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Cruisin' for Gamers -- Ep177

Being the new person can be a very intimidating thing, especially for someone coming into an established game group. But, it can also be a [...]

DVD Of The Week: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The kindest thing you can say about the mess that is Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that it is better than the first entry into this franchise. But then that really isn't saying much. The special effects - particularly Spider-man swinging through New York - are undeniably spectacular and there are a couple of stand-out scenes - the reunion between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and childhood chum

Apocalypse World: Dark Age -- First Playtest

AW:Dark Age First Playtest (Image: obskures.de)

Lumpley Games. Meguey und Vincent Baker verffentlichten gestern den AW:Dark Age First Playtest. Zuvor gab es lediglich einzelne Previews. Die Autoren gehen davon aus, dass die Spieletester Apocalypse World kennen. Ohne Systemkenntnis knnte es recht schwierig werden, etwas mit dem neuen Material anzufangen. Ich denke jedoch, mit etwas Mitdenken erschliet sich vieles.

Der erste Spieltest umfasst vier Dateien.

Die Instructions (8 Seiten) beinhalten ein paar Hinweise zum Playtest, die Basis Rules und das Setting. Das Spiel setzt nach dem Fall eines – fiktiven – Roms an. Dies ist im brigen keine Lektion in Geschichte, sondern Geschichten, d. [...]

Toon Tuesday: Big Ted the Larmac Saloon Bum (Rifts)

Ah, Larmac, the “lazy lizards”! I do so love the reptilian races. Anyway, I’ve swapped out the O.C.C. skills Dance and Sing for Gambling and Gambling: Dirty Tricks as the skills make more sense that way, also, the text has … Continue reading →

Borderland of Adventure #26 (continued): Call to War

At theend of my last session recap, we left the heroes travelling toward Ratikhill to meet with the Council of Iron and its leader Sword Lord Woarsen Nanter.


The party's journey to the city was uneventful and five days later they rode through Ratikhill's gate and made their way to their townhouse to wash the dust of the trail from their bodies before making their way to the citadel and the Council of Iron.

There the Council of Iron was in session and the party pledged to aid the Sword Lords in any way they could. Lord Nanter explained his spies and [...]

5E Stonehell TPK

On Sunday 8/31 I ran D&D 5th edition at Titan Games. Last week I started the Lost Mines from the starter set, but I spent the week thinking about it, and decided that an open table, which is how I want to run it, doesn't work so well with such a structured adventure. I need something more... open. I only came to this conclusion a couple of hours before the game, even though it had been niggling at me all week.

A megadungeon campaign offers the ability for players to make forays into the dungeon, and return to town at [...]

#RPGaDAY Day 11: Weirdest RPG owned

That would have to be Maid, a game that was originally written in Japanese and translated to English. I got my copy as part of a Bundle of Holding offer. In hindsight it may not be weird but it is to say the least very odd.

A Cat out Of Hell & The Secrets Of Cats

Not long ago I really enjoyed reading “Cat Out Of Hell”by Lynne Truss, published by Hammer – (Working in association with Hammer Films, Hammer publishes compelling and intelligent horror in the form of film tie-ins, backlist classics re-imagined to bring them to a whole new market with a modern and sophisticated twist, and new novellas […]

Create a One Page System Today

As a GM, we often want to run a different genre or try out a new mechanic. However, learning an entirely new system can be overwhelming. Believe it or not, creating a one-page system can be quicker. Think of it this way: if you can read 50 pages an hour, it will take you 6 hours to read a 300 page rulebook. Using the tips in this article, you can probably create a one-page system in about an hour.

Now, we are not trying to write a new system from scratch. Rather, we are taking another system and adapting or condensing [...]

D&D: Hoard of the Dragon Queen Character Creation

I'm...really blogging about my next campaign, a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It's been about a decade since I ran D&D in any incarnation, and longer since I've done it with any enthusiasm...but I am genuinely looking forward to Saturday and giving this a go.

Warning...some spoilers below.
My friend Tommy has some experience with AD&D2e, D&D 3.5, the D&D Adventure System Board Games and D&D fiction (specifically the Drizzt books).

My friend Russ played in a one off D&D game with his girlfriend in between his first game (Dragon Age) and our Deadlands campaign.
Chrystal, Russ' girlfriend, has [...]

Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v2.6

There were quite a few complications over the last couple of weeks, but it looks like things are finally on track! Mostly extensions on what was covered a couple of weeks ago, but progress is progress.

Patch Notes
  • Implemented roughly 75% of all enemy animations and flavour text.
  • Fixed a few incorrectly assigned abilities.
  • Upgraded my computer, software, and switched to SNES9x for bug testing.
  • Created redundant back-ups of all Unearthed files.
General Notes

Not a whole lot of exciting information this week, but game development marches on. I'm still aiming for end-of-September for completion of the game's abilities, and shortly after that I'll be putting enemies [...]

Kick The Box September 1st 2014 Edition

Kick The Box Sept. 1st Edition

I hope everyone that celebrates Labor or Labour Day had a great gaming one! Also, hope everyone else had an amazing Monday as well. This week’s Kick The Box features a war between France and Britain, another war between the Creation and Death, some high altitude steam punk heisting, and music to go along with it.

Kickstarter News: I,Spyis very close to funding. At the time of writing, they only need a little over $1,000 to hit their funding goal with two days left in their campaign.New Salemis also almost funded. They still have a couple weeks [...]

Blades Against Death - Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

Before I jump into tonight's Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure, I just want to recommend that you check out Bryce Lynch's scathing review of Hoard of the Dragon Queen for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. While I do not agree with everything he says, I like his reviews because he just puts it right out there and is pretty insightful. The poor guy is suffering through each of those wordy 2e Dungeon Magazines, and it's not like he gets paid. I'd be crabby too.

Last week I was able to inject life into my mighty World Tour Dungeon Crawl Classics [...]

And I'm back!

I’ve returned from my business trip to Singapore last Saturday night, but with a few social obligations and my Wedding Anniversary yesterday I’m only really beginning to settle in to the old routine just now. Apologies for those left waiting for the rest of the Let’s Study series for The Strange, but I’ll get back to that shortly once I have all my ducks in a row.

In other good news, I was able to get a copy of the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook courtesy of my brother, who flew in from Australia on vacation. He was able to find [...]

#RPGaDAY -- Catch Up (Days 25-31)

And here's the last of it.  There's a reason why I've avoided monthly challenges and it's largely to do with that fact that I don't have the time and energy to blog every day.  Or rather, if I did, I would need to learn to be a LOT more concise in my posts.  Thanks for reading and following nonetheless.  ;)

25. Favorite RPG no one else wants to play
26. Coolest Character Sheet
27. Game you'd like to see a new / improved edition of
28. Scariest game you've played
29. Most memorable encounter
30. Rarest RPG owned

Phandelver, Session #1.5 -- In Which I Try But Fail to Resist the Urge to Use the Title "Delving Phandelver"

Well, it’s at least a month and a half after the first posts about people’s first experiences with this adventurestarted …

Continue reading →

Request for Assistance -- Dropbox Referrals

This is just a naked plea for assistance: I need additional space in my Dropbox account and I can get it if 30 people who don’t currently use Dropbox to follow this referral link, set up a Dropbox account, and install their app:


Once you’ve done that, you can delete the app if you’d like.

Dropbox accounts are pretty nifty, though, if you use multiple devices. I use mine to maintain a library of RPG reference material and prep material so that I can access the rulebooks and scenario materials for my current campaign regardless of whether I’m on my computer, my [...]

We Just Finished Recording Episode 2 of the Tenkar & The Badger Podcast with Harley Stroh - Holy Sh!t

About an hour ago we ( +Jason Paul McCartan and myself) just finished recording the latest episode of the Tenkar & The Badger with +Harley Stroh .

Holy shit doesn't come close to covering it.

We stayed on topic and totally off any format we had intended to stay upon. Basically, it was a sandboxed podcast.

Personally, I can't thank +Harley Stroh enough for joining us tonight and yes, we will definitely have him back.

I'm still drinking some black & tans to bring myself down to a comfortable state after the highs we legally hit with Harley ;)

Daily Punch 8-29-14 Nimble feat for DnD Next

How about some extra for those characters who only wear light armor?




