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You ... save??... a tavern??

A few weeks back, in my itinerant internet wanderings, I came across an interesting video where a steampunk tavern is attacked by some undead cowboys and then saved by a few of the customers and a native american warrior. The violent, cgi driven, epic, and gratuitous music video gave rise to an interesting twist on getting a party together.

Instead of having the group meet in a tavern, or bringing them together in some forced way, why not have them be present at the site of an attack for a location that could become their homebase? If the attack is somehow [...]

Cthulhu Wars: First Play

Kieran's visit fit well with our inaugural playing of Cthulhu Wars. I first tried out this game back in October 2013 at Essen. There were four of us playing: Kieran as Cthulhu, Kathryn as the Crawling Chaos, Mark as the Black Goat, and me as the Yellows Sign.

The game puts Kieran off by himself in the South Pacific, while Mark, Kathryn, and I were fairly close neighbors. Kieran and Kathryn set about creating gates. I summoned the King in Yellow and tried marching about the map. I went to harass Kathryn, but she scared me away by summoning [...]

1d10 Random Street Contacts Of The Urban Ruins Encounter Table For Your Old School Campaigns

There are always contacts, beggars, thieves, snitches, and those willing to turn upon their fellow men. Here is a random encounter table of these wretches and scum within the ruins that dot the wastelands. All is not as it seems with these strangers and fellows, for sometimes they offer far more and less then they seem.Here then is a list of possible nemesis or party allies from among the

13th Age Soundtrack

(Above is the 13th Age Main Theme. You can listen to it for free on 13th Ages Soundtrack page so I figure it’s ok to have it hear as well. Give it a listen as you read.) Today I picked up the13th Age Soundtrack. I’ve been listening to it while at work and I have...

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The post 13th Age Soundtrack appeared first on Ramblings of Jacob and Delos.

Ancestral Humans

The sageHekabe claims that the ancestors of humans had two heads. It is pleasant to be kissed on the neck, she says, because it mimics the feeling of having a second head.

Qelong By Kenneth Hite For The Lamentations Of The Flame Princess rpg System And Your Old School Campaigns

Imagine your party of adventurers caught up in a blood soaked land of an alternative South East Asia where two armies of incredibly dangerous beings of divine aspect are engaged in an eon old struggle. And your party is caught within the shadow of the forces of these beings.This is a wilderness adventure in a world torn apart by war, strife, incredible devastation and very deadly forces

One Page Dungeon Contest -- 2015

Last year about this time, I wrote about the 2014 One Page Dungeon Contest, and thought about an entry, but none of my ideas would gel. I am thinking about the 2015 OPDC with just over two months until the deadline. It is a single page, what’s the big deal, right? Well a single page […]

In Defense of Social Stats and the "Can I Just Roll For It?" Play Style


I know Friday is normally our discussion day but something hooked my brain and I decided I would get it out here rather than let it sit and simmer. See, on Wednesday a friend of mine linked me to this article. I've read it before, but something about it this time stuck with me. Now, to be clear, I like John Wick. I like his style. I think he is a great game designer and a very intelligent mind when it comes to the philosophy, psychology, and tactics of GMing. But there are things in here that I [...]

YALP Ep. 38 "The Land That Fate Forgot!" Episode 2

The volcano is active and our characters are concerned for their safety in this pre-historic world. While half the crew has gone up the volcano to check things out, the others have elected to stay behind and secure the transport.

What will they discover? What amazing things will occur?

Find out in:

YALP Fate, "The Land that Fate Forgot!" Episode 2

Featuring the gaming talents of:

Brian Casey (@Fiddleback) as the GM
Joshua Brown (@Joshua) as Dr. Grant Challenger
Sarah "the Gremlin" (@Gremlinzrus) as Dr. Beverly Killdare
John Ariosa (@ariosa) as Jessup Jones
Tiffany Ralph (@TheOneTAR) as Jordan Scott
Shane "Mundangerous" (@Mundangerous) as Mark [...]

Wandered Roads 38

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 38
January 31, 2015

Campaign Timeline

Take a Closer LookFireday, 5th of NethChecking Out the Love ShackAfter a good long rest in one of the bedrooms, the group is ready to continue their search for the next fragment of the shattered Sihedron Star. Vexeron summons another magical servant. This one looks unmistakably like the Elf, Daellin, but wearing a butler's outfit. He is lovingly named D'jour Ch'ker and is instructed to go down the hall and open each door. They open without incident Carefully, the party examins the rest of the rooms in this [...]

