Today, I’ll be reviewing the Open Game Table, Volume 2. I was sent a physical review copy by Jonathan Jacobs, one of the editors for the book.
Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you that I’m pretty biased towards this book. Many of my friends are published in here, and it’s really cool to see their blog posts in print.
This book is a collection of blogs from around the interwebs, many from the RPG Blogger’s Network.
The books is really well laid out, with thirteen different broad topics covered: Gaming roots & reflections, new players/new games, campaign success & failure, lies, tricks & more damned lies, campaign design choices, of sandboxes & railroads, play style, character style, 4e D&D, Old School RPGs, make it a challenge, the RPG toolbox, and “laughing hyenas” (comedic posts).
A few notable posts really stand out to me, which I’ll talk about.
- The Jeremy Jones interview with Dave Arneson. This is one of the last interviews he gave before passing. He talks about a wide variety of topics, with some really great things to take away from it, including; “The players are there to keep the referee amused. If they don’t, he will find a way to make it entertaining,” and “[the heart of a good game,] as far as I am concerned it is the story. It can make or break a game quite easily.”
- Realism Stinks, or What It’s All About by Justin Achilli. In this article, Justin points out something I hadn’t thought of before, that if there’s a skill in the game, it’s there for you to use it, and be an integral part of the game. If you’re playing a vampire game, and there’s a computer use skill, then you should expect that “this is a setting in which people who use computers are a significant facet of the setting.”
- Nico’s Lego RPG: assault on the Crystal King’s Cave by ChattyDM. This is an awesome little article where Chatty plays an RPG with his son, Nico, using Legos. In the end, he finds the game less magical than the games he had previously played with his son, where they used to just tell stories. I can agree with that.
- Monotheism in D&D by multiple. There are two great articles about monotheism in D&D, by both Paul King and Michael Wolf. Both take different perspectives, but both are fantastic articles.
- rpgKids by Enrique Bertran. Enrique just came out with rpgKids 1.5, and this is the original, which has gotten rave reviews. I’ll be reviewing rpgKids 1.5 later this week, so keep your eyes open for that.
There are a bunch of other fantastic articles, and if I talked about them all, we’d be here all night.
This one is definitely a step up from the previous Open Game Table Volume 1, which was fantastic to begin with. If you’re looking for a place to get the “best of the best”, this is the place to go.
[5 of 5 Stars!]