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Listening Around: Drive to Work

  Mark Rosewater podcasts about designing Magic: The Gathering.   These podcasts are a monologue by Mark as he drives to work. The new Magic website describes the podcasts as follows:   Magic: The Gathering Head Designer Mark Rosewater shares stories, insights, and more while driving to work. Listen in and learn more about Magic! …

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Atomic Robo: RPGs I Like

I've had a chance to read through the Atomic Robo: The Roleplaying Game a couple of times now. Here's what I think.
Production...The book's gorgeous. Atomic Robo's a substantial 6.75 x 10.25 softcover. It uses full-color interior art on glossy, heavy weight paper. The book has heft and feels good when you hold it. The only knock against it I have is that the spine's a little tight and I can't quite bring myself to break it. The interior artwork's entirely drawn from the comic or (I'm guessing) produced by Wegener for the book. The layout's solid and highly [...]

Riddle of the Pillars

The Pillars of Nosgoth pose an interesting problem: they are fundamental to the underlying narrative of the series and yet the games provide contradictory information about their function and purpose.

Here, I will speculate and provide you with my solution to this riddle.

The Pillars Were Mortal, Once
This is probably the most controversial idea — and that’s the reason I’m leading with it. I think the Pillars were once either powerful wizards belonging to the winged race, or an allied race of creatures, however the former is more likely.

Whuh-why? Because their principles are engineered, artificial.

On Earth, there are no “mountains of [...]

It's Just Basic Fantasy Role-Playing, Folks!

This just in from the mail carrier!

Christmas has indeed come early to Angelic Doctor Games and for the low cost that these were offered and purchased made this season that much more the merrier.

How do I love thee, O BFRPG? Let me count the ways.

  1. It takes after the Tom Moldvay edited Basic Dungeons & Dragons’ ability bonus structure and its general simplicity
  2. Allows for race/class split akin to how it was designed in Gygax’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook
  3. Uses ascending armor class like later editions thus eliminating a potentially time consuming chart look up.
  4. Removes alignment as an official rule. As [...]

Two Weeks until the Sea of Stars Kickstarter begins

Yes, and I am terribly unprepared. But I will get it started this year even if only barely.

I will definitely have a short adventure, Rogue Island, as a free download so that people can get a taste of the Sea of Stars and what the setting is like.

The current plan is to produce an illustrated PDF, about 120 pages, broken down (roughly) as follows:

  • Introduction to and history of the Sea of Stars, 12 pages
  • New and adapted species with support material, 24 pages
  • Magic items, spells and such, 24 pages
  • New Monsters, 20 pages
  • The world and places to visit, 20 pages
  • GM Advice and [...]

Tuesday Magic Item -- Dark of Night Cloak

Under the long night, the figure spread the dark cloth upon the neglected stones and began a chant that was ancient when the world was young. At midnight, the last words were said and the figure cut their palm and sealed the magic of the night within the cloth by use of their own blood.

When dawn came, there was no indication that the stone circles had ever been disturbed in the night.

Dark of Night Cloak

There is nothing remarkable about this hooded cloak of dark cloth, indeed it is easy to overlook in its plainness. A more through investigation would show [...]

Dark Future Ahead 9 -- News from the 'Net of a Cyberpunk bent

I have ended up with a mostly nautical theme here, inadvertently:

Would you live in an underwater city? Even if not, it would be a great place to visit. This one is designed to be self-sufficient in energy through various means.

Which would be shipped in containers carried by ships like the new massive Triple-E container ships, the largest currently in service carrying 18,00 containers. And here is some information, and amazing photographs, about how it was built.

And those ships, heavily insured and it is Captain Nick Sloane’s job to board troubled vessels and salvage what he can, read about his fascinating [...]

Bustthinned Episode 001

A new Fortress for a new age! It’s a small world (although with a grand name) and a smaller population than the venerable Gategully. The rather unfortunately named “Bustthinned” (Ablelelis) – I am assuming it’s referring to the shoulders-up type of statue, not the chestal region of a lady – shall (hopefully!) rise to greatness!

