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Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
 
$5.00 $2.50
Average Rating:4.2 / 5
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Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
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Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
Publisher: Nevermet Press
by Brian F. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/04/2014 16:12:01
When I reviewed Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Volume 1 back in October 2009, I felt it was a monumental and worthwhile compilation of game material from around the blogosphere. Jonathan Jacobs somehow managed to do everything from curating the articles to having the book printed and available. The result was a book that managed to provide players and gamemasters, both new and old, more inspiration than you could shake a stick at.

With Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Volume 2 (OGTv2), Jacobs managed to get much more help with nearly every part of the process – from nominating material to editing, art, and so on. He even managed to get sponsors to help foot the bill to pay for part of the publishing effort so it wasn’t all out of his wallet.

To avoid any misconceptions, I helped with a couple of parts of the process of OGTv2. I worked as a peer reviewer and contributed some funds to help get the book printed. But even with my help and the help of many other folks, I suspect Jonathan put in the lion’s share of the work on this book.

That said, this book is simply astounding from the description of the daily gaming convention on the web in the foreward from RPG industry veteran Justin Achili to Trent Colwell’s hilarious article – “The Tale of Jacques: A Study in Ignominious RPG Death” – in which poor Jack’s character drowns in spectacular fashion teaching everyone to make sure the rope is tied off before you jump into a torrential river of death… I think there’s something for everyone stuffed into this 158 page volume.

Just to provide some context, I’ll provide a bit of information about a few articles…

Jeremy Jones’ article “The More Fantastical It Can Be: Map Talk with Jonathan Roberts” (http://www.koboldquarterly.com) provides a bit of background on how Roberts’ cartography skills developed to make him one of the more sought-after map artists in the industry. He started out developing maps for virtual tabletop (VTT) programs like Maptool and eventually shifted to using Gimp, a free image editor that provides a ton of functionality for free (unlike Photoshop). By using a graphics tablet, he captures the freeform approach of hand-drawn maps and expands on them digitally. The work I’ve seen of his in Kobold Quarterly is just stunning, managing to not only provide a functional resource but one with a character of its own. Great interviews like this provide insights budding cartographers can use to enhance their own game maps.

The entire section on “New Players, New Games” provides many great articles for inspiration on how to bring new people into the hobby we all know and love already. The article “A System for Playing D&D With My Kid” from Enrique Bertran (http://newbiedm.com) describes a new, simple rules system for the preschool and elementary school players that may be lurking at your house. I’ve often toyed with the idea of getting my 5 and 9 year old girls involved, because they love to use their imaginations already. RPGKids fits that niche perfectly and is something I hope to explore soon. Teaching tactics, using basic math skills, and using their brains should be great practice for the real world – let alone future sessions of D&D!

And “Campaign Success & Failure” also had some great food for thought, including an article that really got my brain going a bit… “The Short Campaign Manifesto” by Yacine Merzouk (http://www.dungeonmastering.com) provides a list of 15 demands for a simple set of rules for a short (2-3 hour) campaign in a session. I have a bit of experience with fighting scheduling issues for groups as of late, so the idea of a shorter story that gets wrapped up in one sitting has some serious appeal. As Merzouk says, “How often can we realistically tell an epic tale? Not often.” I know when I was a GM, I felt compelled to create bigger, better, more epic adventures for my groups. Maybe now I need to rethink that and go back to the drawing board.

And that’s just the first third of the book. That doesn’t even get you to the “Campaign Design Choices,” “Of Sandboxes & Railroads,” or “The RPG Toolbox” sections which come later…

Once again, Jacobs has helmed an excellent resource for gamers of all levels and types. If all of the projects from his Nevermeet Press do as well as the Open Game Table series, he’s got many years of success ahead of him.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Volume 2 as a PDF or hardcopy today!

(This review first appeared here: http://blogcritics.org/rpg-book-review-open-game-table/)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
Publisher: Nevermet Press
by Michael H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/10/2012 13:51:02
Much like the first volume, this anthology contains some great articles covering a variety of RPGs (though D&D tends to receive the lion's share). While not every article is going to appeal to every reader, the overall contents and sheer variety of topics makes this worth the price for the PDF.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
Publisher: Nevermet Press
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/24/2011 19:49:04
Much like the first volume in the anthology, there are tons of articles on tons of topics. There are character options, DMing tips, tips on player styles, and things to spice up your game. Again, $5 isn't much money for ton of advice on gaming. I like the short articles that are quick reads and interesting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
Publisher: Nevermet Press
by Paul-Anthony L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/07/2010 21:20:23
Full review can be found here:

http://www.realityrefracted.com/2010/09/review-open-game-tab-
le-volume-2.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
Publisher: Nevermet Press
by Brian F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/27/2010 11:50:13
When I reviewed Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Volume 1 back in October 2009, I felt it was a monumental and worthwhile compilation of game material from around the blogosphere. Jonathan Jacobs somehow managed to do everything from curating the articles to having the book printed and available. The result was a book that managed to provide players and gamemasters, both new and old, more inspiration than you could shake a stick at.

With Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Volume 2 (OGTv2), Jacobs managed to get much more help with nearly every part of the process - from nominating material to editing, art, and so on. He even managed to get sponsors to help foot the bill to pay for part of the publishing effort so it wasn't all out of his wallet.

To avoid any misconceptions, I helped with a couple of parts of the process of OGTv2. I worked as a peer reviewer and contributed some funds to help get the book printed. But even with my help and the help of many other folks, I suspect Jonathan put in the lion's share of the work on this book.

That said, this book is simply astounding from the description of the daily gaming convention on the web in the foreward from RPG industry veteran Justin Achili to Trent Colwell's hilarious article - "The Tale of Jacques: A Study in Ignominious RPG Death" - in which poor Jack's character drowns in spectacular fashion teaching everyone to make sure the rope is tied off before you jump into a torrential river of death... I think there's something for everyone stuffed into this 158 page volume.

For more of this review, check out: http://www.gameknightreviews.com/2010/09/book-review-open-ga-
me-table-the-anthology-of-roleplaying-game-blogs-volume-2/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
Publisher: Nevermet Press
by Mark M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/21/2010 17:30:19
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.
1. 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.”
2. 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.”
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
Publisher: Nevermet Press
by Thomas W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2010 20:50:46
An excellent read! The articles feel like deja-vu to conversations my buddies and I used to have in college pontificating into the night on the style and art of RPGs. I was surprised at how how many quality insightful articles are included in this book, and yes, they will have an impact upon my gaming. Good Stuff.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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