The second edition of my Five for Friday (I'm on a roll!) It leans a little heavy on RPGs this week, but it starts off with an article written by a wargaming pioneer:
Chessboard War from Tabletop Talk
Bob Cordery got me hooked on the idea of grid-based games. Morschauser solidified that interest (yes, Morschauser had the idea before Mr. Cordery, but that's not how I encountered them). And now, as seen on Tabletop Talk (a blog connected with Historifigs, keepers of the Jack Scruby figure lines), it appears Tony Bath also had a set of gridded game rules.
Gridded games aren't everybody's cup of tea ,but I find gamers of note, like Featherstone, Grant or Bath, fun to read regardless of whether I would ever use their proposed idea in a game or not.
Dungeon Construction from Matakashi's Teahouse
Matakashi does amazing work with DIY terrain and scenery. Most of the time, I look at it and think, "I doubt I could ever do that." However, this project is one I think anyone can do - possibly even using generic Jenga blocks or children's wood blocks to save yourself the cutting. I suspect such a thing could be done for sci-fi interiors as well.
Fridge Logic & Dungeonsc from Tao of D&D
Love him or hate him, Alex of the Tao of D&D posts thoughtful, interesting articles and this one is no different. Alex discusses the peculiarity of monsters hoarding gold when, in their daily lives, they have no need of it.
As I don't strive for verisimilitude in my dungeons for the most part, these things don't terribly concern me, but for those who do, it poses something of a problem if thought about logically. As an aside, I think it's a strong argument in favor of why gold and experience should not be equated (although I don't think that was his point).
Secret Party House of the Hill Giant Playboy from roll1d12
Download a free module from the mind behind a website dedicated to the neglected d12? Don't mind if I do.
I've had a read through it and it seems very solo-able with plenty of random tables, interesting NPCs and even a new monster. I would probably solo this using Mythic and Labyrinth Lord; it looks like it'd work equally well playing as the PC or the GM.
Random Tables - Inspiration or "As Rolled?" from Tenkar's Tavern
Tenkar's Tavern is one of my favorite RPG blogs out there, always insightful or thought provoking questions, without being unnecessarily serious. In this post, well, I think it's pretty self-explanatory.
I posted in the comments on this one, in favor of making an effort to use results from random tables "as rolled", before giving up and either choosing or rolling again. Perhaps it's because as a solo player, I'm usually designing encounters and such "on the fly" and typically I have no preconceived notion of what exactly I should encounter (unless I've set up a special encounter list, as I did for the goblin territory in The Ever Expanding Dungeon).
My job is to rationalize the random result given what I have already learned about the game setting.
This also touches back to the question of verisimilitude; it's not terribly important to me if the logic of the game world doesn't make sense compared to our world generally or in my mind specifically. But, then, I am happy to sometimes drift into surrealism if that's what occurs. Often it doesn't, because I impose the laws of this reality on the narrative or the very random tables I am using have pre-limited the possible results to things that make sense in the broad game world, and while they might not often appear in the same space there, they are not mind boggling in their weirdness individually.