Fate NPCs -- Chimera Little Closer

After a month detailing Kickstarter set-ups, it’s time to get back to the fun stuff. This week: Chimera-mobs, a new format for Fate NPCS.

The Background

When creating NPCs for the Skeleton Crew Bestiary, I quickly ran into the following problem:

In order for an opponent to be a competent threat in a combat situation, it needed to have a few key skills. In my Skeleton Crew setting, these generally equaled:

  • Fight (to Defend against fight)
  • Agility (to Defend against shoot and fight)
  • Will (to defend against mental attacks)

Notice nearly makes the list- it’s not as essential, but too many NPCS without Notice basically means the [...]

Pushing Prices to The Edge

There's a new Kickstarter in town that has gotten people who love miniatures excited.  Then again, when isn't there a great miniature related Kickstarter happening?  They seem to happen pretty regularly.  This one caught my eye earlier on when it was showcased as a preview over at Spikey Bits.  I went over and clicked the video link, checked out some of the pictures and everything I saw look positively awesome.  I didn't care for the game it was for -- I wanted a couple of these to paint and showcase.  But when I first looked, they hadn't released any [...]

Map Request (Challenge)

On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, I posted on my G+ page a desire for the OSR mapmakers to map the Phuktal Monastery. This picture so captured my imagination that I immediately started wishing I had a cool map and thought how and where I could work this into my campaign. I shared the image and […]

Random Red Shirt Thoughts Disrupted by "Emergency" Meeting

So, I was reading more Hawk & Moor today (bathroom Kindle reading if I must confess) and I was reading about the use of men at arms - "red shirts" in Star Trek parlance - and it was noted that the use of men at arms had lapsed in later play of D&D.
This lead to some random thoughts about abstracting the use of men at arms as some sort of ablative armor.
I was still technically on lunch, about to type out this amazing post (I suspect it was amazing although I have no proof of such) when I received a call from my boss about an emergency meeting to address complaints that my unit had received from the outside agency we are the [...]

Talented Powers!

This past week Iasked the Facebook community what they would like me to post on (If you haven’t already please support D12 by liking the Facebook page; that would be awesome of you) and I was presented with the question:

How cantalents and Utility Powers effect each other? (Their actual question was much longer but that is the summation)

Temporary Talentswhen using a utility power
Example: If a players has been describing theirFortify as turning invisible and are now attempting to use this to sneak past some guards. there is no harm in giving them the stealth talent while using fortify. This [...]

Words With Erik Mona on Pathfinder Origins Comic Books and PaizoCon

In his interview I get to talk with Erik Mona about the Pathfinder Origins comic book series. his is a very special series to Erik because he wrote issues one and six. Erik shares the experience with us and he chats a little about the 12 iconic characters that are involved with the story. Then we move on to PaizoCon where he announces (for the first time) some of the the guests that will help make the con explosive. Plus he shared a little goblin friend with us.



Thanks to Erik Mona and Paizo for everything.

GURPS Boardroom and Curia out on W23

Work has been a Terribly Dire Polar Bear recently, and today most of all. Fortunately, SJG comes to my blogging rescue by releasing something that was pretty darn interesting in playtest.

GURPS Boardroom and Curia is a book all about groups of people. In a word: Organizations. 

It's a PC-facing guide to what organizations, from street gangs to multinational conglomerates to multinational conglomerate street gangs (and given the global reach of some gangs, this isn't really an exaggeration!). From Wayne Enterprises to Intergang to the Peace Corps to the Green Lantern Corps, you can probably figure out what to do.

I had an interesting time on this one, because I'd just threw down quite a long post on this topic thanks to my daughter being precocious. 

This manuscript got a lot of love and attention in the playtest - all of it geared (successfully, based on the revisions brought forward by the irrepressible +Matt Riggsby, the supplement's author) to ensuring that the manuscript was even more player-facing (and GM-facing) than it had been before.

Organizations - from the merchant's guild to the Illuminati, from the LiberDemoPublican party to Anarchists United, and (more seriously) many of the organized religions that have and continue to play important roles in politics and society in both reality and fiction - play a defining role in the human world. Every time you shop, go to the bank, go to church to pray, contribute or read something from a political party, you're [...]

