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The Lonely Coast -- The Shadowed Keep On The Borderlands -- Session 1

Session 9 (15/09/14) For the second adventure in our Lonely Coast campaign I turned once again to Raging Swan. This …

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After the Rain ep14 : Houses of the Blooded

After the Rain

Episode Fourteen
"Wine and Cookies"

In the Wilderness.
The Airship created by Haroun sails over the vast landscape. Nia Jalan and Jaric Thayl whisper in private about how many had fallen from the airship during the journey back before the others were finally permitted to climb onboard.   Those who had been allowed on board hide any signs or hints of ill will towards the ones formerly called the Ork Ven. By the end of the first Season of traveling, the Airship reaches familiar land:  the home estate of Nia Jalan's parents.   [...]

Meet 61, Adv 4, 9/13/14

We had a change of people at the table after not playing for 22 weeks and that meant the roster of characters also changed as well. So we had three new characters get introduced and had to weave them into the story and game accordingly.

I am not one of those DM's that says what you can and can't play - as long as you understand that your unique snowflake might not fit in to the rest of the world/group/setting - and will have to suffer through it accordingly. So I have a new player who rolls up his [...]

Monday Gunday: Rewarding Good Customer Service

Given Linoge's recent (and, sadly, not-so-recent) problems with Remington customer service, I felt it incumbent upon me to recognize exemplary customer service when I see it.

Two weeks ago I was at the range with my Sub-2000, re-zeroing my red dot sight after removing the rail system and replacing it with one from Red Lion Precision  (a review of which will be forthcoming) when I went to load another magazine and discovered that my cocking handle had just... disappeared. Subsequent investigation discovered it slightly downrage with all the ejected brass.

This in itself was not too surprising, [...]

Warlock's Journal September Voting Deadline

  As explained previously, the latest home for the blog-hopping Warlock’s Journal Contest is with Vicki at Tabletop Adventures.   Vicki is running a contest to design a location for pirates. The deadline for entries has passed, and the voting window is closing SOON. There were an amazing 18 entries, so the voting pdf is …

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Writing Competition -- Assassinate Margaret Thatcher

This is a short story competition for witters of any level of expertise and the aim is to write a short story with a common theme: Assassinate Margaret Thatcher. That simple. Recently I got news of this article in The Independent. In a nutshell, prestigious -- and incredibly talented -- writer Hilary Martel came under [...]

The post Writing Competition – Assassinate Margaret Thatcher appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Gategully Episode 15

I build some new, single-crop farms to help my poor brain cope with what’s getting grown when, and I try – again – to finally put my poor drowned Dwarf to rest.

Full playlist here!

Advice for the Lapsed Gamer

+Erik Tenkar  over at his eponymous Tavern is starting a series on "OSR for the Lapsed Gamer" which is basically advice for people that have left the game and are now coming back.


This is a great thing.  I was just helping out someone this past weekend that wasn't really lapsed, but had no idea what to do with the OSR.

Looking forward to seeing what all he does with this.

An interesting breakdown of Christine Sommer's video on gaming

I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff being said about Sommers lately, calling her shit, calling her a liar, calling her a misogynist, etc., so I found this to be a pretty interesting breakdown and fact-check of who she is and what she said in her video response to the #gamergate.


Magic Item Monday (Banlan Backlash!): Revenant Grenade

  Revenant Grenade Aura strong conjuration; CL 8th Slot none; Price 5,600; Weight 6 lbs. DESCRIPTION These delicate pellets of alligotonium are encased in a fragile glass sphere, gently convulsing as if some unknown horror was trying to free itself. The globe is attached to a gyroscopic mechanism to prevent agitation from external sources. […]

The post Magic Item Monday (Banlan Backlash!): Revenant Grenade appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

HardNova ][ Revised & Expanded

Let’s face it gamers don’t like change. We get into ruts whether its our favorite rules system or genre. So it’s nice to mix things [...]

How RPGs Helped Me Land My New Job

It’s an unfortunate fact, but being a game designer doesn’t always pay the bills. In fact, it doesn’t pay many bills other than the dinner bill a few times per month, in some cases.With a brand new baby and mounting monthly expenses, I recently found myself in need of a day job. I found a position at a cal center for a major American bank, and with reluctance submitted my first resume in several years.

Three weeks later, I showed up for my first day of training.

I couldn’t believe how smooth this process went compared to the last day job I [...]

