Miscellaneous
  • Miscellaneous


    I'm going to stick with Theme Weeks for a while and see how that goes. As always, I'd appreciate you letting me know if you like the idea or not. If you do like it, then please feel free to suggest themes for the future! This week (which I rather imagine, like others, will recur more than once) is all about Magic, the Arcane, and how that plays into your game. Sure, there has to be a D&D-related Pick in there, but I think you'll find a pretty interesting mix of stuff across many fields here.
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    My friend Mike Lythgoe (who I am totally stoked is getting ready to run Torg for us soon) asked for some suggestions on various sources to help Game Masters put together campaigns and run good sessions. He wanted system-agnostic stuff that would help make things go smooth (sorry, Mal). Thus was born GM Toolkit Week, a collection of some of my favorite sources for those who appreciate some advice, planning strategies, and handy tools for off-the-cuff needs.
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    Bruce Heard has sent over an exclusive preview of the latest in the Calidar series, “Dreams of Aerie”. Dreams of Aerie is the third in the World of Calidar series. You may remember the first book In Stranger Skies, still listed near the top of EN World’s Certified Chart, more than two years after its initial release. Calidar books are tabletop RPG accessories that aren’t game-specific; in other words, they can be run with most role-playing game mechanics. The new book describes the Greatest Show on Calidar, a flying circus that offers amazing fantasy spectacles to the townspeople of Calidar. It welcomes among its crew misfits, freaks, those seeking solace from a society that fears or persecutes them, as well as deceivers with shady pasts. Unknown to all but circus folk, the glorious vessel travels the world in search of ancient artifacts. A benevolent god’s cult prevails aboard, patron of beast handlers and showmanship, an epic hero who earned immortality in Calidar’s ancient past. But not all is well aboard. Heroes are hired to investigate a mysterious murder. In the course of their mission, they uncover dark things, some causing shivers to run down their spines. Not everyone or everything dwelling aboard welcomes the adventurers’ meddling. UPDATE - the Kickstarter has launched!
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    How best to structure your own RPG? It’s not a new dilemma. Back in the day games publishers always sought to innovate, whether that be a relatively small change, like adding spell points to a D&D chassis, or something more fundamental, like dispensing with class and level entirely, making skills more central to the game. Turning over the box or book of a game in the 80s you would usually see an excited description of the unique innovations within; no alignment! Personalised magic!  ...READ MORE


    As a game master, you really can't have too many tools to help carry the load, or to help out during those times when the players zig and you prepared for them to zag. Or maybe they cut a blood swath of destruction through everything that you had prepared for the night, and there's still an hour or two to go in the evening. What's a GM to do? Luckily, the people at Inkwell Ideas can help out.  ...READ MORE

    Gaming is always better with props! This card deck for the WOIN (What's OLD is NEW) roleplaying game system gives your players physical currency to handle and exchange. No more tracking your wealth on your character sheet - your wealth tracks itself! As the PCs spend money, they hand gold coin cards to the GM, and as they obtain money, the GM hands gold coin cards back to them! designed for the WOIN system, these cards are suitable for any fantasy game which uses gold and silver coins.

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    I like to compare trends in the game industry as a whole with individual segments, such as RPGs. Often what’s happening “out there” will turn up in the individual segments, if it hasn’t already.
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    Being a gamer used to be so simple. Designers designed. Publishers published. Stores stocked and we played. With the advent of cheap technology, those boundaries have blurred. Now I can design games from the comfort of my own armchair. I could even write it on my phone and upload it tonight. Well, that’s what everyone else is doing, right?
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    A truly eclectic week this time around, with some AWE-driven urban fantasy, superheroic kids gaming, the insanity of Unknown Armies returned, user-created content for 7th Sea, and a webcomics bundle featuring a bunch of gamer-friendly stuff. Go ahead, dive in, and discover something new in every direction!
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    We've been hinting at this for a few months now on social media, but EN World is now ready to roll out the community-generated content program that starts what we hope will be a new wave of tabletop gaming writers and bloggers. We have a set of guidelines up that outline the details of this new program. We're looking for freelance writers to write articles for the news page.  ...READ MORE