Find the playlist here!

Weird Wednesday: The Eternal Torment

The Eternal Torment Auranone (medium abjuration and medium conjuration, see text); CL 7th Slot none; Weight 800 lbs. The Eternal Tormentis always abeautiful marble statue of perfect proportions, slightly larger than the creature it portrays. The face is contorted in pain but otherwise an aura of beauty surrounds the artwork. Upon careful examination, however, the […]

The post Weird Wednesday: The Eternal Torment appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

?Sails of Glory Napoleonic Wars From Ares Games

Sails of Glory Napoleonic Wars

In an age where the fleets of the French Emperor Napoleon I battled across the seas and the powerful Royal Navy of the British Empire clashed against the French from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, prepare your naval fleet for battle on an epic stage like no other in the Age of Sails!


In Sails of Glory, you will sail and fight with massive ships-of-the-line or swift frigates in dramatic naval battles, such as Trafalgar and the Battle of the Nile.


Designed to be used with the tactical ship-to ship game system created by Andrea Angiolino [...]

The Problem With The Pillars

The Pillars of Nosgoth are central to the Legacy of Kain series.

But what are they? What do they do? How were they made? Why do the Pillars summon “Guardians?” What powers do the Guardians receive? How do the Guardians influence the Pillars? How were they corrupted?

Why does Kain’s decision at the Pillars condemn them to ruin?

And I don’t just mean on a narrative level, I mean on a mechanical level. I’m asking how the magic works — if someone wanted to recreate the effect, how would they do it? How many arch-mages does it take to screw up a world?

Architects [...]

Zebulara - The Twisted Christmas Demi plane For Your Old School Science Fantasy Games

Zebulara is an Outskirt demi plane realm that has been created from the debris and remains of mankind's dreams and memories of Christmas's past lost to the collective unconsciousness of humanity's memory from the Nineteen Hundreds through the present seen through the eyes of a Holiday Christmas special from classic television. At least in the beginning of a visit. This demi plane actively hunts and sucks in adventurers as well as heroes from across time and space. A strange candy can colored vortex is often the first and only warning of  Zebulara's dimensional trap springing upon PC's. The dimensional [...]

Gaming in 2014: a Diatribe

Forgive me, good readers. I generally strive to keep politics, social issues, and hot-button topics off of the site. But looking back at 2014, a year with so many incredible releases in ourlittle hobby of tabletop role-playing, all I can do is vomit up blood, bile, and broken shards of glass. Reflecting on the past [...]

[Review] No Salvation For Witches

Blue bookmark ribbon for those who beat crowdfunding average.
You might already know what a premise for +Lamentations of the Flame Princess products is. If you don't, this product has gore and full frontal nudity illustrated. This truly is not safe for work.

Written by +Rafael Chandler, the metal dude of OSR and RPGs.

Physical Quality

Hardback, 64 sturdy pages, full color illustration. Great layout. Inside covers with maps. If you think that hardcover Rules & Magic LotFP rules book is a 10, this book is 11 in my opinion. One of the best physical product qualities in LotFP line [...]

[Review] No Salvation For Witches

Blue bookmark ribbon for those who beat crowdfunding average.
You might already know what a premise for +Lamentations of the Flame Princess products is. If you don't, this product has gore and full frontal nudity illustrated. This truly is not safe for work.

Written by +Rafael Chandler, the metal dude of OSR and RPGs.

Physical Quality

Hardback, 64 sturdy pages, full color illustration. Great layout. Inside covers with maps. If you think that hardcover Rules & Magic LotFP rules book is a 10, this book is 11 in my opinion. One of the best physical product qualities in LotFP line [...]

The Death of Bartobras Hedgewarden

Continued from Part 27...

The chanting became louder and more urgent. Rask and I scouted ahead. I took the left stairwell and Rask the right. The roughly octagonal room was topped by a bestial face carved into the ceiling. Before an altar stood my friend from the hippogriff who had carried away the remains of the paladin Malagant. Our friend was wearing the paladin's armor. There was another fellow who looked like a wizard and a half dozen of the blind outsider types. To further complicate things, there were eight civilians entranced along the walls of the room.

