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Owl & Weasel Wednesday #6 July 1975

Owl & Weasel #6 from July 1975 will be forever immortalized as the "Dungeons & Dragons" issue.

Page 1 of the issue describes the game we all know so well and it is interesting to read something like this; the game as something new and different.  The editors admit they are already obsessed with it and there is even a dragon on the masthead, making the issue temporarily Dragon, Owl & Weasel.
The article is continued later in the issue. Steve Jackson describes the contents of the box, 3 "little" books and not thousands of pieces.  Though he adds [...]

#RPGaDAY Day 20: Will still play in 20 years time...

I’ve thought long and hard about this question, which of my games would I still be playing in 20 years or so. The only game I could think of would be the venerable Call of Cthulhu as it is in my mind a timeless classic. Although I hope Chaosium have the 7th edition out by […]

Reading Around: octaNe, a post-modern RPG

  The previous Reading Around was Nordic Larp.   It has been a while since I last posted a Reading Around article, but I am still reading through my virtual pile of pdfs..   Last month I bought the excellent Indie Games bundle from Bundle of Holding.   This was a superb bundle of games …

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Best Four Days in Shopping erm Gaming!

I'm going to do a few posts on my experience at Gen Con but I thought I'd do a quick one on what I actually bought. It's safe to say that I bought a lot of stuff... That pile doesn't include any of the 12 (yes twelve) t-shirts that I bought when there too... So what did I buy? D&D Player's Handbook and Hoard Of The Dragon Queen - These were actually bought at Downtown Comics in

THE TRAVESTY OF EVIL CAMPAIGNS

trav*es*ty \tra-v-st\
n. pl. trav*es*ties    1. An exaggerated or grotesque imitation, such as a parody of a literary work.    
2. A debased or grotesque likeness: a travesty of justice.  
3. A literary or artistic burlesque of a serious subject.
A couple of years ago we released an interesting alternate history game called Servants of Gaius, which was set in 38 AD and put a bit of a twist on the history of Caligula's reign. In our version Caligula is not mad, not evil, but is actually becoming a god. This was meant to be a playful take on a dark [...]

Interstellar Empires

One of the guys from my D&D group sent me this. It’s a collection of ideas, quotes, tables, definitions, and examples of interstellar empires.

His timing could not have been better, as I’ve just recently finished reading several of LeGuin’s Hainish novels.

One of the greatest difficulties in maintaining an Interstellar Empire is, of course, distance. Distances in space are unfathomably, impossibly great. Consider that when Voyager took the famous Tiny Blue Dot photo of earth, it was 1.7 billion miles from earth and still not in interstellar space.

Any empire is going to be limited by its ability to react to situations [...]

Good news for roleplayers as Gen Con breaks records

The RPG hobby scored a hit this week as Gen Con broke attendance records. A successful convention, whether you love it or loathe it, helps prove to companies that the industry is busy and worth paying attention too.

This year Gen Con expanded by 14% which makes it the fourth consecutive year which the convention has beaten the 10% growth mark. 56,614 gamers turned up with 370 plus exhibitors and over 14,000 events.

How big is 56,614? Wikipedia lists Indianapolis, where Gen Con is held, as the USA’s 12th largest city with a population of 843,393.

Adrian Swartout, CEO and owner of Gen [...]

Necromancer's lair - Oolong the Scarlet Hero 5

Continuation form here.

Here is the map of the second level of the dungeon.
Oolong tried to descend down to the pit as quiet as possible, but it was too hard even for her. Her presence was noticed.
Upon entering room 27 (a place used for the creation of the undead), she met the necromancer again, this time accompanied by 2 zombies and 6 skeletons.
Necromancer casts Assuming the Flesh of Mists (or simple to say invisibility) and runs away, confident that his minions will eliminate our hero.
But here, Oolong learned how to use the wizards stuff acquired [...]

Does a person count as a flammable object?

Because we were - and this is going to sound a bit weird - one player up and one player down, and the new 5th Ed Player's Handbook was out, we got to re-spec our characters any way we liked.

So that's what we did, and as that didn't take all night but we didn't think to bring a game with us or something, we decided to have an early one for a change and then resume the adventure next session.

On the plus side, our new player is now in play. :D

Courtesy of Wednesday 13 August 2014's 5th Edition Dugeons & Dragons roleplaying session at Chimera.



"Planning a roleplaying game is pretty much like planning a war -- it never survives contact with the enemy."

