Stuff To Watch: December 2011

edited December 2011 in Stuff to Watch
Looks like I got this one:

What stuff should we watch, read, play?

1.Feel free to respond here in-thread to another link posted.

a. If you're looking to start a conversation, perhaps take your comment and create a new thread with it in the Stuff to Watch category.

b.Otherwise, to prevent too many comments in the thread, number your response (first response: [1]; second response [2]; third response [3]). If you see that you're the second person to post, "Wow, that looks cool!" to a post here, then put a "[2]" at the top of your post. Three posts ([3]) is the limit: The fourth person to post should just take their comment and create a new thread, to carry the discussion over there further.


Because these threads are great: We can link to little things being talked about on the web in general, on blogs, or other forums that might be noteworthy, without having to dedicate a new thread to each and every one (although that, too, is fine if you want to discuss the item further or "open up a discussion").

Responding to these posts with a comment or two is understandable (other times there might be no comments, just cause the link was self-explanatory: nothing to say, lots of heads nodding in agreement). But we don't want to create a huge discussion in the middle of the thread: Some folks get a lot out of these threads, and don't want to look back to see the "10 latest posts" just to see that it's a heated discussion of something from a previous page. Cool? Cool.


  • So, after about a month and a half of being swamped with college and Occupy Portland, I've made my triumphant return to story game blogging! Behold: Finding Burdick, an epic yet tender Apocalypse World tale about the living thread of story, a precious character, and how I nearly killed them both. Enjoy!

  • edited December 2011
    My kickstarter for bluffing style chess, a new steam punk mouse and some paper fudge dice is in it's final week!
    Click here for the link
  • Tyler, that looks amazing!

    [bluffing style chess 1]
  • For you Mountains of Madness folks:

    Naked Antartica

    Looks like it would make a cool island hoping adventure site.
  • edited December 2011
    Mozart invented a dice game? It's not new, but it's new to me.
  • Jason L. Blair stopped by Gamestarter this week to pimp his new Kickstarter, Streets of Bedlam.
  • Legend of the Five RIngs 4th edition 4-book set for $100 (original price approx $180).

    That's... quite a deal!

  • NOVARIUM, another one of Greg Christopher's gorgeous free RPGs, is now available.

    I haven't read through it (just this review below), but at a glance it is incredibly gorgeous, and it appears to be a romantic fantasy game of high magic.
  • Inspiration vs. Imitation, by Jessica Hische

    A must read for aspiring artists (or designers, for that matter).
  • Based on some feedback about layout and readability issues, I posted a new revision of my game Final Hour of a Storied Age. It's currently in beta and I need external playtesting to make progress with the design. I think people who are interested in the Epic Fantasy genre will find that this game connects with the core of stories like The Lord of the Rings in a way that character-drama or adventuring-party games can't, and people who like to see new mechanical approaches to story games will find some interesting things in the game as well.
  • edited December 2011
    Posted By: TristanInspiration vs. Imitation, by Jessica Hische

    A must read for aspiring artists (or designers, for that matter).
    What she says, while important, does not apply to game design, which has it's own laws (or lack thereof) and professional courtesies (or lack thereof.)

    (edit: this is not to say "you shouldn't have posted this." It's simply to make a note of the fact that the laws and professional courtesies are different for game design.)

  • [Inspiration vs Imitation 2]
    Posted By: Ben Lehman

    What she says, while important, does not apply to game design, which has it's own laws (or lack thereof) and professional courtesies (or lack thereof.)
    It can apply to text and art that go into game projects, though, no? You're certainly right that game mechanics and systems interact under different laws and customs than, say, illustration or fiction—but a game book is seldom just the mechanisms. And I think "Diversify Your Inspirations" is applicable advice to game design, for example.
  • edited December 2011
    [Insp vs. Imit 3]
    Posted By: Ben LehmanWhat she says, while important, does not apply to game design, which has it's own laws (or lack thereof) and professional courtesies (or lack thereof.)
    You kind of lost me in there.

