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About thirteen years ago, one of my players looked me dead in the eye after the close of a campaign that saw the world plunged into hell-fire and dragons and said "I'm sensing a pattern here, every campaign builds to some earth shattering cataclysm that we are in part responsible for". He was right, I had developed a strange habit of culminating campaigns in apocalyptic scenarios, usually triggered by something the players unwittingly released or failed to stop. It was a bad habit, but not my worst habit. I think part of the problem was I wanted the gods to play an active role in the setting but just had trouble using restraint. I was in too much of a rush, which is contrary to how immortal gods would approach the world. They have eternity so it makes much more sense to play gods as long term planners, not Rambo on steroids itching for [...]

Fonts and Cards and Other Stuff

I haven't posted much this week, because I've been focusing on a few ideas that have taken quite a bit of my time (and a detour to hospital with Leah took a sizable chunk of my attention as well). Generally, I've been busy, it's been a productive week...just not here at the blog.

I've been busy programming with Ren'Py, trying to get this "Rentpunk" game working and looking right (even though the deadline has well and truly expired). I've been drawing new images for the game, and toying with some other concepts.

The fonts I alluded to earlier, [...]

The Lost Nipple-Eyes of Tamoachan!

Again, I fall into the silliness of my googly-eyed obsession.

For these are the lost nipple-eyes of Tamoachan!

I actually occasionally feel guilty defacing these classic pieces of AD&D artwork…

And then that feeling of guilt goes away when I get things like this. Picture it, you are at work, waiting for an elevator in the lobby, and “ding”, there’s a cross-over between Vegepygmies and The Residents with stone age weapons in front of you!

And we’ll finish off today with Bruenor, who is still kind of in shock at the new look of halflings in Fifth Edition.

River Pirates! 5e WNW

Session 4 of the Weird New World campaign was played on Friday 10/17

The party consisted of the following:
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 2 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 2 (Erindel)
Kethra, Human Fighter 2 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 2 (Erik)

Not in attendance:
Riia, Human Ranger 2 (Hanna) - out of state
Max, Human Bard 2 (Yann) - excused

In the hours before dawn, 2 riverboats moved slowly and silently downstream toward Salt Bay, coming to rest on the banks of the river at the north end of the city. In spite of their silence, [...]

Game of Thrones Season 5 Trailer & Westeros News Roundup

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: Dragon’s Hoard (Image: Green Ronin)

George R. R. Martin. The Guardian vermeldet, dass der sechste A Song of Ice and Fire-Roman Winds of Winter 2015 wohl nicht erscheinen wird. HarperCollins wiederverffentlicht stattdessen drei in Westeros angesiedelte Erzhlungen in einer illustrierten Sammlung. Die Seven Kingdoms sind sicherlich auer sich vor Begeisterung.

"Nothing is more hateful than failing to protect the one you love."
– Game of Thrones Season 5 Trailer

Dafr gewhrt HBO einen Ausblick auf die bevorstehende fnfte Staffel mit einem aktuellen Game of Thrones Season 5 Trailer. Am 12. April 2015 soll es dann weitergehen. [...]

Mouse Guard RPG 2nd Edition

I just spotted a note that there will be a release of a 2nd edition of Mouse Guard in April. It’s not only going to be a reprint, but an actual revised edition of the game.

Mouse Guard is probably one of the most amazing and unique RPGs that are out there. Not only are the rules quite unlike most other RPGs out there, the setting is truly one of a kind and the art of the book one of the best in the business. Even without having seen this 2nd edition, I highly recommend this game to anyone who has [...]



The 'Pay What You Like' OSR Resource - "100 Oddities for a Thieves' Guild" From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns On The Dark Corner Blog

You've broken the last ward and seal on the thieve's guild vault, the door creaks outward and then you notice the mechanism for a dart trap, the tip of the darts are coated with a purplish golden ichor, no doubt poisonous. Then your PC disarms that last trap and you find! What?The"100 Oddities for a Thieves' Guild" is the perfect list to help you as the DM out with just such a question in

North Wind Adventures To Launch A New Kickstarter Featuring Three New Hyperborea Adventure Modules On The Dark Corner Blog

Well, North Wind Adventures has a brand new website and three new modules coming out on Kickstarter and we've got exclusive details on the Dark Corner Blog. Astonishing Swords and Sorcerers of Hyperborea has a brand new look to their adventures and some exciting new adventure location settings for their modules. We've got new details to bring your PC's to the next level in Hyperborea right

Dragon #72

Interim build v0.197 is available

The next interim build (v0.197) is available. Fixes in this build:
  • Visibility calculation has been updated and is working on map load.
  • “Update variation” option has been added back to the map pop-up menu.
  • Mortar variations have been added for all wall types.
Note: The wall mortar is not being updated on the player map, so the wall mortar is not visible. It is still used for visibility calculation, so players will not be able to “see” to the other side of them.If you backed a pre-order on BackerKit and you haven’t received an e-mail with the download links, please send an e-mail to backerkit@tabletopconnect.com

For [...]