Ratling warren

Ratlings R' in yer dungeon

Downbelow, in the part of the dungeon where the offal and runoff from the upper levels collects and stews, the ratling warren subsists on the leavings of the dwellers above.  Seemingly pathetic when met alone, the cringing, pleading creature becomes belligerent and aggressive when backed by a swarm of his colleagues. And that, indeed is what they are, flooding from warren-holes, passable only by rat-folk or similar small humanoids.  An unwary group will soon find themselves surrounded and overrun by gnashing teeth and flashing blades.

sourceAdventurers may note the distinct lack of kobolds [...]

WoTR: The Demon Within Module

Eager to get to the good stuff, I chose to make it relatively quiet in Kenabres for the couple days it takes for Queen Galfrey to organise the additional teleportation circle with Lady Darchana - using the Painted Man from Absalom to cast from the scroll to increase its chances for success.  I also chose to just have it work rather than make a roll for him as the plot potential of permanent teleportation links between Kenabres, Nerosyan and Absalom is too high to waste on a single roll.

The excitement is in Kenabres, at the moment, since the demons are too busy playing [...]

Living 4 Crits - Putting our Gamer Family on YouTube!

We Have a YouTube Channel!
That's right ladies and gentlemen... you can now watch Living 4 Crits on your TV, computer, or smart-phone!

I've had a terrific year writing this blog, and I greatly appreciate all of the wonderful feedback, stories, and suggestions that my readers have shared each week.  While I have no intention of slowing down, I wanted to get my family more involved in the process.  After all, for me, my wife, and my children the true definition of "Living for Crits" is spending quality time together by embracing creativity and imagination.  

I'm Done With Tim Schafer.

This'll be a short one this week. I'm a bit under the weather and a bit fuming to put thoughts together properly, but I've got something I want to get off my chest.

Tim Schafer's a game developer that's quite popular amongst a lot of gamers. He's worked on some of the most beloved titles ever. Psychonauts is probably my 6th or 7th favorite game ever. I never finished Grim Fandango because I can't follow classic point and click adventure game logic, but it was pretty entertaining nonetheless. I even kinda like Brutal Legend despite my hatred of Jack [...]

FreeMap on Friday

The next FreeMap post will be tomorrow. I was occupied with some post-production fun on Mother of Monsters and barely made it ’round the ‘Net.

I got my first rejection notice this morning but that’s cool. I’m still putting together media for the project so I’ll just resubmit it in a couple weeks.

I completed my first playthrough of the entire game yesterday. It took me approximately 6.5 hours to kill the things, loot all the dungeons, and reach the game’s level cap (60th). Well, that’s the time on the save file anyway…

At least one dungeon I restarted after making some adjustments [...]

ChupacabraCon 2015 Panel 18


Exclusive: The fantastic art of Paizo's Giantslayer

Giantslayer Part 1 – Battle of Bloodmarch Hill

The Giantslayer Adventure Path is a 6-part adventure series for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The action kicks off with Pathfinder Adventure Path #91: Giantslayer Part 1 – Battle of Bloodmarch Hill, written by Patrick Renie, and available from stores, the web and Paizo.com.

Paizo Publisher Erik Mona said;

"Giantslayer is a return to the blood-and-thunder, sword-and-sorcery roots of the Pathfinder RPG,"

"Our last few campaigns have jumped from world to world, cast the heroes and super-legendary ber-heroes fighting off a demon invasion, and other madness. Giantslayer tells an epic fantasy story against epic villains that helps [...]

Cyberpunk RPG Development Blog - Playtest 1 preperations

While it is still early in the development of my untitled cyberpunk game I want to go ahead and plan on running a play test this weekend.  I think its important to make sure the basic mechanics of the games not only work but are actually fun before I go to much further. 

So this Saturday I'll be running a one shot game to test some of these mechanics for fun and ease of use.  Just for fun though I'll go ahead and share the quick reference rule sheet and character sheet.

Playtest 1 - [...]

Brandish Commission

Here’s a commission I did for an independent RPG start-up company over the summer. My client sent me over a copy of a reference map he had made that looked strikingly similar to South America, but with a couple of huge craters. He gave me artistic license to play around with it, but wanted it done in a photorealistic style. After completing this first map he was pleased enough with it to go ahead and commission a world map (shown below). Oddly, it was at the labeling stage that I lost contact with my client. [...]

Fantasy Safari: Creature Collection (BECMI), Part 1

The Creature Catalogue seems a rather strange monster book for Dungeons & Dragons at the first look. When I first saw it, it seemed even weirder than the Fiend Folio. During the 80s, there were to similar but also different games being published; one being called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, the other just Dungeons & Dragons. The smaller, and less known line had no Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual, but instead came in five Box Sets named Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, and Immortal, and is now most usually called BECMI for that reason. (There is also an [...]

