Weekly Roundup 1
Now that summer break is here and my schedule is less hectic, I'd like to start a new weekly post...a round-up, if you will, of different interesting things I have read through the week. I hope you find these enjoyable and helpful as well.
EntertainmentFlip the Table, Episode 54: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Podcast)
Welcome! You've reached the home of "Flip the Table," a podcast about The Other Side of Board Games. Most board game shows focus on the latest-and-greatest, or time-tested classics. We have taken it upon ourselves to comb our local charity shops and salvage stores for the other stuff...we're talking licensed cash-grabs, kids games that kids are too smart for, gimmicky games with strange (and only occasionally functional) gadgets, and all the other games that tend to gather dust in the back of closets with the rest of the third-string Nintendo 64 cartridges.
Why would we do this? Because we can. And because it's a way to more deeply explore the hobby we love so well. By examining those games that your non-gamer family thought it would be a great idea to buy you for your birthday, we learn what really makes games tick. Plus, who doesn't like a little schadenfreude, am I right? We suffer so you can be entertained. You're welcome.
In the early eighties, Steven Spielberg brought to life a pop culture phenomenon with a few simple ingredients...namely, a Speak & Spell, a saw blade, some Reese's Pieces, and a yearning for home. However, if you blend a bit of Roll & Move into the mix, you get the E.T. board game by Parker Brothers. This blockbuster tie-in pits players against each-other in an epic duel of helpfulness as they compete to assist E.T. in building his communicator device and fleeing Earth's horrible, smog-filled atmosphere. It's a co-petitive title which requires significant blind-luck skills, and a dash of ESP...but does the experience take us to the sky on its magic bike, or does it deserve to be buried in the desert?
Rogues Gallery by James Maliszewski (Article)
My middle-aged brain can no longer recall the exact names or even faces of the many roleplayers I met in those heady, early days after I was first introduced to the hobby. In the years since, I’ve reduced them to caricatures. I feel a little bad about that, because I learned a lot just by hanging around these guys and watching them play. In their own ways, each of them revealed the wonderful diversity of roleplaying: that there are as many different approaches to it as there are players and that there is no single “right” way to play. Mind you, this wasn’t a truth I immediately understood, since many of the gamers I met promoted their own approaches with great zeal (and derided those whose approaches differed from their own). Even so, one lesson I did learn and learn well was that roleplayers came in all shapes and sizes. Here are a types that I remember well:
Four Modules by James Maliszewski (Article)
With hindsight, I can pick out four adventure modules published by TSR Hobbies that had a profound impact on me, both in terms of how I viewed Dungeons & Dragons and how I went about creating my own adventures for my group of friends.Tomb of the Repugnant King by David Brawley (Blog post)
Amazing hand drawn map.
ProductsTraveller Supplement 14: Space Stations.
I could see myself buying this if I was running a space game right now. Unfortunately, I'm only in planning stages for a far-distance game (appropriately enough, I suppose).
Dyson Logos Lulu Sale
Dyson (the amazing map maker) has his stuff at 20% off (moving sale) AND Lulu has a 20% off coupon. The second 20% comes off the already discounted amount, but holy cow!
Lulu code: RDM14 (good through 5/19/14)
While you're at it, grab Jason Sholtis' The Dungeon Dozen.
Here are 12 things you could do with it.
The Manor, Issue #6
Issue #6 of The Manor features OSR luminaries such as Matt Jackson and Ken Harrison. Matt created a must have brothel outside your town. He has created a place where the most perverse pleasures are satisfied. Ken created a trio of puzzle rooms. Cool A to B rooms where finding the way out or in is the mystery. I've added a Guard class for OSR games. They always get the crap beat out of them, it's time they get some love. Now when the players come knocking they may hesitate before taking on the guard. In addition, there is a random table of guard greetings. And lastly, an adventure where I used the resources of other OSRians. Matt Jackson's map, inspiration from Tim Brannon's, The Witch and art and inspiration from Dylan Hartwell's The Big Book of Spiders. Using there resources I created an adventure call, Witches of the Dark Moon. Cover art was done by Jason Sholtis who also added interior touches, while Dylan added his creepy style to the adventure.