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #22 January 1977

There is no page 131977 was a big year. It started out really cold but it also gave us two of the biggest genre movies and two of the biggest directors to ever be tangentially associated with RPG and D&D in particular.  Steven Spielberg with Close Encounters of the Third Kind and George Lucas with Star Wars.

Owl & Weasel though starts off 1977 with what must have been the two favorite topics of conversation around the GW editorial room; topless women and baseball.  Now to be fair it was the late 70s. Look at other magazine covers at [...]

Movie Trailer ~ Cinderella

Babylonian Music!

Okay this is pretty cool. After a great deal of research and study and attempting to understand the ancient languages she is singing in, crossed and compared with modern variants, Stef Conner has composed a number of tracks, remaking ancient Babylonian poetry into song.

So it is very possible that this is something like what it would have sounded like (minus the recording studio, though the did have batteries, so who knows?).

I can't get it to embed, so just follow this link.


The Case For Mystara in 5e D&D

I was a guest on the Round Table podcast last night and we speculated about future published settings for D&D 5e. There are various and sundry reasons for and against every setting we discussed, but I don’t want to go into those today. What I want to do today is make a quick case in […]

D&D: Parting Shots in the Edition Wars

A couple years ago, Wizards of the Coast set out to glue back together the Humpty Dumpty that D&D had become due to "edition warring". In an effort to unite old school philosophy with modern game design, "D&D Next" was placed out into the public eye so the fans could lobby for the parts of the system they felt were important, while WotC showed what parts of the system is was lyposuctioning away in order to make a more lean, mean D&D.

There were many, many doubter who said it would never work... And many more, like myself, who thought it [...]

Monthly check-in

So many things happening so hard to keep up. Some quick updates: Got Through the Breach. I'm very excited to play. So many possibilities. Played in Bill Meyer's DCC Game at Villainous Lair, that was a blast...I was playing the Warrior with the 18 luck, and no brains. There's a Holiday themed DCCRPG game on Sunday this weekend...sounds like fun! Got lots of Gaming goodies for the boys for

Word of the Day -- Knacker

A knacker is a person in the trade of rendering animals that have died on farms or are unfit for human consumption, such as horses that can no longer work. This leads to the slang expression "knackered" meaning very tired, or "ready for the knacker's yard", where old horses are slaughtered and the by-products are sent for rendering. A knacker's yard or knackery is different from a slaughterhouse, where animals are slaughtered for human consumption. In most countries Knackery premises are regulated by law.

A horse carcass, rendered, had many uses. In the U.S., the meat could end [...]

Guest Post: Author/historian Shawn Fisher comments on rules-lawyering

Shawn Fisher, co-author of GURPS High-Tech and GURPS WW2: Hand of Steel (among other published works) posted a comment to the thread on rules-lawyering that somehow bounced from Blogger. He contacted me offline with the comment, which was fairly extensive - too extensive to be buried in the comments!
So here's more fuel on the fire. I anticipate restrained and level discussion.
The very point of rules is to help narrate an adventure game. No GURPS writer will ever be able to write rules that are perfect: That's an impossible standard. In addition, GURPS authors aren't trying to do that anyway. GURPS has an official play style that is very important. 

On Basic Set p.492 it says a GM listens
"to the players describe what they're doing, then use the rules of the game to tell them what happens, so they can describe what they want to do next . . .the sections below will help you, as GM, determine "what happens next" in a variety of situations. But the most important things are not "rules" at all, but guidelines for good GMing. Use common sense. When any rule gives a silly result, follow common sense instead. No matter how much we playtest, no rules are perfect -- including these. Don't let the players turn into "rules lawyers." So the rules are intended for mature people, playing a cooperative game, who are willing to use common sense to fill in the gaps - or fudge [...]

The Blood Curse Answer

I have a problem with the Blood Curse from the Legacy of Kain series.

It makes no sense.

Simultaneously afflicting an entire race with a condition that “imprisons” their spiritual essence within their flesh, makes them supernaturally dependent upon blood (because they instead need souls if they remain in the Underworld long enough) for sustenance, and renders them “sterile” to boot.