    EN World is an old community by internet standards - 16 years old! When it started, there was no Facebook or Twitter, WotC was being run by Peter Adkison and Ryan Dancey, Pathfinder wasn't even a glimmer in Jason Bulmahn's eye, and D&D was launching its 3rd edition. The forums had only about 4,000 members! Decades pass, and things change, and I thought it would be fun to take a peek at the demographics of this community's members. With over half a million individual users in the last 30 days, making millions of pageviews, a look at Google Analytics can reveal a lot of data on who is browsing EN World. No surprise, male Americans make the largest group, but there are increases in other countries. Note that all this data is aggregate, anonymous and from Google's analytics service. Consider this a sort of New Year "State of EN World" thing.  ...READ MORE

    Dungeons & Dragons' recent entry into the Toy Hall of Fame is noteworthy because the game has transcended its roots, becoming a full-blown hobby enjoyed by children everywhere -- and a hobby that, as we've discussed previously, wasn't originally targeted at children in the first place. And yet there was a time when toys were considered so trivial that holiday production was almost cancelled to support America's war efforts. In one fateful meeting, the fate of the Christmas toy industry hung in the balance. Without A.C. Gilbert, there may well have been no toy industry at all.


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    Aaaaannnd... we're back! The Picks of the Week return with a slew of cool stuff here on the front page of EN World, including fantasy of the classic, epic, and seafaring varieties, as well as the shadows of the near-future streets and a grand treatise on the matters of tropes in fantastic and adventure fiction.
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    The Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund (RCRF) is a charitable organization that was founded in 2014 to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying game creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.

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    A rundown of the New Releases that should be hitting games stores this coming week! Board games, card games, RPGs, and a host of collectible games... hopefully something for everyone! For more information about any of the products please contact your local games store.
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    Now that Thanksgiving is over in America, it's time to look ahead to Christmas! EN World's columnists put their heads together to come up with a list of gifts for gamers - with the caveat that the list could not include any actual RPGs or books! Angus, Mike, Sean, and Chris came up with 13 items at a variety of price points perfect for the gamer in your life or for your hard-working and harried DM or GM!
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    The Twitter account @unchartedatlas creates automated, bot-generated fantasy maps on an hourly basis. The bot was created by Swansea University's Martin O'Leary using his knowledge as a glaciologist. Adding real physics into the bot's code, its virtual worlds are more coherent than many automated terrain generators. "I wanted to play with terrain generation with a physical basis. There are loads of articles on the internet which describe terrain generation, and they almost all use some variation on a fractal noise approach, either directly (by adding layers of noise functions), or indirectly (e.g. through midpoint displacement). These methods produce lots of fine detail, but the large-scale structure always looks a bit off. Features are attached in random ways, with no thought to the processes which form landscapes. I wanted to try something a little bit different." There's a bunch of information on his website, along with the code itself, which you can use.  ...READ MORE

    Welcome back to our weekly look at tabletop roleplaying game, and accessories, crowdfunding roundup! Each week we’ll be looking at a few campaigns currently running that have caught our eye as well as occasionally speaking to some of the creators about their campaigns, or looking at some of the ‘behind the scenes’ business aspects of putting together, launching, operating and then delivering a crowdfunded project. If you have anything you’d like us to cover, or questions about anything we talk about, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly.

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    This week, we've got mercenaries in Rifts, grand melees for D&D 5e, psionic masters for Shaintar and Savage Worlds, dungeons for everyone, and a grand Halloween sale. All of that follows. However, I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that I am trying a new approach to the Picks of the Day, starting next Monday. I will debut the Pick of the Day via the ENN News Network each weekday; it will then be shared out across my "network," including the Sean's Pick of the Day site. So you will see Picks daily, and then the weekly roundup will actually appear on SPOD first. Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.
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    Welcome back to our weekly look at tabletop roleplaying game, and accessories, crowdfunding roundup! Each week we’ll be looking at a few campaigns currently running that have caught our eye as well as occasionally speaking to some of the creators about their campaigns, or looking at some of the ‘behind the scenes’ business aspects of putting together, launching, operating and then delivering a crowdfunded project. If you have anything you’d like us to cover, or questions about anything we talk about, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly.

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