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#RPGaDAY Launches Tomorrow

#RPGaDAY prompts.

Tomorrow kicks off the #RPGaDAY blogathon concocted by Dave Chapman of Autocratik. I’ll be doing my best to keep up the pace throughout the month of August. I hope you’ll join in. All it takes is a paragraph or two on the topics shown above — and maybe opening a blog somewhere, if you don’t already have one, but that’s pretty much a useful life skill at this point in the decline of western civilization.

Tagged: #RPGaDAY, blogs, writing

Top Of The Pile: Star Trek Special - Flesh And Stone

Since the Doctor Who/Next Generation crossover comic Assimilation 2 I've been quite negative about the writing of the Tipton brothers (Scott and David), possibly because I felt as though they were muscling out Tony Lee (my favourite Doctor Who comic writer of recent years).Of late, though, I've found myself warming to their style and was particularly taken with the recent Star Trek Special:

Make Games Not War!

Since the release of the D&D Basic Rules another war is waged in the RPG community. This time it's not about editions but about the people who helped Wizards of the Coast to create D&D 5th Edition.

D&D 5th Edition is definitely the first edition of D&D that was [...]

Paper Warriors

I love miniatures, but it was only a few years ago that I gave paper miniatures a try. I’m glad I did. Paper miniatures are inexpensive, easy to carry around, replaceable and look great. That makes them worthwhile if you have to travel and GM.   Here are a few links I recently stumbled across: […]

The Book of Faces

I have a bad habit of spontaneously starting new projects, but that’s okay, because the wheel of progress is always turning and things do, eventually, get finished. My latest project is a little bit of an experiment in game book design. Do you remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, or the green backed “Fighting […]

Claustrophobia Art Update

When I see the awesome work my design gnomes have put into ClaustrophobiaI get really excited. I just wish I could share it all with you now! Unfortunately, I do have to save some surprises for the actual book. Props to my talented brother,Donovan Sloan, for this provocativework.   CopperLabyrinth Lunatic Labyrinth is a Best […]

Old timey climbing and mountaineering

Telecanter posted up some public-domain vintage illustrations of rock-climbing and mountaineering, illustrating a number of stalwart climbers in precarious positions...

So in my real-world adventures, I climb - on nice dry rock- I tend to stay away from slogging in snow or alpine climbing.  The equipment and techniques have improved a bit,

...but those old illustrations show the rudimentary technique and equipment of the time, much of which evolved into modern climbing techniques, and a few which are still in use. And they can be very informative for players whose characters' "climbing equipment" is equivalent. That [...]

Tact-Tiles Return, Breaking D&D is Bad, and is Ragequitting Okay?

|Episode 119|


Congrats to our Fool contest winner, we had to pick 4 instead of 3 because it was so hard to decide! Our winning NPCs areRoger Larrabee (telepath), Barkley (fey guardian), Craig the Battle Droid (butler artillery), and Terrence McGoven (awkward helicopter pilot).

Additionally, we’ve got a brand new d20Monkey Caption Contest up, also be sure to check out Brian’s new “Whining Is Coming” edition war T-shirt design.

Lastly, if you consider yourself a D&D history junkie be sure to read Ambush At Sheridan Springs- a story about how Gary Gygax lost D&D.

Topics Tact-Tiles Are Back!

Modular dry erase boards, great for [...]

A strong wind blows: Environmental effects for RPGs

This entry is part 2 in the series House Rules from The Adventurer's Club This is part 2 of a series presenting the various House Rules that have been introduced into the Pulp Campaign that I co-GM. Today I’m presenting some cold, heat, wind-chill, and altitude tables that were developed for the campaign in preparation […]


Tackling real-world history in an RPG can be daunting, especially if you have never done historical research. I think the first thing to keep in mind is even though history is a challenging subject and quite serious, your research is for gaming and therefore should be part of the fun. So do what you can and set reasonable goals for yourself. The last thing you want is to end up hating the very subject you are trying to learn about.   Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons
History can come up in a variety of ways in an RPG. For the Gamemaster (GM) [...]

