the wonder of role-playing games: reviews, solo rpgs, old-school & narrative games

16 Feb 2017

Friday Update: Colemak, OSR Swag and more


I’m learning Colemak, an alternative keyboard layout. Full immersion, so typing is a lot slower than usual.
Patience. Supposedly, Colemak is so much better than QWERTY. But we can debate about that. Thus, I just do it for fun and to train my brain.

Upcoming Reviews

I’m slowly hacking away at an article about Low Fantasy Gaming, an OSR/D&D5e Hybrid. I also snagged a review copy of Heroic Fantasy, yet another hack of The Black Hack.

This book provides an all-in-one package to play heroic fantasy games of wild combat, fiendish monsters and powerful magic. Heroic Fantasy uses simple and accessible rules that blend traditional and indie flavours into an appetising experience.

OSR Swag

Cross-Class Subterfuge (PWYW, affiliate link):

This short pamphlet contains everything required to dissolve the Thief class and redistribute its sneaky abilities to other character types. Now the whole party can know the joys of moving silently and hiding in shadows!

Karl Stjernberg created a hand-drawn character sheet (PWYW, affiliate link). Need a random character for Maze Rats (aff), the free minimalist OSR-style dungeon crawler? Go here. Or check out the other tools, for example, for Basic D&D.


Most of my free time goes toward learning to program. I found the excellent MOOC How to Code: Systematic Program Design. The course is based on the book How to Design Programs. This was what I was looking for. The course teaches you how to think about the structure of the information you need. It offers a methodical approach to problem-solving for programmers. Exactly what I was missing. I floundered along and had problems breaking down complex tasks. Learning to code is fun again. I also shifted my mindset. I don’t put myself under pressure anymore. No more optimizing my learning, no doubting (“Do I need to learn xxx, too?”). I’ll just tackle it as I go.