Charles Akins
  • Charles Akins


    Welcome back to the Top 10ish Best Reads of the Month! After an unfortunate layover for March due to computer issues that slowed me down substantially and that ended up utterly destroying my entire database of rpg blogs. So I spent the better part of the last two months rebuilding my rpg blog database to 380 active blogs and reading nearly 5,400 blog posts!

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    February is not only the shortest month of the year but traditionally it’s also one of the lowest output months for role-playing bloggers with winter fatigue taking its toll on our creativity. This year, however, that trend didn’t hold true as more bloggers updated in February than did in January! Unlike January there were no overarching themes or controversies that took hold of the community and found fertile ground to inspire countless posts dissecting the topics. This month we’ve got advice for people wanting to break into the game design field; thoughts on why we should hack our gaming systems; open letters to game publishers; surveys on the role-playing game industry; and so much more!  ...READ MORE

    When it comes to making our games something memorable and that our players will be talking about for years to come there are few lengths that many of us will not go to. The problem, however, is that so often time is limited and in spite of the fact that we would all love to create our own tiles like the Crafty DM or design our own supplements that will change the way everyone thinks about cities or the d30 there’s rarely enough of it to go around for those projects. Instead we have to make do with what we’re able to squeeze in between feeding the kids, work, and a thousand other responsibilities that take up all of our time. Thankfully the internet has given us all a thousand different ways to help make our games better through apps, videos, and podcasts.
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    When Wizards of the Coast started talking about launching Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons the talked about a “transmedia” operation where the game would be brought to the world across a wide variety of formats ranging from books to video games and everything in between. In a lot of way this signaled a renewed confidence in the game that has been lacking in recent years from the official channels; however, this hobby isn’t about waiting on the official channels to tell us what to do and how to think. With the rise of the internet this hobby has found ways to create new games, stories, adventures, and videos to showcase our love for it without worrying about what the industry expects us to do. The creative output from people in this hobby is truly staggering with thousands of blogs, hundreds of games and adventures, and countless videos being produced every week. Today I’d like to share 10 of my favorites videos with you from Vimeo and YouTube that help inspire my games and that get my creative juices flowing!
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    Keeping up with the blogging scene isn’t easy for anyone as it seems like every day there’s a new blog or post going up with great ideas for how to make gaming better. Which is why each week over at the Dyvers blog I read through hundreds of blogs, finding the best posts, and bringing them together in the Best Reads of the Week! series. This month that means that I’ve read more than 2,100 blog post and checked over 375 blogs! In doing so there were some posts that stood out as their authors managed to create memorable articles that not only helped inspire their readers to more fruitful gaming but have helped solve some lingering problems that have troubled them in the process. So get ready because whether you’re looking for a new way to handle social interactions, new places to explore, or wondering why indie games haven’t taken over the world, we’ve got something here for you!
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    2015 is here and with it comes one of my favorite things to do: predicting the future! Nostradamus and Rasputin liked to stare into the sun and drink mercury but I prefer staring into the abyssal void of the internet listening to unknown gods as they cry out from the future all the things that come to pass. So what do the gods of the future lament for all of us? Will 2015 be the year Dungeons and Dragons takes back the top spot or will it be the year where we see one of the most powerful companies in the hobby begin a death spiral from which it will never escape? Let’s find out!
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    Christmas is fast approaching and that means that gifts are being bought for every child and semi-distant relative. The malls are packed with hordes of disgruntled parents pressing their way through the crowds, just hoping to find that perfect gift for each of their 2.5 children, while pickpockets’ sticky fingers cling to wallets not their own. It’s a mess that will leave many of us grouchy and resentful just in time to see the people who get under our skins the most for the holidays. This season of giving tends to put so many of us in a foul mood because of the pressure associated with finding that perfect gift. So for a few minutes let me take some of that tension away by presenting you with Ten FREE and Pay What You Want PDFs for your role-playing games! Happy Holidays!

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    The end of the year approaches! Looking back on 2014 our hobby had a really good year. We found ourselves repeatedly as the focus of news cycles and rarely did we come away in a poor light. We saw Kickstarters raise tremendous amounts of money, new games and old favorites brought back to the fore, and the impact of social media on our hobby has never been more obvious. But what stories were the dominant ones of the year? Which ones will be shaping the conversation for next year and the years after? These are the top ten news stories of 2014.
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    Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. As a child you get to wander about the neighborhood dressed in highly flammable costumes begging for candy and waging cruel prank wars on those terrible people who gave you apples and pretended like toothbrushes were far better than Snickers and M&Ms. Then as you get older you start going to parties where scary movies play in darkened rooms and malicious Dungeon Masters have you fumbling through heavy fog while werewolves stalk you in the night and your significant other keeps asking why you insist on dressing up as a vampire when you’re not playing a World of Darkness game.
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    What better day than today, the release date of the D&D 5th Edition Monster Manual, to list ten great blogs guaranteed to improve your 5E game? In the second of his guest articles here on EN World (his first was Ten RPG Blogs Everyone Should Be Reading), blogger Charles Akins of Dyvers Campaign presents us with a list of ten blogs which will make your D&D 5th Edition game even better than it undoubtedly already is. And - unbidden, I hasten to add! - he very kindly mentions EN World on his list. But that's enough from me; what follows are Charles' words.
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    One of the wonderful things about this hobby is the vast array of creativity that it elicits from enthusiasts and nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of blogging. Here you’ll find people enthusiastically discussing their favorite settings, systems, and companies with the sort of fervor that is usually reserved for fighting over politics and religion; but you’ll also find new ways to improve your game. Whether you’re looking for a new monster, an adventure hook, a creative house rule, or just some inspiration for your next game there’s a blog out there waiting to provide you with just that.
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