Thornwatch for 5e D&D

I’m a huge fan of Thornwatch from Penny Arcade. You can read The Tithe here. Mike is working on designing a full RPG card game for it, and as I was looking at it, I realized you could easily play adventures in the Eyrewood with 5e, playing as Thornwatch characters. There are a ton of great pieces of fan art out there for you to peruse. 5th Edition lends itself to a grim campaign deep [...]

Online Account Security through Two-Factor Authentication

Wait, this is a gaming site, why talk about online security? Well, over the past few months, there have been a number of hacking attempts of people in the gaming community, whether it's indie video game developers like Zoe Quinn or tabletop RPG designers like David Hill. Given this atmosphere, it doesn't hurt to shore up security where one can, especially passwords. One of my friends recently posted with questions on how to do this and I thought I'd write up what I did. This is meant to be an introduction to these concepts and as such, is not meant [...]

Into the City: Map 4

This one took a little longer to complete than I had planned - but it's finally ready for release, and so I give you...

Like all of the other maps in the 'Into the City' range, this map-pack includes:
  • A pdf booklet containing a labelled map of each level of the building.
  • An unlabelled jpeg image of each level (scaled at 100 pixels per grid square) - suitable for use with VTTs.
  • A miniatures scaled battlemap of each level.
  - an example of how one of the 'battlemaps' goes together -
Into the City: Map 4 is available for $1.50 [...]

Undead revisited

Although DARK*HERITAGE is, of course, a setting that purposefully eschews some of the standard conventions of fantasy, it doesn't abandon them completely, and there are a few that I really like and can't help but put in place.  A lot of these come from D&D which makes sense since my setting is an evolved cadet line of D&D, if you will, in the first place.  I'm also a fan of a lot of the stuff found in Warhammer (as a setting) however, as well as stuff found in Iron Kingdoms.

I stumbled into a game store on Friday afternoon--the [...]

[Review] The Undercroft zine #2

Hear me out. If you like weird fantasy, horror and/or Lamentations of the Flame Princess you should not waste your time here reading this review. The time you spend reading this review you could spend reading The Undercroft issue 2. You'll get it from HERE in print and PDF. Now go.
You are still here? Alright. Either I was not convincing or you really want to hear what I have to say.
For first, look at the cover to the left. It is fucking sweet! +Cdric Plante is a guy I found in G+ and have been following him. He is a [...]

Frightful Fridays! (Manic Monsterdays) Siege Scorpion

Welcome to a laaate installment of Frightful Fridays! A siege scorpion is a not-so-mindless, yet still immune to mind-affecting effects, vermin-like creature, so their one-time masters had to train them somehow, but that knowledge has been lost to time. Most likely characters will encounter a scorpion as it lays siege to a castle or other fortification.


I hope you enjoy the siege scorpion, and I will be back in four days with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

This fun little monster can be found here.


This massive scorpion has a dark carapace with a dull metallic appearance. Its gigantic claws look like [...]

Armor Up (Knights)

Movie Trailer ~ A Walk Among the Tombstones

Math Makes Brain Hurt


Over the weekend I acquired the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Monster Manual... which I desperately needed for my conversion of "The Coming Dark, Chapter One" to 5th Edition.

I have to say, even if you aren't a DM, I highly recommend you get your hands on it. It's a beautiful book and is chock full of lore and other tidbits of information on all your favorite monsters. You may not be analyzing each stat block in vivid detail, but you can enjoy it nonetheless.

Needless to say, converting TCD has been... difficult. The campaign has existed in one way or another [...]

Dang Romans

They got around for sure!

Archeologists found the remains of an ancient fort in Hesse Germany. The fort quartered about 500 troops with their families living on the outside. Not much is known about this region during this time, but probably the village around the fort turned into a more permanent village that lasted for several hundred years.

Then everyone bailed on it.

The above was not the fort  . . . . well it might of been, what the heck do I know!?

Music from Season 4 Walking Dead

This piece begins one of the later episodes in the 4th Season of the Walking Dead. It begins the story of Bob Stookey, a new character. Its a powerful episode. Watch it if you can.

Here's the piece:

Gaming Miscellany: D&D 5e, WHFB3e, and a New Player.

Sunday was a good day.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3e
I ran Ambush on the Hotflats for 4 players, using Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3e, adapted for a skirmish game.

The game itself went well. It was decsive Hazahdian victory, however. But the players were already talking about the next game.

