I don’t like reading rpg books

I value playing rpgs over reading rpgs, and that’s partly because I have very limited interest in doing the latter — reading most rpg books doesn’t feel like something that’s worth my time. Recently I’ve been thinking about why? Why don’t I enjoy this?

Primarily, it’s because I don’t have that much time I want to spend on reading. So I don’t need volume; I want impact. And by going to wider-interest books I can get:

  • Fiction that’s much better written (recent example — Gabrielle Squailia’s Viscera)
  • Non-fiction that’s of much greater value because it tells me about the real world (current example — Abulafia’s The Great Sea)

I.e. the payoffs are just much higher.

The Pit in the Forest – out at DTRPG

I’ve just published my first actual adventure module — The Pit in the Forest. It’s currently $2 $4 on DTRPG.

Bryce quite likes it.

Back cover blurb:

In Claine Forest near Padduck Village there has appeared a pit. No-one knows where it came from, it just did. It is not so deep that you cannot see the bottom, but people fear it and avoid it. No-one who has climbed into it has come back, having been dragged beneath the surface by unseen hands.

A necromancer has come to the forest, seeking the pit. She does not quite know what she expects from it, but what she hopes for is protection from death.

It’s built for 5-6 PCs of levels 2-3, and to run under most OSR rulesets.

Collected resources for interesting magic items

I often find magic item ideas online or in books. I quite often want magic item ideas when running or prepping games. I often can’t find the magic items I found when I want them

So I am going to keep lists of them here.

A video on the pollaxe and the horseman’s pick

Jason Kingsley has another good video on the weapons that medieval knights actually used on the battlefield. Top billing goes to the horseman’s pick, used from the saddle to hole the skulls of infantry. He also covers the pollaxe (note the spelling, from “poll” meaning the top of the head), which was for fighting other knights while dismounted.

Swords get only a brief mention — for all their symbolic value, they’re just not much use against serious plate armour.

A statement on Zak Smith

On this site I have previously referenced articles by Zak Smith, and I’ve engaged with him in the comments section. I’ve not done this for a while, in the light of his past behaviour (see Patrick Stuart’s summary of Zak’s online conduct). In the light of his more recent behaviour, I have now gone through the site and deleted all such references and comment threads.

Futher to that — If you support, endorse, defend, or purchase the products of Zak Smith, or indeed if you would piss on him if he was on fire amid the stacks of the British Library, please do not interact with me in a hobby-games context.

An Anki deck for Blades in the Dark

I’ve created an Anki deck for Blades in the Dark. It covers the rules-as-written along with some play advice, a little of the default setting detail, and some common house rules (latter cards should be clearly marked as such — let me know if you find one that isn’t).

At present it doesn’t cover the most basic rules, nor those that are best handled by referring to a checklist as you go. If anyone develops cards for those, however, I’d be happy to incorporate them.

I’ve zipped it up so you can download it. You can also download it from AnkiWeb.

(Those of you who don’t use Anki, but are curious, can see the cards in the “…_cards.txt” file. There are about a hundred of them at present, arranged one per line.)

An Anki deck for the Zweihander rules

A while back, I created an Anki deck for the Zweihander rules, as part of learning them. Having done that, and played three sessions, I didn’t like Zweihander’s rules at all. So I’ve deleted it from my Anki set.

But, in case it is of use for some of you, I’ve zipped it up so you can download it.

(Those of you who don’t use Anki, but are curious, can see the cards in the “…_cards.txt” file. There are 192 of them, arranged one per line.)

You might find it useful for Zweihander itself, or as an example of how an rpg ruleset can be broken down into Anki cards.