Stuff to Watch: May 2008

edited May 2008 in Stuff to Watch
Of Dice and Men:
Modern Fantasists and the Influence of Role Playing Games
by Justin Howe and Jason S. Ridler


"I'd like to throttle Frodo." Gary Gygax (1938-2008)

Take a group of socially awkward souls, a few gallons of Mountain Dew, a bag full of funny-looking dice, some sheets of paper, a rulebook or ten, add an argument about vorpal blades and Umber Hulks, and you have a scene that likely strikes a chord with most people involved in speculative fiction.


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Comments

  • Posted By: JuddOf Dice and Men:
    Modern Fantasists and the Influence of Role Playing Games
    by Justin Howe and Jason S. Ridler


    "I'd like to throttle Frodo." Gary Gygax (1938-2008)

    Take a group of socially awkward souls, a few gallons of Mountain Dew, a bag full of funny-looking dice, some sheets of paper, a rulebook or ten, add an argument about vorpal blades and Umber Hulks, and you have a scene that likely strikes a chord with most people involved in speculative fiction.
    [1] What a very cool article. I love the compare and contrast between playing games and coming up with material for games versus creating worlds for fiction.

    ME
  • So, this article is technically about looking to romance novels to write good copy, but it can just as easily be applied to your game.

    -Rob D.
  • Ok, so it was posted yesterday, but I found it today, so I declare it to be May. Brand's being brilliant again, and his latest on pacing a narrative game is fantastic enough that I must reknew my vow to kill him and eat his brain. Or buy him a beer.

    -Rob D.
  • [1] Rob, do both. Then you can be drunk with knowledge.
  • [1] I don't drink. So I guess you have no choice but to eat my... wait....
  • Posted By: Rob DonoghueBrand's being brilliant again
    He's not done yet: An RPG is a game where the fiction is part of the rules.
  • edited May 2008
    Posted By: Dave CleaverHe's not done yet:An RPG is a game where the fiction is part of the rules.
    [2]

    He hope to distract us with this blinding display of brilliancy! Well, it won't work, I am still waiting for the long-promised DitV review! =:-O
  • edited May 2008
    Roleplaying Tips: "5 Room Dungeons" design seeds compiled into a 181 page PDF:

    http://www.roleplayingtips.com/articles/5_room_dungeons.html
  • edited May 2008
    Over at Thou And One, I'm pondering Roleplaying 2.0...
  • Wizards put up the intro to their Skill Challenges section from the 4e DMG.

    A very interesting first step in the evolution of the game.
  • It is wrong that I did not know about these T Shirts until today.

    -Rob D.
  • more t-shirts:

    * The Madness of Mission 6 (aka Truth about Pac-Man)
    * Beyond the Glacial Pass!
  • Posted By: Rob DonoghueIt is wrong that I did not know aboutthese T Shirtsuntil today.

    -Rob D.
    Oh my God! Awesome!

    p.
  • The first installment of The Spanish Inquisitor went up today. I interviewed Ron Edwards about Spione. (Clinton R. Nixon's interview will go up in June.)
  • edited May 2008
    Posted By: Chris PetersonRoleplaying Tips: "5 Room Dungeons" design seeds compiled into a 181 page PDF:

    http://www.roleplayingtips.com/articles/5_room_dungeons.html
    [1] Nice. It would be cool to see a simple system specifically designed to play 5 room dungeons. The 5 Room Dungeon RPG Design Contest, anyone?
  • Posted By: RafaelThe first installment ofThe Spanish Inquisitorwent up today.
    [1] This is such a good idea, Rafael.
  • edited May 2008
    Posted By: RafaelThe first installment ofThe Spanish Inquisitorwent up today. I interviewed Ron Edwards about Spione. (Clinton R. Nixon's interview will go up in June.)
    [2] Brilliant. I do post-mortems on all the computer games I make, so I don't know why I never thought of this for RPGs. Can't wait to see more!
  • edited May 2008
    [3]
    Posted By: Jason MorningstarThis is such a good idea, Rafael.
    Thanks!
    Posted By: Caesar_XBrilliant. I do post-mortems on all the computer games I make, so I don't know why I never thought of this for RPGs. Can't wait to see more!
    Glad you dig it! Though, for reasons noted in the introduction, I'm trying to introduce the phrase 'postpartum' into the dialogue. If you're a Gamasutra reader, I'm writing a column on the subject, which should be posted in the next few weeks...
  • Forum-based Harry Potter roleplayers create a shit-storm when they name their new RP "Kristallnacht" and advertise it around Shoah remembrance day.
  • Your Friends Are Not Watching The Same Show You Are -- about television shows and fandom, but there's some very important lessons in there for gaming, too.

