Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Best Reads of the Week January 17 - 23, 2015

Welcome back to the Best Reads of the Week! Every week I read through more than 350 blogs looking for the best rpg related articles to bring them directly to you. This week we've got new magic items; snowflake settings; discussions on character balance; drop charts; new 5e races; a new way to think about clerics and dwarves; and so much more! If you see a post that you like be sure and tell the author how much you enjoyed it!

If you've got any questions about this month's lists be sure and check out the FAQ. And as always, thank you for your comments, shares, plus 1s, and for taking the time to read this list. See you on the next set!

JANUARY 17 - 23, 2015!

Learning Spells by J.D. Jarvis, from the blog Aeons & Augauries: In role-playing games there tend to be few tropes as prevalent as the standards and practices surrounding Wizards. In this creative post from J.D. Jarvis we're presented with three new methods whereby wizards in our games can learn their magical spells which provide can provide the game with a whole new spin just by adopting them - especially the first one.

Drop the Loot by +Kelvin Green, from the blog Aiee! Run From Kelvin's Briansplurge!: I really like the idea of Drop Tables, where you drop dice on a chart and act accordingly, even though I don't ever use them. Looking at these tables is usually enough to get my mental juices flowing during a particularly dense moment but this particular table by Kelvin Green just hits a sweet spot for me and I've actually found myself using it during play.

The Reality of Character Balance by Callin, from the blog Big Ball of No Fun: One of the more popular debates in recent years is the nature of balance in role-playing games between the various player classes. Callin has a unique perspective on this debate that rings true to my ears.

Swamp-Drunks of the Melanic Moors by +Patrick Stuart, from the blog False Machine: Patrick Stuart is one of my favorite bloggers because his distinctive writing style often sends my imagination racing off to places only hinted at in his posts. This fantastic piece typifies this sort of thing and is one of the many reasons why I love his blog.

On the Special Snowflake Setting by +Courtney Campbell, from the blog Hack & Slash: The special snowflake has been a major topic of discussion this month and perhaps no one does a better job of cutting to the center of this topic than Courtney. He expertly dissects what is going on and then how to address it all.

Contemplating the Caller, Mapper, and a Timekeeper by Roger, from the blog A Life Full of Adventure: There are aspects of our hobby that have faded to the wayside, and that's not always a good thing. As Roger discusses in this post there are benefits that come along with the use of these old positions that could improve our modern games.

Ratkin for 5e by +Patrick Henry Downs, from the blog Nerdwerds: A confession, I love Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play. I love everything about that setting; so when I saw this excellent re-skin of the Skaven I was excited. You can imagine how happy I was when it turned out that the clever Patrick Henry Downs had been the one to make it!

Green Ronin Shows How a Real Game Company Announces Its 2015 Game Lineup (but . . .) by +Nicholas Bergquist, from the blog Realms of Chirak: In this post Nicholas Bergquist not only manages to highlight all the upcoming releases for Green Ronin but to get a pretty good slap in at Wizards of the Coast in the process. Good on Green Ronin and Nicholas!

Dwarves and Weather by Roger G-S, from the blog Roles, Rules, and Rolls: I'm really taken by this idea. Imagine that Dwarves treat weather the way that we treat the stars and heavens above. They study it, contemplate its movements as signs of the gods' pleasure and displeasure, and in general know more about what's happening then most of us walking the earth's surface. If that sounds as excellent to you as it does to me then check out this post!

The Merit Game by +Charles Akins, from the blog Dyvers: You can be judged in life by a number of factors: gender, sexual orientation, race, among others. Online though, none of those things can be known about you unless you give that stuff out. So why do some people pretend like they're judged by those things instead of by their actual actions?

A Small Change, A Very Different Cleric by +Wayne Rossi, from the blog Semper Initiativus Unum: The cleric is one of those classes that tends to get beat up a lot online with reasons ranging from their abilities being too powerful / too weak, to the class not being a good fit for the fantasy milieu. In Wayne's case he has a problem with the class fitting into the genre, but with the small change he proposes the class takes on a far more exciting role in the game and gets me all excited to play one again. Way to go Wayne!

Deincentivization of Combat by +Josh Graboff, from the blog The Signe of the Frothing Mug: In many games combat is the only option because every encounter is balanced perfectly with the party. No monsters are too strong. Wounds are rarely life threatening. That's a mistake in Josh's opinion and in this short, insightful post he explains the benefits to upping your game and making combat dangerous again.

Thoughts on a New 5e Campaign - Thanks for the Inspiration Jez Gordon by +Mike Evans, from the blog Wrathofzombie's Blog: I love new campaigns, especially ones that come into this world filled with attitude. This bad boy is everything I love and then some. 


  1. It's me who should be thanking you Kelvin!

  2. You put that Dyvers guy on the list? What a blow hard. ;)

    1. That reminds me, I need to send you a private message over on google+ later about a terrible idea that I've just had that you might be interested in.

    2. PS - Don't know what your GenCon plans are, but I will be there. Hope to run into you at some point.

    3. Sadly I won't be there this year :( #becausemylifeblows

  3. Wow! Thanks for the kind words. High praise indeed.


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