The Bamfsies Are Announced and You Can Win MORE Prizes!

So, a while back I told you that the Bamfsies were a thing.

Well, the Judges had their say and the people had their say and awards were given to well deserved games. You should totally go check it out.

You know what's even cooler?

You can win games.

Now that's awesome...and that's the reason I do the Top Six giveaway every year. Well, Mike Lafferty recognizes my one good idea when he sees it, and BAM: You can win GCore, Cold Steel Wardens, Emerald City, Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition, Venture [...]

Friday Night Videos: Iron Maiden

Ok. Last week went great. Had some good hits and some requests. So lets get back to it. This week I want to feature a band who I, and many others, consider to be the quintessential Dungeons & Dragons band. Iron Maiden! I was introduced to Iron Maiden via my Jr. High School DM. He was a huge Iron Maiden fan and lived close to the Capitol Records/EMI plant. So we would ride our bikes there

Closing out January

Its been a good month.  A very good month.  This weekend I get to celebrate my beautiful wife's birthday and root for the Patriots (the far lesser of two evils, in my opinions, #ravensnation).

I've been thinking about the blog.  I've managed to keep up my every other day pace and have been looking back at its direction since last summer.

Back then, I decided I wanted to move away from Actual Play Reports and work on content.

I think I've done that, but I'm now focusing on quality.

And I keep thinking that WotC's lack [...]

[Let's Study Mutant: Year Zero] Part 2: Making Mutants

After several delays, we’re back with our coverage of Mutant: Year Zero! Today we’re tackling character creation as we attempt to make our very own Mutant.

Character creation is summarized in 12 steps:

  • Choose your role
  • Choose your name
  • Define your appearance
  • Distribute 14 points across your four attributes
  • Distribute 10 points across your skills
  • Choose a talent
  • Draw a mutation
  • Define your relationships to the other PCs and NPCs
  • Choose your big dream
  • Choose your gear

It seems like a lengthy process at first glance, but I’m getting the impression that it might actually be simpler than it first appears.


A character’s Role in Mutant Year Zero is essentially akin to their [...]

Slice & Dice! -- Handmade Dice!

This week's entry is going to be on the short side, as it was written while Tangent Artists

The 1-sided die! Get them now, before they tear a hole in the fabric of the universe.

were while at Marscon. This is our 4thyear at the Williamsburg-based sci-fi / fantasy con, and we're delighted to once again showcase our comics, books, and gamer stuff. Also, we’ll be offering up one of our signature impulse items: the One-Sided Die!

In our webcomic CRIT!, wepoked fun at wizards, gaming, and a little bit of breaking the fourth wall. Afterwards, we started wondering: could you actually make [...]

Monsters from Myth II: Soulblighter for D&D

Okay, I don't know how many of you played Bungie's excellent Myth series of turn-based tactical games, with releases in 1997, 1998, and 2001. Judging by the fact that the series hasn't seen a release since 2001, I'm going with "not enough of you." I don't pretend that I was skilled or tenacious enough to finish a campaign playthrough, but I adored the low-fantasy setting (with clear landmarks of a high-fantasy past); the frequent light-touch Irishness of the setting didn't hurt. In short, the Myth series is the best ripoff of the Black Company books I've ever seen. With that in mind, [...]

And Then There Were Eight - The D&D 5e Team Loses Two Editors

The Dragon giveth, The Dragon taketh away
I saw the news yesterday via Twitter and ENWorld, but now even ICv2 has an article about WotC letting go two editors for the Dungeons & Dragon line - Chris Sims and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes.

WotC used to do a Christmas purge on a yearly basis, although I think they mostly skipped 2013 and it looked like 2014 was another pass. Guess they were just a month late this time.

The ICv2 article goes on to mention there are just 8 members left of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop team. How large a staff does Paizo have working on Pathfinder?

I guess WotC could always freelance their future releases, but I'm beginning to suspect those [...]

