The Glatisant: Issue #28
The Old-School RPG Newsletter from Questing Beast
Welcome to The Glatisant, Questing Beast’s monthly newsletter. You can read previous issues here and subscribe below if you want to get the next issue in your inbox (and get entered in Questing Beast giveaways). Due to the length of this email it may be clipped by Gmail. Click “view entire message” at the bottom to see the whole thing.
Ten Foot Pole declares Kelsey Dionne’s free adventure The Wavestone Monolith to be “The Best!” See my interview with Kelsey further down.
At Questing Beast I review Warlock!, a mashup of WFRP and Fighting Fantasy.
Graphite Prime reviews Death in Space by Stockholm Kartell.
Capt Corajus reviews the DCC module Sailors of the Starless Sea and gives it a perfect score!
Professor Dungeon Master over at Dungeon Craft reviews Terror in the Streets by Kelvin Green.
Jorphdan’s Jocular Junction gives a rundown of Jason Tocci’s RPG series, 2400.
If you would like to submit a book for review consideration on Questing Beast, mail it to: Ben Milton, 6505 E Central Ave, Box 127, Wichita, KS, United States, 67206.
Current RPG Deals
Gavin Normal released an extensive update on how the Dolmenwood setting is shaping up.
Sean McCoy has an update on where thing stand with the Mothership boxed set. Turns out fulfilling a million dollar Kickstarter is complex!
Kevin Crawford shows a sneak peak of his upcoming Cyberpunk game for the Without Number engine.
People Make Games looks at VRChat, a thriving non-commercialized metaverse.
Natesroomrule on Reddit posts a beautiful fan-made Wheel of Time setting book for the Genesys system.
Goodman Games is planning to republish The Caverns of Thracia, with conversions for 5e and DCC.
The New Yorker has a piece on the multi-day Star Wars LARP now running at Disney World.
And Now a Word From Our Sponsor…
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Have an upcoming Kickstarter or an RPG project you want to promote? Advertise in The Glatisant (9,500+ email subscribers) or on Questing Beast (55,000+ subscribers) by emailing me at questingmaps at gmail dot com.
Podcasts and Interviews
Justin Alexander joins the folks at What Would The Smart Party Do?
Jacob Hurst is interviewed on RPG Ramblings.
Jim Parkin discusses FKR game theory on Dieku Games.
James Maliszewski discusses running long-term campaigns on Wandering DMs.
On Questing Beast I chatted with Jorphdan and Kelsey Dionne about 5e and the OSR and answered some viewer questions.
Throne of Salt proposes a thought experiment explaining why there are so many terrifying anomalous beings in the Mothership universe.
Tales from the Sorcerer’s Skull shows how many of the scifi stories from the pulp era can be mined for Mothership ideas.
Augury Ignored asks: Is your worldbuilding a tapestry or a mosaic?
Liche’s Libram proposes three alignments: Law, Chaos, and Evil.
Dice in the North has four variations on the Message spell.
Black Fax: Instead of conveying information this spell fills the target's head with darkness and static. Thought and movement is impossible for the duration of the spell while they receive the warped message. When it ends the target knows exactly who cast the spell.
Wampus Country has 13 magical Tomes.
The Manse describes The First Eight Spells.
Remixes and Revelations has a list of anomalous items.
The Mist-Hidden Temple: Where the smoke forms a lake in the midst of the buildings there lies the entrance to a hidden Temple, where skeletons give worship to the God of Bones. All of its rooms are filled with choking smoke, and coughing is a dead giveaway to its guards that intruding flesh has tainted the halls.
Bearded Devil describes the Universities of Hex.
At Questing Beast I discuss how to use the “Gygax 75” technique for worldbuilding.
Rules and Game Design
Monsters and Manuals builds a sub-system for guiding a column of refugees.
Traaash suggests giving challenges in Mothership hit points that can be whittled down.
Papier Und Spiele looks at some problems with using 1:1 time (isotime) in West Marches-style games.
Welcome to the Deathtrap describes how his group used theater of the mind Chainmail to resolve a mass battle.
It was blindingly fast. Despite their being over 120 creatures in the battle, it took us less than an hour from spotting the Orcs on the horizon and scouting their forces to routing them, running them down, and looting the wagons
Wizard Thief Fighter describes how he is designing spells for his new Ultraviolet Grasslands book, Uranium Butterflies.
Dice Goblin has a good procedure for figuring out when to roll.
Performing actions involves time, gear, and skill. Generally, if you have none or one of the three, a task is impossible. If you have all three, you do not need to roll – it just succeeds. If you only have two, the task might involve a Save, with time or your gear being at stake if you fail.
Spriggan’s Den examines the properties of a standard 18-room B/X dungeon:
Assuming the party spends 1 turn in each of the 18 rooms and 6 turns exploring and mapping the corridors, we get a total of 24 turns. After every 5 turns, the party needs to rest for one turn, which is 4 additional turns for a total of 28. There is a 1 in 6 chance for a wandering monster every 2 turns (or just 1 in 12 every turn), so we can expect 2 random encounters over those 28 turns. With the six monster rooms, that’s a total of 8 monster encounters, and rolling their reaction gives us an average of 4 fights.
At Questing Beast I made a video on how to optimize a dungeon for player shenanigans.
Dungeon Fruit has a great procedure for designing dungeon factions.
AI and Games demonstrates how the roguelike videogame Unexplored uses Jaquays loops as the core of its dungeon generation.
Explore: Beneath and Beyond has created an epic 10-part blog series that examines every D&D scenario published in the 70s. Fascinating to see how dungeon design evolved, (or failed to evolve) over the years.
First Quest was apparently a cassette tape with DM narration and music that you could play while playing a short included module. More info at reddit.
DM it All has a thorough history of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
Dungeon Master Advice
The Alexandrian has some advice for creating nested clues in investigations:
Whose Measure God Could Not Take has some great advice for creating monsters that can be intuitively grasped by players.
Chris McDowall has a framework for creating encounters.
Wampus Country considers the benefits of occasionally letting someone else DM your game for a while.
Sandy Petersen (author of Call of Cthulhu) gives a lecture how to create horror.
From Tabletop Curiosity Cabinet: How I Run Overpowered Abilities
Demogorgon has some very useful advice on turning puzzles in your adventures into toys for players to mass with.
Playing Dice With the Universe explains how treating alignments as if they are factions rather than personalities opens up new avenues of gameplay.
From A Knight at the Opera: Tabletop is Theater, Videogames are Film
Save vs. Total Party Kill, To Distant Lands, and Necropraxis all consider gaps in RPG rules. When are they a pain that makes playing the game worse, and when are they a “fruitful void” that increases player engagement?
That’s it for this issue, see you next month!