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Wolverine and the Avengers

This article may contain spoilers for the X-Men film franchise. You've been warned, filthy flatscans..

     Given the recent success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the hype around the upcoming X-Men: Daysof Future Past, I've gone back and watched the MCU and X-Men films, and have come to two conclusions I'd like to share.

     The important thing to note here is that, while I was very much into and up-to-date on comics in my younger years, I haven't really followed comics story-lines with any real dedication in some time. I've made sure to [...]

B/X Spell Roundup, 3rd level magic-user spells, part 3

Here we are at the final (at least for now) installment of my little series on the B/X spell lists.  Of course there are several more levels of spells, but the first three are the ones that come into play by far the most often.

9. Lightning Bolt:  The other iconic "big gun" spell, after Fire Ball.  Besides the difference in damage types (which rarely comes into play in B/X anyway, except for a few creatures with vulnerabilities to fire or cold) the major difference is in range and area of effect.  A Lightning Bolt can start up to [...]

Quick Note - Archetypes

Archetypes are a concept tha tI'm working on in Chromatic Commandos that is a bit of a mix of d20 style skill checks alongside Fate style concepts. Oddly the Archetype system was inspired not by fate or even D&D but by Brave Halfling Games' Xplorers' class skills. Of course like the rest of Chromatic Commandos this will be tweaked and changed based on the playtest.

Character Creation -- Commando ArchetypesFinally the player chooses his or her Commando's archetype. An Archetype is typically a character's background, history, social status or group he or she identifies with. When a player choses an archetype [...]

Review -- The Boy with the Porcelain Blade (novel)

The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick follows the coming of age of Lucien di Fontein in the city of Demesne in the Kingdom of Landfall. Lucien is one of the Orfano, mysterious orphans cursed with unusual physical characteristics, Lucien blood is clear but turns blue after it has bled out while another Orfafi has spines on his forearms for example, but the Orfani are raised within the nobles house and treated as nobility on the Orders of the King.

The title comes from the fact that Orfani are not allowed to wield a steel blade until they come [...]

Bujilli: Episode 86

Their wounds tended-to by the strange little servants answering to Klush's orders, Bujilli and Leeja were brought before Morquin and his mate Yushgra to deliver their message from Headmistress Shael. Their mission accomplished, they must decide what to do with the still-sleeping Ahven, and what they intend to do next... 
"Are they still out there?" Leeja hissed incredulously.

"Oh yes. They'll wait there for as long as they know you're inside." Morquin leaned back on his cushions. Impassive. Implacable.

"Then we'd appreciate it if you might point out another route we can take to return to our, [...]

Adventure Hooks: The Dangers of the Underdark

The Underdark is the vast subterranean network of interconnected caverns that run beneath the surface world. The Underdark is filled with creatures living and thriving underground, uniquely adapted for life without sunlight. It's the perfect place for adventures to explore when seeking fame, fortune and forbidden knowledge.

Throughout April Dungeon's Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That's 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter [...]

Quick Note - Playtest Questions

Quick questions for everyone in regards to the upcoming Chromatic Commandos playtest.

1. What is your preferred VTT of the following: Fantasy Grounds II, Roll20, Realm Works, Hangouts
2. What is your preferred time of day of the following: Mornings, Late Evenings
3. What is your preferred day of the week?

I am hoping to get go with the alpha playtest for Chromatic Commandos in two weeks and run it through the summer (barring breaks for marriage and other people's vactions) for an early fall release.

for anyone who missed the last two posts (here and here) [...]

The Dozen RPG Podcasts Given Link Love are Up

To the right of this post is a series of links to the (currently) 12 podcasts I subscribe to for listening to on my daily commute. Nothing makes driving from lower Manhattan to Queens via the BQE more pleasant than a good gaming podcast. Hell, in the mornings when this direction is reversed, there are mornings I need to shut off a podcast mid topic - or sit in my car and be late to work - damn temptations ;)

The list will grow as I find time to sample more. It doesn't include any "play podcasts", as I don't currently have any of these set up on my phone. If I do add some, they'll be their own separate list, as there is [...]

