Friday, March 24, 2017

Challenge to Find the Top 10 Posts

I expect this to come to naught, but . . .

Following on the premise by this comment from Kimbo, and the few comments afterwards expressing an interest in a top ten list of posts on this blog, I suggest the following:

1)  That I have no vote whatsoever.

2)  That the number of page views of a given post are irrelevant.

3)  That anyone may propose up to ten posts for candidature.  There is no minimum.

4)  That for any post to be considered, that post MUST be seconded.  It is sufficient enough for an individual to second someone else's title, without needing to express a recommendation of their own.

5)  That following a period of, say, two weeks, over which time I will promote this post, we will collect a list of posts that have been proposed and seconded.

There is a limit to how many possible answers I can add to a poll, though I don't know what that number is.  More than ten, surely.  I will collect those proposals with the most seconds and create a poll, which can then be voted upon again.

I will then take the ten highest posts and make it permanent on the sidebar.


I consider this to be self-promoting and awful.  But since it was not my idea, I'm prepared to see what happens.  I expect about 33 people to make proposals, since that is usually the total number of voters I get in a typical poll.

Thank you for anyone who contributes and let me say I appreciate all the readers who have supported this blog.


  1. This is a hard thing to do. I'll list my top 16(ish) and see what folks are willing to second.

    It is NOT "Just" A Game
    Daughters, DMs & Henchmen
    The DM Is Not A Player
    Realistic? HAH!
    Player vs. Player
    Let's Try It From the Beginning Again
    How to Dungeon Master (The 10,000 Word Post)
    The Ethical Treatment of Rail Rodders
    Battlemat Scale
    How to Play a Character (The 10,000 Word Post)
    Lego D&D
    Mapping Garalzapan's Land
    When Wisdom Isn't a Dump Stat
    How to Start a Trading Town [the whole series of posts]
    Fallow [the whole series]
    How to Tackle a Dungeon [the whole series]

  2. Oh, Embla. The rules limit you to ten. Could you please repost, take off six?

  3. I'll second both the 10k posts, because duh.

    Mapping Garalzapan's Land
    Let's Try it From the Beginning Again
    and the How to Tackle a Dungeon series.

    I'd second more of these, but I haven't had time to re-read and get my own list up to think about it.

  4. Fine, Alexis... If you say so. :-P

    The 10k posts
    Mapping Garalzapan's Land
    Let's Try it From the Beginning Again
    How to Tackle a Dungeon (I, II, and the final post)
    Daughters, DMs, & Henchmen
    When Wisdom Isn't a Dump Stat
    It is NOT "Just" a Game

  5. Seizing the Day (6/2/08)
    How to Play a Character (3/6/13) - seconding Embla
    Tales from FanExpo 2014 (9/2/2014)
    Setting the Scene (9/24/14)

    I feel compelled to explain the third. Tales was a post that very much captured the context under which this blog operates and who the content of the books is for. It was a jarring, warming reminder that people "just care about playing". Something I have a tendency to forget. Wouldn't be on a conventional top 10.

  6. The Island (creating a place that entices the party to adventure)
    Crossovers (having NPCs doing their own thing, intersecting with the party)
    How It's Done (mapmaking posts)
    The Trade Process (trade system step-by-step)
    In You (encouragement toward the effort)
    The Narration of the Real (DMing to serve the player's interests and questions)
    Setting the Scene (seconding)
    Fallow (seconding)

    Links for ease of exploration:

  7. I'm like Embla and a big fan of series posts. I know it is kinda a fudge since they're multiple posts that would really require an additional collating post to unify them and add them to the sidebar.

    Civilization series
    -This series sold me on the blog.

    Tech Levels
    -This illustrates world building on a deep level. Showing a tangible way societies can and are different within a world beyond just changing the appearance.

    Offline campaign Goblin Fort
    -I love this series just for how it shows how ambitious and flexible the system is and how it can handle a scale that current systems would just throw their hand up.

    Pon trade table tutorial; it kinda flows in with the wiki as well
    -A limited view that gives the reader a glimpse of the trade table in a manageable chunk and an idea of the enormity of it.

    The island
    Setting the scene
    and both the 10k articles

  8. Seconding:
    The Island
    The 10k Posts
    Let's Try It From The Beginning Again

    Some others I've enjoyed:
    The World You Live In
    Breaking Camp - The Best Part of the Day (it did end up in the book after all)
    The Art And Fall of Preparation

    It's quite the process to pick through and find the gems, and I'd like to reread some more, as my absolute favourites will always be the posts that touch on broader concepts, or things seemingly unrelated to D&D that actually form a really important connection (and instead most of what I have saved includes rules and game design ideas).

    All the same, here are a few others:
    The One True Tao
    Why Wasn't I Consulted?

    I'll be back, with more!

  9. In the interest of adding even more complexity to the affair, I would suggest
    1) Enable some kind of voting mechanic to the posts (Fav this post) or something like that. Hard, requires changes to the blog. Would overpromote recent posts.
    2) Expand the challenge to more posts. Your dedicated followers know many more than 10.

    As for me, of course I would vote for the 10k posts. There's many more. The problem is not lack of good posts, it's overabundance of... not mediocre posts. Your mediocre posts would be rather good on any other blog. You have your copper posts, of course. But the many, many silver ones, I think, outshine (by mere overcrowding) the golden ones. Maybe another page, prominently displayed as a link in the sidebar, that compiles posts that have been publicly recommended. Sort of the "readers recommendation" section.

