December 27, 2008

Around the blogs... and YouTube

Well, in contrast to the Christmas craziness in my house (100 kids with new noise-making toys)... and the RPG blogging community has been fairly quiet this week. Nonetheless, this hasn't prevented me from soaking up some of the good stuff around the blogs this past week. A list of what I've been reading is linked below.
  1. Asmor, of Encounter a Day, has released a new version of the Monster Maker ( version 3.3). The software is really great, and although I need to fire up a Windows partition to use it, I'm finding it very helpful for putting that little extra unexpected spice into my game.
  2. Since my gaming group just went bust, I've been trying to understand the evolution of ttRPG groups. I found a post over at The Seven-Sided Die, "GM advice, industry musings, and storming", which pointed me to this post over at ChattyDM's old blogspot archive. This is turn pointed me to an excellent Wikipedia article titled "Forming-storming-norming-performing" which basically describes a theory of group dynamics that was proposed in the 1960's. My best friend Google then pointed me to this RPG wiki called Cheetoism and a collection of articles titled "Stages of Group Development" which focuses on the group dynamic issues of RPGs - in particular that ttRPG groups are in constant development. Altogether, I feel that I have much better understanding of human group dynamics than I did before.
  3. I'm still working on a article for Polymancer that is focused on playing RPGs with mixed-alignment partys and having it not end in a bloodbath. So, I'm keen on any new blog posts that come out on related topics. This week I came across an article over at The Recursion King, "Running an evil campaign". I then remembered an old article from my Dragon Magazine archive "How to have a good time being evil", by Roger E. Moore (Dragon #45, January 1981), that caused such a stir that letters to the editor were still being received about this article five and ten years later. I then had Google lead me to this excellent bibliography of articles on RPG alignments; definitely worth checking out if you have any interest in the subject. I'm glad I was reminded about these older pieces - but I'm once again left with that feeling of "its all been said before" in the RPG community.
That's about it for this week. Time for me to return to eating more holiday pies...

OK.. a friend of mine found the video below... and let me say this is not my kid! I found this disturbingly hilarious though...

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