    Your Friends Are Not Playing The Same Game You Are.
  • Your Friends Are Not Playing The Same Game You Are.
    [1] Fantastic link, Kynn. Thanks.
  • For those who play Primetime Adventures, or who have heard of the mysterious invention called "television", the blog Kung Fu Monkey has an extended, detailed series, with pictures, about how a television show is written:

    Yes it does.

    Keep paging back, there's more gold.
  • Tom Waits is touring this summer.
  • Posted By: JDCorleyFor those who play Primetime Adventures, or who have heard of the mysterious invention called "television", the blog Kung Fu Monkey has an extended, detailed series, with pictures, about how a television show is written:
    Excellent link. Thanks. This part really jumped out at me...
    Basically what I mean is, no matter how hard you work on story in TV, ultimately story will not save you. Character in TV is ALL. Truly good stories, of course, come OUT of character, they don't happen TO characters. Good story always comes out of character choice.
    Nice :D
  • Iron Sky.

    If you don't give these people some euros today, the Antarctic space Nazis on the dark side of the moon have already won.
  • [1] Iron Sky

    Holy snapping jaws of jebus. Yes.
  • edited May 2008
    [2]

    I wonder how the whole Nazi thing goes over in Germany?
    I'm guessin' it doesn't.
  • edited May 2008
    [3 and out]

    Those guys are Finnish, so they probably don't care too much.
  • edited May 2008
    Wizards is running a beholder photoshop contest to coincide with the launch of 4e. Seems like a neat take on the recent trend in customer-created promotional material.
  • I think we're in trouble - check out the last article, right above the bar code, in Roolipelaaja 15. I think that cover photo is of the individuals Finland is sending to do the job.
  • [1] I'm more curious about the article on Lordi shown in the upper-right hand corner. If there was ever a band that would work as an RPG, Lordi is it.
  • [2] Jason, that's a reference to this tasteless cardgame that they were selling at GenCon last year.
  • [3 and out]

    Ah, that's unfortunate.
  • [1]

    Hey, those photos are golden as props for SotC and Victorian games!
    It's too rare a sight three black guys in victorian and steampunk attire. Pretty spiffy, too :)
  • edited May 2008
    Posted By: Jonathan WaltonThe New York Timeswrites about steampunk.
    [2]
    Scooped! Great article.
  • A game you've never heard of but are probably familiar with now has a new character sheet.

    Check out Mythos Hunters Zero!

    Jonathan Walton has helped me immensely with this project, especially with bad deadlines and a procrastinating producer.

    I would like to publicly thank Jonathan a 1001 times!
  • Paul Tevis has started up a blog to discuss tabletop gaming design called Gameslinger Enterprises. Right now, it seems to be focussed on discussing his upcoming game A Penny For My Thoughts.
  • Seal sexually assaults penguin

    This may seem a little strange for story-games, but I figure if you are working on a game about animals or furries, it might be of interest. If you don't like articles about animal sex, skip this link.

    My favorite part is when they talk about sexual harrassment in the animal kingdom.

    ME
  • edited May 2008
    FontStruct

    A site where you can design your own font (right in your browser) and then download it as a true type font. Then you can choose from a number of Creative Commons licenses to share it. FYI.

    * Sorry if this is already covered elsewhere, it's news to me.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarIron Sky.

    If you don't give these people some euros today, the Antarctic space Nazis on the dark side of the moon have already won.

    Super Awesome!
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd takes on The Wizard and SMB3... and then things get weird.

    There needs to be an RPG of this. I don't know how or why, but it's true.
  • (I didn't know where else to post this, so just a reminder...)

    For those of you who have yet to submit your products for the ENnie Awards, there's still time, but the deadline is coming up fast! Entries need to be in by June 1, which is only 3 weeks away!

    There are a large number of categories for the ENnies, so whether you're a publisher, podcaster, minis maker, or RPG accessory guru, there's a place for your product.

    Check out this link to find out the easy steps to ensure your product gets the consideration, bragging rights, publicity, and glory it deserves at:
    http://www.ennieawards.com/publishers.html

    Thanks, and best of luck! See you at the Awards Ceremony!
  • In the Escapist (warning: article tastelessly decorated with unnecessary female model), a Classics professor at UConn wonders why most game studies folks actively hate gamer culture. A Georgia Tech professor responds on his blog. Hey, pseudo-academic squabbling! It's almost like we're a real discipline!
  • By way of Ashi, the trailer for Mirror's Edge, an exquisite first-person parkour game in development. I'm only sorry that there are guns involved, because it makes me just want to keep running forever...
  • Posted By: Jonathan WaltonIn the Escapist (warning: article tastelessly decorated with unnecessary female model), a Classics professor at UConn wonderswhy most game studies folks actively hate gamer culture. A Georgia Tech professorresponds on his blog. Hey, pseudo-academic squabbling! It's almost like we're a real discipline!
    [1]

    "In Spring 2009, Roger will offer an online course on videogames as a reawakening of Homeric epic."