First Prototype of Tabletop RPG as a Modality for Therapeutic / Educational Intervention


I submitted the complete bundle this Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014, to the professor with all my fellow Recreation Therapy classmates. She, with the help of her husband and others, will be going through all of the activities over the following weeks, and evaluating them for compliance with a specific checklist. A few of the submissions may be fortunate enough to be selected for submission to a facility on the west coast with an adult special needs population, which we may potentially have the opportunity of implementing during the Summer break as part of our many required hours (1500 related volunteer/paid hours, before eligible for starting the 16 week internship).

I tried to distill the the simplest components of a tabletop role-playing game down to the bare necessities. For dice, a single six-sided die, since that is the most likely to be available in a household or facility, and keeping it numerically [...]

D&D@40: In the News (4/24/14)

 At 40 Years Old, Dungeons & Dragons Still Matters

That's Why Georgia is so Bumpy

For a long great while geologists have pondered on the large, odd rock formations with unusually high magnetism beneath the surface of Georgia and Alabama. They have recently unearthed the reasons (see what i did there?) and have come to the conclusion that that region was part of a suture that connected the two continents 250 million years ago.

I think that means that Florida was almost part of Africa...if the rock had broken differently or the Gulf of Mexico could be filled with Tarzan's jungle.

Stealing Your Material

Stealing Your Material

Fun, Excitement, and Plagiarism

Story ideas for adventures may be the hardest thing. I, often, have to write much of the quest at the last minute because of stupid writer’s block. We’re also all participating in one genre and that genre has certain expectations for the players. There is, usually, a certain feel that they strive for and certain cliches they like to find.

One of the more interesting pieces of advice I’ve picked up for GMing is to explicitly steal your plots. It was noted that there is often a great deal of amusement when the players figure out [...]

Protect the Prince: Prologue

This place hasn't changed, Captain Sharr reflected to himself as he travelled slowly along the walkway, scrutinising the environment. He had spent three of his younger years working as security detail for the Tyrell ambassadorial teams on Aldo V. He had learnt a lot in those tense times, and although he hadn't needed to draw a weapon more than twice, his knowledge of urban combat had been honed. Aldo V wasn't as culturally diverse as Monolith, or as sprawling as Tracks, but it still had that dense and murky feel that Sharr had come to associate with the Purello [...]

Playing Some Old School Basic D&D Tonight, Part 2

So my old school Basic game last Friday went great!

I got to play a witch from my own book that I didn't roll up myself.  It was so great.
Yes we were all 1st level characters. At one point we were attacked by giant rats, but since my familiar is a rat I managed to talk our way out wit no bloodshed and we even got the heads up on some of the monsters.
Our DM is using some houserules and they worked out fine.

What I think I am enjoying the most is that the [...]

Book review - The Emperor's Will (Agents of the Imperium)

Please welcome to Farsight Blogger guest blogger Richard Williams, a fellow gamer, weird stuff enthusiast, writer and a really good friend of mine. Richard has a passion for art books and for a few weeks he'll be sharing his thoughts on some of his favourites.

The Emperor's Will (Agents of the Imperium) is a great book and definitely worth it (because you know what Games Workshop/Black Library publications are like when it comes to pricing).

My only gripes with this book are:

1: No descriptions with the pictures. Publishers, please, when making an art book there should always [...]

Daily Punch 4-24-14 Shield Reposte feat for Pathfinder

Time for some love for Pathfinder. How about a feat that allows you to respond to an attack with you shield.


Shield Reposte (combat)

When people get close to your shiield, you know how to make them pay.

Prerequisite(s): Improved Shield Bash, Shield Proficiency

Benefit: Determine your AC with and without your shield. When an attack would fails to hit your normal AC, but would have hit your AC without your shield, you may as an immediate action, make a shield bash against the attacker.



Quick Note - Mage Armor

Looking at the SRD the spell "Mage Armor" reads as such:

An invisible but tangible field of force surrounds the subject of a mage armor spell, providing a +4 armor bonus to AC.
Unlike mundane armor, mage armor entails no armor check penalty, arcane spell failure chance, or speed reduction. Since mage armor is made of force, incorporeal creatures can't bypass it the way they do normal armor.

I would like to add on cavaet to the description of the spell:

All natural effects from a spell or spell-like ability still affect the subject of [...]

Gunslinger Archetype -- Legionnaire

Legionnaire (Archetype) While most gunslingers---especially those that use two handed weapons---eschew melee combat, legionnaires revel in it. Their skill with firearms is only matched by the ferocity with which they can engage in close-quarters fighting. In battle, ranks of soldiers have been known to break before a charge of legionnaires. Weapon Proficiency:A legionnaire only gains […]

The post Gunslinger Archetype – Legionnaire appeared first on Adventure-A-Week.