Daily Cosplay


When Nepeleos was a child he wed his mother, Imbree. They dwelt in the lands of Al Liosh for many years before she conceived a child by him. At the child's conception, Nepeleos knew that his mother was actually Imbrisius, the Maiden of Pain, and that she was a god. Knowing his own divinity made him hate her with force, and he tried to slay her. She merely laughed at him and cut him with her nails. After that, she paid him no heed, raising their son as she saw fit. But Nepeleos turned his mind to the darker sorceries [...]


Don't give them a damn, just enjoy your games

After years of gaming and game mastering, I recently found interesting to read about RPG theories. I came across some forums, some blogs, and various sources. My intention was to understand what lies behind the curtain: how a game designer think? What are his choices? How do they influence a game design? How a mechanic induces a way of playing? Does the system really matter?

May be you know about all this stuff, and I guess that you've got firm ideas about all these points.

Well. I read all that things. Because. You know. On purpose. I'm hacking games, I'm trying [...]

The Wandering Monster Table -- Steal this Trap

This is an entry for a contest -- tell us about one of your traps...!

Way back in the day, I decided to spring a trap that was, quite simply, a pun. The PCs of my AD&D campaign were exploring a basic evil wizard’s tower, filled with all sorts of monsters and traps. At one point, they entered a room that appeared to be a normal study. There were heavily-laden bookshelves on the walls, overstuffed couches facing a coffee table and fireplace, lamps on end tables, and a very large, ornately carved mahogany desk.

They didn’t realize until they had their hands [...]

Armor Up (Ancient Rome)

Pegaso Models

UFO Files

A strange object was photographed hovering over the Hearst Castle in California this past week. While looking through his pictures the witness noticed a picture of a bird flying above one of the towers. He then zoomed in to look at the bird and noticed some weird object above it. Further close up did not unravel the mystery so a UFO investigator has been sent over to examine the siting.

Read on.

I can't really say what it is. Doesn't look like a plane, but could be. A baloon as well. Of course the investigator [...]

Kratos: Take Remains

She Got Stuck

Sick Day

Bad News: I have a cold and feel like crap.

Good News:  At least I am getting it done before Gen Con.

I wanted to thank everyone that voted for me for the ENnies at Gen Con this year.  Really looking forward to going.

D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay (Week 12)

This is it; the grand finale! Four parties entered the Phylactery Vault with the goal of destroying any and all phylacteries they might find within. As each group entered one of the three sepulchers on their respective levels of this pyramidal area and destroyed the evils found inside, a Demi-Lich appeared to stop them from doing any further damage. The final fight was about to begin and some PCs would surely give their lives in the ensuing battle.

This week at Hairy T North in Toronto we ran four tables. A few of our regular players were absent and we thought [...]

Bloodlines: A Supers Campaign Seed (Part One)

GENERATIONS OF HEROESThe Bloodlines setting focuses on family lines of superheroes and how they exist in the world. As the Cold War of the 1950's intensified, the US tested its most powerful thermonuclear weapon. Contrary to models and expectations, this blast's effects continued on in what came to be known as the Promethean Wave, a series of aurora borealis  which lasted an entire year, spanning the globe. Somehow, it activated genetic potential hidden deep within humanity. Within the year the first natural occurring superhumans made their mark. However it became clear quickly that the Promethean gene was held only in [...]

Kickstarter - Lost City of Baracus - In Hand

I received my hard cover copy of The Lost City of Baracus yesterday
- and it was estimated to arrive in August, so it is early and one heck of a birthday present. My Baracus. My... precious.

How's that for another Kickstarter miracle?

I liked the old 3x version that I picked up in my "reading but not playing days" and the S&W version has that beat hands down. The Lost City of Baracus is more than just a mega dungeon - there is enough of a setting presented to play this as a sandbox with multiple points of interest.

I am sorely tempted to run this after my summer hiatus away from DMing for the regular group.

It's [...]

