It’s been nearly six months since I’ve had a reliable Internet connection. However, there was one spot in the house at Young where I could get sufficient coverage to browse Twitter on my mobile, and I got into the (bad) habit of emailing interesting links to myself to view later.
That was some 2200 links ago. I can’t find anything in my inbox now. So, I’ve finally decided to go through them and share the best of them here. Most of them were of only passing interest, but a few were worth passing on:
The Real World:
- The New York Daily News examines the potential impact of the collapse of Borders in the US on the global book market. You might expect Australia’s heavily protected market to be insulated from this, but Australian chains Borders and Angus & Robertson have collapsed, too. Author, member of the board for competing chain Dymocks, and former NSW Premier, Bob Carr points to this protectionism as a major influence on this domestic crisis.
- DARPA is one step closer to a workable cyborg moth. (But you can still kill it by rubbing gold dust into its chest.)
- The cast of Band of Brothers are reuniting to skydive to raise funds for a memorial in Normandy to the late Major Dick Winters.
- The New York Stock Exchange has become irrelevant as a source of capital, writes Felix Salmon in the New York Times.
- Salon’s Laura Miller reviews The Last Ringbearer, by Kirill Yeskov, a Russian tribute—and sequel—to Lord of the Rings, written from Mordor’s perspective. Follow the links for Yisroel Markov’s free PDF English translation.
- Email may’ve killed the letter, but social networking is killing email, according to Stowe Boyd.
- If you’re at all interested in game design, Play the Past is a must-read.
- Ruthless Diastema Games is great for its focus on RPGs in the classroom.
- 6d6 conducted an experiment to determine an ideal pricing point for RPG PDFs. Whilst their sample size was too small to draw hard conclusions, their findings are nonetheless interesting.
- This is My Game reports on the Virtual Table beta test (good to see WotC has gotten around to it…) and ruminates on common failings in encounter design.
- And speaking of encounter design, Rory at Blog of Holding shows us how to make a D&D 4e combat encounter in five minutes. Better yet is this YouTube tutorial on on-the-fly encounter design with Monster Builder and GELWorks’ D&D4 Combat Manager.
- In a pair of excellent posts, Mob United asks why RPGs suck, and what they’re good at.
- Inkwell Ideas has a great post on worldbuilding. Screw top-down and bottom-up: build the areas essential to the story and move out from there.
- Although pitched at a D&D 4e audience, Neuroglyph Games’ intriguing look at religion (beginning here and here) can easily apply to any fantasy RPG.
- In my 25+ years as a gamer, I’ve only rarely touched on the subject of romance. Delphine T Lynx tackles the subject ably at Roleplaying Tips. (While you’re at it, Hannah Lipsky’s 5 Non-Epic Prophecies is a gem.)
- It’s not exactly new, but The Story Games Names Project is available as a free PDF, and is possibly the best free naming resource since Kate Monk’s Onomastikon. Wikipedia has a nice guide to elements of British place names, incidentally.
- Hill Cantons has some very nice old-school D&D stuff for download.
- Dungeon’s Master lists six items essential for any D&D 4e adventurer.
- Risus Monkey is reading JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit and taking notes. Check out the Middle-Earth posts starting with “An Unexpected Party”.
- And finally, as an extra-special treat, Daniel Solis gives a peek at his technique for art direction and book layout. Watch it in fullscreen and be amazed.