You are built for speed, so you are built to get out of the way of an attack! Gain the following benefits:

  • Gain +1 to dexterity, to a maximum of 20.
  • Add your proficiency bonus to your AC while you are wearing light or no armor. This stacks with any other effect that adds to your AC.



Pathfinder Human Ethnicities

A friend sent out a note on human ethnicities for Pathfinder to figure out and flesh out our characters. I tend to play Cheliax or Taldane humans and now I know which is which for role play and background. I Alidor games, humans are mainly American meaning they are North Africans, Arabs, Germanic Barbarians, Southern Africans, Native Americans Asians, Roamny gypsies, Indians, Nords, British and Roman mostly from NY or in my home game from the great city of Alidor; ethnicities in Alidor are whatever the player wants and I build story line with the players input on how the [...]

Daily Punch 8-28-14 Armor Specialization feat for DnD Next

How about some love for armor in DnD Next/5e?


Armor Specialization

You’re just better at the armor you wear. Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your strength, dexterity, or constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Increase the bonus you get from any worn armor by 2.




Free download of the second RPG ever made.

Apparently it wasn’t Empire of the Petal Throne or Tunnels & Trolls.

You get children by killing enough monsters, and daughters are a punishment, but I suppose it could have been worse.


The Sound of Carnage--Ambient Music for Role-Playing Games

A couple of companies at Gencon had sound effect software/music on offer specifically for role-playing games. Sound effects are something I never tried on my RPG table, so I thought I should check out two Gencon offerings and one source that I found independently. These offerings range from mixing board applications, standard MP3 sound effects and themed music.


Eclipse Game Lab

EGL wins the “most realistic” prize with their “Caverns and Dungeon” MP3 set. This group of sound engineers took a pile of expensive sound equipment into some active caves and spent hours recording the ambient noise.

This set of six [...]

Map: The Hotflats

This map is meant for the stories from my homebrew setting and for my upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG campaign. No scale is given. This is intentional. The character who "made" the map would only have a vague notion of locations and landmarks that he has never visited, since he lives in a pseudo-medieval setting.

Even along Mohrdeo's Way, where distances should be easily measured, the many of the milestones from the Golden Age of the Empire have gone missing.

The map actually less vague than I would have liked. Neither readers nor players shouldn't know the [...]

Cryx Monday: The Necrotech

Another goodies from the Cincycon mega-lot. This necrotech is an interesting figure. The sculpt is good and it paints up real nice.


Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition
The new edition of dungeons and dragons is making its way to gaming tables everywhere. As with many, I was skeptical but optimistic that the game I cut my gaming teeth on would once again be played at my table.
I started with the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I was the GM for my group through the second edition (after a while we just mixed and matched books of both 1st and 2nd) and into the very early stages of the 3rd edition of the game, but stopped playing it well [...]

Webcomic for the Week of 9/1/14

What's black and white and red (and a little yellow) all over? This week's Army Ants webcomic, of course!

Crime & Punishment -- D&D/13th Age

In my first session DMing Encounters, I had a relatively new RPG player pick-pocket a major NPC. The NPC was the mayor of a large town and as I prepared to deal with that resultant dice rolls, I found myself quickly wondering, “How am I going to punish this guy if he gets caught?!” Committing a crime (and getting caught) is a situation that many a player will do with little thought to the repercussions. Here’s a short guideline of how to handle your criminal PCs.

Crime Punishment Arson Heavy Fine + Imprisonment, Hard Labor Assault Imprisonment + Hard Labor Breaking and Entering Imprisonment + Potential Flogging Corruption Imprisonment + [...]

Happy Labor Day!

What game should you play on Labor Day? One where you
herd sheep, chop down wood, & build settlements of course!Labor Day is a strange holiday. Held on the first Monday of September in the United States, Labor Day is supposed to be a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. However, most use it as an opportunity to have one last hoorah before the school year really kicks into full gear and the summer season ends.

With that in mind, I'd like to wish everyone a happy Labor [...]

"Reynard's Cave" (Aug 201 RPG Blog Carnival)

Well, it's the evening of the 31st, and I told myself that I'd post up an entry for this month's RPGBA Blog Carnival theme, 'Devious Dungeons.' So I worked up, and revised, a mini-dungeon I had been noodling around with...

