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Story Locale (Wonders of NaeraCull): Mahanguan Pilgrimage Trail

Rising high into the sky, Mount Mahangua dominates the skyline of the Pirate Isles. The top of the volcano---at roughly 7,000 feet in elevation---is always in an active state. Lava gurgles in the crater, 1.4 miles across at its widest point. The very center is in a constant display of pyrotechnics, shooting flaming rocks hundreds […]

The post Story Locale (Wonders of NaeraCull): Mahanguan Pilgrimage Trail appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Ein Interview mit Tom Hillenbrand ber Drohnenland

Drohnenland von Tom Hillenbrand (Image: obskures.de)

Tom Hillenbrand. Vor Kurzem verffentlichte der Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch (KiWi) Drohnenland, den ersten Zukunftskrimi von Tom Hillenbrand. Auf Anfrage stimmte er freundlicherweise einem kurzen Interview zu.

Disclaimer: Den Roman habe ich mir gekauft. Zu seinem schwarmfinanzierten Rollenspielfachbuch Drachenvter, das er zusammen mit Konrad Lischka schrieb, fhrte ich bereits ein Interview mit Ihm. Ab und an twittern wir ein wenig hin und her. Darber hinaus gibt es keine Verbindungen.

Achtung! (Kleine) Spoiler und Nerdkram voraus!

Der Verstand ist oft die Quelle der Barbarei; ein berma an Verstand ist es immer.
- Giacomo Leopardi (Zitat aus Drohnenland)

Worum geht es [...]

No Level One Monsters

This is a new solution to an ongoing problem.

Years ago, I started developing “scope” as a form of quadratic development to complement linear character advancement.

That’s when I came up with the terms:
Personal, Local, Regional, Global, Planar, and Cosmic.

As part of that, I ranked nearly every monster from the D&D Monster Manual according to scope — whether a monster of that type represented a threat of a certain scope. I had to figure out how many people could be affected.

I associated each scope with a group of 3-5 exty people, as follows:
1-Personal 3-5
2-Local 300-500
3-Regional 30k-50k
…and so [...]

Setting Riff: Holothom -- The Short Version

OK so I doubt any of you care to slog through my old writings just for kicks, you are looking for something inspiring or useful that you might apply to your own game or world somehow.

So the original “setting riff” I suppose you could call it for Holothom boiled down to:

1) A bunch of primitive humans (“barbarians”) flee some war-zone and cross some big mountains into some apparently uninhabited lands.

2) The “uninhabited lands” are actually the ancient homelands of the demi-humans (who are either unknown or mythical in the rest of the world). Also full of humanoids and other monsters.

3) [...]

Some Thoughts on the Ten Games, Ten Times Challenge

I'm 22% into the 10 games, 10 times, challenge and I thought I should post an update, because I think the experience has already been worthwhile.

What I am finding, and it confirms what I think most of us already know, that multiple plays of a game help reinforce [...]

Daily Punch 7-22-14 Superior Mage Hand feat for DnD Next

I’ve been reading the Sundering and I saw a character do something amazing with her hair. She used it to grab weapons and beat the crap out of anyone who came at her. How about a feat to make that happen?

 

Superior Mage Hand

You’re a pinnacle of spell casting and you make even the simplest cantrips dodevastatingeffects

Prerequisite: Wizard with the mage hand cantrip

Benefit: Gain the following:

  1. Gain a +1 to intelligence to a maximum of 20.
  2. You may cast mage hand as a spell of any level. For each level you cast the spell above a cantrip, you gainan extra mage hand. The [...]

An unfinished game for you to mess with

For last year’s NaGaDeMon I worked on Galaxy Rising, a space opera roleplaying game. Alas I was never able to finish my work on it. But I thought some of you guys might still be interested in checking in out and doing stuff with it. Feel free to download it here.

I might pick up this project again in the future, so feel free to send me your feedback.

Armor Up (Elf)



D&D Encounters: Tyranny of Dragons Kit -- Preview

With the release of the new 5e Dungeons & Dragons comes a new look and feel to D&D public play. D&D Encounters as we know it is changing as it becomes part of the broader public play program known as the D&D Adventure League.

