What follows is merely my dumb opinion about blogs. It’s gonna be about blogs that I think deserve infinitely more traffic than they get. It’s not like I have any sway in the matter. I suspect all of them, and indeed any blog that predates my own, have more of an audience than I do. With the single exception of one of these blogs, they’ve been around much longer, and had much greater G+ presences, and since I was one of their readers long before I was a blogger somewhere in the same bubble, it stands to reason that they have already more readers than they can handle. One of them started a little after me, so all the more reason to make note here. At any rate, I think a couple of people out there may not have heard of these blogs and I want to take a moment to highlight them.
In the spirit of remaining in Joesky’s good graces, at the end I will pay the Joesky Tax, because this is entirely about dumb blog nonsense. You can skip to the bottom if you want that juicy gameable material.
1. Elfmaids & Octopi by Konsumterra
Mr. Tamm is what inspired this post. His gift for imaginative tables is truly tremendous. He each time his blog updates with a new set of tables I creep through them line by line and really take it in. I find it impossible to skim even when the tables are great big nested d100 tables. I can only hope to one day write something – as in, one single thing – as densely creative as what he puts out on a regular basis.
I’ve described his work elsewhere on the internet as downright nuclear. It’s so dense, so bristling with energy and imagination, that it’s hard not to picture such a dramatic reaction. You can take almost any of his tables and derive much of, or all of, a setting from the implications therein. Hell, sometimes he drops a blog post and it’s a fully realized setting or setting seed just waiting for you to roll on the included tables and randomize the hell out of it until your version is different from my version but still totally functional. And he does this like all the time. Not like, once a year. Not even once a month. Constantly. He has kept up this level of output for ages. It’s never-ending. His imagination is like a waterfall. I think if he didn’t have the ability to create stuff constantly like this his head might inflate like a balloon and float off, from all the built-up flights of fancy. I imagine one-shots at his house must be absolutely wild.
As far as I am concerned, anyone who is looking at OSR blogs for gameable materials should keep an eye on his blog and support his creativity however they can. He should be a much bigger name than he already is. Hopefully we see more of his work.
2. I Don’t Remember That Move by Dunkey Halton
This one is an awkward entry to write because I don’t know Dunkey at all and if I am to believe the G+ About page, “Dunkey Halton” is actually two brothers operating a single account together. It’s all very confusing. Nonetheless, I’m going to give it a go anyway. Dunkey writes some of the best, most interesting ideas in abstract and in detail. One thing I admire in creators is those little ideas I’d never think of, but immediately wish I had and completely latch on to. I actually have a really, really terrible memory – like, conversations from yesterday are totally foggy, much to the chagrin of my wife – but I can regurgitate useless trivia on all manner of things forever and a day. I value greatly when a creator puts something out there that grabs me out of the fog, shakes me, and sticks a memory in my head that I just cannot shake. I can immediately recall it, and the things surrounding it, because it was just that clear. Dunkey Halton, whoever they are, routinely fills their blog (and a G+ collection titled OK OK So, which is just perfectly named) with imaginative things that live and breathe in the tiniest detail.
For example: It’s easy to think of a whale being a dangerous titan of the sea, really. It’s even easy to imagine a whale being a manned siege engine. What’s not easy is conceiving of a whale bristling with spear points anchored in sockets carved by amateur surgeons, covered in barnacles cultivated in circles to provide handholds for marine troops, spitting sharks from between their baleen to savage foes.
That’s the kind of thing Dunkey Halton comes up with easily. They make fantastic roll tables, too!
3. Tarsos Theorem by Saker Tarsos
Saker Tarsos is the namesake author behind this blog. Again, I have no idea what the traffic is actually like on this or any of these blogs, and being that it predates my own I presume it dwarfs this site’s. But I would like to ensure that number goes even one click higher, because Saker routinely makes terrific little randomized generators that entertain and delight me and have spurred more than one idea I’ve actually used at the table. Many creators across the internet produce amazing, insightful, clever ideas, but I don’t always get to use them at the table in my games; Saker’s tools have been used in my games.