Long Ride to a Short Death, an adventure for Neo School Hack

Now that I've done some design work for Neo School Hack, I thought it only proper that I do a beginner adventure (sorry, no boxed set).

The adventure begins with our heroes relaxing together at a small riverside trading post.  They arrived here yesterday to await the post coach which will take them to the market town of ut-Frienne inland north of here.  The region between the river and the town is deserty wilderness and travel with other people by coach is much safer and faster than going it alone on foot.  A major combined festival and market day [...]

Devil, Gelugon (Ice Devil)

A pair of frozen, multifaceted eyes coldly judge all before this towering, insectile monstrosity.

Source: Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix I
     Technically they are not devils in 2nd edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. They are Baatezu. In all other editions they are Devils so that is what they are to me. The Gelugons are high level opponents commonly known as Ice Devils. They guard the eighth level of the Nine Hells. Cania is the frigid layer that protects the only portal to lowest level of the depths of Hell. 

     Gelugons are [...]

From the Inkwell: Sleeper -- Background Design Principles

Sleeper: Orphans of the Cold War is a Kickstarter project from Death Spiral Games. Geek Native covered the launch, saying the campaign shows promise and since then the number of backers has increased threefold. There’s 15 days on the clock and just 150 to go. This campaign will fund.

[Back this Campaign]

Geek Native reached out to Ben Counter, Director of Death Spiral Games and co-author of Sleeper: Orphans of the Cold War, and asked whether he would put together a From the Inkwell piece. He kindly agreed and offered up some valuable insight on the game’s background design principles.

Sleeper: [...]

YALP Ep. 35 Grimm, "A Grimm Adventure, Part V"

The children have made their way into the witches castle and up one of the towers to a room full of caged birds. All that remains now is to use the magic flower and release them.

But, as in all good stories, complications are about to occur. Will Mr. Iggles finally be reunited with Deak? And what about the witch? Will the 4th graders ever make it back to gym class?

Find out in the final episode of:

Grimm, "A Grimm Adventure" Part V

Featuring the gaming talents of:

Brian Casey (@Fiddleback) as the Storyteller
Sam Bigum (@VladePSyker) as Daemon Dare the Dreamer
Erin Vickers [...]

The Elder Scrolls Conversion Project; New class, The Blackguard

Sorry for not posting for a few days, I was busy with real life stuff. Here it is, the Blackguard, a half-caster stealth based class with two subclasses. Ideal for stealthy mages who prefer a bit more magic than the Arcane Trickser has to offer. As with all of my classes, this can be used for non Elder Scrolls style of play, with relatively small amounts of tweaking. Obviously, the spell point system needs to be converted, as well as the spell list. For this class I would recommend a spell list similar to the sorcerer's. 

A Response to a Response to 5 Problems With "Magic" in D&D

Since someone took the time to make a post responding to my article 5 Problems With "Magic" in Dungeons & Dragons, I figure I should make my own response post (because if I just leave a comment I'm likely to forget about it in case they want to keep the dialogue rolling).

Here we go:

"I should start by saying that while D&D magic may have started out influenced by Jack Vance's work, it has become something completely separate that stands on its own.  It is... D&D magic."

However it might have been influenced by The Dying [...]

God, Wil Wheaton is Such a Piece of Shit

It would bother me less, I think, if my town’s local gaming meetup didn’t put up these stupid “Observe Wheaton’s Law” fliers everywhere with his dumb smiling face. Every time I see it, I think about how he wants to deny women (and everyone) their online anonymity. Every time I see it, I remember the people who’ve been harassed and chased off the internet for voicing their opinions. Every time I see it, I remember that disgusting picture that was sent to Liz F. Every time I see it, I think of how on one hand we’re supposed to listen [...]

Thinking About Urbancrawls -- Part 11: The Investigation Action

Go to Part 1

Now we have a basic framework for the urbancrawl: A map divided into districts. Content keyed to each district.

What we need now is a default action that will allow the PCs to engage with that keyed content. In dungeoncrawls and hexcrawls, that action is geographic movement. In the urbancrawl, it's the investigation action.

In my discussion of hexcrawls, I advocated for the "hidden hex": The hex is an abstraction that's useful to the GM for keying and managing content, but which has no meaning for the PCs. In the urbancrawl, however, I believe that you will generally be [...]

Music -- Boris, Farewell (Variations Vers.)

Orc Labs Podcast 25 -- D&D 5e Party Tactics!