Review for "The World Between for Fictive Hack"

I got a review for this book! That delights me.

Martin Ralya says:I rate it an 8/10, with this comment: “I love Old School Hack and Jack Shear’s setting work, so combined and run through Andrew Shields’ take on them they produce an interesting-looking game and world. The game looks like fun, the writing is excellent, and there are tons of things here that could be re-purposed elsewhere. It’s a light system, but savory: It wrings a lot of flavor out of its mechanics.

It’s presented grab-bag style, which is at times a bit frustrating for such a [...]

Hot, Dry, And Outta Time - Ambush Of The Lizard People - A Mutant Future Encounter

Crossing what's left of the Great California desert one will come across vast mutant hordes of Lizard People. Savage, relentless, and entirely predatory these horrors will track anyone that gets in their territories.
There are over seven distinct tribes of these mutant humanoids that typically will rip anyone to shreds and eat the remains.
They prey upon each other as well as other mutants who range within their turf. Because of the rich pickings of the former state of California , these mad apex predators are used to dealing with adventurers and salvagers.

 The howl and hiss of these [...]

Iron Crown Enterprises' Newsletter -- April 2014

To receive this monthly newsletter direct to your inbox, sign up to our MAILING LIST now.
It has been a huge month here at ICE HQ. After a lot of thought and planning, we have now re-launched the Order of the Iron Crown. The Order is our way of rewarding fans and followers who help in the creation or promotion of ICE products across the globe.
If you want to join the Order of the Iron Crown or if you just want to find out more, you can do so on the Order of the Iron [...]

Video Unboxing: S.O.S. Titanic by Ludonaute

Few maritime tragedies have fascinated humanity like the Titanic. The horrific and needless death of more than one thousand humans product of the arrogance and carelessness of humans who thought were above mistakes and oversights still haunt us and teaches us lessons we should have never had to learn. Based on that, you'd think inappropriate [...]

The post Video Unboxing: S.O.S. Titanic by Ludonaute appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Commentary On The Free Science Fiction Classic - The Star Conquerors By Ben Bova For Your Old School Science Fiction Campaign

Grab It Right Over
This is another part of the Winston collect and Ben Bova's first book. This one is a virtual blue print for the original Star Trek or even Star Trek The Next Generation.  We've got all of the classic 1950's science fictional elements in this one. This one is great fodder for your old science fiction retro clone games.
The Human race ventures into the universe and comes face to face with the Saurians the catpaws of  'the Masters'. This book is typical Fifties science fiction at its pulp best with all of the elements in [...]

The King In Yellow... In A Box!

My Easter present from Rachel arrived today: Twilight Creations' CTHULHU!!! game. It's a self-contained variant of their hugely popular ZOMBIES!!! game and uses a lot of similar counters and rules as well as playing tiles to create your random layout of the streets of Kingsport.The aim of the game is to have the players prevent deranged cultists (and Lovecraftian beasties) from summoning The

U -- 'Untitled'

I had a face once, but boris melted it off.

Free to Steal-Upcoming Hubris Session Map- Using a One Page Dungeon Format

First off- to my players- DON’T READ! Ok- now that has been said…

In my Hubris campaign the players were recently saved by Yelsa, Goddess of Sex and Violenceand were told that they must find out who is killing whores in Fairweather, their purpose, and stop them.

The characters are going to find out that a wizard has found a page of the Book of Vile Darkness (although it’s not a real page- a darker force has sent out copies of certain pages that corrupt the reader, driving them mad) and it shows how to tear open the Void and bring forth [...]

The Four Goblin Clans of Hubris and My First Piece of Commissioned Art!!

Finally I have moved onto the next phase of heading towards the publication of Hubris… ART!! I am very excited to be working with the awesome and talented David Lewis Johnson(here’s one of his websites- he is currently developing another one). David will be doing most of the artwork for Hubris, as I want to keep the aesthetic similar, although I will have a few other pieces by various artists.


When I developed the goblins, as with orcs- I wanted to keep them familiar, but add my own take on them. The goblins were influenced by horror movies and things like [...]

Site Update -- Spam

Spam on this site has gotten out of control over the past few months. I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to the Alexandrian lately and, unfortunately, most of that time gets chewed up just trying to stay on top of the spam.

