Delving into the blogs that inspired this one…
If you’re one of the six people who reads this blog, odds are you might be willing to read more. Here are the voices I frequently turn to. The list is far more expansive, but these five are special. They’re the ones challenge me and keep me coming back.
They’re active. They’re original. They’re not mine. So grab a torch, I’ll show you the way.
Sean McCoy is the creator of a little indie rpg called Mothership. If you haven't heard of Mothership, it's a game so dense even light can't escape it. It's infamous for packing 200 pages of content into just 60 pages. You should buy it and and read his blog. The two offer a first rate education on a popular wave of design.
At first Failure Tolerated started as a blog with compelling posts on failure and lethality in roleplaying games. Nowadays it's a spotlight of interviews and thoughts from someone I consider an industry statesman. It's the big bang of the #Dungeon23 craze, the origin of Mothership-likes, and a hell of a read.
I recommend checking out his gameable post, Getting Rid of Dogfights.
It's a punch with a fistful of ideas behind it. Rpg blogs tend to be one of several varieties. Gaming advice, critiques, industry chatter, or gameable content. Goblin Punch is almost exclusively gameable content, which makes it a surprise pick.
I don't normally return to blogs with monster stats because they're not applicable to me 90% of the time. Goblin Punch is different. There are universal ideas packed into its hyper specific set dressing.
To see what I mean, I recommend reading about the False Hydra.
I love everything Prismatic Wasteland says about rpgs. They have a way of being kind in a business that focuses primarily on being angry. You can find everything from previews, to game advice, to commentary—all wrapped up in a soft, easy-to-read package.
It's hard to recommend just one, but start with Lore! What is it good for?
There is no writer like Zedeck. He's a poet with surgical implements. Profound and often beautiful—but still clear and gameable. It's a balance other great rpg writers play chicken with, but not so here.
The ultimate reason why it's among my favorites, though, is how Zedeck can cleanly cut into a subject without making a mess of it. If you're going to read meta-commentary on anything, I'd recommend checking to see if Zedeck has written about it.
Read D&D’s Obsession With Taxonomy to get a taste of what I mean.
If you like Explorers, odds are you like the work of David Schirduan. His series Jalopy Design is a great primer for how to publish an rpg on a budget (or just get started for that matter).
But what I really like about Technical Grimoire are the reviews and debriefs written from the perspective of a small indie publisher. I've never had a stronger urge to form a parasocial relationship than I did when reading about his review of convention booths.
But wait there's more!
Tomorrow I'll wake up, point at my reflection, and mutter, "You forgot the other dozen blogs you follow!" This list is doomed to be incomplete. I say this because one of you is sharpening a pitch fork. Right. Now.
I'm also saying it because ultimately, it's true. The list isn't over. It never will be. Here is a casual list of blogs that I read from time to time, with a sample article baked right into the link.
12 blog table.
- All Dead Generations
- Throne of Salt
- False Machine
- Uncanny Spheres
- A Knight at the Opera
- Mazirian's Garden
- Permanent Cranial Damage
- Papers and Pencils
- Dyson's Dodecahedron