Grymvald Gazetteer always has a good find regarding history and archaeology.  His recent blog entry on a discovery of a small cache of Roman and Iron Age coins in a cave in north-central England is good imagination fuel.  Although the cache is 'only' 26 coins, it has potential for being a good lead-in or adventure seed.

I'm all about [...]

Classic D&D Walkthrough Prints Now Available For Pre-Order

I'm sure many of you have seen and enjoyed the classic D&D module walkthrough maps posted over at Wizards of the Coast. Well now pre-orders for prints of those amazing works are now being taken over at Mockman Press!

The prints cover many of the classic module maps, all drawn up in an amusing cartoon-like manner. All of the major encounters are noted, and the detail is amazing on each one. The adventures illustrated include:

  • Tomb of Horrors
  • White Plume Mountain
  • Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
  • Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
  • Slave Pits of the Undercity
  • The Isle of Dread
  • Ravenloft

The smallest of the [...]

#RPGADAY: Most Memorable Encounter

The most memorable campaign I ever ran was A Sundered World, which was also my last full-on 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign (though, I'd like to change that). Overall I'd say that the campaign had a lot of high points, but I managed to whittle them down to two choices. I'll let you be the judge.
The first encounter would be when the party actually fought Autocthon (what I have since renamed as Antikythera). The players had traveled to Moradin's Forge looking for a weapon to use against the fomorians on the Feywild, and ideally something that would help them fight off [...]

DM Talk 03


The PHB took a leisurely route to my home via Amazon, so Glennish and I have a leisurely talk about its contents

DM Talk 3

Cybelle and the Cold Desert [Mini-Map Monday]

I've had a really busy and tiring couple of weeks with my day job, so I've kind of let the maps slack. I'm going to make that up to you this week with two maps, as well some actual background details on their contents. I recently dove into Monte Cook's Numenera. I needed an interesting starting area, so I started to develop a small section of Matheunis the Cold Desert, out in the Beyond.

Round Table 32 -- Sexual Harassment at the Table

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.

PARENTAL/TRIGGER WARNING: Just a quick heads up to our listeners, this podcast discusses topics of a sexual harassment, abuse of DM power, and other subjects of an adult nature and may not be appropriate for children.

Isit down withTracy Hurley, Liz Larsen, and Barak Blackburn to discuss a recentVicearticleand the history of sexual and gender harassment in tabletop RPGs. This podcast was recorded on August 6, 2014.




If you like what you're reading please follow me on Twitter, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and [...]

#RPGaDAY 29 - 31

Most memorable encounter?  For several months, my best friend, Mark M. ran a Champions game with just 3 players (a small group for us).  But he eventually decided to open the game up to the full group (I think it grew to like 10 players), but to cap off the switch he had us fight against a being who destroyed our universe and when we woke up it was a brave new world, one we didn't quite have memories of.  It was excellent and one of many ways I've enjoyed Mark's tenure as a GM.

Rarest RPG owned?  The [...]

Primeval Thule: Golden Sea Corsair for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.

Golden Sea Corsair 
Skill Proficiencies (1st level): You are Proficient in Athletics, Intimidation, and Nature.

Langauges (1st level): Choose any one.

Project Cassandra Draft 1

After quite a bit of work and tinkering with the game that’s included more than one rewrite of the system Project Cassandra is finally at a stage where I’m happy to put it out there as a fairly complete document that includes both full rules and mostly complete characters. At this point the core game is, I hope, there and the rest of the work consists of editing, layout and getting some artwork together. Then finally try and spread the word about the game, while just being able to say I’ve written a game was my real goal it would [...]

The King is Dead: Ananzi's Web

Olaudah EquianoAnanzi's WebAbolitionist and spies
"Ananzi the Spider is a weak creature, but a powerful hunter.  With its webs of silk, it can catch prey much larger than itself.  With its webs of words, Ananzi also caught all knowledge, tricking the lion and the elephant out of their secrets and teaching them to humankind.  When the foreigners came to the shores of Afar and stole its children, Ananzi's knowledge traveled with them to the new lands across the sea..."Anonymous, Ananzi's Creed
When Malleus and its Ereban rivals began their conquest of the Caliban Sea and the Atlantikan continents, they brought [...]