    I read it and I think that while some stuff has a very different context in here, the core principles pretty much apply just the same.

    Sure, the professional courtesies, comunity etiquette and stuff are different. But the idea is to learn from others without disrespecting them.

    So... What am I missing? Would you think it is worth elaborating on that?

    (Edit: X-posted with Will. As per the rules, no further replies in here... So if you think it is worth your time, you could open a new thread about this. :D I'd be very interested in reading it.)
  • Posted By: TristanSo... What am I missing? Would you think it is worth elaborating on that?

    (Edit: X-posted with Will. As per the rules, no further replies in here... So if you think it is worth your time, you could open a new thread about this. :D I'd be very interested in reading it.)
    PSST: Just a heads up, if you put the impetus on the Other to create the new thread and do all the work to explain to you, it's likely not going to happen and just tick the Other off.

    If you honestly want to get answers to those questions, the impetus-ball is in your court to create the thread and ask the question, inviting the Other (or others too) to respond!

    (not to single out Tristan: He meant well! I just see this accidental behavior enough from many folks to warrant a slight heads up on the bigger picture of expectations and courtesy vs practical results)
  • everything in the ndpdesign online store is 20% off until 2012 with code ENDOF2011. That's Annalise, carry. a game about war., The Dance and the Dawn (all print and PDF) and Witness the Murder of Your Father and Be Ashamed Young Prince (PDF only). Take advantage of this years End of Days, y'all.
  • Review and how-to-play Kings of Air and Steam, a board game that will only be available on Kickstarter for four more days from today.
  • Harlin's Almanac: an open source bestiary

    What is an open source bestiary? It is a book where all of the content, from setting to art, is licensed under Creative Commons allowing others to use the setting and the art in their own projects. Sound interesting? Read more At the Table.
  • [ndpdesign sale 1]

    Sweet! I'm pointing my Christmas shopping relatives here! I've been wanting carry since forever.
  • I've got a sale of my own to announce! The Dreaming Crucible, the storytelling game of Faerie journeys and growing up, is $2 off through the month of December! That's $10 plus shipping; $12 total to anywhere in North America! Or $10 if you live in Portland and want me to hand deliver. (I only have Paypal set up for North America for technical reasons; overseas customers, whisper me and we'll work out details.)

  • I'm organizing a panel on the connections between Theater and RPGs in NYC this Wed., December 14th, following the 7 pm performance of the play SHE KILLS MONSTERS which uses Dungeons & Dragons as a vehicle to explore the alienation faced by gay teenagers, and also to create seven-headed dragon props.
  • I put up Qualia over at Nørwegian Style.

    It's not a new game! Also, it's about immersion!

    That being said, it does have a burning oil platform, which seems to be a recurring motif for me, and that means you must find it interesting too.

  • RyRy
    edited December 2011
    Have you guys seen this six foot killer shrimp-thing?


  • Seiðstorm!

    The London Indie RPG Meet is having another design day in January: inspired by Love in the Time of Seið, we're gonna burn out a couple of Archipelago II-style "playsets" and then play 'em. More details here
  • So people are roleplaying right now - live streaming - for charity! Take a look!

    The concept (raising money for Child's Play):

    This is, as a concept, pretty awesome and insane: The more you donate to them, the more they play! WTF this is awesome!!!!

    The stream: I really want to stream a game at some point!
  • This needs to become an rpg RIGHT NOW (via thedailywtf):

  • edited December 2011
    The Murray collection debuts at Duke University tonight - 10,000 RPG-related items. I'll be the guy in the Pé Chói costume.

    Here's the accession record, inventory and finding aid.
  • [Murray collection 1]

    Trivia contest!!!!!!
  • (started a Murray collection thread here)
  • Murder Map of London!