The first adventure in the Tyranny of Dragons story arc is Hoard of the Dragon Queen. The D&D Encounters adventure, which your FLGS can download for free, provides enough material to advance PCs from levels 1-4. The story continues for PCs of level 5 and above in the for-sale product of the same name, Hoard of the [...]

Will Myers and AdventureAWeek.com at the Colorado Conclave of Gamers this weekend!

It’s hard to believe that in my roughly 30 years of off-and-on gaming that I’ll be attending my first ever gaming convention on Friday, July 25th: the third annual Conclave of Gamers at the DIA Crowne Plaza Hotel in Denver, Colorado. I’ve been to other conventions before, but never to a gaming convention, and though […]

The post Will Myers and AdventureAWeek.com at the Colorado Conclave of Gamers this weekend! appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

A VERY Short Podcast on Fantasy Swords

Action for Sale

There is another Action Comics #1 going up for sale. The last one, owned by actor Nicholas Cage, sold for over 2 million, even with the slightly faded pages. This one is supposed to have only white pages. Its one of 34 of these comics known to exist, which is the reason it is so valuable. No fancy gold foil cover, no limited edition, no nothing like that. This is survival by chance. 34 o 200,000. These are small miracles. That's why they are valuable.


There is no date set yet for the [...]

Landing Rovers

Interesting news from the European Space Agency this week. Some time ago they launched the Tiger Initiative, a program designed to bring together leading minds from different fields in order to facilitate space exploration. The aim is to get a new, fresh, perspective on what to do going forward.
The latest development is a quadcopter drone. This drone would carry rovers from an orbiting planetary spaceship to the surface, and do it safely. Plus they can land them exactly where the ESA wants them to land.

The real problem is that these have to be autonomous vehicles. The time [...]

Seaward Campaign - Ursula's Diary Part 1

Real time:
Part 1, July 19
Je. plays Ursula, a hafling thief
J plays Hans, a hafling fighter
A plays Starfalcon, a half-elf ranger
S plays Blackstar, a human wizard
N plays Talnar, a human cleric

  Backstory: We are here in Timberlake, my cousin Hans and I. We came from our home in
Riverhearth, looking for adventure - he and I have always shared a certain wanderlust. After we
arrived in the city, we got to know Starfalcon, a half-elf ranger, and his human friends, Talnar the
cleric and Blackstar the wizard. We all want to explore the [...]

New Rules of Fantasy #1: Evil is a Choice

I'm bored with fantasy.

I love fantasy.

I'm torn regularly by what fantasy gaming has been to me and what it has not been to me; I anguish a bit about what fantasy gaming is and what it could be. Anybody who knows me knows I'm always full of these hopes and anxieties, negatives and positives waging war for my heart.

When I love something, I embrace it then run for the edges and boundaries: What if we did this? What about that? When I hate something, it ceases to exist: if you can get me to discuss it at all you'll [...]

Throwback Thursday - Don't Go to Jail AKA Monopoly Express (1991)

One game that has been played recently in local circles that was quickly analyzed and found too simple even for a fast game is Don't Go to Jail AKA Monopoly Express (1991).  It's a dice game with all too predictable and outcome, which seems a counter-intuitive statement but holds true.  Obviously, it is an attempt to spin off from the long-popular game Monopoly but aside from some window dressing really has nothing to do with that game.


The dice are set up in such a way that there is little reason not to go for a top score [...]

Kratos: Wait

The BatVan!

This is the Batvan. No doubt with an 8 track player and shag carpets!

Really, whatever else you see today, its not going to get any better than this.

Word of the Day -- Tyrannosaurus

Tyrannosaurus means "tyrant lizard," from Greek tyrannos () which means "tyrant," and sauros () which means "lizard") is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning "king" in Latin), commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is a fixture in popular culture. The T. rex lived throughout what is now western North America, which then was an island continent named Laramidia. Tyrannosaurus had a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 67 to 66 million years ago. It was among [...]