Character Thursday-Greye Altrute (Drow Dungeoneer)

Here’s my first quick stab at a level ten solo dungeon diver. I’m not sure I did a very good job. I should have my more mechanics oriented play tester try his hand at it. He’d find some wildly powerful amalgamation of abilities, I’m sure. I just made a guy with a wide range of talents, starting as a Magic-user and then switching to Thief.


Greye received rigorous magical training through the Bilierza Academy of magic, learning at the knee of powerful Drow mages. He was recruited from among the common drow for his manifest intelligence, but also his toughness. The [...]

Grand Duchy 25

Grand Duchy of AdventureSession 25
July 29, 2014

An Audience with the KingSoladain 3rd of Flaurmont, 1001ACFinding the Table RockThe Grey Company follows its newest member, Iris, across the Moor to where she claims to have found the "Table Rock." The group crests a short rise and peers down into a shallow dell below to see a large boulder balanced upon one tiny little base. If anything nearby was to be thought of as a table, this was it.
The Table Rock
While everyone worked on pitching a camp nearby, Marcel spent some time examining the rock. He walked around [...]

Films On TV: Sharknado 2 - The Second One (2014)

It's preposterous and takes silly to a whole new level, but you know what? Sharknado 2: The Second One is a helluva lot of fun. It's knowing without being insulting to its audience and witty without being pompous, let down only by the occasional moments of shoddy CGI and piss poor acting from people you'd hope would know better by now. But possibly the main thing about Sharknado 2 is it is


Dice are just cool. There have been bazillions of them made in the past 40 odd years of gaming, but none ever so cool as these!

I have a picture of my original dice somewhere but can't seem to find it. Davis still uses them in our thursday night game, though the 20s are almost completely round at this point. All the fancy colors and what nots of the modern dice are cool, but never quite as cool as simple, straight forward monochrome colors.

The Great Plains of Unbidden Sorrow- A Hubris Territory and Some Awesome Art

First off I wanted to share some great art by the talented David Lewis Johnsonfor my upcoming Hubris campaign setting!

Here are two pictures of the Avarian race/class




This is the Four Goblin Clans of Hubris

This will be the last territory I put up on the blog before going live with the kickstarter. I wanted to put this up in honor of Jez Gordon’s Awesome RPG day!!!

Great Plains of Unbidden Sorrow- Three of the major kingdoms of Hubris reside in these great plains, although none are at war tensions always run high. The castles of powerful lords, outposts, and villages dot the [...]

The Rule of the Jungle and the self-invasive species

This just squeaks in as my contribution to this month's Blog Carnival, hosted this time round at Hereticwerks with the theme Invasive Species.
It's partly inspired by the recent release of sixth seventh edition 40K and rerelease of past fifth editions of D&D, and maybe the latest report from GW, or some of the reaction to it. It's for tabletop gaming in general, so no specific system, a form of propluristemic content. It's an off-the-wall rule or regulation for more fully marketizing the gaming group.
In the wording of the rule, a gamer providing support is a Financier, but this [...]

Game Master Tip #7 -- Keeping Players' Attention

Our lives are full of distractions and the game table is no exception. Whether the group meets in a game shop or the game master’s living room, they’re constantly bombarded with everything from cell phones to children, significant others and work emails. A big challenge to the modern game master is keeping their players’ attention over the din of this constant bombardment to the senses. By applying some of the same principals used in public speaking in business, game masters can capture the table’s attention and keep it despite the worst distractions their players can dream up.

As a game master, [...]

We Built This City

Hey all. Short update today. This week has been pretty insane with work and some other stuff (my brother had a baby). I’ve been cranking on the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. My hope was to share a module for ship combat today, but it isn’t quite ready so look forward to that in the near future.

Instead, I wanted to share with you some more excerpts from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. We’ll be talking about something key to all D&D campaign worlds – cities!

Making a City

Look at all these cities!

When I sit down to create a city for Exploration Age, [...]