Classroom Activity: Student GMs

Tomorrow is the first day of school and I'm still busily planning lessons for my brand new Adventure Games class. I've had full support from my administrative team and they've even developed a short affinity survey to gauge the interests of our students and to help the teachers of my grade-level team place our kids in the areas where academic needs and individual interests best align. This kind of thinking is really setting me up to win!

Today I'm thinking about ...
Unit Three: Managing a Game
Key Objective: Students will begin to develop proficiency as the [...]

[map] Kallmark

Kallmark, a harsh land with long, cold winters and short, cool summers. Mostly stubborn humans and easygoing dwarves inhabit the settlements, with the occasional tiefling and stray hobbit. Kallmark is not the place to live if your hobbies are heraldry and celebrity spotting. On the other hand, if you don’t mind subsisting on taiga onions, […]

[map] Bandit hideout

Every area has one. It had been a particularly fruitful year for Jack deWeez and his gang, robbing travelers along the road through Felltimber woods. But after stripping so many plump merchants of their belongings, word eventually got out among bandits in the neighboring areas. Soon, a sizable gang led by the feared Gary Gutgutter […]

[map] Thrice Keep

Depending on who you ask, the origin of the Thrice Keep’s name will vary. Geographers will point to the three sharp crags with their respective towers and explain that “thrice” is obviously a reference to the number of structures. The local residents of Thriceborough, the village situated in the shadow of Thrice Keep, will tell […]

GM Games August Sales Report: A Nod to the Artists

July 22nd saw the release of The Manor #7.  The great thing about this issue is I got to meet and work with several people I'd never met before or hadn't spoken to before.  I mean +Jim Magnusson comes out of nowhere and just kicks ass all over the place with his creepy cover and fantastic interior art.  Then I meet +Jarrod Shaw, again out of nowhere, and he provides me with the coyote and mind flayer picture.  Both them were great to work.  I threw them out generic ideas and they ran with them and produced some amazing stuff. [...]

Wooren - Heavily Furred, Strong Armed, Noble Savage

Last, at least for now, of my Star Wars bastardization for my planned game; Wooren are rip-offs of Wookies. These are tree climbing, bow using hippies that want to be left alone but will get involved in a greater cause if the shared threat is significant enough.

Wooren                              CR 3NG Monstrous humanoid (Jungle & Desert)Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.
AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10 hp 19 (3d8+3)Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +1
Speed 30 ft.Melee: Bow +3 (1d8+3) or [...]

Why the Gem of the Flanaess?

A long while back there was a discussion in our weekly Greyhawk chats about the Azure Sea and that sparked an esoteric question in my head which I thought better explored in length here: Why the Gem of the Flanaess?

For those not intimately familiar with the setting, the Gem of the Flanaess is the nickname of the Free City of Greyhawk, the literal central focus and namesake of the World of Greyhawk. The City of Greyhawk Boxed Set addresses this exact question in the opening chapter of its gazetteer. Put another way, why is Greyhawk so important in the world [...]

What makes a good dungeon?

Last night in Pathfinder my players stumbled across a building that was pretty much a large office complex. GM's familiar with the module Burnt Offerings might have an inkling as to which building I'm talking about - but if you're a players who hasn't played it, here be some very minor spoilers. Anyway, this office building was chock full of rooms. Loads of rooms within rooms, short corridors and doors everywhere. However, there was only one room where the enemies were. As written, there were about 18 rooms full of nothing. The players slogged through the complex the long [...]

The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen

The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen is one of the most entertaining adventures I've read in a while. It's an upper level osr adventure (10-14) that has an amazing sense of style and humor. The party is captured by the aforementioned vampire queen and must fight their way to freedom for her enjoyment. I have to say the introductory scene with the queen is one of my favorite npc intros ever. The adventure contains many memorable encounters and a great sense of humor.

The adventure was written for OSRIC, but I believe I'm going to run [...]

Episode Four of Mike attempts to reclaim a Dwarf Fortress!

Episode 4! Can I get my new cistern working before winter sets in and the rivers freeze? Will I get enough food to last the cold season? Will my Expedition Leader stop farting about doing stupid things to actually do his job? All this and more!

Latest Word On The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Adventures Kickstarter On The Dark Corner Blog

 Want to know the latest Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system adventure news? What treasures are coming from North Wind Adventures?
We've got all the latest right over on the Dark Corner blog right
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