One liked the background of his warband so much he wanted to play them again. I'll have an official battle report later this week with plenty of pictures.

New Player
One of them had never played a miniature wargame before. So it was a treat getting him [...]

Valley of the Sapphire Waves

Many moons ago I was talking with a guy online who claimed that, by the year 2017, computer games would exist which would allow GMs to create off the cuff in real-time just like they can currently do at the table. And I said, “Bullshit.” (For obvious reasons.) In the process of calling bullshit, however, I ended up creating an example of off-the-cuff design that would be virtually impossible to replicate in a computer game engine even with procedural content generators vastly superior to anything we have available to us today.

It’s nothing particularly spectacular, but it’s got a few touches [...]

Brain in a Jar familiar

This morning I read the following tweet by Insane Angel Studios and thought it was great:   
With Halloween around the corner the idea of some necromancer or warlock with a brain in a jar familiar really inspired me. Below is the find familiar spell from the current 5E Player's Handbook. I like this new iteration of the spell and think its generic enough that there is plenty of wiggle room for a fun home brew tweak.

Find Familiar
1st-level conjuration (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (10 gp worth of charcoal, incense, [...]

Free GM Resource: The Mad Irishman PC Sheets

This week's Free GM Resource is a few large huge collection of custom PC/Game sheets from Patrick Murphy (AKA the Mad Irishman). Now he doesn't have any HackMaster sheets listed, but if you need that for the current edition I already have you covered.

Holy crap there are a lot of sheets. I started looking at the lengthy list in the menu and soon discovered that isn't an exhaustive list.....it is just a list of systems he has sheets for.

For example, if you check out the 1st Edition AD&D sheet, it is actually a collection of seven [...]

Tarrasque Takedown... To Be Continued...

Thanks to everyone who checked out the The Tome Show Presents The Round Table’s Tarrasque Takedown 2014: Mike Shea Out for Blood. I apologize for technical difficulties which had us start a few minutes late, but it was a blast! We didn’t get to finish our battles, since one of the things we learned about high-level combat is that it takes a while. There will be a continuation and for those who missed it, there’s a YouTubevideo below and it will be released as a podcast on The Tome Show’s website eventually.

We did get our butts kicked by the Tarrasque, [...]

It's Hobbit Day

According to the Tolkien Fanboys today is Hobbit Day. So have yourself some breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. Even if [...]

RPT Gems #4

Six Word Stories Need some inspiration? This site features members writing story ideas in just six words. When you add restrictions, you get more creative. That’s why a blank sheet of paper is more terrifying than trying to encapsulate a story seed in six words. I suggest hitting specific categories, such as Crime or Sci-Fi. […]

The post RPT Gems #4 appeared first on Roleplaying Tips.

Round Table 35 -- Dungeon Master's Guide Release and Monster Mash

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

I sit down with Alex Basso and Round Table newbieJohn Fischerto talk about theDungeon Master’s Guide’srelease being pushed backand a whole bunch of previews from the upcomingMonster Manual. This podcast was recorded on September 18, 2014.


Intellect Devourer



Umber Hulk

Bone Devil


Rust Monster



If you like what you're reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcast Gamer to Gamer, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!



Thatch and Confusion -- creating a village

Despite many articles in development, today I’m choosing to scratch a pure fantasy-gaming itch that’s been growing for a while. Specifically, I’m going to look at how I go about creating a village for an RPG. There are some aspects of the process I employ that I’ve never seen written up anywhere else – whether […]

1d10 Random Deep Post Apocalyptic Finds Table Inspired By Cult Television Shows For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

There are times when PC's will find out in the wasteland items that have come from other Times And places. Pieces from battles from long past that have journeyed through the dimensional gates to pierce the vale between worlds.
Many of these treasures  come with their own unique prices but all will keep your mutant adventurers and wanderers guessing.

1d10 Random Deep Post Apocalyptic Finds
Table Inspired By Cult  Films & Television Shows  Table 
  1. One black finely wrought staff with carvings all across its surface. The staff gives off an aura of evil and malevolence but otherwise functions [...]

