The Glatisant: Issue #46
The Tabletop Gaming Newsletter from Questing Beast
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The writing is great . . . “Wide stairs open to a pair of low, candle-lit, stone galleries that reek of curdled wounds and stale sweat. Shuffling figures, their shadows huge on the peeling white plastered walls, crouch at the mouths of various niches” Wide stairs. Low galleries. Candle-lit. Reeking. Figures that SHUFFLE. The use of adjectives and adverbs here is excellent. It really paints the picture that I wish most adventures would. And none of these are isolated examples, it hits over and over and over again, as we’ve all come to expect from Gus.
Dave Thaumavore reviews Mutant Crawl Classics.
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News and Interviews
The pre-orders for Knave 2e are still open over at Backerkit! If you missed out on the original Kickstarter, now’s the time to order a copy.
Questing Beast has a new mailing address. If you’ve mailed things to the channel in the past, please update your records! You can use this address to send me books to look at, but keep in mind that I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to review books I am sent. Ben Milton, 6446 E Central Ave, Box #127, Wichita, KS, USA 67206
Patrick Stuart’s new Kickstarter Gackling Moon is live! It’s a system-neutral work of pure worldbuilding, with 50 illustrations of Moonlands artifacts by Tom Kemp.
'Gackling Moon' describes The Moonlands, a place at the edge of the imagined world riven with cracked realities and unified by the presence of the crazed and loon Gackling Moon, a moon riven with splinters, each one of which reflects strange light from an imagined sun. As the Gackling Moon waxes and wanes the exact combination of impossible shards revealed by its face changes in proportion so that, for each shape of that moon, a certain kind of magic is bestowed upon those touched by its light.
Marcia B. has released a free, simple set of rules for old-school adventuring.
A new book of illustrations by legendary artist John Blanche has been released.
The Game Developer’s Conference (usually focused on video games) released a new talk on “The Most Stealable Mechanics from Tabletop RPGs” including the OSR.
Justin Alexander (of the Alexandrian blog) has been everywhere this month promoting his massive DM advice tome So You Want To Be A Game Master. My interview with him is below, but also check out his conversations with Dael Kingsmill and Dave Thaumavore.
The Grognard Files interviews Michael Moorcock, the last surviving member of the Appendix N.
Into the Megadungeon interviews Miranda Elkins about the Nightwick Abbey campaign.
Whose Measure God Could Not Take provides a list of great OSR podcasts to follow.
CRPG Addict: Everything We Know About 1970s Mainframe RPGs We Can No Longer Play
Mythlands of Erce: Standing up for D&D's Gen X: 2e
The Argothald Journal gives us a tour through the world of APAs, the equivalent of DnD social media before the internet.
Awesome Lies provides an in-depth look at how the magic system from Warhammer Fantasy was developed.
Rick Priestly explains Warhammer Fantasy Battles (4th-6th editions).
Andy Chambers explains the origins of Games Workshop’s specialist games, like Battlefleet Gothic and Necromunda.
Underground Adventures: Non-Authoritative FKR Core Gameplay Loop Tutorial
Trilemma Adventures has created a mini-game for a wizard player, designed to encourage tinkering between sessions in a way that emulates downtime magical research.
Rise Up Comus! has a created a build-a-bear system for making Familiars.
I Cast Light! offers a free document of various tables and rules to be looted.
Theory and Advice
Sean McCoy presents his favorite unsolved problems in RPGs.
Is there such a thing as a horror tabletop game? I don’t mean horror as a theme or as a setting. I mean a game you’d be scared to play (the way I am scared to play certain video games or watch certain movies). I’m sure we’ve all had scary experiences in role playing. But none of them have made me scared to say ever play call of Cthulhu again. The games just aren’t scary. Only the encounters. And only potentially.
Mythlands of Erce: Why "Roll under" Ability checks really are the best of checks
The Alexandrian: The Struggle for the Soul of D&D
Why, exactly, have players been so reluctant to move into the various “endgames” that D&D has offered over the years?
I said they wanted to play Aragorn and Conan… but both of those characters ended up being kings. So why does realms-based play seem to so often lie fallow, even in editions of the game that have tried very hard to include it?
Tom Van Winkle's Return to Gaming: Character Motivation is the Player's Responsibility
To Distant Lands: Dungeons as Tutorial Zones
Demogorgon: 25 Takes on Record of Lodoss War for DMs
A Knight at the Opera: Action Mysteries
Solving crises, stopping villains, rescuing innocents, and thwarting plots are the kinds of things most players know how to do. Let them do that! It's easier to make such a goal open-ended and it invites players to strategize and take action rather than simply follow a path and let it lead them to an ending.
The players should be opposing the villain, not catching up to them. They should have the burden of creating the climax rather than reaching it. And if they're going to fail, they should fail because they couldn't prevent the consequences, not because they just "got stuck" and the plot couldn't move forward.
Night Moon Games: What does Ben Milton Tell his Players?
Drift comes upon normal places silently, infiltrating its alleyways between buildings in the fog or smoke, at night or in the afternoon, in silent or ill-travelled streets. The exact moment of its arrival cannot be perceived, (in fact that exact moment does not even exist, lost in the records of time the same way the location of Drift is lost on the maps).
The first signs of Drift are the pungent scents of its shops, narrow alleyways between buildings that previously had no gap, the off-kilter clopping of its pale horses, the smell and distant sound of the sea, no matter how far from the sea you may be, the melodious overlapping of bells telling one time or another, or signalling one direction or another, and the low distant vibration, a sound unlike a horn, deep as a beast, but more regular, coming from the statue of Mutability which stands on an island in the cities harbour.
Mindstorm: Gulch (a detailed starting town for modern campaigns).
Remixes and Revelations: The 99 Names of God
Elfmaids and Octopi: Weird Weapons of Auldwood
Emergence Magazine: The Church Forests of Ethiopia
The 92nd Street Y, New York: Beowulf: The Epic in Performance
That’s it for this month, see you in the next one! This newsletter makes use of affiliate links, which help support Questing Beast at no cost to you.