"If I could hit this hard enough, the problem would go away."

"You can have [...]

Free Download For HP Lovecraft's Birthday & The Use Of Time And Space Gates For Your Old School Campaigns


Grab it Right Over HERE Some shadows loom large in life and some overshadow you to the point where you can never really get away. So its been with me with the man from Providence.
According to Wiki : 
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (/lvkrft, -krft/;[1] August 20, 1890 -- March 15, 1937) --- known as H.P. Lovecraft--- was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and only published in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors in his genre.Lovecraft was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of [...]

Events & Play Wednesday - Lake Geneva Area Gaming, Late July through Late August

Another month of many gaming opportunities.  The RPG group has found it can meet on a weekly basis, at least for a while.  Tuesday at Taco Bell continues, with a special guest in town from Colorado just yesterday, and Culver's continues as well.   I skipped Gen Con this year as there were full day gaming opportunities all within fifteen minutes of Lake Geneva three out of the four days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as Thursday from mid-afternoon through the late evening.  It's hard to justify traveling five hours to spend hundreds of dollars for four days of [...]

Playing Prebuilts in the 5e Starter Set

Lady Sarafina of Corlinn Hill
(actually, Joan of Arc from some Japanese computer game, but it will do)I've never played prebuilt characters that I can recall, except at conventions or game demos, so when we began the D&D Starter Set, I figured my prebuilt fighter/noble would be a short-lived affair and I'd quickly move on to a character I crafted myself.
That was not to be.
The character's noble background, with it's traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws really brought the character to life in my mind, and Lady Sarafina of Corlinn Hill was born.  She's a short little 4' "11 [...]

Running Some 3rd Edition

I’ve run some 3e recently. I think it’s been good for me.

Since I started down the hardcore path of design years ago, I hadn’t really taken a lot of time for fun — and I’m starting to see how that’s taken a toll on me.

I should point out here that there are a lot of different ways to have fun in D&D. It’s a pretty all-encompassing kind of experience. You can have fun tinkering with your character, you can have fun imagining cool stuff…

…And you can have fun slaughtering 10-minute PCs like nobody’s business.

I’ll admit that my fun fell in [...]

5e Musings: Inspiration

Like every edition before it, 5e introduces a few new mechanics to the game. One of those mechanics is Inspiration. For those of you who haven't read the Basic Rules or the recently released Player's Handbook, I'll do my best to explain how the rule works.

Inspiration, at its most fundamental level, is just the latest iteration of "action points" (except extremely simplified). When a character has Inspiration, they may expend it while making an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. By doing so, they receive advantage on that particular roll. A character gains Inspiration by playing out their [...]

Kratos: Go North

On 5e Backgrounds: Fisherman

Fisherman
The sea is your mother, the sea is your life. You aren't a sailor. You're a fisherman. You have a deep, personal, intimate relationship with the sea

Skill Proficiency:  Intelligence (Nature); Wisdom (Survival);
Tool Proficiency: Water Vehicle
Languages: Pick One
Equipment: Fishing line, Fishing pole, Net, Traveler's clothes, Dapper fishing hat, Tacklebox, Can of worms

Specialty: You can either select or roll for the type of fisherman you are, and the type of fish you catch

  1. Wild Drift Net fishing
  2. Flyfishing
  3. Whaling
  4. Mermaid hunter
  5. Sea monster/Giant squid hunter
  6. Subsistence fisherman
  7. Noodling
  8. Spear hunting

Feature:
Anytime you are near a source of water, you [...]

Interview: Stephen Peek

J. Stephen Peek was a game designer for Yaquinto.  He is credited with several board/war games, but more importantly (for purposes of this blog) he was the developer of Man, Myth & Magic and co-developer of The Egyptian Trilogy.  Recently, he was gracious enough to answer a few questions...

Thoul's ParadiseMM&M was Yaquinto's first RPG.  What was the impetus for entering the RPG market?

Stephen Peek:  During this period Role Playing games, (read as Dungeons & Dragons) were rising to dominate the hobby gaming industry.  War games required each player to read and fully understand tedious and [...]

Daily Cosplay (Ghost in the Shell)


Into the Morass of Time

Kekki came to the Ethvold after its first flowering, but before the Ethrum. There he found the gardens of Tefnut and seeing them, he desired them. But his mind was not bent toward their beauty, but rather the desire to devour them. Only the wasting away of things summoned his attention.
Where the water grinds down riverstone lies Kekki, where the rain shapes the hill, or the root breaks the earth, or time wastes all, Kekki lies. It is with an eye toward the sorrow and evil of loss that Kekki's mind is bent, not the nobility of spirit that [...]