Reading Around: World Book Day 2015

  This issue of Reading around offers you something a little different. Today is World Book Day, so what better than to celebrate than Geek books.   Geek culture, or at least the part of it I enjoy, is filled with bibliophiles. We are people of the book. Many books. Shelves and shelves of beautiful …

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One Page Dungeon Contest

So the One Page Dungeon Contest has been going on for years now, and each subsequent year, the submissions get better and better. If you need some ideas for your games, then you should go to their page and check out the entries that placed. Last year’s 1st place winner was Will Doyle’s Island of...

One Page Dungeon Contest

So the One Page Dungeon Contest has been going on for years now, and each subsequent year, the submissions get better and better. If you need some ideas for your games, then you should go to their page and check out the entries that placed. Last year’s 1st place winner was Will Doyle’s Island of...

A Question of Gall

A gall is an amazing thing. Formed by a plant when a parasitic wasp injects an irritant into it, they take a huge variety of forms. Check this out. That lights me up. So many gameable possibilities! I smell a series coming on! The Enclave Devil The walls between the planes are not so much thick as antithetical to one another. Like oil and water, or oil and fire, they either remain

Idea Flush -- What to do When you Have Writer's Block

This week we have a guest post by Robert Evans. Whether it’s from hitting a dead end creatively to having so many ideas you don’t know which one to go with the basic outcome is still the same. Nothing gets written and you are sitting stuck looking at a clock that ticks ever closer to...

Idea Flush -- What to do When you Have Writer's Block

This week we have a guest post by Robert Evans. Whether it’s from hitting a dead end creatively to having so many ideas you don’t know which one to go with the basic outcome is still the same. Nothing gets written and you are sitting stuck looking at a clock that ticks ever closer to...

Mecha Against the Giants Session 7

It's World Book Day!

It's World Book Day today, March 5. To celebrate, NUELOW Games is has reduced the prices on all our comics/rpg hybrid books and fiction collections 20, 30, or 50 percent, depending on the title -- with the majority being 30 or 50 percent off.

For example, Oriental Tales Vol. 1, which contains some of Robert E. Howard's finest writing, is 50 percent off its regular price.

Art by Margaret Brundage
And then there's The Werewolf Hunter #1, which contains never-before-reprinted comics starring Prof. Armand Broussard--the titular werewolf hunter--and fiction by Steve Miller that tells the never-before-revealed [...]

Combat is Visceral, make them feel it.

Try this once.
Don't track hit points.
Every time a player character is hit by an attack  describe the wound the player takes.
Tell them some negative effect it has.
  • You took a wound to your sword arm you have to switch to your off hand, what do you do?
  • You took that wound to your leg your movement is halved, you're bleeding, what do you do? 
  • That blow hit your back pack, you can hear a potion bottle or oil flask shatter, what do you do?
  • You shield has cracked what do you do?
  • You have been disarmed what do you do?
  • The left most shoulder [...]


So I think I'll be moving to a adventure based XP system. Complete 1 adventure per character level you're aspiring to. For example, you complete your 0-level funnel. You reach level 1. 2 adventures at level 1 and you reach level 2. This takes tracking XP out of the loop as well as mid-adventure leveling.

Terraria Episode 049

I’m feeling my oats, so I’m going to fight the Destroyer, as soon as it gets dark… Might as well do some fishing in the meantime.

Find the playlist here!

Quick Note - Cyber-running in the Eldritch Shadows

A few weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that while I love the setting and style of Shadowrun I dislike the system. To me it is overly complex and while I've attempted several times to learn it I have failed (I own 2nd, 4th and 5th editions). during this lamenting +Frank Turfler brought up the idea of "converting" S&W or LL to Shadowrun. Good idea and one, as the picture shows I took seriously.

So in addition to Eldritch Shadows there will be a smaller appendix heading down this route. IT is not my intention to ape Shadowrun [...]

Story Locale (Mohkba): Magda's Tea House

Magda's Tea House plays an important part in the cutthroat political maneuverings of Mohkba's elite, but adventurersin search of merchants with the best wares or the real movers and shakers of the Klavek Kingdom are sure to pass through this venerable institution's doors at one time or another.    

The post Story Locale (Mohkba): Magda’s Tea House appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Reflections & Inspiration

About a week ago, Leonard Nimoy passed away at the age of 83 due to complications arising from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. And today, is the anniversary of the passing of Gary Gygax.

