Below are a list of links that I find fun or useful or beautiful or weird or interesting. You can also find me on Mastodon.
If you’ve got a blog that features some or any content about Mothership, let me know and I’ll get you on the list!
- Death to HP - Long Live HD. A great little system for dealing with wounds and damage in D&D. This feels like it would be really easy to port into a lot of games, and Mothership uses a Wound system as well, so it’s really close to my heart.
- The Cowardice of Incremental Modifiers is an article I come back to over and over and over. It’s about making your player’s actions count, which is something that I’m constantly thinking about.
- Philotomy’s Musings. What’s beautiful about D&D74 to me is that you have to interpret it. It’s unfinished, poorly edited, poorly laid out. The thing is a mess. You need to bring something to the table to make it work. Philotomy’s Musings are a great example of this, one that brings out the beauty of the original game. Highly recommended.
- Problem-Solving Combat: Breaking the Cage of ‘Roll Initiative’. This article really gets to the core of something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Always worth revisiting.
- Dwarf-land. A supplement/setting for OD&D that I find fascinating.
- Grey Elf’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Resources. One of my favorite sites for old school gaming resources.
- Convergent Storytelling in Elf Games. Great advice on creating useful lore in rpgs.
- Dark Souls the Video Game the Table Top Role Playing Game (for original D&D). My view is that OD&D essentially IS Dark Souls already, but this has a lot of great thoughts to twist it further.
- If Your Torches Burn for only One Hour your NPCs will be More Important. A great write up on what I think is an essential element of D&D: logistics. Planning and treating the fantasy world like a real world is a big part of what I get out of gaming. I come back to this post over and over again.
- Negotiating with Monsters: Common PC Errors. One of the most underrated blog posts about D&D.
- Minaria Setting. I’ve slowly become obsessed with the Minaria setting because of the incredible map it has in Divine Right. I found this semi-abandoned basic html page with some of its lore and man I’m all about it.
- Dead Character Files. An angelfire(!) website which stores a bunch of character sheets from people who have been killed in the site owner’s various campaigns. There’s some great scans of character sheets going all the way back to OD&D. Hasn’t been updated since 2002 unfortunately.
- d&d is anti-medieval. I love posts that examine the underlying pre-suppositions of D&D, and this one has a great take on some of the things we take for granted (like that D&D is medieval because that’s what it says on the box).
- The 5×5 Method. Great post about how to design a campaign that feels both like an epic narrative and like a sandbox as well.
Other Tabletop RPGs
- Boot Hill and Fear of Dice. This pairs well with the previous post about Torches and again gets at that same thing. I like my games to feel like the real world. Simulationist is probably the term you’d use, but I’m not interested in modeling physics as much as I am modeling high stakes and real consequences.
- Duels Using Player Skill. This is just a great post again with amazing stakes. I think this is all you would need to run an amazing, long term sword fighting campaign.
- Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses: Pevans’s En Garde! game. Campaign website for a long running campaign of En Garde! Love stuff like this.
Articles I like
- Why All of Our Games Look Like Crap. This is an insanely detailed look into the business of CRPGs that has a lot of advice I think any aspiring publisher can learn from.
- Star Wars Ring Theory. This site blew my mind. An interpretation of the Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy through the lens of “ring theory,” an obscure storytelling format where elements of these trilogies mirror and reverse each other. It really made me appreciate the Prequel Trilogy for basically the first time. Poor execution, but very cool plan. Also helps highlight the specific failings of the Sequel Trilogy, mainly that there really is no plan, they’re more like episodes of a Netflix show than any sort of cohesive unit the gels with the rest of the saga.
- She Spent a Decade Writing Fake Russian History. Wikipedia Just Noticed.. Fascinating story about a woman who fabricated a ton of history on Wikipedia. This is just mind blowing to me as it feels like a sort of new art-form. Graffiti as history?
- Meditations on Moloch.
- My awakening moment about how smartphones fragment our attention span. This article recently had a large effect on me and how I view my time. Specifically, as a stay-at-home dad of two with my own business, my time is extremely limited and my attention is often pulled in a thousand different directions. Cutting down on my smartphone and social media clutter has helped immeasurably. Highly recommended.
- Neuaismea. I stumbled on this by digging through href.cool and I don’t really know what it is but it looks like illustrations of an exploration of a digital and abandoned space, which is basically my favorite thing.
- xit! is a plain-text file format for todos and check lists. I love stuff like this.
- Mr. Boop (NSFW) is an insane webcomic about a guy (the author) who marries Betty Boop. I kinda love everything about this, from the insane comic, to the old school website, and just the general vibe of having like a HOMEPAGE. Also, I have now purchased the domain: seanswebsite.com, so I’ll need to figure out what to do with that sometime.
- Robocop is a Perfectly Symmetrical Film. Very interesting analysis of Robocop and the concept of “chiasmus.” Highly recommended.
- Les Animaux tels qu’ils sont. Scans of an old how to draw animals book.
- The Observation Room. Cool little old school fan site of the cult tv show The Prisoner. I love finding old passion project sites like this from the early abandoned web.
- Cayzle’s Wemic Site. Another weird former Geocities, now Yahoo (though still updated!!) html website, a large portion of which is devoted to Wemic’s which are “Wemics have the torso, arms, and head of a human and the body, legs, and tail of a lion.” Neat!
- Combat Maneuvers the Easy Way. Love this little house rules. Hugely influential on my ship to ship combat rules for Mothership.
- 0_abyssalSomewhere. A strange ruined landscape to explore. I love this kind of game. A lot of emptiness.
- Classic Doom, Doom II Maps. What can I say, I’m a sucker for an html text website with lineart maps from old school horror fpses? That ticks all my boxes.
- Null.hack is my cyberpunk ruleset for Mothership that I tinker with when I have a free moment. Totally an unfinished work-in-progress.
- Mausritter. A phenomenal tabletop adventure game if you’re into Watership Down or Redwall. One of the better versions of D&D out there.
- Mawbreakers. My weird-WWII hellboy wolfenstein rpg. Definitely needs playtesting, if you play it let me know!
- iOS Games Worth Playing. Just an insanely good list of iOS games. I’ve played many on this list and the recommendations are solid. Sadly, has not been updated since the pandemic.
- The Matrix Role-Playing Game. Based on WEG’s d6 engine, this website from back in 2003 it looks like is everything I love about tabletop games. -FantasyAnime.com: Castlevania Symphony of the Night. An old fan-site of the greatest Castlevania game of all time that isn’t Dark Souls. This is the kind of website I lived for as a kid. Wallpapers, maps, videos, art, music, tips & tricks. You could really get lost here, which is fitting for the content.
I’ve gone through a few dozen newsletters over time and a lot of times I end up just skipping them or they pile up in my inbox until eventually I unsubscribe. These four I consistently read enough to recommend whole heartedly.
- The Glatisant Newsletter. Monthly. Curated by Ben Milton of Questing Beast. Ben really does a great job here of collecting interesting topics and linking to people doing amazing work in rpgs. Highly recommended.
- Garbage Day. Most weekdays. Discusses weird internet culture and trends, very thoughtful about the way the internet is warping our minds.
- The Hacker Newsletter. Weekly. A lot of tech stuff that I skip, but usually a few interesting projects or science articles a week that I always find inspiring.
- BIG by Matt Stoller. Weekly. This one talks a lot about monopolies and the economy and that kind of thing. Really good analysis and a good amount of history. I had to unsubscribe to this one unfortunately because it was making me too depressed.