Two Things

This is just a quick post to mention two recent pirate-related developments. One is that the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise now has a release date: 7 July 2017. According to Wikipedia, the working subtitle for this entry is "Dead Men Tell No Tales."

http://blogs.disney.com/oh-my-disney/2014/07/23/pirates-of-the-caribbean-5-gets-a-release-date-savvy/

The other item is that the full first season of Black Sails is now available through iTunes.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/id891094596?i=891325475&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

-Nate

Lives Of Kos From Skirmisher For Your Old School Campaign


Grab It Right
HERE

This is a great resource for NPC's for an old school campaign with ancient Greek world flavor. This book is huge and its wall to wall NPC's of every description. These happen to be some of the flag ship characters that have appeared in their campaign setting Kos fiction, backgrounds, settings, adventures, etc. They're all here and more. Because of its system agnostic nature I've decided to do a review on the Swords blog.
There are over one hundred and fifteen personalities described in the pdf and they're various backgrounds dovetail into each [...]

My New Job!

I’m now the store manager of The Comic Book Shop in Spokane, WA! I was previously working as a sales associate at the store’s mall location, but got promoted to running the main shop! It’s great, because my best friend is the manager at the mall location, so now we’re both managers. Wonder Twin powers, activate!

I’m really excited to get to know all of the customers and talk comics! I imagine there will be a [...]

Call For Ideas

The exchange between Runesligner and myself on the spectrum of play was interesting and informative, and has been getting consistently good page views. Thinking on it, there have been a lot of good comments from other readers that most likely don’t get viewed by the casual reader, so here is my casual, but official, call for folks to submit response pieces to The Black Campbell.If you’re on WordPress, it’s as simple as asking me to reblog a post on your site, but for folks on other blog platforms, or who want to toss out a 500-1500 word opinion piece on [...]

House Rules -- For Pulp (and other RPGs)

This entry is part 1 in the series House Rules from The Adventurer's Club This is the first of a four-part* series outlining the house rules that Blair Ramage and I have adopted over the years for the Adventurer’s Club campaign, a Pulp-genre campaign run using Pulp Hero, which is a Pulp-genre variation on the […]

The Village of Creekside


This is a campaign/local setting for my little sandbox.  Feel free to co-opt it for your setting.

The village of Creekside is a stockaded frontier town, located along Peregrin Creek. Creekside was hewn from the forest and sits along a bend in the creek.  The cleared area is outside the town walls is home to several farms and residences.

The village is notable for a side-channel of the creek diverted through the stockade walls, allowing water and mill power during times of crisis.  If the town is pressed, dams can be dropped at the stockades, and the [...]

Baroque Poisons, Diseases, Stuns and Healing

Incentivized by renewed interest in our baroque spells project of last year I went ahead and completed another page in the very, very occasional series of the 52 Baroque Pages. This time the spinning die had indicated that page 33 of my 52 Pages should be given the "Baroque" treatment, that dealing with poisons, healing hit points, and the like.

Click to enlarge or read belowI decided to split the 52 items four ways, with four thirteen-entry tables that should by no means be interpreted as an attempt to somehow outdo twelve-entry tables. As before, the larger-type #13 entries are [...]

Transcript: Holothom -- TWB Page 3

Here is the typed up version of the scan of page 3 of “Holothom – The World Base.”

This finishes off the introduction to the setting.

“Holothom – The World Base
Page 3 Transcript

were the homes of the four demi-human races: Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, and Halflings; as well as their racial enemies: Kobolds, Goblins, Orcs, and Gnolls.

The Dwarves inhabit the Makahd Mountains, called the Tlantiem Mountains by the humans. The Elves live in the forests of Gyol and Dunland. The Gnomes inhabit the hilly regions near the Makahd and Hylona Mountains. The Halflings live on the sloping plains of Dunland, near the [...]

The Megalohelm

Link to youtube of MST3K movieThis was a standard issue pot helm until one day a bored soldier tacked a tin, unconvincing bat ear on either side. With that small change and suddenly that soldier began to rocket through the ranks, until finally becoming the powerful Warlord who lead his armies into one of the most infamous defeats that it has gone down in history as The One Sided War.

The helm disappeared for many ages, until reappearing in recent times on the head of Gorbash the Grotesque, the notorious right hand of the Dark Sorceress Tiffany. After his [...]

LONG-DISTANCE VILLAINY

Several years ago I wrote an article called Long-Distance Villainy, which talked about a GMing technique I used for villains from time to time. I would like to discuss it here again because I am thinking of doing it again soon and I believe it is a great way to bring fresh perspective to your campaign villains. 

Basically, long-distance villainy means you outsource the management of your villain in a campaign to a player who is not actually part of the play group (often someone you gamed with in the past but who has moved and can no longer participate in [...]