Both these men have had the most profound impact they could have on a person growing up... they helped spur my imagination.

Like legions of fans of both, I was saddened to hear the news of their passing and it give me a chance to reflect of course.

For Gygax, he brought about a game that influenced so many other creations and these [...]

Kickstarter -- Fabled Environments Presents: Wild West Floorplans

You got your sarsaparilla and some purdy dice, but somethin’s missin’! You need some shiny new western floor plans for your table!! Even though I don’t yet have a use for these plans, if I ever get around to doing the western game then I may have to make use of these plans. I have […]

Rune of Burning. Rules on this rune and the use of runes will be...

Rune of Burning. Rules on this rune and the use of runes will be found in the forthcoming Shadow, Sword & Spell: Magic.

I am a Dungeon addict.

Hello. My name is Tim Brannan and I am a Dungeon! addict. It started out simply enough in 1981. I got a Dungeon board game for Christmas along with the D&D Basic Set. I played that game for hours and hours. I even made little version of my own D&D characters on Dungeon cards to run them through. Yup my first game conversion. At some point I lost that game along with a lot of my Basic/Expert

Kerbal Satellite Launch

Time to make some money! Going to chuck a satellite into orbit for some sweet, sweet Kerbinbucks.

Find the full playlist here!

Lacuna: Memo from Chief Instructor Snyder


No Clues Without Consequence, GUMSHOE, and Eternal Lies

I’ve been reading Will Hindmarch‘s excellent analysis of the GUMSHOE system, No Clues Without Consequence.

GUMSHOE is an interesting thing, because even though my players and I tend to favor d20 based games like B/X DND or Call of Cthulhu, we seem to return again and again to GUMSHOE.

Point of fact: we’re deep into Eternal Lies, the mega campaign for Trail of Cthulhu. We could have probably converted to Call of Cthulhu but who has time for that? I barely have time to prepare for a session each week.

It has been a learning experience, to be sure. We’d played probably [...]

It's National Cheetos Day!

Grab your Mountain Dew, dice, and Cheetos! It’s time to celebrate. Cheetos are one of those junk foods that are comfort food. Well, to me [...]

Prime Materials: Righteousness, a magic long sword for D&D 5th Editiont


Weapon (long sword), legendary (requires attunement)
You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon and it deals radiant damage.

In addition, while attuned to the long sword you gain advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) and Dexterity (Initiative) rolls, but you gain disadvantage on Wisdom (Insight) rolls.  

Righteousness was named by Kurtus of Daggerford, a paladin of Tyr.  Kurtus claimed that as he faced certain doom at the hands of the vampire, Xeera Nyl, Tyr gifted his blade with an enchantment that turned the tide of the battle and allowed him to destroy the Blood [...]

The Dragonslayers III Pt. 3: Zombie Dragons Doom

The group of 10 undead Arboreans continued to march towards the West Gate, these gate-breakers would soon be on the gate and the slayers knew if the gate fell the warriros on their side were both outnumbered and outclassed. It would be a slaughter. They continued to furiously battle the undead strike force that had been teleported in behind the palisades.

Magiia the Ferenoi power attacked the Bone-Lord with the axe she had taken from Bers' corpse but the blow was parried easily. Vorwulf shot the Arborean zombie that was attacking Magiia. The undead captain, the Bone-Lord, missed Magiia with a clumsy slash of his mean-looking bone-sword. Grom directed his inferior earth elementals to slam the standing Arborean which had little effect due to the hardness of its worm-eaten body. He then used his sling to take a shot at the "skull knight", his bullet bouncing harmlessly from the Bone-Lord's bone-plating. One of the sword-wielding skeletons which Magiia had just smashed down suddenly reassembled its bones and stood next to her ready to attack. The downed deadwood Arborean at the gate began to stir and stood up its body still studded with Vor's arrows. The other slammed its club-like fists into Maggie (Magiia) whom attempted to dodge but failed. Another blow from the undead captain's bone-blade was deflected by Maggie the amazon and an arrow from the ranger's bow thudded into the newly (re)risen Arborean. The newly reassembled skeleton picked up its sword and stuck Maggie with a natural 20 wounding her badly; she made a recovery check to remain standing yet again. Grom sent his elementals to grapple the Arborean at the gate while he shot another sling-stone at the skull of the remaining sword-skelly cracking its skull a good one. Maggie struck the sword-skelly smashing it to pieces sending [...]

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