Did all the players roll Fighters?… Balance! Tank, Caster, Healer, Thief! Co-ordination is king. How to defeat an Evil sorcerer of higher level. Bard/Warlock tag teaming and other stories.

SHTFriday: Almost Finished with this Bug-Out Bag Series

It's okay if you're tired of this series. I am, too. I didn't realize it would stretch into a 6-part monster, but that's what happens when you have a lot of gear and insist on photographing it all. 
Anyway, if you're still here, go read the next-to-last installment. 

Warrior, Rogue & Mage Renaissance

Send to Kindle

A few days ago, Michael Wolf of Stargazer's World posted an srd of his popular Warrior, Rogue & Mage game. Although the game itself has a very generous license, the SRD is released under the Creative Commons v.3 Unported license. The big change from a different license is the ability to publish something commercially. Otherwise, this removes any barrier for the creation of derivative works.

With the help of Euller Pereira and the encouragement of the folks in the Stargazer's Games G+ Community, a website has been created from the SRD. The goal of the site is to be a hub for the core rules, links to games based on WYRM, and downloads.

R.E. Davis over at Chaos Grenade has also posted about this including a reference to Euller's call to arms that originally got the revitalization project started. In short, let's make some awesome stuff with WYRM.

On the SRD Site, there are links to WYRMM based games including Resolute, Adventurer, & Genius , WYRED, Patchwork Fantasy, and others. (We're still looking for Dice Monkey's Pointman, Hacker & Thief). One of the great things about the WYRM engine is that games based on it are not shemped fantasy tropes with different names. Often times, new mechanics and gameplay elements are introduced.

So I declare that the first twelve days of February to be The Twelve Days of WYRM. Please join in, add a link in the comments and I'll create a post on the 13th with the full list.

Robotech Minis?

What?!  How did I not know about THIS?


After about 100 years on mothballs, Palladium finally put together a miniatures game featuring my all-time favorite giant, tiny, fighting robots!

Robotech punched my brain in the face when I was in 7th grade.  Macross-era episodes would air as I was waiting for the bus in the morning, which means that I never got to see the beginning or end of a show because I'd have to race [...]

Pig-Headed Stubbornness

Things are starting to calm down around here and I'm getting a chance to get back to the computer. Spent a lot of time catching up on my blog reading yesterday, and saw a couple articles I wouldn't mind piggy-backing on (specifically regarding incorporating alternative counterculture in gaming and the effects of a game mechanic like comeliness). BUT...Alexis devoted a lot of word count to his views on Player-versus-Player ("PVP") conflict (to sum up: really bad for the game) and, well, I guess I have some more words to say on the subject.

[if you're interested in what Alexis [...]

Returning on Monday

Hi, this is me just popping in to say that Rumors of War will be back on Monday like I promised — I’ve been lurking the last two weeks for reasons I can’t really discuss, but everything is well and I’m looking forward to Monday.

I’m seriously trying not to be mysterious or anything.

See you Monday!

Go Big or Stay Home!

Two big undertakings are on my horizon. Both of which will most assuredly be making it to the blog as they progress. So, let me know what you think about these games. Two very different games, but they promise to bring me hours of enjoyment!

We plan to start on Temple of Elemental Evil by the end of February and I think The War will also start about the same time. I have to read the rules after all and they weigh in at 120 pages. Well, that is, depending on the scenario we choose; I might only have to ready [...]

My Swords and Wizardry House Rules

Back in 2013, I attended North Texas RPG con for the first time. I had heard about the OSR and D&D retro clones but had never played any. I'd taken a look at both Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC but neither of those system interested me.  At the con, I walked into the Frog God Games room and started browsing through their books. I started flipping through the recently published Swords and Wizardry Complete rulebook.  I was enthralled.  Here was a simple workable system that would allow me to run any classic AD&D adventure I wanted.  I stood there at [...]

Review of the 5e Player's Handbook (Classes)

I thought I could bang out a quick review of the 5e PHB as I did with the Monster Manual, but there is just far too much ground to cover. So I'll give you my take on the classes first. I am happy with all the base classes in fifth, they seem balanced and the archetypes give them serious re-play value. Here is a brief break down:


Not much different here, this class will feel very familiar. The rage mechanics are far simpler as you no longer add stat points mid combat. Instead, you take less damage and do more damage. [...]

A Little MYFAROG Overview by Thrand and Eldgrim


Dudes taking up the MYFAROG torch.

