Here are a few posts this week I wanted to make sure people read. And comment on myself, of course. I read a fair amount of good stuff this week - and generally, it's worth clicking on all the blogs in my blog roll (or they wouldn't be there.) Still some posts stood out as needing my special commentary. Heh.
On Magical Hearts
I'm a sucker for magic items with downsides, going all the way back to White Plume Mountain. My own magic items frequently have this kind of twist.
How you get these hearts into you is a fun topic, too - in a fairy tale-ish game, it should absorb into you in some fashion. In a gritty, splattery game you should have to carve the person open and keep their real heart in a jar somewhere.
How to Deal with Elminster
Jurgen makes a case for keeping powerful NPCs in your game. Me, I still think it's worth killing a lot of them off, especially if they're someone else's Mary Sue or serve to keep players in line. But he's right - the powerful and successful are busy, and they're not going to be trivially accessible and not going to have a lot of time to spend fixing problems you can fix without them . . . even if fixing those problems costs you dearly.
Even so, it's worth remembering - in the real world, people can't wave their hands and change the world. In fantasy games, they can. So you have to realize the players will always think - if you're not handling this problem, it must be because it's not really that important. Outside time constraints and issues of right here, right now help that a bit though.
Orcs are a disease
Now, I don't play OD&D, but I do really appreciate when someone picks apart what it's implying with its odd monster entries.
And hey, aren't orcs a fungus in Warhammer?