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.

My session prep checklist

I have made a checklist for session prep (Word version). I haven’t used it much yet, but my hope it is that will do two things for me:

  1. Remind me to check things I tend to do badly. E.g. I am bad at giving out any treasure at all, even in games that need it and have guidance about it
  2. Give me ideas to try when I’m happy with my basic prep but want to improve it more

Because there is so much of the latter, I’ve split it into two parts (levels 2 and 3), with the second part containing things that are less important, more advanced. They’re the kind of thing I’d spend time on for a published adventure, but usually wouldn’t for a single session.

This checklist is explicitly for me, and only contains things that I have problems with and things I don’t always think to do. You’ll notice level 1 is missing a lot of basic activities. This is because I find them easy and natural (or don’t give a fuck about them, so don’t do them).

This list is not meant to help a rank beginner do this well. They would probably want something different, something more basic. And, as usual for checklists and processes, it’s no substitute for expertise — it just gives you reminders to use the expertise you have.

Question for the crowd — Does anyone else have an analogous list, in that it’s specific to you, that it only includes things you don’t instinctively do? What’s on it? How do you organise it?

Related question — What do you tend to miss when doing session prep? What do you do to remind yourself?

Three things, Christmas Eve 2019

Landmark, hidden, secret — a classification scheme for information in game situations that might help us better decide what to tell players, and when —

Michael Prescott explains why you probably don’t need to use the OGL, and probably would be unwise to use the DM’s Guild or similar DriveThruRPG programs. “… That last one is so mind-bendingly overreaching that it’s comical. You’re giving them permission to negotiate for you, with themselves. It’s like the devil wrote it.”

It looks like real-world archery is much harder at range than typical rpg archery. Given that long-range missile fire is hard to make fun, it might be worth trying some harsher range modifiers —