Yea, Slimy Things Did Crawl With Legs / Upon the Slimy Sea

The Illuminerdy has a nice post up called The Worm Latitudes, in which Nanouk synthesizes the Lambton Worm, European eels and the Sargasso Sea into a pleasing mix to add into your campaign, should it be running short on limbless squick. (Seriously, watch out for the lamprey photos. I hate those things.)

The Lambton Worm is a fine example of a Dragon or Wyrm or Sea Serpent that you can include in your game, and even features a built in tactic for slaying the beast at the climax.

And a death curse. Wow.

Who doesn’t love a death curse?

Click through for the full story of the Lambton Worm and how it might fit into your campaign. I’m currently trying to figure out to hook it into the Elder Worm mythos of the HERO universe. Two threads about immortal worms have to tie together eventually.


[*] Post title courtesy Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Fun fact: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner fits the theme tune of Gilligan’s Island pretty nicely.

[RPGBA Blog Carnival] The RPG Blogging Community

rpgblogcarnivallogoThis month’s RPG Blog Carnival, hosted by Mark over at Dice Monkey, looks at the RPG blogging community:

What does the RPG Blogging Community mean to you? What are some blogs you read that you think should gain more recognition? What are your tips for being part of the community? These are all topics you can look at on your own blog as part of the carnival. Make sure to link your articles here on this post.

To me, the blogging community is a fairly nebulous idea. When I first got the notion to start Held Action, I was a passive reader of blogs via RSS feed. I skimmed, and rarely clicked through to articles to comment or browse further, unless the feed only showed excerpts. That’s still the case, for the most part, though the number of blogs I read has diminished, if only due to writer fade or broken feeds. The drawback to passive consumption via RSS is you don’t always get word that someone’s changed their feed or web host.

When I started blogging in earnest in 2009, I did all the recommended things to increase engagement. Held Action syndicated on RPGBloggers.com, and later, RPGBA.org. I made an effort to make relevant comments on other blogs, showing appreciation or asking questions. Twitter was then, and remains now, an endless firehose of fragmented thoughts that one can only glance at from time to time.

After a while, it turned out that active participation in a community, plus keeping up a regular blog, is really time- and attention-consuming. The reward for the effort was also more minimal than I would have liked, to be honest. We reach out to be reached out to in return, at least in part.

Since then, my engagement has tapered off. I still watch mailing lists like RPGBA and rpgpodcasters. I look forward to updates from blogs like Destination Unknown and its cavalcade of satellite identities and My Dice Are Older Than You because I feel like I’ve got a connection with the writers themselves, rather than only sharing an interest in role-playing games. Bonus points when they’re an actual friend like Geoff. In contrast, I glance at posts from Illuminerdy because they touch on secret history and conspiralunacy, but there’s no personal connection to the contributors.

The trend I’m seeing in my experience is that strong online relationships follow from strong real world relationships. It may be otherwise for other people, but I note a correlation between people who connect in the real world — even if once a year at GenCon or some other gathering — and continue that connection online through blogs, forums and other social media.

#RPGaDAY Launches Tomorrow

#RPGaDAY prompts.

#RPGaDAY prompts.

Tomorrow kicks off the #RPGaDAY blogathon concocted by Dave Chapman of Autocratik. I’ll be doing my best to keep up the pace throughout the month of August. I hope you’ll join in. All it takes is a paragraph or two on the topics shown above — and maybe opening a blog somewhere, if you don’t already have one, but that’s pretty much a useful life skill at this point in the decline of western civilization.

Link

Some great thoughts on the Suppressed Transmission columns by Kenneth Hite, and why you should check out the collections: “Ken Hite’s Suppressed Transmission reviewed, with a couple of long excerpts to illustrate and a dip into Charles Fort at the end.”

Hex Generation

Being a game designer and small press publisher wasn’t enough for my friend James. Now he’s launched Hex Generation, by means of which he can hold forth on game design, role-playing games, 80s-90s goth and pop culture. So you can tell it’s going to be a variegated tapestry from the get-go.

James kicks it off by posing a pair of queries: how do the GMs out there use dice in their games beyond their intended use and how would you modify the grappling/overbearing mechanic for Basic/Expert Dungeons & Dragons described at the end of the post? The person who makes the best suggestion wins a copy of Ann Dupuis’ Night Howlers.