[RPG Newswire] First Link Dump of 2016!

I've been hoarding links, and I haven't posted in 2.5 months. If I become inspired to post further, I may go off on my tendency to emulate turtles, but that's an entirely different topic. Suffice to say my life has been flying so fast I can hardly catch my breath.

But I digress. You're interested in the links, ain'tcha?

The Kickstarter Files
The Kickstarter Fulfillment Report provides the results of an independent analysis of Kickstarter projects, looking for trends in project failures. Short answer: 9% of funded projects never deliver, and projects raising less than $1000 fail more often. It also includes a few tips about failing gracefully (KEEP COMMUNICATING).

Kickstarter has released a series of videos for creators called Kickstarter Creator Basics. The videos about games explore how to use their platform more effectively. They include interviews with designers and programmers on such topics as when to Kickstart, how to set your funding goals, developing your community, and how to transition from development to fulfillment and beyond.

Tabletop Games Raised Twice As Much As Video Games on Kickstarter in 2015. The title alone covers the article. Games projects are getting attention, so if you're designing a game and the trend keeps going, 2016 might be your year to push it out to the public.

Crowdfunding Is Driving a $196 Million Board Game Renaissance also looks at the most recent Kickstarter funding numbers for game projects, and gives a few tips on making your Kickstarter project successful.

The DM's Guild
The DM's Guild is an offshoot of DriveThru RPG, set up to sell home-grown adventures and supplements in D&D's Forgotten Realms. It went live on January 12, 2016 with this article published on the Wizards of the Coast D&D site.

Wizards also released the D&D 5e System Reference Document (SRD) at the same time. This allows for publishing D&D content under the OGL in places other than the DM's Guild.

Rob Donoghue gave it a shot early on. He wrote about his experience in Trying Out the DM's Guild. He's published other articles about his experiences, and I'm sure he'll continue to publish more.

Metatopia Links
For those of you who don't know, Metatopia (The Game Design Festival) is a laid back convention intended for designers to playtest games. Players come knowing they'll be working with half-baked ideas, providing feedback and an outside perspective to the game designers.

A Guide to Awesome Playtests came out of this year's Metatopia. If you're designing a game and starting to play it through in hopes of receiving feedback, give this a read for some great advice.

Also this year, there was some unnecessarily brutal and explicitly unhelpful feedback given in a few cases. Fred Hicks details what he heard about in this "Metatopia's Dark Side" G+ post, and encourages us all to give better feedback.

The Business of Games
A Month of Celestial Boogaloo (AKA "The Math of Being Financially Nonviable") details Ryan Macklin's first month of sales numbers for Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 7: Celestial Boogaloo. I think it's still in the red financially 3 months later, even though it's a Copper best seller on DriveThru RPG.

General Game Goodness
High-Demand Games From GenCon 2015 analyzes the wishlist data from event registration in an attempt to figure out which games could use more events at this year's GenCon. It's unscientific and not weighted at all, but it's a really interesting list. Call of Cthulhu GMs, pitch now for 2016.

Multiplexer's Dungeonomics articles continue to fascinate me. I especially like The Emperor, The Orks, and The Murder Hobos which explores how to make adventurers cost-effective at the empire level, and Financial One-Shots and Short Campaign Seeds which gives several game ideas for using a tontine (basically a pyramid investment scheme) as a spine for an RPG campaign. Most recently, I love Lloth, Goddess of the Underdark Wide Web, where everyone's favorite spider goddess assumes the mantle of information hub. Emily consistently publishes excellent economic game ideas ripped from the pages of history, so if you haven't read any Dungeonomics yet, jump down that rabbit hole immediately.

On Approaches Making Fate Better by Rayn Macklin takes a look at Fate Accelerated Edition's Approaches, asks some design questions about them, and thinks about them in the context of Fate and other game engines. Food for thought.

And while we're on the subject of Fate, Rob Donoghue is still Wrestling with FAE, specifically attempting to entice players who use nothing but their character's best approach for everything into branching out a bit and trying other approaches once in a while.

If you like the universe from the card games The Resistance and Coup, then you may be interested to hear that Evil Hat is developing the Dystopian Universe RPG.

