I’ll admit it: I’m suffering from a case of writer’s block this week. But I still want to provide something useful and/or interesting, so I figured I’d share some resources that I’ve personally found useful for various things lately and may not have mentioned at all, or have only mentioned in the Discord. Most of these are YouTube references because that’s what I’ve been delving into lately.
Unsplash is a huge source of freely-usable images. I’ve been using it to the exclusion of basically all other sites for the featured images on the blog posts for at least a year or two now (including this post!), and it has never, ever let me down. If you’re writing a blog yourself and haven’t checked it out yet, go take a look. Everything is high-quality and tasteful. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Kurzgesagt is a YouTube channel mostly focused on science. I’ve been watching a lot of their videos of late because they’re very approachable and easy-to-digest breakdowns of various topics, mostly scientific in nature. This is great from a game prep or world design point of view, often giving just enough depth of information to use something in a setting or adventure. A short word of caution: they have a very humanistic and somewhat nihilistic worldview (they even have a video called “optimistic nihilism” in their channel) which might be off-putting to some of the folks reading these words, though they do show a fair amount of respect to other points of view. If you don’t mind or can push past that, though, there’s a wealth of interesting resources in their channel. A few of my favorite videos of theirs include the Mars Base, Moon Base, Space Elevator(probably my overall favorite), Huge Nuke, Strange Matter, Worm Hole, and Aliens Under Ice videos, but they have tons of interesting ones on a variety of topics.
Overly Sarcastic Productions
Overly Sarcastic Productions is another YouTube channel, and is something writers and GMs should have bookmarked. Red and Blue, the hosts of the channel’s videos, have produced a staggering amount of useful content. I’m partial to Red’s Trope Talks, Shakespeare Summaries, and Mythology videos and I’ve binged through hours of their content at a time. Blue’s history video are also excellent. Like Kurzgesagt, their material is both in-depth and bite-sized so it’s perfect for GMs. The hosts are smart, insightful, and entertaining but also very fair and respectful of the material they cover, framing it in its cultural context where possible. Their channel seems somewhat ironic, really, but watch a few videos and you won’t complain. Sadly, I’ve binged through almost all of their material and am now stuck waiting on new content.
How to Make Back Swords Work
I am a little hit-or-miss with Shadiversity videos in general, but this specific one is absolutely worth a watch, because Shad figured out how to overcome the problems inherent in wearing a sword on one’s back, and I’m using that knowledge in every future world I make. Shad’s joy and enthusiasm for his project are infectious, too. Shad has a bunch of other various videos about which weapons would be most useful for various fantasy monsters and so on. He’s apparently a little controversial, but if nothing else, watch the back sword video.
Indian Folk Metal About Forgiveness
Finally, I thought I’d share this wonderful, uplifting piece of media. This isn’t the first uplifting and redemptive video the Indian folk metal band Bloodywood has put out (Jee Veerey is also awesome in that regard) but the message of courage, endurance, redemption, and forgiveness in “Endurant” is just awesome. Give it a watch/listen.