Thursday, September 24, 2015

Study report - RPG books available in libraries

A recent study by a professor at Ithaca College found that very few libraries include RPG books and resources with in their collections.

Based on review of the Online Computer Library Center, a database of 72,000 libraries, very few libraries have even a single copy of an RPG book in circulation, in spite of the genre's 40+ year run.

Interestingly, there may be some data gaps, as the search was by ISBN numbers, which weren't assigned to early additions of TSR manuals, or their contemporary Runequest books.

The authors posit that inclusion of the manuals in the reference stacks have value for library -sponsored community gaming events (40% of liraries reportedly host gmae events of some type), as references for academic or similar study, such as their influence on the video gaming industry and game theory.

Anyway, an interesting read.

Link to download report

Sunday, September 20, 2015

RPG Blog Carnival, September 2015 - Curses!!!

Johnn over at Roleplayingtips is hosting this month's Blog Carnival - Cursed Items and Calamities!

So, back in July, the Carnival topic was 'Legendary Weapons' - where a weapon became embued with its qualities, not necessarily from direct enchantment, but through energies gained from accumulated adventures and events.

So - conversely - why can't an object become cursed - simply because it's put together wrong, constructed with bad intent, or is involved in numerous unfortunate campaigns or events?

Case in point, my wife's car.

She owns a 2001 Subaru Forester- a 'gift' from her mother (warning #1). The car, purchased new, had come from the factory with a bad engine block (warning #2).  My brother-in-law, a Subaru mechanic, told my mother-in-law to have the dealer replace the car, which she was within her rights to request, based on recalls, etc.  She chose not to, but had the engine replaced (warning #3).  Several months later, she was t-boned at an intersection (warning #4).  And, again, went cheap on the repairs, counter to my brother-in-law's advice (warning #5).

At this point, she gets a new car, and gives the Subaru to my wife....

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Random Magic Item: Hildegard's Jar of Leeches


Appearing to be a common ceramic leech jar, this enchanted urn is found in the most discriminating apothecaries', barbers', and chirurgeons' establishments, lending enhanced or expanded recuperative abilities to the proprietor's skill sets.

The jar will contain 1d4 leeches. Application of one or more leeches will have the following effects, equivalent to the respective cleric spells:

One Leech:
Cure light wounds
Cure paralysis (2 required if paralysis is non-temporary)

Two Leeches:
Cure disease

Three Leeches
Cure serious wounds
Neutralize poison

Other beneficial effects include:
Three leeches cure mummy rot
Four leeches will restore permanently lost STR or CON due to magical or physical attack
Five leeches will restore one drained level

As long as at least one leech is left in the jar, an additional 1d4 leeches will spontaneously generate per day, up to a maximum of eight leeches.  If all the leeches are expended, the jar will lose any rejuvenative qualities and become a mundane leech-jar. Likewise, if the jar is broken, or upended, losing its water, all qualities will be lost, including those for any remaining leeches.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Monster: Eurypterid, Feersum

The recent discovery of a new species of 'sea scorpion,' or eurypterid, pushes evolution of the the Paleozoic predator back approximately 10 million years.  The new genus was named Pentecopterus, after the penteconter, an early Greek galley. Although these particular fossil individuals were approximately six feet in length, specimens of over eight feet long have been found.

The eurypterid was not a scorpion, but an arthropod more closely related to modern spiders, lobsters, and ticks.  The 'sea scorpion' nomenclature come from the spiked tail in some genus', however they have not been found to be venomous, and likely preyed on trilobites and other creatures using modified forelegs and claws.