Wired published Dungeons & Dragons Is a Lot Like Religion, which includes quotes and clips from the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast episode #185, which in turn features quotes from Joseph Laycock's book Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic over Role-Playing Games Says about Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds. "Most Christians know about their god primarily through a book, through the Bible. So there was a really strange reversal there, where I found a lot of the claims-makers were actually engaging in the very sort of behavior they were accusing D&D players of doing."

Need a quick hexcrawl? Martin Ralya has you covered with Hexmancer, a 2-page procedural hex generator. All you need is dice (d5, d6, d20, d24, and d30), a little time, and some imagination. And Martin published a Hexmancer Update and Extended Example, so check that out.

And since you're downloading 2-page things anyway, Here's Some Fuckin' D&D. It's a minimalist retroclone (though not a nano game), and about a third of the words are profanity. Good times.

If you want something a little meatier, check out Sersa Victory's Victory Basic. Imagine if Dungeon World and OD&D had a love child and you have a sense of what this 50-page PDF is all about. Includes 4 classes and a variety of races, Party Caller, Party Mapper, piles of monsters, and classic magic items hacked from a Dungeon World mechanical perspective.

How To Level Up Your Tabletop Role Playing Games at Lifehacker starts with getting your players on the same page and goes on to recommend putting the cell phones away in favor of focusing on the game. I also saw some good tips on immersion through the use of props and ambient soundtracks, and a quick section on rules hacking.

In a related vein, GeekDad featured an article entitled Easy Dungeons & Dragons Prep for Dungeon Masters. Author Michael Harrison extols the virtues of using Trello at the table as a virtual stack of index cards to keep the action going and the NPC names straight. I may need to look into this, at least at the campaign planning level.

Geek & Sundry Announces International Tabletop Day 2016, and this year it's on Saturday 30 April 2016. Gad. I should see if I can actually schedule anything, especially with PAX East the previous weekend and the Alton Brown show the Wednesday before.

Exploring How LARP Participants View Non-Game Social Interactions is a survey for LARPers in support of a Psychology PhD thesis. The deadline for inclusion in the project has passed (curse my delay and hoarding tendencies!), but you can respond through 01 May 2016 to enrich the data set for future analysis and possible publication.

Inspiration and Fun Stuff
If you want funky, stylistic maps in a snap, get yourself a free account at Mapbox. Find some fogotten corner of the globe, change some names, and tweak the colors to get something cool cranked out for tonight's game.

Jason McCartan (the guy behind InfiniBadger Press) delves into the strangeness of being a one-person creative shop in this G+ post. "As a creator-publisher, you're not a faceless corporate giant. You ARE your products just as much as your products are you..." Using your online presence and spending your reputational coin to cast aspersions on another company/designer/one-person creative shop is generally a bad idea.

What Is Social Fiction? It's the collaborative creation of stories via group communication media and techniques. Why? "Because 'role-playing games', the activity it stands adjacent to, is overloaded." Also in Quinn's words, "when I spend more of my time describing what a thing is not than what it is, it’s time for a new term." Makes sense to me.

Have some still-on-point-after-5-years words from John Scalzi in Writing: Find the Time or Don't"Do you want to write or don’t you? If your answer is 'yes, but...' then here’s a small editing tip: what you’re doing is using six letters and two words to say 'no.' And that’s fine."

Joshua A. C. Newman's Repos of the 22nd Century looks at the legalities and realities of corporate repossession in an interplanetary age. There's easily enough adventure ideas in this one article to fill a spacefaring campaign.

The Force Awakens RPG Madness takes the new Star Wars film and translates it, scene by scene, into West End's d6-based Star Wars RPG. This explains some seeming anomalies quite effectively, and it's a fun read. WARNING: Contains Major Plot Spoilers (Duh).

You'll want to see this, because who doesn't want to see a Lego star destroyer crashing into a planet in slow motion?

As seen on GoodEReader, the Vatican Library Digitizes 4,400 Ancient Manuscripts and Gives Them Away for Free.

I really want to implement some of these Nihilistic Password Security Questions.

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