Friday, 1 November 2019

FIVE ON FRIDAY - THE LIBRARY OF BABEL II

WHITE RABBITS!

by Ryohei-Hase



You don't follow the  tradition of praising the white rabbit at the beginning of each new month that contains the letter "r"? Well, now is as good a time as any to start: stare at the picture and say "white rabbits" and watch your worries wash away. When you're done, you may have a look at five blog posts I picked out as highlights this week:




Okay so one of the entries on my blog list is a list of blogs. What would really make this into a turtles all the way down type scenario would be if Monsters and Manuals then edited the list to include this post, and then some kind of toplogical paradox would be created, causing the internet to collapse in on itself and revert to its primordial form.
Failing that, this is a strong list: note that it contains Bat in the Attic's sandbox building post, which is perma-linked at this very blog (in "sandbox and worldbuilding resources" on the right-hand side), and has been since 2015, which is something like my own petty attempt to obtain some kind of validity in this ever-shifting landscape of creation and destruction.



GUNDOBAD GAMES
Looking for Feedback: Anybody Made a Setting Using My 'Settings with Strata' Method?

Speaking of sandboxes, Gundobad games is looking for feedback for their "Settings with Strata" method of building a fantasy sandbox. I've not tested it out yet, and I certainly don't think incorporating history into the worldbuilding process is especially original (see Bat in the Attic's method, above), but I do intend to try this out and provide feedback for the author. Gundobad Games is a blog written by a professional antiquarian historian, and their RPG output is strongly informed by their academic background. 
The author also produced Brazen Backgrounds, which contains twenty-four "period-appropriate backgrounds" and accompanying random tables, some of which I incorporated into myown sandbox campaign.
If the opportunity arises (and time is precious, owing to NaNoWriMo), Iwill attempt a run-through of the process and make a post on this site.


WHAT WOULD CONAN DO?
WARGAME DESIGN EXTERNAL BRAIN

This one gets a share because I'd be interested in seeing a few more people pick up this idea and run with it. I used to enjoy wargames, and it would be great to see it get the DIY treatment the way Old School D&D has over the past decade. I still have the chit-based wargame from Gazetteer Ten: Orcs of Thar (which I think may have used the same core mechanic as the naval combat game that came with Gazetter Four: The Kingdom of Ierendi, and no, neither of them used the BECMI mass-combat rules known as War Machine, although both gazetteers contained comprehensive army listings for their respective nations using War Machine Rules) and I may try to create a rip of that in the near future.
Anyway, have a look and see what you make of it. If it grants an extra incentive, this is the blog of the person who created Troika! which is suddenly ubiquitous, at least in the online spaces I currently patronise.


WAS IT LIKELY?
ORACULAR DUNGEON GENERATION AND THE PLEASURE PALACE OF THE MADMAN KING
https://wasitlikely.blogspot.com/2019/10/oracular-dungeon-generation-and.html

The random generation of dungeons has been at the forefront of my mind since my slowly-lumbering-to-completion project Keepers in the Dark began last month, and it was  with keen interest that I looked upon Was It Likely aka Screwhead McDuff aka Jones Smith's latest post about that very subject.
Unfortunately I have not yet been able to do a full run-through of the procedure (the author's example dungeon took more than three hours to create), but two facets that stand out are a) Jones Smith is keen for you to "...let... yourself become a medium [for/of] a creative process that exists outside of yourself " and b) the methodology pre-supposes a kind of user layering, which the author describes as a "force", and works in a similar way Gundobad Games strata method for sandboxes (in the very broadest sense).
Please have a look for yourself and let Jones know what you made of it. 

HMMM MARQUIS
DROW & LLOTH - A RETELLING OF THESE POISONOUS PEOPLE
http://hmmmarquis.blogspot.com/2019/10/drow-lloth-retelling-of-these-poisonous.html

To conclude, this week's juiciest offering comes courtesy of Marquis Hartis' brilliant mind. Here' he dissects worship of Lolth, the drow spider-goddess, in a sprawling text exceeding 6,000 words. If something of that length doesn't appeal to you, let's see if any of the following whets your appetite:

    1. A fresh interpretation of the drow, drawing thematically upon real-world Aztec culture (and I wonder if there was any inspiration from D&D BECMI Mystara's Hollow World Shadow Elves) , Patrick Stuart's Veins of the Earth, other (A)D&D Drow canon and (one suspects) the author's research into Babylonian magic (look upon thy list of miracles and weep!)
    2. An erudite interpretation of divinity the divine in a fantasy multiverse, extrapolated from the top down into cultural practices of a fantasy civilisation.
    3. Cool pictures of sexy scary dark elf ladies.
    4. Some of the most evocatively named magic to ever grace a spell list (actually, the author calls them miracles,a s their specifically for divine casters)
The last item is probably what really crowns this stupendous piece of work: if you want a quick taste, have another look at the same author's Bronze Age magic list http://hmmmarquis.blogspot.com/2019/08/commandment-magic-user-spells-based-off.html

Here ends the second Five on Friday. Have an inspiring weekend.

Sofinho
(DM in Exile) 

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