So I’m increasing the moderation filters on the site: This means that your comments are much more likely to hit the moderation queue and will require manual approval before they get posted. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully it will make this place look a little bit less like a Russian garbage dump.

Free to Steal-Upcoming Hubris Session Map- Using a One Page Dungeon Format

Originally posted on Wrathofzombie's Blog:
First off- to my players- DON’T READ! Ok- now that has been said… In my Hubris campaign the players were recently saved by Yelsa, Goddess of Sex and Violenceand were told that they must find out who is killing whores in Fairweather, their purpose, and stop them. The characters…

High And Alone In The Grand Market Place Of Hum Sharu - A Post Apocalyptic Mars Location & Actual Play

The Following Is Not Work Safe
 What happens when you have the Mars Of Edgar Rice Burroughs merge with the strange half formed demi planes of hallucinations of William S Burroughs? You get a Barsoom where thieves, cutthroats, and degenerates are all looking to carve up a post apocalyptic world on the nod. The original idea came from right over

Christiaan Tonnis ~ William S. Burroughs / Video / Laserprint / 2006
  • 1. Never give anything away for nothing. 2. Never give more than you have to (always catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait). 3. Always [...]

A storygamed interpretation of TMNT

There seems to be a bit of talk lately about the Palladium game "TMNT and other Strangeness"; especially the concept of stripping away the "megaversal system" and injecting some story-game potential.

I've been giving it some thought.

Everyone seems to love the idea of building a character with some kind of mutagenic energy, but the characters need to be stripped of their convoluted stats and numerous fiddly skills that take ages to work out...conversely, they could do with some hooks that immediately draw them into some kind of narrative.

I'm thinking of using FUBAR for the basic [...]

Name The Tavern's New Podcast - Win $10 RPGNow Credit if We Pick Your Suggestion

+Jason Paul McCartan and I are looking for a name for the upcoming OSR podcast we are about to inflict upon the gaming community, and we need your help in naming it.

Add your suggestions to either this blogpost or any attached G+ threads to enter. We'll pick one (hopefully) by Monday, so get your suggestions to us by Sunday.

Our plan is to involve the OSR Community on many levels of the podcast, much as we do here at The Tavern.

Just an idea of the kind of podcast you're in for, here's the disclaimer we are toying around with at the moment:
"Warning: You are about to enter The Tavern. All bets are off. There WILL be gratuitous language and stuff [...]

D&D Encounters: Scourge of the Sword Coast (Week 10)

The party managed to get inside Firehammer Hold during last week's session. They encountered a few Duergar along the way but remained pretty much unscathed. Unable to figure out how to gain access to any more rooms on the level 1 they decided to follow the mine cart tracks downward into the level 2 of the fortress.

At Harry T North in Toronto we ran four tables this week. The 4e table had its usual six players as did the other D&D Next table. Craig and I started off with only four players but by the night's end we had eight. [...]

Whispers of Drol (week 5)

Week 5 opens as the PCs return to the alchemy ship with everything they need to get home. It’s only been a few days since they inadvertantly jumped more thana million light years from Earth but a lot has happened in that time.

The Players

Here’s the lineup.

  • Jack “Bell” Belledona is a lucky 39-year-old human space jockey.
  • J5 is a robotic 64 year old combat mek.
  • Gor is a grumpy 120 year old glopian telepath.
  • Max is a 21 year-old human that loves riddles.
  • Wrellin Xen is an anxious 30-year old Venetian psicop who plays chess.
Game System

We are play-testingN.E.W. The Roleplaying Game. N.E.W.is a sciencefiction RPG [...]

Ethics For Sale? -- The Role of Native Advertising

There's a new trend in online news that is creating waves. It's called Native Advertising and it's already all around you.

How Many Dead Babies Does it Take to Power a Home?

Probably enough that you should be worried that I wasn’t telling a joke.

People’s reaction should probably be akin to Dr. Orpheus’ when he discovered the power source of Doc Venture’s Joy Can. But it won’t be. We’ve become pretty blase about the creepiest shit.

On the plus side, I guess we’re so far through the looking glass and the moral event horizon so far behind us, pretty much anything goes and no one’s actions, no matter how reckless or depraved, should be questioned or judged. Do what you want. There’s no reason to follow any laws or respect the personages of [...]