    ...

    This should tell you everything you need to know.
  • edited May 2008
    Posted By: Jonathan WaltonBy way of Ashi, the trailer forMirror's Edge, an exquisite first-person parkour gamein development. I'm only sorry that there are guns involved, because it makes me just want to keep running forever...
    [1]

    I'm sorry that they came so close to an excellent character design, and then they gave her face tattoos I suppose to make her more edgy. EDIT: At least as a first person game, I won't have to see the ridiculous character design except in cutscenes.
    Posted By: Jonathan WaltonIn the Escapist (warning: article tastelessly decorated with unnecessary female model), a Classics professor at UConn wonderswhy most game studies folks actively hate gamer culture. A Georgia Tech professorresponds on his blog. Hey, pseudo-academic squabbling! It's almost like we're a real discipline!
    [2]

    Greg Costikyan responded over here in defense of gaming studies. It seems that this is another case of an Escapist writer talking out of his ass. EDIT: That's not to say I dislike the Escapist, it's just occasionally the writers they get are just ignorant of the subject they're writing about.
  • edited May 2008
    omlogo.jpg

    and

    greenlogo.png

    are proud to announce our first joint adventure contest! Our panel of five judges includes the following RPG legends:
      Frank Mentzer
      S. John Ross
      James M. Ward
    as well as Richard Scott of Otherworld Miniatures and Ignatius Ümlaut, editor and publisher of Fight On!

    We also have prizes available, as follows:

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    GiantAlliance-box.jpg

    or the "Pig Faced Orc Tribe" boxed set, containing all 25 miniatures currently in Otherworld's Pig-Faced Orc range:

    bs1art_t.jpg

    orcpaint4.jpg


    2nd Prize - One Demon Idol and Two Barbed Devils:

    idolpaint1.gif

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    3rd Prize - An Ogre leading an Orc Patrol:

    ogre1.jpg

    plus seven orcs such as those pictured above. Miniatures come unpainted and (where applicable) unassembled.

    Honorable Mention: All three winners, as well as an indeterminate number of other submissions receiving Honorable Mention, will be eventually published in an issue of Fight On! Not only will this get your work exposure, but you can re-submit it to other publications or sell it yourself down the road as well, because Fight On! only asks for the right to publish your adventure in the issue we originally publish it in in the form it is originally published in in perpetuity. Ownership and all other rights remain with the authors of their adventures! This policy extends to regular submissions to the magazine as well.

    If there are a large number of excellent submissions, a select number of First Honorable Mentions will be awarded as well. A First Honorable Mention carries with it a cash prize of $10 USD.

    Contest Details: Adventures may use any style or format and may be written for any game system, though there is some preference for systems with simpler mechanics. Adventures which are in or can be easily translated into 'old school' style fantasy game mechanics will likely receive some preference as well, though we want to see your best regardless! Longer isn't better: 2 or 3 pages with really interesting situations or locales can be much more enjoyable than a long slog! Submissions should be no more than 25 pages in any case.

    Other than that, there's only one important rule: your proposed adventure must contain one or more monsters or other elements available from Otherworld Miniatures! Check out more of their selection on their website: http://www.otherworld.me.uk/ . Figures in the 'coming soon' section are fair game as well.

    Please send all submissions by email to iggyumlaut@gmail.com . All submissions are due by midnight, July 20, 2008. Contest results will be posted as soon as possible thereafter, though if there are many submissions it may take us a while to get everything sorted out. We will try to announce winners before GenCon, however.

    We're looking forward to seeing your adventures. Happy gaming, and Fight On!

    Fight On! issue #1 in PDF will be released Sunday, May 25.
  • Storytron, the twenty-or-so-years-in-the-making "interactive storytelling" system by legendary game designer Chris Crawford, is about to go 1.0. Crawford's eight (or so) steps to completion are a good summation.
  • [1]

    Is Storytron as big an event as it seems to be? I mean... it's going to start out all sorts of broken, I'm sure. But doesn't getting it off the ground signal the era of computer interactivity breakthrough that we've all been waiting for? Isn't it the prototype for what's to come?

    Or am I simply engaged in histrionics here?

    Mike
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