Miscellaneous
  • Miscellaneous


    Tomorrow (August 10th), RPG designer and publisher Monte Cook will be holding an Ask Me Anything (AMA) right here at EN World. You can ask him about anything, including Numenera, D&D, Monte Cook Games, Malhavoc Press, and more. The AMA will continue through the week.
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    So there was this show - you might have heard of it - a convention called Gen Con. I was there last week, from Wednesday to last Sunday. I spent Monday in a kind of lethargic coma, and really only started to be remotely human Tuesday. During this time, the Pick of the Day went largely untended, and I totally missed doing this weekly roundup of mine whilst in the midst of the madness in Indianapolis. You all have my sincerest apologies on that mark, and I hope to make it up to you with this cornucopia of selections. Included is a large number of ENnie Award winners, so read on and discover gaming grandeur!
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    WotC is involved in an annual event called Extra Life - it's a charity for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and WotC staff raises money for the charity by playing D&D for lots... of... hours. 48 of them! All live-streamed, so you can watch their bleary, weary faces as they slay orcs and dragons for charity! Last year, they raised $85,000; this year, they're aiming for $100,000.
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    This year's Gen Con set a new record, with 61,423 individual attendees (that's 197,695 turnstile). The annual growth since 2010 has been 9%, and it has more than doubled its attendance since then. Of course, Indianapolis hasn't doubled its number of hotels, so it's not all good news! Next year's convention moves back to August, starting on August 4th, 2016.
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    New for EN5ider patrons! The Village of Drood is a small village bordering a dark wood, founded by a traveling wizard and ready to be plugged in to your campaign. The first in a series of three settlements, this article contains NPCs and plot hooks. By Mark Craddock; illustrated by Jacob Blackman.
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    The following is a collection of photos taken by various attendees, publishers, and others at Gen Con Indy - which officially starts today! These photos are mainly of Gen Con booths, some before the trade hall doors actually opened. Thanks to those who posted these pictures!
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    Technically, Gen Con doesn't begin until Thursday, but many publishers and fans are already in Indianapolis or en-route. Gen Con, as you may well know, is North America's largest tabletop gaming convention. Over the next week I'll be sure to share any scoops I hear of regarding your favourite roleplaying games, so keep an eye on this news page. Plus, of course, on Friday night the ENnies take place! I'll be posting the list of winners as soon as the award ceremony finishes.
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    Gen Con is coming! It's like Winter, except the swarm of invaders are all alive and very warm, and while there will be mass carnage and devastation, it will primarily happen at thousands of game tables. Well, sure, the carnage at the restaurants will also be pretty spectacular, too. Scotty's Brewhouse is one of my favorite haunts, and apparently that opinion is shared by many thousands of my fellow gamers. There are hundreds of food sources in downtown Indianapolis, and nearly all of them go out of their way to welcome Gen Con folks in some way. It's actually pretty impressive. For those will be there, do try and find me and say hello! I'll primarily be hanging around the Pinnacle/Studio 2 booth. If you cannot make it, please game on and enjoy the spirit of it all from wherever you are. I don't leave until next week, though, so let's get down to the Picks for this week...
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    A couple of gems from the mines you may not normally look in, plus the core rules for that Wil Wheaton thing everyone's talking about...
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    Do you remember I Put My Low Stat? It was a song by Mary Crowell which won EN World's Battle of the Bards contest a couple of years ago. It was awesome then - but it's suddenly even more awesome, because Mary now has a live action music video to go with it! If you like this video, you really should check out her Patreon page. This video stars Mary Crowell, Simon Crowell, Wesley Crowell, Andrew Foxx, Caleb Jaco, Sean Jaco, and Shelby Jaco.
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    As you probably know by now, Wil Wheaton hosts the new RPG web show, Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. In it, he runs Green Ronin's Fantasy AGE roleplaying for a group of celebrity friends. What you might not have known is that each week he gives a gamemastering tip, hosted by popular website The Mary Sue. There have been two so far - the first about getting players invested in your world, and the second talks about character arcs.
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    I gotta run out the door to run my first Prowlers & Paragons: Modern Gods game tonight, so let's get right to it!
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    Roleplaying games are being mentioned in the mainstream press again, and you don't get much more mainstream than The Guardian. An article today, by Damien Walter, discusses the joy of reading (as opposed to playing) roleplaying games, and compares them to other forms of book reading as he asks the question "You don’t have to actually play a role-playing game for it to fire your imagination, so why don’t RPG manuals count as books?"
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    From ancient gods to the far future, gunslingers to apocalypse preventers, this week's got something for everyone. Plus, there's a bundle I want to bring your attention to, full of superheroic awesome and intended to help folks in Texas following the floods.
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    Ever wondered if your d20 was balanced correctly? Concerned that you have a die that always rolls low? A guy called Daniel Fisher has the solution for you - a trick that golfers apparently use to test their golf balls! All you need is your d20, and a glass of salt water (room temperature water with a load of salt in it - as much as needed to make the die float).
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    A chap named Jan-Oliver Ohloff from Germany has shown off some photographs of his fantastic new gaming table. It contains a 40-inch plasma TV and (apart from the actual TV) was built by hand. It cost around 400 euros ($450) in total - 100 euros for the used plasma TV, and 300 for the materials.
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    I get a lot of emails every day from folks asking me to promote their Kickstarter. I think that's awesome. The sheer amount of industry and creativity in this little niche corner of our hobby is inspiring, and if I could write about every single one, I would. As it is, I can't even keep up with the emails, and I'm sure there are a thousand people out there who think I'm rude for not replying - and I'm so sorry. So I've been trying to think of a way to help those folks, and I think I have one. There's been a Publisher Forum here on EN World for years; I'm making use of that forum to feed those press releases, announcements, and Kickstarters here on the news page - you can see that output over on the right. If you have an announcement, post it there, and it'll show up here. It's the quickest and best way to get your PR or Kickstarter up on the news page here, and hopefully circumvents that horrible email logjam! But, please, don't shoot and leave; if you post something, be ready to answer questions! (Picture is my actual inbox right now).
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    Another eclectic selection of interesting choices, as is often the case around here. There's also a little something special I shared on Memorial Day instead of the usual Pick. For those embracing the warmth on oncoming Summer, "Here Comes the Sun." For our Southern Hemisphere friends, "Winter is Coming."
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    We're all over the place again this week - far off in space, lost civilizations, hidden worlds in the shadows, and lands of giants! Let's go!
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    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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