that goal, and after reading this insightful article I have to agree with him.

Domino Theory: The Perils and Practicalities by Mike Bourke, from the blog Campaign Mastery: Building a campaign that allows for a each event to trigger subsequent events far beyond the scope of what the players intended isn't easy, but this article by Mike Bourke gives you some excellent advice on how to do it.

Spells Through the Ages - Suggestion by Delta, from the blog Delta's D&D Hotspot: In this really interesting article Delta explores the changes to Suggestion over the years from Original D&D to Third Edition. Really a neat look at an aspect of the game that often gets overlooked when comparing editions.

From the Campaign - Detailed Weather Charts by +Rick Stump, from the blog Don't Split the Party: If you're looking for a great method to randomize weather in your games but don't have the time to manufacture your own then Rick Stump has not only put forth an amazing effort to create some fantastic charts for his own campaign but yours as well.

Towards a Taxonomy of 'Trick' Monsters by +Gus L, from the blog Dungeon of Signs: This post by Gus should be considered required reading for any Dungeon Master trying to improve their game. A really smart article that helps push the 'trick' monster into the awesome territory instead of the silly noise that clutters up your dungeon crawl.

Let's Not Read it Out Loud by Fractalbat, from the blog Fractalbat: If you're looking for inspiration for your games than you need to read this post by Fractalbat about a real world book that will make your mouth hang open with shock.

DM Tip: Intimidation isn't always bad cop - worse cop by +Geek Ken, from the blog Geek Ken: An interesting interpretation of the Intimidation skill that makes it a more dynamic and interesting use of the skill overall. 

Kobold ritual involving a painting by Cedric P, from the blog Le Chaudron Chromatique: This picture is one of the most inspiring pieces of art I've seen in a long time. Fantastic piece!

D&D 5e: Backward Compatibility and Combat Math by +Marty Walser, from the blog Raging Owlbear: If you've been looking at the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons and wondering if it will work with your favorite edition's module or with your favorite retro-clone than this piece by Marty is a great place to start.

Seriously? You Still want to Demand the Awkward-groping Through Character Creation as a Litmus Test? by +Kasimir Urbanski, from the blog The RPG Pundit: If you're upset about the Character Creation rules be held out of the D&D Starter Set - even though those rules are going to be available for free online - then the Pundit would like to set you straight.

Interview with Herbie Brennan by Man, Myth & Magic and Timeship, two old school rpgs that aren't given nearly enough credit. Well worth the read.

Holmes on Anti-D&D Hysteria by Zenopus Archives, from the blog Zenopus Archives: A republishing and short analysis of a letter by J. Eric Holmes, originally published in the magazine Space Gamer. Really an interesting read, especially for your Holmes fans out there.  

 Best of Dyvers this Week

The Great Blog Roll Call 2014! In case you missed the update this week I released the 2014 version of the Great Blog Roll Call. Included in this year's list are 349 blogs (and growing), a blog grave yard for those who have quit the blog-o-sphere since the original Great Blog Roll Call, and easier to search index of all the blogs involved. 


  1. Hey man, thanks so much for the shout out. Glad you liked it.

    Oh, and thank you for the updated Blog Roll. It's pretty much the only way I can find someone else who doesn't talk about D&D. ;)

  2. My comment seems to have disappeared into the electronic ether, so I'll try again... I'm honored that my article at Campaign Mastery has been included, doubly so for the name-check! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for promoting it to your readers :)

  3. I created a follow-up post to my combat math entry to take a closer look at the numbers.


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