What I Love Most About "Lupin III: A Woman Called Fujiko Mine"


 Spoilers Follow
The Lupin IIIfranchise is Japan's answer to both the James Bond and Pink Panther series.  Created by manga-ka Monkey Punch (AKA Kazuhiko Kat) in 1967 (the same year You Only Live Twice premiered at the box office, which I highly doubt is a coincidence), the series stars Arsne Lupin III, supposed grandson of Maurice Leblanc's Edwardian gentleman-thief Arsne Lupin, an id-driven not-so-gentlemanly thief who is always one step ahead of the bumbling Inspector Zenigata.  The original manga has spawned multiple TV shows, an annual series of TV specials, and several anime and live-action films (some of which [...]

Traveller Skills and Setting part 3

Bring out the Big Guns!


 

     The Weapons skills (excluding Gunnery, which I moved to space) fall into two broad categories, blade/hand weapons, and guns.

     Wait, I thought this was a science fiction game in the far future. Why do we need swords and pikes? As well as:
  • daggers
  • foils
  • clubs
  • fists (Brawling skill)
  • broadswords
  • axes
  • long and short bows
  • halberds
  • spears
  • and the Marine favorite, the cutlass!
     This is often leveled at Traveller as a criticism, [...]

Kickstarter: Chronicles of Ramlar RPG

This product is not just a new setting for the Pathfinder RPG... it includes totally new game mechanics for things like experience, character development, and combat. I'm not sure if I want such an overhaul for my personal campaign, but anything this innovative is worth a look for ideas if nothing else. Check out the Kickstarter here.

Character Thursday-Mirindik Korgaranik (Gnome Archaeologist)

Here’s an NPC that could end up playing a role as guide in the Hall of Altars and beyond, though he is fragile enough to become a burden to keep alive, whether that means defending him or resurrecting him. I bet he charges extra for having to endure painful death.

Backstory:

Mirindik Korgaranik, born into a long line of servants of Korgaran, was raised knowing his place in the world. As a 6th child, his eldest siblings were already acolytes in Korgaran's Temple at the time of his birth. He grew up idolizing them, but his family had already done their [...]

Is It Time To See Guardians Of The Galaxy Yet?

No Soul Left Behind, No Goal Unreached

Imagine you are a simple educator, working in a struggling charter school. Further, imagine you are unexpectedly possessed by a demon from Hell. This psychic invader grants you amazing powers — impossible beauty, transmutation of matter, laser eyes, any number of possibilities — but at the same time, demands that you commit all kinds of evil with those powers. So naturally, being a mostly decent person, you appease the demon as best as possible by concocting ridiculously grandiose acts of largely hollow villainy that also happen to benefit the struggling school in which you are deeply invested.

Congratulations! You’ve just devised [...]

Computer Magic

I don't talk about music much on my blog anymore, but I just discovered this gem of three year old electronica (thank you Lexus commercial!) that I think it absolutely fantastic.

Maybe a touch too long, but I'm not complaining.


Confessions of a Newb GM: Communicating Trust

I've just started a group in my Lepskin campaign. I trust that they'll be playing to have fun and to try totell a good story whileworking to bring what is cool to them to the table. They trust that I am making adventures that have direction to them, but also that I'll let them go and explore the sector I have made up a frameworkfor. I've advertised that the players are able to make a sizeable contribution to this campaign setting and, at the moment, I'm trusted to follow through.

There is an unspoken contract between the players andI as a [...]

The Communication Barrier a.k.a The Game Master's Screen

If they are used properly, storyteller’s screens are a valuable tool in running and managing your game. Used improperly, these paper wallscan be an imposing barrier between the players and the storyteller, a physical manifestation of the subconscious castle that inexperienced (or just plain bad) game masters take shelter behind to avoid player conflict. By reducing the height of this castle wall and placing it strategically on the table we can reduce communication barriers and create a game that is more interactive, productive and enjoyable for everyone involved.

A pile of typical screens. These screens are from our time playing the [...]

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.

scifi-fantasy-horror.com

TAP

Pinterest

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

GE48: 5 Great Weird Al Music Videos

Weird Al Yankovic has parodied hit songs for more than three decades. His newest album, Mandatory Fun, is #1 on the Billboard charts. We celebrate this by recommending five of his great music videos.