R4I Side Quest -- Math

Kickstarter News

We will submit the Kickstarter for the Castles and Crusade game today and will probably go live on it on Monday or Tuesday, assuming all goes well.

This will include some simple pledge levels, basically 8 where you can get the Players Handbook, the PH and Monsters and Treasure, the PH and MT and Castle Keepers Guide, a retailer level, digital only level and a combination of the above that include the leather books.

Lots of stretch goals and add-ons for you.

Look for it soon!

Daily Cosplay (Just Cool)

Character Thursday-Mildrik Gillenshrig (Gnome Illusionist PC)

Here’s kind of an intriguing PC, the sort of PC that keeps a lot of secrets from the rest of the party and has some major ulterior motives, probably trying to hide some of the things they find at the bottom of deep, dark dungeons.


Mildrik Gillenshrig was raised worshipping at the temple complex in Tripik. Though he helped with the food cultivation in the spring, summer, and fall, he spent his free time and most of his winters among the temples. Like the other gnomes in Tripik, the focus of his worship was the temple of Korgaran. Like them, [...]

One Shots: Prepping & Running: Play on Target Podcast Ep. 27

This week Play on Target considers the challenges of running one-shots. You get to hear just how old-school and conventional we are. I think perhaps we err on the side of planning and prep and don't give enough weight to low-structure one-shot builds. But I only noticed that in going back and listening to the episode again. See what you think- do our experiences parallel yours? I should also note that this is the last episode we did with the new sound set up. You'll hear more pops than usual and one or two offset track bits. Sam did an [...]

Where's The Egyptian Love?

Watching an episode of Ancient Aliens this week and everything - as always - came back to the Ancient Egyptians, which got me thinking: where's our old school Ancient Egyptian fantasy roleplaying system? While, disappointingly, indie game Nefertiti Overdrive: Ancient Egyptian Wuxia failed to fund on Kickstarter, Mike Burns has run a series of highly successful crowdfunding campaigns on

Fate+Fiction: Shackleton

Our next freebie will be out next week! Shackleton is a cyberpunk tale of a simple theft during Carnivale in Rio. As with all of our Fate+Fiction releases, it mines the short story for elements that could be used with your characters, in your game, and translates them into Fate RPG Aspects, Consequences, and Boosts.

This freebie is not only our way of getting folks to check out our stuff, it's a big thank you to the people that bought our two "pay what you want" Fate+Fiction releases, Black Dreams and Other Bad Juju and Communication Breakdown, a success. Thank you, [...]

Fate+Fiction: Shackleton

Our next freebie will be out next week! Shackleton is a cyberpunk tale of a simple theft during Carnivale in Rio. As with all of our Fate+Fiction releases, it mines the short story for elements that could be used with your characters, in your game, and translates them into Fate RPG Aspects, Consequences, and Boosts.

This freebie is not only our way of getting folks to check out our stuff, it's a big thank you to the people that bought our two "pay what you want" Fate+Fiction releases, Black Dreams and Other Bad Juju and Communication Breakdown, a success. Thank you, [...]

Movie Trailer ~ Sin City

Word of the Day -- Keep

A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an adversary. The first keeps were made of timber and formed a key part of the motte and bailey castles that emerged in Normandy and Anjou during the 10th century; the design spread to [...]

Heading Up

April 2014 Blog Carnival: The Game Master's Binder

This is my contribution to Aprils RPG Carnival, The Game Master's Binder. This month Scot Newbury of the Of Dice and Dragon blog is hosting the blog carnival and wants to know whats in our Gamesmaster’s binder. I never really had what you’d call a traditional game master's binder. If you ever found yourself stuck […]

Catching Up

My apologies to all of the commenters I didn't answer until today. 

I'm working on a playtest packet for The King is Dead.  I hope to have it ready for distribution next month.  More word on that when it's ready.

Oh crap, I should write an adventure to go with that...

D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay (Launch Weekend) -- Preview

All I've seen is the map and I'm already predicting that Dead in Thay is going to be the best season of D&D Encounters ever.

On May 14 we begin season 18 of D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay. This is the second part of the Dreams of the Red Wizards story arc and the fourth of five adventures tied into the Sundering. As with the last few season of D&D Encounters, Wizards has set up a Launch Weekend event to kick off the new season. If your FLGS sanctioned the Launch Weekend on time then your store should receive kits for [...]

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