Welcome back to the Best Reads of the Week! Every week I read through more than 450 blogs looking for the best rpg related articles and bringing them directly to you. This week we've got: further thoughts on why campaign settings matter to us and what we can learn from them; thoughts on where D&D went wrong; delaying actions that were never meant to be in the game; long term damage in RPGs; and so much more!
As always, if you liked any of the posts listed here be sure to let the author know. Leave them a note on their blogs, give them a plus 1, like them on the Facebooks, and share their posts in your social media feeds! Till next week!
BEST READS OF THE WEEK!
JUNE 22 - 30, 2015!
Let's Talk About Campaign Settings III: OSR Settings and Part IV: What Can We Learn For Our Own Settings? by +Jeff Russell, from the blog Blessings of the Dice Gods: In the concluding parts of Jeff's examination of Campaign Settings he focuses on the OSR settings and the lessons that can learned from both the published settings, like +David McGrogan's outstanding Yoon-Suin, and the ones produced on blogs like +Anthony Picaro's setting, Straits of Anián. This discussion is one that I think will be revisited in coming months and years as more people discover Jeff's thoughts and begin to work out their own answers to the questions he's raised.
Rogue Rant: Suck It! by Timrod, from the blog Cave of the Dice Chucker: Where did D&D go wrong? It's a question that has been debated by countless D&D enthusiasts across blogs, forums, and every form of social media you can name and more often than not the debate comes down to personal preference. Timrod, however, thinks there is an answer - and he has it.
Doing Combat Wrong When It Was Right There in the Book by Cirsova, from the blog Cirsova: There are moments when you see something for the first time and realize that you've screwed up combat the entire time you've been playing the game. This is one of those moments. Cirsova always seems to find the things I screw up on without even knowing that I'm making those mistakes too.
The Box by Multiplexer, from the blog Critical Hits: If ever you have been stumped for a way to get your players out to adventure that doesn't begin with, "You meet in a tavern . . ." then you need to check out this post by Multiplexer. The article is based on the the Portuguese program of caixa de liberdade and if it doesn't help inspire your games than you are missing a hell of an opportunity to do something great.
Clerical Work Part 14: Specialty Priests of Beshaba for D&D 5th Edition and Part 15: Specialty Priests of Silvanus by +Mark Craddock, from the blog Cross Planes: Mark's continuing efforts to bring the Specialty Priest into 5e through feats.
Remembered with Honour: Lace and Steel by +Ralph Lovegrove, from the blog Department V: Lace and Steel was an obscure swashbuckling game from Australia that you probably haven't heard of and have been missing out on. In this fantastic post from Ralph you'll soon find yourself wishing that you had heard about it early because now you're scouring ebay looking for a copy.
Once subversive, the Arduin Grimoire’s influence reaches today’s games by DM David, from the blog DM David: In this insightful post David examines the influence of one the greatest independently produced game aids: the Arduin Grimoire. A fantastic post that will send you hunting for your own copy of this seminal work.
Why I love Elthos RPG by +Vb Wyrde, from the blog Elthos RPG: Have you ever sat around with someone who was passionate about some project they had been working on for years? Have you ever gotten to play the game they've been working on for as long as they can remember? After reading this fascinating post by Vb you'll want to play this game.
Hindrances, bennies, and Walter White by +Geek Ken, from the blog Geek Ken: How do you handle handing out bennies in Savage Worlds? Sometimes it's easy to know when a player should get one, but at other it can be a bit confusing. In this insightful post Ken provides an easy rule of thumb for handling this mechanic.
A World Without Magic: 5th Ed D&D without the sparkly bits by +Jez Gordon, from the blog Giblet Blizzard: In this short post Jez lays out his issues with 5e and its overabundance of magic - especially at lower levels - and then he gives you a FREE variant game that will completely put that magic problem on its head. I got to say, I kind of dig the hell out of this variant.
On the "Missing" Delay Action in 5th Edition by +Courtney Campbell, from the blog Hack & Slash: For some players finding that the "Delay" action wasn't in 5th Edition was a bit of a shock. Where had it gone and why had Wizards of the Coast dispensed with it? As Courtney says, "Because it makes a better game."
“The good news though is that you could always house rule away the healing surges.” by +Jeffro Johnson, from the blog Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog: A defense of the house rule and of the do it your own god-damned self esthetic. I dig the hell out of it.
Hurt, broken, sliced and torn – long term damage in RPGs or lack thereof by +Paolo Greco from the blog Lost Pages: One of the odd things that comes up, occasionally, in discussions about rpgs is the unrealistic and boring nature of hit points. That they can be nothing more than a tracking mechanism is undenyable - but do they have to be?
Examples of Good RPG Writing by noisms, from the blog Monsters and Manuals: Often it seems like when we talk about RPGs that we focus on the bad elements rather than on what works. To the point where we highlight what doesn't work so much that it's impossible to see what does - and as a result it's possible to lose sight of how to improve (because there are no examples of what that would look like). So this post by noisms is a good counter to that and a great place to look when you're trying to figure out how to improve your own RPG writing.
house rule for [5e] by +Patrick Henry Downs, from the blog Nerdwerds: I love house rules in general, but I really dig these from Patrick - especially the healing ones.
Why I Love RPGS: C. J. Carella's WitchCraft RPG by +Timothy Brannan, from the blog The Other Side: C.J. Carella's WitchCraft RPG is one of those games that you hear a lot about but that doesn't seem to get a lot of actaul play - which, after reading Timothy's post on it, is a damned shame. This game sounds like a lot of fun and you should definitely check out this post if you're interested in it!