Most recently, Saker has taken to turning playing cards into a self-contained mapping system for randomized dungeon creation, and then twisting that idea into an even neater dynamic shipbuilding system that you know I am stealing immediately and cramming into Mothership and Traveller for every single derelict and asteroid base I need. It’s brilliant, and you should immediately go look at it.
Bonus points for Saker: he commissioned a blog banner art piece from Luka Rejec, meaning his blog is the most delightful blog to look at.
All three of these blogs are amazing. They should be talked about, referenced, and supported more. Go yell at them on their blogs. Tell people about how annoyingly smart they are. Encourage them to make more stuff and sell more stuff and then tell me that their stuff is on DTRPG so I can buy it.
At the end of the day, more great bloggers getting more support from our great hobby means less work we all have to do thinking for ourselves. And really, that’s the dream, isn’t it? Being lazier through the genius of others. It’s worked for society so far. I haven’t had to light an oil lamp or torch in years thanks to this fancy electric lightbulb.
These three bloggers are my lightbulbs of the moment.
In order to ward off the ire of Joesky, even though I’m not arguing with anyone, please take this small token:
ARMOR CLASS: 6
ATTACKS: See Below *, **
HIT DICE: 6
NO. APPEARING: Unique
TREASURE TYPE: Nil, ***
SAVE AS: Fighter 4
The stranglebug is the result of tampering by a flesh wizard who turned her back on the rules of the Order of Meat Shapers and began to dabble in strange and forbidden combinations of exoskeletal insects and invertebrates. Her final creation (before being eaten by a mantis with the arms of a gorilla trilling through the colorful mouth of a cephalopod) was the stranglebug. Its bizarre glowing carapace reveals a bioluminescent secret sauce of potent mutagenic bile.
The stranglebug is a solitary creature and wishes to be left in peace. It is not aggressive. It is mostly just confused as hell and wants to do ant things, firefly things, and octopus things all at the same time while trapped in the bowels of a mad wizard’s lair. Left to its own devices, it will alternate awkwardly between trying to tunnel to nowhere in particular, wandering back and forth aimlessly, and trying to camouflage its tentacles as sandy earth while remaining very still. Due to the wizard generally being a right bastard, the stranglebug is the only one of its kind and it’s also big as hell; it is roughly the size of a rhino. It would make a good beast of burden for subterranean adventures if it could be spoken to and its confused hybrid mind calmed.
* If provoked, the stranglebug can attack twice with club-like attacks (1d4) from its front appendages and a third time with a bite from its mandibles (1d8), or it can grapple with many appendages (advantage, or a significant bonus, however your system works) and also deliver a bite. If grappled, targets must pass a difficult strength check to break free at the start of their next turn or remain grappled.
** Four times per day, the stranglebug can spew bile at an individual target. It can do so even on a turn where it has otherwise attacked. Through an adapted ink-squirting orifice between its many tentacles, it heaves sticky, glowing ooze on victims as its abdomen pulsates, throbs, and contracts. This is treated as a ranged attack; a successful hit means it contacted exposed skin. Roll on your favorite mutation table! If it misses by just a little bit (eg 13 vs an AC of 5 in B/X, or, uh, 10 vs an AC of 11 in modern D&D), it still hits the target’s armor or shield, and will glow bright neon green for 1d4 hours (as a lantern).
*** If murdered in cold blood by rampaging adventurers, its sac full of noxious green goop can be drained into vessels and will glow for 1d4 hours before the mutagenic neon soup expires. Additionally, its sharp mandibles, if pried off, are effective sickle-like weapons and due to their latent magical origins they can strike incorporeal creatures such as ghosts and the like.
Much love, Joesky.
Anyway please go read those blogs if you aren’t already. Add them to your Inoreader/Feedly/RSS reader of choice. Bookmark them and visit them. Put a post-it note on your monitor to remind yourself. Whatever works for you. But show them some love!
If you know of some blogs out there that deserve extra love, drop them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter where I tweet too much @dungeonspossums. If you want to talk about ant/firefly/octopus hybrids and how Monsanto is already making them and giving them autism with GMO vaccines in their secret mountain laboratories, please first talk to a professional, but then hit me up because that sounds amazing.