Links Roundup: 5th December 2010

What I Learned Running a 1 to 30 D&D Campaign, via Critical Hits. Now that D&D 4E’s been out long enough for a campaign to have run to completion, Mike Shea gives his insights into what we used to call “the new edition”:

Near the end, there wasn’t any bad roll that couldn’t be boosted up by five points using some combination of forgotten feats, situational bonuses, magic items, or triggered actions. People would say things like “deep rumble strike” and then hit an invisible monster for 130 damage. […] There wasn’t a way in hell I could tell if they had a real power or were just making up nonsense words and then doing whatever they wanted to do.

I sound like I’m complaining but 3.5 was even worse for me. Chainwielding half-orcs and solid fog spells trivialized every monster I ever threw at them. High level D&D games pre-4e seemed to end up as coin tosses. Heads you kill them all, tails they kill you all. […] Of course, with 4e, I miss having monsters even potentially that lethal.

The (Lost?) Art of Trap Placement, via JD Wiker.

R.A. Salvatore Is A Grognard from Cave Of Chaos, via Cave of Chaos.

Real Steel: The Tetsubo, via Kobold Quarterly. Interesting article on the Japanese long spiked club.

Maybe there’s method in Wizards’ madness after all, via Greyulf’s Lair. Brief speculation on Microsoft’s port of Silverlight to the Xbox 360 and what this could mean for the D&D character software.

State of the Mongoose 2010, via Paranoia blog. While the Paranoia: Troubleshooters core book has sold well, the alternate core books Internal Security and High Programmers have been less successful. The news is excerpted from Mongoose’s 2010 report, a mammoth 10,000 word document of interest to anyone in the RPG industry.

When Is It OK To Railroad?, via RPG Blog II.

Ornamental Stones, base 10gp value, via Jeff’s Gameblog. Picture of the gems appearing on the low end of D&D’s treasure chart.

That’s probably the perfect mentality, I think:, via Quote Unquote. On developing a game, whether a video game or tabletop RPG.

How to Captivate Your Audience with Story (From America’s Greatest Living Playwright), via Copyblogger. Advice on story writing applied to marketing, but equally valuable to the tabletop games writer and Dungeon Master.

Possibly Intriguing D&D Virtual Table News, via Grognardia. There’s a rumour that D&D’s virtual gametable will support systems other than D&D 4E. Nothing that Maptools and OSU-GT Gametable don’t already do, and I suspect that few oldschool-only players will subscribe to D&D Insider at full price just for the Gametable, but still.

The Smallest of Gaming Groups: DM+1, via Newbie DM. How to run D&D 4th edition for a single player.

competing processes of play, broad appeal, and improving D&D, via Elliot Wilen’s RPG theory/design/philosophy journal.