Tower of the Dread Mage - a download site for a free homemade paper & pencil solitaire dungeon game with only 2 pages of instructions by Christopher Brandon showing some of the elementary aspects of rules composition. He has a much similar 2006 follow- up design of the horror genre Dead & Alive in the same 2 page format, but with an expansion module. Be advised these ambiguously understated rules suffer from the besetting problem of form over function and when sorted out as written aren't intended as simulations or even to offer any real choices to make (play): just basic goon (go on) conditions. But they provide a platform for imagining/ reading in one's own adaptations (practically forced here), which is the name of the game. boardgamegeek.com is a well organized central index of every variety of our favorite toys from parlor game to miniatures table game.
RealmSpeak - a Java application programmed by Robin Warren to run a session of the out of print Avalon Hill game Magic Realm by Richard Hamblen, for from one (can be played alone) to eight players who may interact online. It can be downloaded there, and the latest info including the voluminous rules can be accessed at the Magic Realm Wiki article triremis.com.au/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.HomePage to provide literally hours of "fun" learning to make out its quirky & convoluted devices. It's all about resource allocation, even for its (dig it) accessory combat rules; and its accounting practices vary from one mechanism to another (data card, invertable counter, lookup table, progress flowchart, chit bank) in such profusion while its substance focuses on such nebulous concepts as the birdsong interval, magic hues, the loudness of a howl, or treasures within treasures, that it's truly a bazaar experience. Although the rules for magic use provide a rich field for those who want to delve into the arcane and develop powerful attributes, for a hard core gamer it can seem to have the feel of an Easter egg hunt. A large point in its favor however, is that it is practically the only game out there that could actually simulate a lone thief invading a dragon's hoard and stealing a treasure by means of trickery.
Dungeoneer card/ layout game - Thomas Denmark's design for www.atlas-games.com, of a concept similar to Tactical Studies Rules' Dungeon board game (players control single characters in competition with each other to gain levels and be the first to attain a goal) expanded to include some neat mechanics in an easily carryable card deck format, but retaining that feel of a primarily introductory or social game (fun for meeting friends while waiting for some serious gaming). Most attractive beginning set of the various offerings is probably 2003's Vault of Fiends pack per www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/DgrWild1.pdf. www.studiodenmark.com/thomas.html publicizes that it is devising rules for a card- based RPG adaptation of the Dungeoneer game environment which could be expected to have much potential as a compact treatment of the form; but so far all that's available is some artwork at www.dungeoneering.blogspot.com/.
Dungeon Dregs arcade Java code example - Karl Hornell, a programmer with an extensive repertory of arcade type Java language game designs, maintains the English language site www.javaonthebrain.com, with an emphasis on coding accessibility and cross- platform functionality. Dungeon Dregs is a purposely elementary though comprehensive (construction, population, animation, interaction) example applet program posted in 1997 offered with source code and topical outline notes as a teaching tool for approaching typical maze games of this form as well as coding in Java (note: might be necessary to click inside the applet to select it before pressing the spacebar to start with some browsers).
What the general staff are reading - If one were to guess where "A classic in small unit tactics in the British and U.S. Army" might be found, one would hardly imagine it to come from that period which would see the institution of the static trench stalemate of WWI; and in effect the subject matter of The Defense of Duffer's Drift is more about the security & integrity of a blocking unit than a holding action or denial by force. Practically (and particularly applicable in its treatment of the indigenous populace) the events depicted are equivalent to those of a Roman legion forting up for the night in hostile country and wouldn't provide enough material for a typical gaming scenario. Setting aside its doubtful tactical and civil instructional value though, this is a very originally constructed and amusing piece of local color building upon a later period ("khakis" instead of "redcoats") than the besieging of Roarke's drift (the movie Zulu). And, for the adventure- minded, it dovetails with Arthur Conan Doyle's similarly shoot- 'em- up account of The Great Boer War. Text here: dufdft.txt.
Dork Tower comics - John Kovalic contributes an online edition of the strip: a pointedly cerebral and often crazily evocative treatment of the foibles of being caught up in gaming, illustrated with a touching discernment of the drives involved on all sides. Also worth checking out are the other comic titles posted at the Gamespy site www.gamespy.com/comics
Wherefore art thou D&D - Dungeons & Dragons holds a position as flagship in gaming practicum, founded upon a capacity to delineate the myths of fantasy as lost or hidden things which may be investigated; and cool dice.
D&D as a franchise proclaims that bigger is better. Some for whom the medium is the message retain versions of earlier, more familiar, game designs. For a rules set which harks back to Basic D&D of olden days, try www.basicfantasy.org/downloads.html; or for an approximation of Advanced D&D see www.trolllord.com/cnc/index.html. And somewhere in between, our own solitaire programmed text adventure (off the Case games page), using an appropriated condensed intermediate rules set www.playhob.com/Case/cas.html.
For a simplified introduction to the new version (suitable for youngsters even), the D&D site posts an appealing, stripped- down, quick- start module, whose objective storyline is, however, no more than a bare bones battle www.wizards.com/dnd/files/MS_HeroesHesiod.pdf. To add the all- important roleplaying oompf of adventure to the mix, we offer here a group of challenges to pose to the gallant party as presented in the downloaded module: mssX2Md1.txt.
The miniature figure positional battle aspects of the game (company/ band focus from the dispersal interdiction concept of capture- type games like Chess) have oddly never managed to be integrated into the more popular theater of the mind roleplaying process (bout/ skirmish focus from the hazard passage concept of progress- type games like Monopoly), even though the two have evolved in tandem and attempted to share terminology from the very beginning, and in spite of the RPG's 4th edition unwisely going whole- hog for such a troop- oriented wargame approach (Alignments? What for?). The up- to- date rules and figure stats for miniatures play are made freely available for download at www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mi/20080124a, but again the latest isn't necessarily the greatest. As a way to get into the D&D experience without hulking Kobolds try these last generation Chainmail rules (but use randomized damage and just ignore everything except the Skirmishes and Abilities chapters) from 2002 before that line was phased out and the web site dismantled: chm-rule.pdf and chm-stat.rtf (set landscape ori, .25" margins).
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