Players Handbook Revealed!

I am the Warden!!

Oh, yes, I'm actually that excited about the "return" of D&D that I brought back the classic intro to every blog post. Not that the excitement ever went away, but I've felt out of touch with it these past three years as my interests turned to more independent, modern and assassination-y things. While I enjoyed playing both 3rd and 4th editions for a time (and currently play in a weekly Pathfinder game on Fantasy Grounds), my gradual time-out was a combination of player, DM and publisher exhaustion. I had run my course with them and simply felt [...]

Technology Guide Added to the Pathfinder Reference Document

Buy it here. Currently $2 cheaper than retail. I always get excited when content is added to the Pathfinder Reference Document... or released as OGL material in any capacity, really. This particular update is even better because I've been dreaming up a science fiction setting (Alpha Enigma), and this gives even more material to use that I can incorporate in an official capacity if I ever

Deadly Green



Dogs of Yesteryear

If you've ever watched A Lion in Winter with Peter O'Toole and Kathryn Hepburn you are probably familiar with the scene in the great hall where they are feasting and making merry. It is a perfect scene. Contained in a small hall, with men and women heavily dressed against the cold, hay on the floor, wooden tables, a few tapestries, but mostly stone walls, flickering lights and so on. And roaming about the room are several large dogs. They eat scraps that fall on the floor, bark and simply add an element of comfort to the hall.

Dogs have [...]

UFO Files

On the north coast of Australia a photographer snapped a few pictures of what he describes as "what appeared to be a craft of moderate size zooming in and out of the clouds." The craft was horse shoe shaped with high reflective surfaces. Read more.



I have no idea what that is, kind of looks like a shooters disk. Though it may be nothing, it is possible that in that picture, beyond the steel of the craft, are creatures from beyond the world. Who can say for sure?

#RPGaDay 20

Day 20 - Will Still Play in 20 Years Time....



I've been playing D&D for about 20 years now (started when I was around 10). I could see me playing it for another 20 years (or more).

Dragonslayer

Wellstone City is not new to smuggling. The big crime syndicates all have established operations, and there are plenty of small-time crooks who bring in (or ship out) various shady goods.

However, a massive shipment of military-grade arms was just intercepted by an unknown party. The intended recipients, the Black Dragons, have millions tied up in this shipment and are keen to get it back and kill those responsible.

That’s where the PCs come in. The Black Dragons appear to be under siege, with all of their operations being hit by unknown assailants. They’re calling in all of their favors and hiring [...]

Shazam to the Big Screen

Dwayne Johnson has confirmed that he's taking up the title role in the film adaptation of Shazam. This is an odd one to me. I like the Rock, he's great on the big screen. But Shazam is an odd character to convert to the modern audience. The name is odd, tied to his metamorphous and his costume with the half cape is Sienfeldian.

That said, the Rock can carry a role and project power, which will carry far and they've worked toward making Shazam's look more modern. So who can say, but I'm in!
post script: It really is [...]

Ready Set Play with D&D R&D (GenCon 2014)

The Tome Show continues its coverage of GenCon 2014 with the Ready Set Play seminar hosted by the D&D R&D team - including Rodney Thompson, Greg Bilsland, Jeremy Crawford, and artist Bree Heiss.


Support the show, shop below...
NOBLE KNIGHT GAMES



Download Standard Podcasts

Some Thoughts on the Future of RPGs

I'd like to present these ideas to the community of Role Players and would be curious to hear other people's thoughts on this. I feel that RPGs represent a new art form and that the state of the art is in its infancy. I'd like to ruminate on the topic for a bit. RPGs are a new art medium akin to the canvas, the printing press, and film. They present a structure upon which a new art form has

D&D 5E PHB: Through Chapter 2

I told myself I wouldn’t purchase D&D 5E. I did. The price tag was a bit steep, and I wanted to believe I was done with D&D. It brought me into the hobby, but my interest in it had waned. But I bought the PHB anyway. What I’m about to present here are my thoughts and impressions as I read through the first part of the book. If you want more in-depth analysis, you should read Rob Donoghue’s posts over at his blog. In general, this is a good book and an easy read. I have a hard time reading [...]