No, the curse makes no sense. The Hylden aren’t a kind of people that “inflicts” curses. And perhaps most important of all — they aren’t the kind of people to remain silent about it — they’d gloat at every available opportunity.

So I’ve [...]

Orc Labs Podcast 17 -- D&D 5e Bard (Dungeon Guitar Solo)!

Want to be a bard? First take 5 levels of ‘Fighting Man’, now take 5 levels of ‘Thief’, finally sprinkle in some ‘Druid’, and voila, a Bard is born! Hold on… I’m being told you can just start as a Bard now… Dungeon guitar solo! Waaawawaweeeewoowaweawooweee! Okay party is stronger.

Events & Play Wednesday - Lake Geneva Games Gameday, Saturday, January 3rd

Keep an eye on this page here for more information about an upcoming Lake Geneva Games Gameday for Saturday, January 3rd, likely starting at 10 am and running late into the evening.  I'll be running a 1E AD&D slot called "Conquering the Dragon's Teeth."  "This AD&D adventure will use pre-generated 5th level characters. Use your wits as well as your steel to prevail."  I hope the weather allows us to have another great turnout!

Events & Play Wednesday on CreativeMountainGames.com News of Conventions and Gamedays as well as picturesfrom those I have attended and games I have played.Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, [...]

The GM as Magician

Just a brief rumination that occurred to me while driving home today. There's a lot of tips about how to GM better games. And that's all well and good. But keep in mind something as you GM - you are like a magician to your Players. Well, I should caveat that by saying that it varies to a certain degree depending on the type of game your running. The more Narrative your style of game, the

Christmas Kills: The Legend of Holiday Group Collapse

Every year it’s the same: Players get busy, and before you know it, you don’t have a gaming group for much of November and all of December. This is a dangerous time for any gaming group, as it has the danger of completely collapsing your group, ending it permanently. It’s happened to me a few times in the past. How can you avoid it?

1. Try to end your session on a cliffhanger: No one wants [...]

Thoughts on Allegory in City at the Top of the World

I tried not to be too obsequious with the message behind City at the Top of the World, but I also tried to avoid blatant moralizing to the point where maybe the message is lost.

While Aeryn is a non-white protagonist, City at the Top of the World is a commentary on the decadence of technologically advanced cultures that have lost basic survival knowledge rather than a commentary on race, especially as the races and ethnicities in Cirsova aren’t exactly analogous to any potential real world counterparts.

The pale men of the North draw some inspiration from the Melniboneans in terms of [...]

Designing Out Loud -- Ability Scores -- part 4

In part 3 of this series I worked through selecting a unified set of ability scores that I felt could be used in both of my visions for the skill system of my game. What I forgot to think about, until the very end of that essay, was the scale and range of the ability scores. That’s today’s topic.

In the first part of this series (Designing Out Loud – Ability Scores – part 1) I briefly discussed the different ranges that the ability scores could take. In part 2, before I worked out a unified set of ability scores, I [...]

No Cat Food

Holmes for the Holidays IV

The Maze of Peril (image recycled from last year)

Welcome to the fourth annual 'Holmes for the Holidays' where I send a present to a randomly selected reader. This year I am again giving away a brand new copy of Holmes' 1986 D&D novel The Maze of Peril.

Same system as before: if you are interested, add a comment in reply to this post within the next two days. The two days are the time limit before moderation starts on posts on the blog. After two days, I'll stop accepting entries [...]

Let There be Dragons

Deck of Fat from Evil Hat Productions

BattleCON: War of Indines Extended Expansion


Keep the battle raging with BattleCON: War Remastered Extended Edition!


BattleCON: War Remastered Extended Edition features a complete set of new Alternate Art Character cards. These cards provide each character with a new Unique Ability that changes the way they play, as well as bonus arenas, strikers and even new game variants! The Force Gauge is also an alternate system for using special moves and finishers that replaces Special Actions, adding even more game play options! Can you survive the War of Indines?