Underdark Campaign Log #17

This post has been a long time coming. I've actually been a few weeks behind on posting campaign logs, so this week I'll be posting two in order to get caught back up. Cast: More of Jake's artworkhere. Blue, Human Fighter (Jake) Rurik, Dwarf Barbarian (Stetson) Mercy, Half-Orc Ranger (Jammie) Temerith, Tiefling Wizard (Andrew) Himo, Drow Fighter/Cleric (James) Rasa, Nagaji Cleric (

Some things for the party to spend their newfound wealth on

I asked my players to give me some idea of what they’d actually like to do or buy in town so I can work with them, but only one player responded. So, I’m going to come up with something that will, even outside of his class, give him the AC boost that he’s asked for. Meantime, i’ve had to come up with a handful of things to hopefully interest the players. They’ll have to pool their money if they want the Bone-staff, but I kind of hope they do, because it would be a really cool and fun toy.

Bone-staff of [...]

Have to giggle at myself sometimes

So, I published Zine-O-Morph #1 on Friday, and it bolted out of the start gate with a good handful of sales right off the bat. And for most of Saturday, it sat at #3 on RPGNow's "Hottest Titles" featured at the top of their front page, and at #4 on their "Hottest Small Press" for a time too. I got all excited and giddy.

Then I saw on Google+ that Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor had put up a flash review with some glowing praise. That made me grin. Tim put out one of the best fanzine out, and [...]

Quick Note - Assault on the Southern Horn 5Next Edition Release

Yesterday I finished up and released the 5th Edition version of Assault on the Southern Horn yesterday. I did a soft announcement over G+ but now, as the printer is deciding if I can have a print version, I state it here with some more information.
The fifth edition version of the adventure is still stated for players of the 3rd through 6th level and should take one to two short or one long sessions to complete. New features added to the 5th Edition are as follows:
New Monsters for 5e - Gliding Frog, Lesser Pseudomorph, Ragmen, Thelidu, and UnseelieNew [...]

D&D 5E Players Handbook

The core of Dungeons and Dragons has always been three books, The first and most important is the Player's Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons). The other two are the Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D Core Rulebook) and the Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook) . I recently came into a copy of the Player's Handbook for 5E and a couple other books that shall get reviewed over the next week. Lets dig into what may be the most interesting development for the Dungeon and Dragons franchise in the past decade.

On the basis of appearance the book is beautiful. It is a hardcover book with very strong binding. The book has heft and feels like a grimoire of absolute nerdness. The interior is filled with amazing artwork and it is obvious that they went all out in the manufacture of this book. Flipping through the pages I noted that the layout was not unlike other editions. Quickly notes to help you understand specifics abound throughout the entire book. The classes on first glance look easy to understand and the section on spells is very dense and complete.

The book seems rules heavy but that is an illusion. The actual mechanics of the game are boiled down to just 27 pages. While this is great for old dogs like me, I think it may hurt the new player coming to Dungeons and Dragons. because many of the rules seem to be implied but not detailed. Perhaps these rules will be better fleshed out int he DMG. I understand that the starter set cover some of my concerns but that is not one of the core books so it might get missed by new players. The rules cover nearly everything you might need to play the game. You get things like how to make a character, how [...]

Suli Bryghton for 5e

Suli is one of my favorite characters.  She was part of +Steve J game, one of the few games I actually got to play in.  Unfortunately I am in Japan at the moment and I dont have with me the only copy of the character and basically her henchmen, Left and Margo Trapman.  So, I am trying to recreate it from scratch.

One of Suli's greatest achievements was the slaying a red dragon, basically by herself.  I told the party that I had the dragon, a week before the game.  The rest of the players did not believe me as [...]

All aboard the Railroading Express or Story-boarding: A GM's friend and duty.

I’m currently running “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” at my local game emporium and as many have already realized with this adventure, there is a lot of “open-endedness” to much of the content. RPGs by their nature have an unpredictable nature to them that makes every single session different. It’s similar to a sporting event; the rules are in place but one never knows where the ball is going to bounce or who is going to step up and make a big play. Every group of players going through this adventure will have a different experience based on the GM’s [...]

The Game with No Name Math Trade at Carnage

I am pleased to hear that Matt Golec hasagain stepped up to coordinate the no-ship math trade at Carnage this year. He’s done the legwork the last four years, and every year the selection of games gets wider and more appealing. The math trade’s a little funny in that the hot and heavy part comes before the convention ever happens, when everyone fills out their want lists, then anxiously waits for the news of how the algorithm determines who trades what. During the convention itself, it’s a pretty sedate “pick up what you scored, drop off what you traded away.”

One [...]