Confessions of a Newb GM: Loudly Thinging

Creating a good atmosphere with your games locations is both amazing and hard to accomplish. Adding to the tale that is retold over drinks another day is a great feeling for a GM, but a problem arises when the setting is all there is. A carefully crafted setting can bring great excitement and create an eerie mood, for instance, but if the encounters are all similar the setting slowly loses its majesties. If every room and hallway that the players get into is of a similar style, everything around it becomes routine; making any positive impressions made fade into a [...]

Making Smart Weapons

Encumbrance: The Beauty of the ____________

I am now, officially, a huge fan of the blank.
A couple weeks ago, walking into school from my truck, I found myself carrying four wooden dowels of various lengths, two bags of large marshmallows, my lunch box with a one-liter water bottle clipped to it, four pieces of posterboard rolled together, a camera, a 13 gallon trashbag full of miniature terrain (very light, very bulky).
Although my total load was insignificant (maybe 10 lbs), as I did the one-finger pull to open the door and get into the building, it was clear that I was carrying about as much as I could in [...]

GE49: 5 Great Youtube Parody Videos


5 great Youtube parody music videos are shared this week. It was such fun doing the Weird Al episode decided it’d be even more fun to do another. Hope that you enjoy the picks.

  • 5)The Star Wars That I Used To Know
  • 4) Share it Maybe
  • 3) Minecraft Style
  • 2) Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version)
  • 1) The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody
  • BONUS) Mitt Romney Style


What is your favorite parody video?

Review Us…Please!

If you like what you hear and you use iTunes to get our content we ask a favor of you. Please consider rating us on iTunes.

iTunes is one of the most popular ways for listeners to find podcasts. [...]

Warhammer smackdown

This Saturday I am co-organising a warhammer 40k event. It’s a big battle with 9 armies and 11 players.  Each army is roughly 2500pt maybe a bit more. I am also participating in the battle wit her my homemade space marine chapter Doom Lions.  The last few months have been busy with assembling and converting my chapter with a lot of lions bots from sciborminiatures. Along with emptying out my old apartment and moving stuff into my girlfriends, yes I moved in.  So did my warhammer, book and movie collections...

The post Warhammer smackdown appeared first on Tiny Gork's Tinker Room.

Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands Zoning Case Study

Last time, I talked a little bitabout the how I set my design goals forShadowed Keep on the Borderlandsbefore I started any actual design. Today, I'm going to share how I started to flesh out the basic details of the place.

By Marc Radle


The first thing to think of was exactly how big an adventure I wanted. After some thought, I settled on having four distinctive zones within the ruins. To me, fourzones enablesa decent amount of variety without having to make design concessions or come up with an increasingly bizarre backstory to justify everything within the ruins.

Each zone had to [...]

Dark Souls magic

Almost all of the Dark Souls rules are somewhat applicable to the tabletop context, but the magic systems seem especially so suited.There are three magic systems: pyromancy, miracle, and sorcery. There are “classes” associated with each, but any character can level into the various kinds of magic by increasing the appropriate stats. Each magic requires a characteristic implement be equipped in order to cast spells of the given type. Each interacts with PC stats in a slightly different way, and the number of overall spell slots, which must be divided between all types of magic, is controlled by the attunement [...]

Beach Fun

On the Phandelvers Part IV: Wave Echo Cave

Parts I, II, and III are there.

Does the final section conclude with a bang or a whimper?

Wave Echo CaveHaving rescued Gundren Rockseeker (or possibly not) and finding the map to Wave Echo Cave, the characters can now confront the mysterious Spider. Well, probably mysterious for someone who's never played Dungeons and Dragons before anyway.

Wandering monsters! Players will feel time pressure! On the other hand, they all attack and there isn't a consistent schedule for them given. You should roll if the "spend a long time in a given area" or "Conversely, if [...]

The Magical Alphabet!!- Q- Quiver of the Bird

Quiver of the Bird- The quiver of bird arrows were made by a shaman who worshipped the ancient Yub Yub bird! The shaman gathered feathers of the various friends and children of the Yub Yub bird and placed them into an ornate leather quiver and blessed them in a ceremony of the hunt, live, and battle.

