[RPG Newswire] Brain Dump of Recent Links

I haven't done a full-blown link post in a while, and I can't read my browser tabs because I have too many cool links open. So here: have a dump of what I've been looking at recently.

Game Contests and Deadlines
  • The Ptolemaic d20 Game Contest by Artisan Dice - Design a game using a reproduction of the oldest d20 known, with Coptic letters on each face. The winner gets 2 reproduction Ptolematic d20s. This one accepts submissions through May 31, 2014.
  • Call For Papers: The RPG Book Project - If you have any scholarly leanings involving RPGs, you have just over a week to get an abstract together for consideration for publication. Once accepted, essays of 8,000-10,000 words will be due Jan 1, 2015. How have RPGs permeated our culture in the past 40 years?

Start the edition wars!
Game Stuff
  • Murderhobos, 2nd Edition came out this week, and it's a Pay What You Want PDF on DriveThru. Designed and published by manic game designer and friend Brent Newhall, the 2nd Edition rules will destroy 1st ed with prejudice and fire. Lots of fire.
  • Does Your Villain Have What It Takes? at Moebius Adventures - Written by game designer and friend Brian "Fitz" Fitzpatrick, this provides a quick system for fleshing out major villains in your campaign. Nicely done, Fitz!
  • The Vassal Engine - I've heard some good reports about Vassal. It's an online boardgame/wargame tool that allows online play. There are piles of modules for different games, and I think there's a map of Cerilia on there for you Birthright fans. Check it out.
  • Descriptive Camera - It's a hacked digital camera that takes a picture and prints out a text description of the image. It uses Amazon's Mechanical Turk API to initiate a request for a human to interpret the image and write a text description. This reminds me very much of the X'Rox Crystal from Hell Week, my very first LARP, where demons in a pocket dimension made copies of documents scanned in by the crystal. We have the technology to emulate a captive army of demons. Win.
  • OneBookShelf Pricing Analysis - This is part 2 of a series examining prices on DriveThru. Fascinating, especially if you're tormenting yourself with how much to charge for your gaming PDF. Some of the price breaks are non-intuitive, including destroying the myth of "cheaper is always better".
  • Fight On! #4 - This OSR fanzine from winter 2009 is free on Lulu. 124 pages of content, including 8 adventures. Tough to beat!
  • Boston Festival of Indie Games Tickets are on sale. If you're in the Boston area, grab some tickets to the BostonFIG and then head in to MIT on September 13, 2014. I'm planning on (finally) attending this year.
  • Problematizing Power Fantasy by Jessica Hammer and Meguey Baker on The Enemy Reader - Great thoughts on the pervasiveness of "power-over" in game culture and the more positive-sum options of "power-to" and "power-with" that could change the world.
  • The new D&D Starter Set is available for pre-order at Amazon for $12.66 with free Prime shipping. I ordered this and the Player's Handbook for $27.97 as well.

Honor your Must Road daily.
Life Stuff
  • The Crossroads of Should and Must by elle luna at Medium - Working, dealing with the job, and paying bills are the drab solidity of your Should Road. Your creativity and passion follow the sun on your Must Road. There's a balance to be found when you merge your roads over time, starting with doing one Must thing every day for your sanity. It's long, but a great read.
  • Anna Kendrick Has A Mysterious New Job at Fast Company - Imagine the volume of game writing we could get done with a desk job like this. 4 minutes of entertaining video.
  • 3 Statues by George Barnett (It's aYouTube link. Be warned.) - The latest song from this young Brit resonates with the toxicity of social media. The chorus goes "YEAH - I'm better than you. YEAH - This is the truth." I'm sure we all know someone like that. Also: It rocks. I think I prefer this stripped-down arrangement over the original version.
  • Editors and Assessment Services at SFWA - Here's a summary of what editors can and can't do, including the different types of editing services. My favorite part? "Editing can't provide a magic fix."
  • Quantum Entanglement at Atomic Rockets, hosted at Project Rho - This look at Faster Than Light travel pokes holes in using Quantum Entanglement to jump to warp speed. The whole page is a fascinating read for SF junkies and lapsed theoretical physicists alike. Heck, the whole site makes a great starting point for reading about hypothetical off-planet travel.

And now I can see text on my remaining Chrome tabs.

Thanks for reading!

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