News from Around the Net: 7-OCT-2011 (Sponsored by Crafty Games)

It’s been a long week already, but I can’t let
it go by without at least mentioning the passing of Steve Jobs. I’m not an Apple guy, yet I own two iPod Touches and an iPad and use my iPad every day. Way back when, we owned an Apple ][+ and I worked in a store selling software for one of the original Macintosh computers. But it wasn’t until the phenomenon sparked by the iPhone that I really gained an appreciation and respect for Jobs as a visionary developer of products for an audience that didn’t know they would need such a thing. His attention to detail and his astounding gift for finding and guiding designers to make interfaces that make sense will be missed.

Though I have never been one of the many devoted Apple followers over the years, I wonder what kind of RPG product Jobs would have created if he’d had the inclination… Shiny, with a white or black cover and rounded corners… What do you think?

Beyond that, it’s been an interesting mix of items in the news. Plenty of reviews and new tools, but I was fascinated by many of the discussions of what D&D 5e might be and asking whether any of us is really playing the system in the book as written…

Sponsored Advertisement – Crafty Games, home to Spycraft, Fantasy Craft, and the upcoming Mistborn Adventure Game! When d20 exploded onto the scene, Spycraft gave gamers a way to use familiar D&D rules in a modern world of espionage, military mayhem, and action adventure. Over the last several years, that system has taken on a life of its own that’s led to Fantasy Craft for fantasy adventuring and the upcoming Mistborn Adventure Game based on the novel series from Brandon Sanderson due out in November 2011! But Spycraft and Fantasy Craft aren’t sitting idle in light of the new game – Spellbound, the ultimate magical toolkit for Fantasy Craft is also due out sometime this Winter and things are afoot for Spycraft as well. Check out all the goodies at!

Now on to the week’s news!

Food for Thought

Games and Gaming

Publisher News



  • In case you’re an information junkie like myself, Mike Shea at Sly Flourish has put together a new tool to drain any free time away from things we *should* be doing vs. what we want to do (i.e. gaming). D&D Tweets brings together tweets and links from the D&D Twitter community every hour and offers more news than anybody will ever be able to keep up with…
  • Another new tool recently launched is This new site is similar to Access Denied, Nearby Gamers, and RPG Registry, but isn’t limited to just finding players for tabletop or multi-player console or PC games. You can also upload characters, run forum-based games, and schedule events on a campaign calendar. Would definitely encourage you to check it out.
  • Speaking of finding games and gamers, have you seen ConstantCon? This site, from Zak S and others, enables you to find players or GMs and then set up online games via Twittter, Google+, and so on.
  • Has anybody lost a kingdom? Somebody may have found it… Michael Garcia, the Crazy GM, has just released his campaign setting/template for free!
  • I definitely fit this label – “non-artist” – so when I saw David Flor’s article at A Walk in the Dark – “Mapmaking for the Non-Artist” – it grabbed my attention right away. I haven’t yet tried GIMP with some of David’s techniques, but I’m very tempted to give them a shot! Check out part 1 here. I look forward to seeing what techniques future articles may illuminate.

That’s it for this week on the news front.

I do want to give a shout out to the Digital Orc, which just celebrated its one year anniversary! Congratulations! I recently enjoyed articles on “Creating a Biologically Logical Random Encounter Table” and “Two Thoughts on Railroad/Sandbox” at Digital Orc, and look forward to seeing more great content in the future!

I hope everybody has a great weekend!

As always, if you feel I missed something (and it would be impossible NOT to), drop me a quick note via the contact page and I’ll add it to the list for next week!

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