Originally posted on Thulean Perspective:

View original

Daily Cosplay

Humans with pointy ears

In Goethe’s probably most famous and classic play Faust, the honest and properly raised Gretchen falls in love with the dashing and intelligent Doctor Faust, but has some concerns about his pursues of alchemy and astrology and the highly suspicious companion he spends much of his time with. Despite all the trust she places in him, she eventually can no longer dismiss her worries and confronts him for the moment of truth: “How is’t with your religion?”

When it comes to fantasy these days, both literature and games, one of the big Gretchen-Questions appears to be “What do you think about [...]

Imaginarium ~ Hidden Valleys

Foul Machinations Friday: Lands of Ludolog III

The Lands of Ludolog (the 2-Bit Dimension) are strange and many players are going to be disoriented with the fundamental changes in game design involved with the shift to only depth and height. In the first part of the month we explored the specifics for playing in this world, then proceeded straight into gameplay. The […]

The post Foul Machinations Friday: Lands of Ludolog III appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

The Miller Chronicles - 'Who Goes There?' By John Campell And Beyond For Your Old School Campaigns

David Bay Miller has been a friend of mine for a few years in the OSR community and last night adapted The John Carpenter Version of one of my all time favorite films, 'The Thing From Another World' as an OD&D style monster with all of the powers and insights into the classic monster. Right overHERE But there are more permutations to this alien monster then we've simply seen.According to

Terraria Episode 015

To the West! I’m looking to start trouble with the Goblins, as part of my Evil Plan to deal with The Eater Of Worlds.

Find the playlist here!

Tenkar's Landing Crowdsource Hex 18.16, Redux

I made some small revisions to the previous version of my contribution to the Tenkar's Landing Crowdsourced Sandbox Setting, as well as adding a bit of a roll-your-own mini dungeon in the form of the lava tubes riddling Mt. Hrada, set in the southern portion of the hex. The tubes contain a handful of ancient rooms, a smattering of artifacts, and a couple of new critters.

Full text below, or you may download here, if you are so inclined.

The Head of the Ghavor (Hex 18.16)
Contribution to the Tenkar's Landing Crowdsourced Sandbox Setting


The [...]

Pokemon Homage

I thought it would be cool to honor one of the major inspirations of D12; Pokemon. The following is not this weeks post. You can expect a real one later this week, but until then enjoy. (Also, please don’t think of me as conceited when reading this I was trying to stick to feel of the Pokemon Theme Song)

D12 will be the very best,
Like no set ever was.
To scribe rules is my real test,
To play them is my cause.

I will travel across the land,
Playing far and wide.
Every player will understand
The adventure that’s inside!

D12 (Gotta [...]

Kickstarting The Forgotten Monk: A 13th Age novel

  Kickstarter has been quiet for me recently. However, another great campaign has appeared which I want to share with you all.   The Forgotten Monk is a 13th Age novel by Greg Stolze. The campaign page describes the game as follows:   The Forgotten Monk tells the story of a man under a curse. …

Continue reading »

Tyranny of Dragons Online Comic -- Entire Series (Complete)

Read all 10 pages of the completed series by D&D in one location… The biggest and most exciting year for Dungeons & Dragons hits a pivotal moment as the Tyranny of Dragons storyline kicks off. This rich new narrative challenges players to rise up against hoards of evil dragons, including Tiamat, the most fearsome dragon...

Tyranny of Dragons Online Comic -- Entire Series (Complete)

Read all 10 pages of the completed series by D&D in one location… The biggest and most exciting year for Dungeons & Dragons hits a pivotal moment as the Tyranny of Dragons storyline kicks off. This rich new narrative challenges players to rise up against hoards of evil dragons, including Tiamat, the most fearsome dragon...

Free OSR - Enhanced Petty Gods Preview: Tsathoggua

I'm really looking forward to the full Enhanced Petty Gods release.

In the meaning, New Big Dragon Games presents Tsathoggua as a free preview. Grab it and grab it now. The only disappointment is that there isn't more available yet :(

Thanks to +James Mishler for reminding me this was out.

Greenskins & Colonialism

I’ve written at length in the past about the plight of the greenskin and the tableau of colonization represented by the press into the goblin frontiers. One of the best lampshades on the tropes of fantastic racism and colonialism of greenskins comes from Order of the Stick, where one of the main villain’s motivation is to avenge his people’s cultural status as cannon-fodder. Asparagus Jumpsuit wants to move past the colonial tropes of RPGs. But I think it order to move past them*, we need to backtrack. Before we fell in love with the Noble Savage Orcs of [...]

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