The Quiver of the Bird holds 10 regular arrows that if left alone for one month six will be transformed into one of each of the unique and special arrows listed below. The other four do 2d3 damage instead of 1d6.


Arrows of the Bird:

  • Crow- This [...]

Quick Note - One Long Night

Insomnia strikes again, but that is a good thing for everyone buy me! I have finished first draft writing of another two-page adventure title "Assault on the Southern Horn" which goes a long way of bringing all the thread from "Under the Horn", "Joy in a Flask", and "Spectres of Usarm" together.

Like Usarm I think I'll need to be creative in just HOW I get this all to fit into the format ... but right now I may have to take out the scissors and leave some material in the gutters.

Like the previous two-page adventures this [...]

QuicFic: Collapse

I awoke to the taste of my own blood. Caught unaware and half out of my impact webbing the blast had thrown me awkwardly from my chair, my head ricocheting against the console to my left. Ship time indicated I had blacked out for only a handful of seconds, the pain made it feel like days. Sensory warnings already flickered at the edge of my vision, my arm was broken in multiple places and neural overrides had settled into place to prevent the onset of debilitating pain. I didn’t need my implants to know that my lip was split open, [...]

014 Rausmann Found! Vaults of the Vilayet #4

In an earlier Vaults of the Vilayet post I showed you Rausmann's Book of Dungeon Traps and Tricks, with a promise to find the long lost original cover art. Well, six dungeon levels and three henchmen later, here it is.

Hand drawn and inked, and cut out a bit oddly to mount on a black background all ready for photocopying at the local library 25 years ago. Yes, that's Letraset. It's been sat [...]

Conspiracy Theories...

The final word on conspiracy theories from Mitchell & Webb...

A Return To Prep-Lite

I was running out of time to prep my games. Sounds almost ironic from the guy who wrote Never Unprepared, but it was true. Things have changed in my life, and my ability to prep was straining against my dwindling free time. I had maximized the usage of my time, and I simply had less time to prepare than before. It was time to re-evaluate the way I prep and evolve my prep to meet my new life situation.

Prep-Lite you say?

Four years ago, I began to write a series of articles on a theme I called Prep-Lite, culminating with the [...]

Paper Warriors

I love miniatures, but it was only a few years ago that I gave paper miniatures a try. I’m glad I did. Paper miniatures are inexpensive, easy to carry around, replaceable and look great. That makes them worthwhile if you have to travel and GM.   Here are a few links I recently stumbled across: […]

Hattie For Cal...

Calvin's Canadian Cave Of Cool is usually where you'll find the latest snapshots of the delightful Hattie Watson, so I thought I'd say "thank you" with a pic I found on her Tumblr feed that I don't think Cal has published yet.

Image Thursday

There are many awesome and inspirational images on the web these days. Here’s a few that were found that you may enjoy and draw ideas from.

Clicking on each image will open it in a new window.




This image feed will show the last 12 images that have been pinned and may change if you return to this post later.

Review 07/30/2014

The plan: Scry on Voluntatis, teleport to his location and promptly overwhelm him with our red fury; however, the divination failed. Spelled up and ready for bronze dragon blood Jaren teleported to the Waterworks as seen in a previous Legend Lore. Appearing in a complex of tubes, pipes, and tanks we first notice the extreme cold temperature and an obscuring fog that permeated the Waterworks; furthermore we arrived somewhat scattered 10'-15' in different locations by a truename effect. 
Combat began with Sorosh controlling winds to dispatch the cold fog allowing us to see. Jaren, spotting an elf, targets her with a orb of force. Auge hides and begins to look for Voluntatis. Misoak attempts to feeblemind Jaren. Versel, momentarily trapped in a icy-cold tank, strikes the tank wall with a 'feeler punch' to gauge the integrity of his prison. After assessing the effect Versel lets the rest of his attacks off the leash creating a hole. Voluntatis suppresses our auras, some of us are shaken for various durations. Auge spots the bronze dragon and relays the information. The hunter does stuff. The celestial targets Auge with a spell that causes Dexterity damage and caused Auge to be staggered on top of [...]
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