(For my part, I continue to blame the death of Google Reader, but that's neither here nor there.)
So here's my part to try and provide some revitalization - a curated list of some recent posts, plus what I liked or found interesting about them.
- From The Sorceror's Skull - Weird Revisited: In Arcadia - Trey is running a few old posts here, which is really good because there are a lot of his older posts that I haven't seen! Trey's post provides a slight taste of the realm and presents discussion as to how you'd integrate it into a game:
"Magical practitioners view Arcadia and its neighboring realms as places to salvage materials and items out of myth and legend, and to parley with powers that--though perhaps consciously forgotten--still retain great mythic resonance in Man's unconscious. As with all extraplanar dealings, caution is warranted: These primal beings have agendas of their own."
This touches upon something I'd like to see more of - ways in which a setting's myths and legends can rebound upon and affect the setting as players grapple with them.
- Ynas Midgard's RPG Blog - XP for Exploration in Hyperborea - this post takes on Jeff's eXPloration post and provides a worked example beyond Jeff's original post. The new wrinkle here is the "completionist" aspect, where finding different hidden wonders provides ever-increasing XP benefits. The players may not necessarily know how many of these hidden wonders there are, but discovering each one provides greater and greater rewards. I like this because it speeds up the process of evaluating how much each site is worth, and provides the players with an interesting incentive to go into deep exploration of a given region.
- Cavegirl's Game Stuff - Dolorous Stroke - Playtests! - I'm pretty hyped about Emmy's work on Dolorous Stroke (and not just because I suggested the name!). It's taking a look at the design space that Inquisitor delved into, re-fusing RPGs and skirmish games back together.
- Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque - Mama Lesidi Gheda, the Cult Leader of Cinderheim - Jack's almost done with the Cinderheim book, and these warlord profiles are good teasers. I wish it were a bit more simulationistic in terms of breaking down a few more of the details (how strong is Mama Gheda in relation to the other warlords?) but it's a great format to construct a punchy, evocative snapshot of a character and their domain.
- Rolltop Indigo - Lexicon - Robert recently pointed me towards S John Ross's blog. This series, looking at developing a new set of terminology for talking about RPGs, seems to me to be setting out some useful and handy frameworks. Invisible Rulebooks, for example, is a nice and clear discussion of some of the unstated assumptions that go into a gaming group's decisions and game framework.
- Coins and Scrolls - A 12th Century Tour, Part 7 - Egypt, North Africa, and Home Again - I'm only belatedly coming to Skerples's posts here, but of course I'm going to show up for the MENA post. And look at the entire thing! A pointcrawl of the Mediterranean, with contemporary glimpses into what many / most of those points were seen as. Holy crap. (Oh, and while you're here check out his Island-Based Reviews.)
- Papers and Pencils - Questions To Ask Yourself After A Session - If you're like me, wrapping up a game session leaves you with both a sudden frenzy of energy and a lack of direction (particularly if all your players are toddling sensibly off to sleep). Beloch's questions here help provide a bit of that direction, and let you tap into that post-game high in order to provide some dynamic directions for the next session.