    From my long list I will select just a few, to comply with the "10" rules (this is HEAVILY biased to the moment I switched to read on the computer instead that on the phone, where I could keep fewer bookmarks).

    (too few? I think so. It also ignores three solid years of work since. But you put the rules)

  10. And now, out of the contest, I present the following ones, just for the sake of saying that there is an awful lot good and very good posts to recommend, and keep in mind this is picking among the ones that I deemed good enough to keep a reference. Also, the trade system, which I immensely admire and respect, is strewn among too many posts and wiki pages to comfortably link)

    14) (and all of the series that followed)

    And I will leave it at that.

  11. I'm not nearly well versed enough to go and underline your work; it's too much and I've only read a parcel (and mostly only once, at that). Kind of suffer from the problem you're trying to combat, really.

    To me you're more about the consistency benchmark than standout moments, more accretion than bursting dams, as it were.

    Most of your system tweaks and mapping efforts don't register too strongly on my radar, I appreciate that they're a load of work but have no direct use for them, though sometimes the underlying reasoning is of marked interest.

    I began reading you on account of your articulateness while defending points I held little to nothing in common with, spiced-up with the occasional temper flare (I still remember the "x days since Alexis lost his temper" counter).

    I'd say the post that really got me to see you in a different light was the one about Relationships. It had the ring of wisdom (or maybe consonance of mileage) that comes from experience.

    Then came the (somewhat purposefully driven) humanization of the picture-a-day, the video you made just before one of your convention trips (made me think that I'd have a beer with you, sure enough) and your witty reports of said experiences. These are mostly sales or biting posts and in any event relate to a specific point in time, so there's no recommending those.

    I don't think I've ever even read the 10k-word posts, come to think of it, maybe I should dig there.

  12. The concept of finding the top ten posts is incredibly daunting, even though I have read all of them. I don't remember which posts contained which information and would have to spend another couple of months going through them all again.

    That said, I have found myself repeatedly going back to the Weather Generation Mark VI posts. Anything that I am able to pick up and use in my game like that is golden.

    I also greatly enjoyed when you started the campaign. I like to use that as an example of a deeper, more immersive world.

    The value in a blog is always going to be primarily forward looking. Most people who find value in the blog will look back a few posts, and then follow going forward. Those who find deeper meaning will go back through the entire backlog and read (or at least skim) everything.

    I think that extracting pertinent information from the blog into the wiki would be much more worthwhile than creating an index for the entire blog.

  13. Hello Alexis !

    I promised, there it is !

    Seizing the Day - Because starting to read a blog on D&D and having this is a sure way to make me swallow the hook, line, and drop out of water near the fisherman.
    My World - Alexis world, again. Inspiring, today as well as when I first read it.
    How To Dungeon Master (The 10,000 Word Post) - Great all around.
    How to Play a Character (The 10,000 Word Post - Also great all around.
    Groups - because it started the whole Hex Generation.
    Let's Try It From The Beginning Again - because it explains the Trade system with more clarity.
    Infrastructure Perspective - because I fucking love Infrastructure !
    Infrastructure Is Fun! - because it has been made (at least partially) for me ! And I love Infrastructure and the trade system and ... Well, you get it. Alexis, many thanks for this again.
    How to Start a Trading Town I - A great exemple of the way Alexis see his world and his game. Gave me goosebumps.
    A Calm, Cool, Gentle Presentation - The first post I commented upon, and a terrific read !

    Sadly, the whole 2014-2017 period is undocumented, unsaved or unsorted (but I still remembered the Trading Town posts ^^), so those are mostly "old", but they'll do ^^.

  14. Don't want this to pass by without getting my vote in...

    10k Word Posts (both of them)
    Sage Skill posts (all of them, but especially the bard and monk)
    Infrastructure posts
    Trade Table posts
    Tech Level posts

    Or we can try to follow the rules...

    How to Tackle a Dungeon
    The DM is not a Player
    How to Play a Character (the 10,000 Word Post)
    How to Start a Trading Town
    How to Dungeon Master (the 10,000 Word Post)
    It is NOT "Just" a Game
    The Island
    I Thought Everyone Knew
    And there's one about the demographics of your world, with a table showing number of leveled characters per 10,000 people and average XP earned per year by social class/tier... that's one that sticks out for me.

    I know the rules stipulate single posts only; consider the series vote as just the first post in the series. Whether I second a post or not, I'm not sure. I only skimmed previous votes. There are certainly some that resonate in my mind because of how I relate to them. The series on undead, for example, is fantastic but I couldn't quite give it a top ten status.

  15. I'm going to second "The Island", "The Mustard Farm", and "Mining - Metals & Minerals."

  16. The two 10k word posts
    24 petards (or how to be a player)
    How to tackle a dungeon
    8 tips
    Smolensk mysteries


  17. This is hard, because I think more in terms of ideas and concepts than in specific posts, and on top of that interesting ideas are often spread over several posts... but I tried to dredge up some of the most thought provoking (in terms of game design) posts I could.

    Mass Experience
    Seizing the Day
    What you eat matters
    Morale and popularity
    Help costs
    BU to HP
    Conlict No. 1 (conflict cards were really interesting)
    A higher class (or any sage skill post really)

    I tried...


If you wish to leave a comment on this blog, contact with a direct message. Comments, agreed upon by reader and author, are published every Saturday.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.