    I learned of this thanks to the Inky Fool. In the excellent words of M.H. Forsyth, it's:
    a map of London marking the spot of every homicide, fratricide, patricide, uxoricide &c in London. You can even filter the results by murder weapon.
  • edited December 2011
    If you're looking for a new hardhold in your AW game, China's abandoned fake Disneyland might just fit the bill.
  • I made a big chart tracking the various editions of D&D. You didn't really believe that 4th edition was the fourth edition of the game, did you?
  • [D&D chart 1]

    I knew all of this but I still like your chart.
  • [D&D chart 2]

    I didn't know all this as I mainly got into D&D around 1996!

    There was also D&D 2E Players Option which was a sort of 2.5E pointing towards 3E.
  • edited December 2011
    Level 99 Games has just released the Mystic Empyrean Digital Corebook, an app version of its RPG for iOS.
  • edited December 2011
    There's a Holiday Gift incentive with my new Voodoo Western novels and a short form RPG. More novel excerpts throughout the month and updates about the books and games on my blog.

    A Road Paved In Iron Kickstarter

    The Dharma of Don - writing blog

    I'd love to hear some input (Theres a thread up already) about the campaign.
    - Don
  • edited December 2011
    So, this is happening: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Promo

    With thanks to Aaron Sullivan (who wrote the bio of Cap), Matthew Gandy (who edited), John Harper (who provided concepts for cover and datafile layouts), Jeremy Keller (who did the actual layout and finished design), and my whole concept team. More coming soon. Yes, Milestones are Keys, more or less.

  • [Marvel 1]
    I am soooooooo damned excited about this. I can't wait to see more (especially since when I look at Cap's stats, my brain has trouble meshing the details I remember from Smallville and Leverage). Is there going to be a quickstart download at some point?
  • Terra Evolution, a really awesome-looking deckbuilding game about species evolution, cataclysms, and extinction, has just recently met its funding level on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter page also includes a rules PDF for those interested in getting one of the limited-edition numbered copies of the first run of 275.
  • [terra evolution 1]

    I had my booth next to theirs at Essen, and they sold out. I'm taking nothin away from my Finnish brothers, but I do find it a lil bit strange to kickstart something that's already seen a successful print run, no?
  • [Terra Evolution 2]

    They're doing the Kickstarter in order to both generate buzz and break into the US market, and to fund a print run intended for sale in the US.
  • edited December 2011
    A Thousand Years Under the Sun is up at Nørwegian Style.
    "This is a game – or a sandbox – about the rise and fall of tribes, civilizations, creatures and phenomena on the open steppes of an imaginary geography. It’s easily playable in an evening, possibly several times.

    Expect play to start out slowly. The setting will grow before your eyes, under your hands. As time passes, interactions and connections tend to develop – organically, because they’re interesting."
    (It suddenly struck me that at no point in the envisioning, design and playtest of the game did I ever even consider having a GM function. GM-less is apparently my default mode these days.)
  • My precious... I must have it...
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarLego LOTR
    Been done.
  • Apparently Minecraft Lego is on the cards too.
  • Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro?) has done holiday layoffs this year. A couple of TSR legacy staff, Rich Baker and Steve Winter, have been let go.

    Jeff Grubb has a great post about the recurring holiday layoffs and the logic behind them.
  • smallcover.jpg

    Amidst the gathering darkness, Fight On! returns to give battle once more! Packed tighter than a Bag of Holding on the way out of Acererak’s tomb, this issue has everything you need to make your next saving roll vs. lame gaming! Dedicated to Ken St. Andre, Fight On! #13 features new rules, new settings, TEN new adventures, and the slew of tables, classes, races, NPCs, magic items, humor, and so much more you’ve come to look out for in every issue. With art and articles by Ken St. Andre, Liz Danforth, David A. Ullery, Makofan, Patrick Wetmore, John Larrey, Ndege Diamond, Toren Atkinson, Calithena, Alex Schroeder, Erin “Taichara” Bisson, Richard Rittenhouse, Baz Blatt, Daniel Boggs, Michael Curtis, Ravi Shankar, Mark Mena, Gabor Lux, John Laviolette, Hudson Bell, Jason Vasché, Jeff Rients, Douglas Cox, Big Jack Brass, John Linneman, Kelvin Green, Kevin Vito, Jennifer Weigel, Patrick Farley, F.C. Brandt, Jason Sholtis, Katje Romanov, and many, many more. What are you waiting for – pick issue #13 up today and keep fighting on!