Dropped Like a Stone -- Setting and NYC in the 1940s

So why have I chosen New York City and 1947 for the setting of Dropped Like a Stone? A number of reasons, actually:

  • I usually set my games in modern-day London because it's where I and my players live. This makes it easier for me to research locations and for the players to imagine. Choosing NYC pushes me outside of my comfort zone and forces me to do something different.
  • DLaS is meant to be a detective story and that immediately conjures in my mind images of America in the 1930s and 1940s. Yes, detective stories can and are set in London [...]

Pathfinder -- PBE Games & Dungeon Maps

I love maps. If I am honest, sometimes the only reason I pitch a Pathfinder game to my group is simply so I have an excuse to create a map.

Like many gamers, I remember TSR’s blue-ink maps. It is an eye-catching design and immediately brings back memories of “old-school” modules. However, while there are many tutorials explaining how to re-capture the look, they are time-consuming and they arent always easy to follow.

Thankfully, PBE Games have released their Dungeons in Blue line. These are affordable Zip folders with geomorphic tiles that can be combined together easilly to make maps of any [...]

Interview with Alf Seegert and Muse

By Paco Garcia Jaen Alf Segert's games came to my attention when The Road to Canterbury made to Kickstarter and, within 20 seconds, I had backed it. For three copies. Yeah... I liked it that much. And then came Fantastiqa. And I also liked that game. A lot. A huge, massive lot of lots. And [...]

The post Interview with Alf Seegert and Muse appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Consolidation

Thrud the Barbarian

I have another couple of blogs, CCG Project and RPG Encyclopedia, and haven’t really done much with either of these blogs for a long time.

So I’ve decided to consolidate these to this blog as the theme is consistent – Potentially Lethal circumstances and problems.

So far there is a list of CCGs and an incomplete list of RPGs which I’m adding to when I get the time.

Hopefully having them all in the one place will make it easier to update all the thoughts and such.

The long term aim is to have at least the starter material from each of [...]

#RPGaDAY Day 20, Will still play in 20 years time...

#RPGaDAY Day 20, Will still play in 20 years time...

Well.

I have been doing it this long (35 years) another 20 sounds reasonable.
Plus I could be retired then and really be an old, pain in the ass Grognard.
I could yell at the new kids and tell the how we used to do it back in the day.

Plus RPGs seem like a good way to keep your mind sharp and that is important in your later years.
It also looks like RPGs will still be around then too. Gen Con and D&D5 are [...]

Dancer


Starting a Savage Worlds Cthulhu campaign

My weird west campaign is still chugging along. However I found myself dragging a bit with it. While I was gung ho at the onset, I found myself getting a little uninspired thinking up adventures. My players seem to be having a good time, but sometimes I've been struggling to keep up the enthusiasm for the setting. I'm convinced now I've been approaching it all wrong.

I wanted a spooky western. Yet I found keeping that suspense going has been a chore. There have been plenty of 'Oh sh*t!' moments my players have had. However maintaining that tension is [...]

Pay What You Want

I’ve been discussing the Pay What You Want pricing model lately. Most publishers who use it are doing so to promote a major release, or to recoup a bit on what would be free stuff. James Raggi takes it to another level and sells his print works using this model when he’s at European RPG conventions. Which rocks, btw. He’s also trying it out on a larger scale with his next release (written by the amazing Rafael Chandler, btw) – he’s offering a new full-colour hardcoverbook as PWYW for all Indiegogo contributors.

But all this chatter made me go back and check out how PWYW has worked for me. I’ve released eight issues of Dyson’s Dodecahedron in a PWYW format. Originally I released them for free through the blog, but when I moved to using RPGnow as a vendor (because of the demand for PDF versions of Dyson’s Delves and Magical Theorems & Dark Pacts), I also moved the Dodecahedron issues over there and made them PWYW.

The expectation was of course that they would effectively be free, and people who really liked them could throw me a few bones (this was before I started my Patreon Campaign).

Since the move to RPGnow, [...]

Law School and the Move

I may have to take a brief hiatus for a few weeks while I move into my first house and enter the first semester of law school. If not, then this warning is for nothing (save moving the next date I have a blog post up). If so... you have been warned!

Dropped Like a Stone -- Setting and NYC in the 1940s

So why have I chosen New York City and 1947 for the setting of Dropped Like a Stone? A number of reasons, actually:

  • I usually set my games in modern-day London because it's where I and my players live. This makes it easier for me to research locations and for the players to imagine. Choosing NYC pushes me outside of my comfort zone and forces me to do something different.
  • DLaS is meant to be a detective story and that immediately conjures in my mind images of America in the 1930s and 1940s. Yes, detective stories can and are set in London [...]