2 players

15-45 minute play time



4 sets of Beta Bases (24 cards)

15 Striker Cards

1 Rules [...]

Amy's Talkin' Christmas Comics...

In this episode of Amy Dallen's comic book vlog, she celebrates A Very Comics Christmas with a few of her favorite holiday stories.

Gamer to Gamer -- Keith Baker

A new episode of my podcast, Gamer to Gamer, is up on The Tome Show’s website. James Introcaso sits down with Keith Baker, creator of the Eberron campaign setting, Gloom card game, novelist, and game designer to talk about the games he’s playing, his career, and his soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for an entirely new RPG from his company, Twogether Studios. This podcast was recorded on December 9, 2014. Links: The Tome Show on Facebook worldbuilderblog.me Twogether Studios Twitter Twogether Studios Facebook Pheonix Dawn Command Twitter

If you like what you're reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcasts, The Round Table andGamer to Gamer, tell your [...]

Hero Datafile: Werewolf By Night

Happy Chanukah from all of us at Plot Points! As we continue Monster Week, we come upon another "hero" from the heyday of Marvel Horror in the Seventies: Jack Russell, the Werewolf! After about three dozen issues of his original comic, Jack gained some control over his lycanthropic curse, which finally allowed the character to break out of the "emo" mold and have a little fun. (P.S. Don Perlin was one of comics’ most-underrated artists. His long run on Werewolf By Night was superb.)

And it's this in-control/Legion of Monsters Werewolf that I've statted up here. His milestones reflect his family's [...]

EU VAT reversed 2015

It appears that EU wants to reverse the VAT charging from 2015, as a seller of digital products/services in EU selling to EU customers you will have to pay your tax in the customers country at that countrys VAT rate. I signed a petition against this legislation, as it strikes me as a hampering on small businesses that wants to sell internationally. “PIERRE MOSCOVICI: A unilateral suspension of the introduction of the new EU VAT laws for micro businesses and sole traders” http://www.change.org/p/pierre-moscovici-a-unilateral-suspension-of-the-introduction-of-the-new-eu-vat-laws-for-micro-businesses-and-sole-traders?recruiter=198217866&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition Support small individual businesses, stopping something like...

The post EU VAT reversed 2015 appeared first on Tiny Gork.

Edo's Game Previews: Cartography -- Episode 25

Cartography Game Review

A twitter fan first told me about the Cartography Kickstarter campaign -- and then the campaign page grabbed my attention. Even though they've funded, Jon Adams sent along a prototype of the game for a preview. Cartography is a classy take on territory control games like Go or Othello. The presentation is fantastic and the twist is that you can build out your map for a period of time while vying for territory. Once you've used up the tiles, you then finish filling out the remaining spaces on the board.

I hope this Kickstarter Preview was helpful! Let me [...]


One thing folks should understand is that much of my exploration of the superhero genre is directly related to my child (who turns four years old next month). Not that I don't enjoy the superhero genre myself (for reasons of wish fulfillment and punch-in-the-mouth problem solving, if nothing else)...I'm just saying I probably would not be going back and watching these old cartoons, if not for him. Probably...
Anyway...the last day or two he's been really interested in superhero origins, i.e. "how did [insert name] become a superhero." Season two of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends consists of three episodes [...]

Battle of the Five Armies today!!!

In a few hours I'll be sitting in what will probably be a mostly empty theater (what do you expect for a noontime showing on a Wednesday?) watching the IMAX 3D version of the final installment of The Hobbit movie trilogy, and I am so psyched!

My thoughts on it tomorrow!  Be warned, I am a total fanboy for Peter Jackson's vision of Middle-Earth, even if I think some of his story choices are questionable. I'd watch 3 hours of characters in Dale or Lake Town or the Shire just walking around...

Multi-Variable Spells -- 6th-9th Level Spells Beginning with T & U

by Tim Wallace

This was supposed to be the last multi-variable spell post. It was also supposed to be posted yesterday. Unfortunately, due to illness, I only made it through the 6th-9th level spells beginning with T & U last week. Next week it will all be done.

