Interwebs Treasures #10

I’ve been busy working on my GURPS campaign, but found some time to surf the web for some stories…

  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition gets it mostly right. The author is slightly critical of the new edition’s emphasis on the official campaign setting provided by Wizards of the Coast. While I understand his sentiment (I am after all spending a lot of time coming up with my own GURPS setting), it makes sense to give players something well-developed that they can dig into right away if they wish.
  • Christopher, over at Ravens N’ Pennies, came up with these GURPS rules for Variant Judo Throw. Then he wrote a PART 2. Pretty cool.
  • I spent some time reading the 2013 Report to Stakeholders, from Steve Jackson Games. Kind of cool to find out what is happening with that company. It’s a great way of letting their customers in on things and make them feel more involved. Besides that fact that I like GURPS a lot, I must admit that one other thing that attracts me to the system is that it is owned by a true small company – a grassroots real-deal company. It’s clear from the report that they don’t make tons of money from GURPS, yet as true gamers they continue to support it. Cheers, Steve Jackson!
  • Still on Steve Jackson Games — check it — Gaming Ballistic’s Firing Squad welcomes Steve Jackson – video interview! In the 2nd half, Steve addresses both GURPS and table top RPGs in general. I love what Steve says about the value of NOT being a publicly traded company – allows him to do what he wants.
  • And finally, also from Gaming Ballistic, GURPS 101. Good stuff.

Interwebs Treasures #9

Interwebs Treasures #8

Just a couple of items this week.

  • Naked Went the Gamer
  • — website of GURPS master and RPG enthusiast. Author of How To Be a GURPS GM, which is worth buying — a downloadable PDF. His campaign info is great and fun to read. I am kind of digging the notion of running a GURPS campaign!

Interwebs Treasures #6

More D&D stuff today, as that is what I’m concentrating no these days.

Just  couple of things today…

Interwebs Treasures #5

Interwebs Treasures #4

Some reviews of D&D Next (also known as 5th Edition).

I am having a hard time recognizing this as “real” D&D. I am old.

Other stuff I found this time:

I have a few observations on sexism and gaming. A few thoughts. I don’t pretend to be a scholar in this area, so cut me some slack if I’m way off base, but do comment if you wish.

  1. I have only DMed one campaign in which we had female players. This was when I was in my mid 20s, and I ran a game for my wife, a female friend of ours, and straight male friend, and a gay male friend. I’m assuming this may not be a common mix of players, but times have changed and I could be wrong. All of these people were highly educated – working on or having Masters degrees or PhD in some heavy subjects. It’s been said that women are not attracted to gaming because of the complexity of the rules. I don’t know about this, because I’m not a woman. I can say that these two women had never played an RPG before, and they LOVED it. The truth is that once a player has created a character, and has some understanding of what the character can do, the player doesn’t need to know a lot of rules. The Game Master needs to know the rules. The players just need to tell the DM what they want to do.  So if women really are generally averse to games with tons of rules, it really shouldn’t matter for RPGs. Over time everyone picks up the rules.
  2. People get very attached to their characters. Young people in particular, but I think everyone can get very psychologically caught up in the game. Thus, it is entirely possible for an act of violence or intimidation happening to a character in the game to be very much real to the real-world player on the receiving end. When my 15th level thief got killed in the Tomb of Horrors when I was 15, I was BUMMED! And I wasn’t even being harassed by a horny DM.
  3. I’ve read some stuff lately about women at conventions being harassed, in particular when they are involved in Cosplay. Dear men: because a woman decides to dress as a sexy Thor, and regardless of how well she succeeds, she is not giving you permission to act like an ass. There is no contradiction in a human being wanting to have fun and be sexy whilst simultaneously not wishing to be verbally or physically harassed, groped, etc.
  4. To sum up: if you are gaming with someone, it is incumbent on YOU to help that person feel welcome, respected, and appreciated at the table. Err on the side of caution.


Interwebs Treasures #3

Regarding the first story about the ouster of Gary Gygax from TSR: I’m sure Gary was no cakewalk to work with, but man, reading this stuff sorta makes me want to not play anything past 1st edition.

Interwebs Treasures #2

Nerd Poker: a podcast by comedian Brian Posehn and other funny people who play D&D do exactly that – play D&D – and you listen to it. And it is fun, and funny. I listened to the most recent couple of episodes, and today I’m starting on episode .


Google Sketch-Up of the classic AD&D module setting, the Tomb of Horrors. This is where my highest level character got killed – turned into pink dust. To compare, here is a very nice reproduction the original map from the Dungeon Module, from Mad Irishman Productions.



Back in the 1980s, radio preachers/huckster/entertainer Bob Larson took on all manner of spiritual malady. Heavy Metal, Goth Culture, Yoga, and yes…D&D. Every day was a fantastic journey into strangeness. He compiled all his notions into to a book he sold on-the-air. Sorry – he didn’t sell it. It was a gift for people who contributed to his forever-almost-out-of-money-and-off-the-air ministry. The book was called “Bob Larson’s Book of Spiritual Warfare. Here is a link to the section on D&D. Awesomeness.

Interwebs Treasures #1

  • I saw this last week on Wil Wheaton’s blog. Kind of a cool short documentary. Here There Be Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Strange how timing works out. Just as I notice that my nephew is playing Minecraft in a very D&D way and decide to introduce him to the Dark Arts, it seems that D&D is turning 40, releasing a new edition of the game (which looks to be getting the system back on track after some idiots messed it up), and the new rules are (sort of) released for free online. As a result, there have been some really cool articles about D&D out there this week. Here is one — about writers who’ve been influenced by the game.
  • The New Yorker also had a great article – Dungeons & Dragons Saved My Life.
  • It seems that toxic lead miniatures are not available anymore. Well, that stinks. And the current metal minis are pretty expensive. But come to think of it, lead minis were not cheap either. Anyway, looks like Reaper makes some good miniatures. I will be checking them out, as I really like to paint. Not super interested in plastic minis, but who knows? Maybe they are cool. I’m just really used to painting metal.
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