Angry Rants: Orphans

You know what really pisses me off? Orphans. I can't stand orphans. When I see an orphan, I just want them to die horribly in some terrible accident... you know what? That didn't come out right.

You know what really pisses me off? Orphan player-characters. Characters with no family, no friends, no attachments, no anything. You know what I mean, the characters who don’t have anything or anyone in the world that they give a crap about. Now, you might think I'm the mean-spirited sort of DM who just wants some NPCs in the world I can paint big red bulls-eyes [...]

Adventure Maximus! : Reviewed and a Basic Idea for Solo Play

Adventure Maximus! got its first outing last week (it's part of my 10 games, 10x challenge). If you're not familiar with the game, it's a card based RPG, designed for kids. I backed the Kickstarter awhile back and only recently gave the rules the once over before deciding to bring [...]

The 50000 Foot View, Part 2

Last week in part 1 we talked about a few of the broad brush strokes of the campaign. Let’s keep going on that front…

  • The Far East — the Jade Empire and its Rainbow Court. This was the least fleshed out by me for my original campaigns, but it was envisioned to bring classic Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian themes to the fore. I envisioned they had similar problems that the “Roman” Empire did with their own twists. They had diplomatic relations to the other Nations and Free Cities, but were largely at peace with them all. (Aided by the fact [...]

Monster Monday-Glass Dragon

“The passage continues here,” Tarik called to the others.

“Still no sign of the treasure,” Alek muttered.

“Or of the beast,” Zahir added.

“Well, if one’s a mere rumor, then the other is too. Stay sharp.”

Tarik started as a rushing sound like wind filled the cave ahead. A ghostly form, with eyes like pricks of sunlight, had appeared before them. The beast!He could scarcely brace himself before a flash of light blinded him.

The wind rushed toward him and bit like knives in the darkness. He flailed his club but met nothing.

Mind Weave Dragons are greedy [...]

Round Table 35 - Dungeon Master's Guide Release and Monster Mash

Round Table 35 - Dungeon Master's Guide Release and Monster Mash
James Introcasosits down with Alex Basso and Round Table newbieJohn Fischerto talk about theDungeon Master's Guide'srelease being pushed backand a whole bunch of previews from the upcomingMonster Manual. This podcast was recorded on September 18, 2014.
Links: worldbuilderblog.me Intellect Devourer Kobold Golems Umber Hulk Bone Devil Sphinx Rust Monster Manticore Thri-Kreen
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Bounded Accuracy in MyM20 doc

I am not updating the MyM20.pdf file at this time.  However... if I do at some point decide to do so, it will roll from 1.1.6 to 1.2 due to this change, which although somewhat small in nature would also be fundamental in impact.  So for today, all I'm doing is noodling with the concept of how I might implement it, rather than actually doing so.

The biggest single change I have to make--or at least by far the most work to implement--is reworking the monster list so that it is geared towards a bounded accuracy paradigm.

You may [...]

Game Props Part 5: Files & Photos

I've been working on a modern Esoterrorists game for when I meet up with the guys at Con on the Cob.  Some under the table gaming.  Last night when I was working on the adventure, I thought about how many more props you can use in a modern setting. 

First off, since my adventure is more of procedural there will be several folks to speak with and places to investigate.  One of the first things I needed to do was after figuring out the adventure was to develop a file.  It's easy enough to grab forms off the internet [...]

Media News Monday - Pratt on SNL, Frost on Doctor Who, & Gaiman Goings-On

This Saturday, on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Chris Pratt will host, so expect some Guardians of the Galaxy bits and a Parks and Recreation sketch.  I wonder if SNL alum Amy Poehler to make an appearance.  Read more here on the Nerdist website.

Meanwhile, Nick Frost is set to show up on the Doctor Who Christmas special this year, reportedly among many other guests.  Read more here.

Finally, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and "Weird Al" Yankovic make sure that folks know that they "Read Banned Comics."  Read more about that here.  But also let [...]

On a Limited Chance

Just a heads up, the chance to get the Hack & Slash Compendium I for Pay What You Want ends next Monday. The print price will also increase then from 4.99 to 6.99. In addition I've put On the Non-Player Character on sale till then, at over 50% off!
50% off in Print at Lulu.
50% off in .pdf at Lulu.
50% off in .pdf at RPGnow. 

That's not all, I've updated a reference card with instructions on using On the Non-Player Character with 5th edition!

So if you're curious about a method of resolving social situations via [...]
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