    You can buy the print edition here:

    and the PDF edition here:

    Table of Contents
    The Swashbuckler (Calithena) 3
    Elves as Green Men (Walt Jillson) 4
    Variant Kindreds (Age of Fable) 5
    Grognard’s Grimoire (Erin “Taichara” Bisson) 6
    Cantrips Gone Wild! (John Laviolette) 7
    Battle School (Ken St. Andre) 10
    Mysterious Laboratory of Xoth-Ragar (Alex Fotinakes) 15
    Knights & Knaves (Andrew “Venomous Pao” Trent) 22
    Creepies & Crawlies (garrisonjames) 25
    Artifacts, Adjuncts, & Oddments (Hudson Bell & Cal) 27
    Slaughter in the Salt Pits (Gabor Lux) 28
    The Library of Karvu Naudra (Jason Vasché) 33
    An Unfamiliar Encounter (John Larrey) 36
    The Goblin Market (Richard Rittenhouse) 40
    Bonus Tables (Jeff Rients) 45
    What is this Monster Scared Of? (Dustin Brandt) 46
    Fruiting Towers (Patrick Wetmore) 47
    Tricks & Treats (Andreas Davour & Wayne Cayea) 58
    Mythal (Calithena) 61
    The Tale of an Egg (Baz Blatt) 69
    The Darkness Beneath (Makofan) 78
    Champions of ZED (Daniel Boggs) 98
    In the Shadow of the Catskills (Michael Curtis) 111
    Scramp! (Richard Rittenhouse) 116
    Education of a Magic User (Douglas Cox) 120
    Top Tips for Tunnels & Trolls (Big Jack Brass) 121
    Doxy, Urgent Care Cleric (J. Linneman & K. Green) 122

    Front cover by Liz Danforth. Back cover by Ravi Shankar ( Fight On! logo by Jeff Rients. Ken St. Andre illustration by Mark Mena. Interior art and cartography by Anthony Stiller (3), Alex Schroeder (3,16,19,81,85), Ndege Diamond (4,15,18,22,23,64,94,117), Michael Pacher (4), Tom Gordon ( ~tgordo: 6), Kelvin Green (7,43,122), Black Blade Publishing ( 8), David A. Ullery ( 9,10,11,12,14,22,24,27,31,33, 35,56,66), Brian Mangino (20), Toren Atkinson (thickets. net/toren: 20,59,69), Richard Jean LeBlanc, Jr. (21,86), OSRCon ( 24), garrisonjames (hereticwerks. 25,26), DEI Games ( 26), Hudson Bell (27,106,107), Gabor Lux (29,30,32), Jason Vasché (33), Liz Danforth (34,77), John Larrey (37,38, 102), Kevin Mayle (44), Kevin Vito (47,51), Patrick Wetmore (48,53), Kesher (50), Lawrence Raymond (60), Jennifer Weigel ( 61,67), Baz Blatt (72), Greengoat (73), Patrick Farley (74), Robert S. Conley ( 78), F.C. Brandt ( 84,91, 119), Lee Barber (91, Creepies & Crawlies logo, Knights & Knaves logo), Jason Sholtis (99,110), Philp H. Smith (112,113,114,115), Katje Romanov (119), Douglas Cox (120), and Peter Schmidt Jensen (121).
  • Guys! Remember John Dies at the End, otherwise known as an acid inspired novelized game of InSpectres? Yeah, well now it's a film, premeiring in 2012 at Sundance!
  • [John Dies at the End 1]
    Directed by Don Coscarelli!
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