RPG Video Review -- La Mirada del Centinela

By Paco Garcia Jaen La Mirada del Centinela is a RPG that came out in Spain a couple of years ago and published by NoSoloRol, one of the most promising companies in Spain at the moment. A super hero game with a background very close to that of Batman, the game plays to the vigilante [...]

The post RPG Video Review – La Mirada del Centinela appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Pathfinder -- PBE Games & Dungeon Maps

I love maps. If I am honest, sometimes the only reason I pitch a Pathfinder game to my group is simply so I have an excuse to create a map.

Like many gamers, I remember TSR’s blue-ink maps. It is an eye-catching design and immediately brings back memories of “old-school” modules. However, while there are many tutorials explaining how to re-capture the look, they are time-consuming and they arent always easy to follow.

Thankfully, PBE Games have released their Dungeons in Blue line. These are affordable Zip folders with geomorphic tiles that can be combined together easilly to make maps of any [...]

Interview with Alf Seeger and Muse

By Paco Garcia Jaen Alf Segert's games came to my attention when The Road to Canterbury made to Kickstarter and, within 20 seconds, I had backed it. For three copies. Yeah... I liked it that much. And then came Fantastiqa. And I also liked that game. A lot. A huge, massive lot of lots. And [...]

The post Interview with Alf Seeger and Muse appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

A Reason to Kill (Addendum)

Well, I can't sleep. Which is unusual because I can usually sleep anywhere at the drop of a hat. However, I either drank too much coffee today or (more likely) I've just been wound too tight because of the stress this whole trip has caused me. Anyway, I might as well throw some follow-up thoughts to my last post.
When I say, look at the conflict you want to portray as central and build around it, I'm not (necessarily) saying you need to write "Raising Kids: The Role-Playing Game" or something. And I'm not saying you need to give up [...]

August Asides

Rosetta has gone into orbit around 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Some awesome photos have been published already. When you play (read about/work on) a space opera setting such as Contact Light or the original Traveller, it is easy to forget how barren and hostile the universe really is.

In other news, the August issue of Freelance Traveller is out and focuses on Psionics. A shame I did not know this before, as I could have easily worked on that subject. Ah well.

Last but not least, American engineers have created a sheet of plastic that mimics the, err, mimicry of the octopus. It consists [...]

Timeless Games for Timeless Activities

Up here in the Southern Ontario portion of Canada we have a tradition called "cottaging". It's very different then what the urban dictionary says it is. What we do is pack up the car on a Friday, drive 2 to 5 hours in extreme traffic, hang out in a small building with limited amenities, and then drive home in the same ridiculous traffic 48 hours later. Sounds crazy, right? But there are some

Microscope Explorer Announced


Microscope Explorer is a supplement that explores (ehh? get it?) different facets of Microscope. Seeds to get play started quickly? Check. Tools to hone your history? Check. Rules variants and other twists? Check.

The full announcement is here. 

The Online GM: Fighting Other Players

You may have thought (like I did) that my last article was the final in "The Online GM" series. Clearly, you and I were both wrong, for it appears that this comment of mine stirred some questions:

I've found it hard for players and GMs to fight fairly online. I'm not sure what it is about the medium, but it tends to go poorly. ... Reconciliation --- fighting well --- makes a game group better, but it's hard work. And if we want our groups to last, we need to be able to fight well.

In response to this sentiment, the good [...]

Dropped Like a Stone -- Scenes and Clues

At this point I have about a dozen scenes:

  • The Funeral
  • Simone’s Flat
  • The Scene of the Crime
  • Investigation
  • Confronting Webb
  • Finding the Journal
  • Going to the Police
  • Visiting the reporter
  • Meeting with The Hound
  • Decisions
  • Aftermarth

The story will be written so that only a handful must happen and the rest can be optional. I also need each scene to flow naturally into each other. While I’m happy for the PCs to be a little bit stumped (there’s no reason they should have it easy) I dont want the story to come to a halt because no-one knows what to do or where to go next. Therefore, I have written the [...]

Improvised NPCs - Do You Keep Track of Them?

I know I don't. I should, but I don't. It's almost easier to kill them or remove them between sessions than to remember the mannerisms that brought them to life. Yeah, I'm that disorganized.

So, how do you handle improvised NPCs as a DM?
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