TAR POOLSchool transmutation [earth, fire]; Level druid 6, sorcerer/wizard 6, summoner 5Casting Time 1 standard actionComponents V, S, M/DF (a ball of hardened tar)Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)Area 20-ft.-radius burstDuration 1 round/levelSaving Throw Reflex partial, see text; Spell Resistance noYou convert a layer of the ground to [...]

Convert To Fate To Test The Character

One of the fun things that marks FATE different from a lot of other RPGs is what set of rules the mechanics are designed to replicate. Simply put, where most RPG mechanics are designed to replicate the physical reality of the world - in some fashion or another - the rules of FATE are designed to replicate the rules of story.

In FATE it doesn't matter how slippery the ground is or what the actual top velocity of a vehicle is, what matters is that the "Ground is Treacherous" and that both people are in "Really Fast [...]

The Loreshapers Tabletop Game Design Contest!

The Loreshapers Tabletop Game Design Contest is about making fun tabletop roleplaying games for the masses. The contest has two parts, a 24-hour game component and a 72-hour game component. Stuffer Shack is sponsoring the contest, which means we’re providing two prizes (gift cards to either Amazon, DrivethruRPG, or our very own Store).

The contest theme will be announced on January 1st here in the comments, as well as on the Loreshapers website. Check out the official contest announcement right now to get more details!

More awesomeness... [...]

Kaku vs. Szczepaniak

I’ve only recently heard about the ordeal with Agness Kaku, her sister Hanako Abe, and John Szczepaniak from the Ralph Retort(which posted it with a fairly hyperbolic and, as yet unsubstantiated, title), and I’ve gotta say, it doesn’t really pass the smell test.

The only work of Agness Kaku’s with which I am familiar is her localization of Metal Gear Solid: 2, which I supposed I enjoyed, considering that the highest praise one can give for a game’s localization was to not notice that the localization was bad. Honestly, though, I was unaware of her or that she was the person [...]

On the Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Episode 6, Part II

Castle NaerytarWhy do the cultists drag the treasure thousands of miles north, only to fly it back south only a hop, skip, and a jump from Greenrest?
A logical question, and the answer is pretty clear. The cult is collecting lots of treasure from lots of places, and don't want their plan to be discovered. Better to send the treasure far away from where Tiamat is being summoned and transport it, rather than risk everyone tracking down the central populated area everyone is sending the treasure. 
A castle, even one 15 miles into a swamp, that cuts off 700 miles [...]

New Release - The Oddvent Oddpendium!

The Oddvent Oddpendium is a a 22 page compilation of material for Into the Odd, including:
- Three Adventure Sites.
- Random Tables from What's on that Island? to I push the glowing red button!
- Three new types of character for players to try out.
- Odd Encounters and Strange Arcana.

You can download it for free here, and it will soon be packaged in with the Into the Odd PDF release.

This is a combination of existing blog material and brand new content. All art is by my own hand.


A Glimpse Into the Vault: Betrayal at House on the Hill

Today as we head into the Great and Mighty Vault of Games, we find a game inside that actually features a Vault… and a Pentagram Chamber, and a Kitchen!Betrayal at House on the Hillcasts players in the role of explorers inside a randomly generated haunted house. Why is it haunted? What secrets lie within? No one knows. Seriously, when the game starts no player or anyone in the room has any idea what’s up with the house or who the villain of the game is, not even the villain! Intrigued yet? It’s creaky hallways, mysterious plots, and macabre strategy this [...]

Coming April 2015: Magic

The world is steeped in magic.

It is everywhere, inhabits everything, and fuels the desires of many.

Shadow, Sword & Spell: Magic is your guide to magic. Not only will you discover new spells and new alchemical arts, but also new options to add to your games. What options?

  • New skills
  • Rules on ether pools and ley lines
  • New magical options such as counter spelling and blood magic
  • Domain magic: Magic that allows you to harness the inherent magic that flows through the land and effects the entire domain
  • Rune magic: A long forgotten art that channels ether through inscribed runes
  • Witchcraft: The opposite of alchemy and the [...]
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