I’m pulling myself from the throes of my Feed the Beast addiction to write this week’s roundup, in part because I found some totally awesome things this week. If you’ve got some cool gaming news, an interesting blog post, Kickstarter, or game release, tweet it to us at #TPKtalk. Send us all your awesome things! Anyway, this week we’ve got do it yourself pulp covers, using RPG mechanics in your real life, and thinking about politics and magic in games.
AMAZING COVERS! CHILLING TALES!
Stargazer’s World introduced me to the Pulp-o-Mizer, which is an online tool that lets you create custom pulp magazine covers. Perfect for your sci-fi or Spirit of the Century game, or anything else. Custom. Pulp. Covers. So awesome.
Robert Rath Hates Magic
And for a good reason. Magic, he argues, should be mysterious and terrifying, not a thing you buy at the store, which it is in most videogames. Generic summoning and fire spells should give way to a deep commitment to manipulating metaphysical forces. This is how magic has been traditionally viewed in history, and it makes magic-related narratives and mysteries far more compelling than walking into a shop and going “I need seven meteor spells for my buddies”. See all magic-item and Monty Haul related arguments about fantasy rpgs. Read his full article on the Escapist.
Partake in Politics
Josh Graboff at the Signe of the Frothing Mug wrote a great post last week on political structures in rpgs and why they’re important. Having a solid political structure can add depth to a setting and help players get involved in the world. NPCs and PCs alike can jockey for power within factions. I think the best point is that there are no politically neutral actions. With a rich enough system, everything makes someone happy and someone else angry. It’s a lot of work, but well worth the reward.
Should GM’s use a screen? Derek over at Dungeon’s Master explores the topic this week. I’m not a screen user myself, but Ryan is. There are pros and cons to each style, and this post discusses them in depth. Read the full article on Dungeon’s Master.
Grind for Life
Remember all those times you wished you got xp for everyday tasks? Now you can. Habit RPG is a organizational app that lets you team up, build a character, and earn xp based on your daily tasks. They’re still developing new tools thanks to their successful Kickstarter, and their stability can be shaky, but it looks like a good start on a great organizing tool.
That’s all we’ve got for you this week. You can check back on Monday for a new post on improvisation and the art of bullshit!