  • 5) Perform This Way
  • 4) Smells Like Nirvana
  • 3) White & Nerdy
  • 2) Amish Paradise
  • 1) Word Crimes

Mailbag

WhatWeird Al music videos do you like best?

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. Help potential listeners find a show you [...]

City of Aasimar

Last week, I wrote about stealing races from other settings and bringing them into your world. Along those lines, I want to give you a peek at my way of bringing one of my favorite races into the game – the aasimar.

I know there areloads of tiefling fans out there. Who could blame you? Tieflingshave a very compelling story. I do find it strange, however that tieflings are going to be in the core of fifth edition in the Player’s Handbook, while the aasimar is overlooked. Here’s some proof via Wizards of the Coast tweet.

See? There is a tiefling entry [...]

Thoughts on Fear and Courage for GMs

Over on The Gamesmaster Academy (on Roll20 Forum) a new GM posted his Campaign concept (you do need to join the GMA to read the post, sorry) which I thought was a great and ambitious idea. After describing his concept he asked "How do I make the helpless powerful again? What is perfect? What is beyond magic? how do I instill fear and courage at the same time?" This is what I wrote... I see

Dungeon Design: Designing the Dungeon

Dungeons that are nothing more than a series of rooms containing a random assortment of monsters and treasures that have no real reason for existing are the result of sloppy, lazy design.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

 

To create memorable dungeons, a GM should consider many more factors than simply what to stick in its rooms. When designing a dungeon, consider the following factors:

  • Original Purpose of the Dungeon: A dungeon designed as a gigantic tomb is going to look and feel completely different to one that was once a grand temple. In either case, the builders construct different kinds of rooms, chambers [...]

Coming soon...


"Guess what happens when the lights go out."

D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay (Week 11)

During the last session the PCs learned that a group of Red Wizards were trying to reset all the black gates and undo everything the heroes had accomplished so far. With consequences so dire, three tables (16 PCs) came together to face off against these foes. It was a bit of a grind but in the end two parties of 8 stormed the Masters' Domain and stopped these Red Wizards from succeeding. The PCs levelled up and most used the Seclusion Crypt to gain the benefits of a long rest before heading into the final fight.

This week we began part [...]

Fan Created Gamma World Adventures


Did you know that a bunch of Gamma World fans got together and finished the old TSR gamma world module line?   I didn't until I was reading the Wikipedia page for Gamma World one day and it referenced the fan produced adventures GW5 and GW11.  I immediately scoured the internet for these hopping they were still hosted somewhere.  They are.  Wayne's Books hosts them on this page.  Here's the direct links if you want to jump right to the good stuff:

GW5 Rapture of the Deep 
 GW11 Omega Project


Why Should You Vote for the Other Side?

The Other Side is up for an ENnie Award for "Best Blog" this year and I could not be more thrilled.
You can see the list of nominees here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2014-ennie-awards-nominees/ and can vote here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/



As you can see I am in some really great company.  But there are some reasons I think that my blog deserves this award.

- I am going to be at Gen Con this year with my kids.  I like to take my kids to Gen Con. They love it and they have been talking about it for WEEKS now.  What would really be [...]

Five Headed Halfling


On a Deep Carbon Observatory

I guess this is the week where I read things and tell you about them. AM I DOING A GOOD JOB?

Well, up till now, probably. I think it's probably a terrible idea to read Deep Carbon Observatory and then go back to Phandelver. It's just not fair to Phandelver. It's not like they have anyone on team "Official Publisher" as brilliant as +Patrick Stuart.

What is it?
A module about finding lost treasure.

(It's a nightmare, run, run away)

The beginning. You are immediately presented with three terrible situations as you enter town. You can possibly [...]

Dinner & Gaming & Playtesting

I decided to start hosting Dinner & Gaming nights again, doing so once a month. I like to game. I like to cook. (I even considered going to a culinary arts school until I figured out I have anosmia.) So, I fixed taco salad, got a couple bottles of sangria, and broke out the Swords & Wizardry, In Search of the Unknown, and a couple copies of my WIP Optional Skill Resolution Rules.

With only two players in attendance, I was flexible with class and race combinations. Alex made up Brother Zaphod, an Elf Cleric/Magic-User who had been raised by weasels [...]

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