November is a special month for all budding game designers. It’s the NaGaDeMon, the National (or rather interNational) Game Design Month. A couple of years ago, Nathan Russell had the awesome idea to riff on the concept of NaNoWriMo, but give it a gamer-centric spin.
The idea behind NaGaDeMon is to create, write about, and playtest a game during the month of November. It doesn’t have to be the one game to rule them all, but as long as it works and the whole process is fun, you’ve “won”. There are no special prices, no prestigious awards, but the warm and fuzzy feeling that you created your own game in that limited time.
I’ve worked on NaGaDeMon projects myself over the years, but alas most of them weren’t really finished. I already have some ideas about a game to work on this time, but it’s way too early to write about. But I might be reusing some old ideas. I hope that’s in line with the official NaGaDeMon rules. So what are your plans? Have you already started working on your project? Please share your comments below!
This blog has existed for over 6 years now. Back in August 2008 the RPG blog community has looked quite different from today. Blogs were nothing new – even back then – but there were way less active roleplaying blogs back then. It was in the same year – at least if I remember correctly – that a couple of people got together and created the RPG Bloggers Network.
The RPG Bloggers Network was meant to be more than just a simple RSS aggregator. The idea behind the RPGBN was to create a real community and provide readers with easy access to high-quality articles. Back in the day getting accepted to join the community felt like an honor. It also had a very noticeable effect on the traffic your blog received.
In addition to that there really was a community back then. The members tried to read other members’ blogs regularly and there were real discussions going on. Sometimes the whole RPGBN picked up a certain topic and ran with it. These early days of the RPGBN brought us RPG Blog Carnivals, two volumes of the Open Game Table (an excellent blog post anthology), and several other exciting community-driven projects.
Over time the RPG Bloggers Network grew and the high standards of the early days were lowered. This was a good and a bad thing. It was great to see many more bloggers join in, but it also made it harder to maintain a feeling of community. Back in 2008 the RPGBN felt like a family, but this changed quickly. Things started to get downhill when the original maintainers of the RPGBN stepped down and sold the network. One of the reason they left their baby behind is probably that it became extremely hard to keep things running. The technology behind the main site was terribly broken and the community was probably not that easy to handle either. Continue reading
This morning I had three books that I ordered from DriveThruRPG a while ago in the mail. Initially I tried to order these books from a local shop, but it seems most German and UK distributors don’t have access to most of the Mongoose stuff anymore. I have absolutely no idea, why that’s the case, but that meant I had to rely on DriveThruRPG’s POD service.
The first book I ordered was the Traveller Core Rulebook. I already own a hardcover version of said book, but I was hoping to get the 2nd printing. But alas for some reason the POD edition is based on the 1st printing. I haven’t checked if the errata has been edited in, but the artwork is definitely from the 1st printing. This means that the PDF you get looks different than the printed book. This is no big deal, but it definitely feels wrong somehow. But overall I am still happy with the book. I like the softcover format more than the hardcover one and the price was reasonable.
The next book was Supplement 2: Traders and Gunboats. It contains a plethora of spaceship designs from small civilian ships to large military vessels. Each ship comes with a deckplan and an illustration. Alas some of the illustrations don’t seem to match the deckplans and look pretty nonsensical to me. Luckily this can be easily ignored. For me it’s definitely a must-have book if you plan to run a game in the Original Traveller Universe (OTU).
Last but not least I got a copy of Spinward Encounters, a book containing a large number of adventure hooks and several adventures set into the Spinward Marches. Instead of the other two books it hasn’t been written by Mongoose, but is from Comstar Media. The book is published by Mongoose and uses the Third Imperium cover and backcover design, but the interior doesn’t use the regular Traveller look. To be honest it reminded me more of my Traveller rulebook from the 80s. While the adventure hooks and adventures look interesting enough and will probably fit into everyone’s game easily, I would have preferred a slightly more professional layout. But aside from that minor quibble the book is definitely fine.
Overall the quality of the printing and binding is ok. The only thing that bothers me a bit is that the black text and large black areas in the artwork are pretty shiny. This is something I haven’t noticed in other POD books before.
I am still waiting for my copy of the Spinward Marches book to arrive and I recently got the Spinward Marches map by 13 Mann, which is as awesome as I hoped. So I might post short reviews of these products in the future. So stay tuned.