I was on support from Wednesday, which I forgot about until Tuesday, so I didn’t get as much team-related work done as I’d planned. But I at least managed to finish off some things.
So far on support I’ve spent all my time trying to debug an issue in a legacy thing we have which is written in a language nobody really knows (Scala), is very old and crufty (it’s been around since 2012), has development outsourced to another company (who only make a couple of changes a year), and we generally don’t have much knowledge of what it does or how it works. All the people who did know these things left years ago.
So it’s been a bit of a challenge, but I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This week I read:
Izirion’s Enchiridion of the West Marches by Dom Liotti and Sam Sorensen.
I kickstarted this a little while ago, and received my physical copy a few months back. I’m planning to write a more in-depth review on my RPG blog, but generally I liked it. There’s lots of random tables, rules, and guidance; but it’s all pretty modular, so you can pick up the bits you want for your game and leave the rest. It also has fully-worked examples in an appendix, and some guidelines for how to use this book (which is written for D&D 5e) with a more OSR system.
My main criticism of it is that the text is tiny.
I’ve been reading The Monsters Know What They’re Doing this week, which has some really great analyses of monster combat tactics.
Whilst all the worked examples are for D&D and, so, not really portable to other systems—the blog takes the position that any creatures which have evolved in a world run by D&D mechanics have an instinctive understanding of those mechanics, and so pick their tactics accordingly—I think the Why These Tactics? page is pretty portable: the exact numbers and attributes will need tweaking, but the ideas are sound.
I’m going to have a go at analysing some of the Call of Cthulhu monsters I’m likely to throw at my players in the next few sessions, and see if I can come up with some more interesting combats than the usual “a horrifying beast appears before you, and tries to rip you in half”.