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Pieces of Ordinary Randomness: Random Techniques Of Chance

The Twists haven’t stopped yet! This month’s Blog Carnival, hosted by Campaign Mastery, isn’t finished yet!. The subject is still “With A Twist” and it covers anything about Surprises, the Unexpected, etc. I started with an article on the rules interpretation of Surprise, and followed that with a two-part article looking at types of Plot […]

Episode 148: Actual Play - You Didn't Know Enough

This Episode:  When the group finds out the extent of Shai's secret orders, they begin a full on investigation of the Association.  Meanwhile, Ro'Dash makes a deal with a hobgoblin and...

A group of friends who ramble and shamble while dice rumble and tumble. Call us casually-hardcore role players of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.

Media News Monday - X-Men and Fantastic Four, Agent Carter, & Mark Hamill

According to comicbook.com, an "X-Men And Fantastic Four Team-Up Movie [is] Apparently Confirmed" here.

Meanwhile, on the Marvel Entertainment YouTube channel, "Agent Carter Gets Ready for Work" a clip from "Marvel's Agent Carter Season 1, Ep. 1 -- Clip 1." Enjoy.

Finally, there is a recent article on Entertainment Weekly titled "'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Mark Hamill on his emotional -- and scruffy -- return as Luke Skywalker" here.

Media News Monday on CreativeMountainGames.com News for Movies, Television, and more
of gamer-relevant Media.Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Magic Item: The Crown of Candles

Allianora stood over the dusty skeleton in the rotted robe.  Rathgar, Nimble, and Feris stood off to the side and looked around at the various murals that adorned the wall.  "She made this a haven against the darkness" she siad softly.

"Who did?" Feris asked.

"The priestess, for her followers.  They trusted her."  Allianora knelt down next to the body, gently lifting her skull and looking into it's empty eyes.  "She did the best she could for them, but they were overwhelmed.  The last of them barricaded themselves in here... they were safe, but trapped."

Go Ahead...Scratch That Itch!

Hey everyone and welcome back.  This week at Recounting Encounters, Derek, Craig and I talk about some of the ways players can scratch the itch for D&D during the holiday season.  

Enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


Listen HERE, or click the link below to hear the podcast.

If you like this article, head over to the site for more great articles, or just keep reading the feed. Cheers Alton

[WFPR] Doomstones Session 4

There's another Crystal nearby!
On the way to town, the party spotted a long-forgotten cache of orc trinkets buried in a mount. There was some jewelry, a dwarven plate with a map on it, and a couple notes from the Bloodaxe alliance detailing the existence of another crystal nearby. The party kept this information and headed to town.
In town they sold their hostage for some coin, replenished their travelling stores, and recruited a new Wizard after the previous one left the group. The new Wizard attuned himself to the Crystal of Fire and found one of it's powers: the [...]

Edo's Guest Reviews: CUBIST -- Episode 27 (Jason Hancock)

CUBIST Game Review

CUBIST by Steven Poelzing and Alf Seegert is a game that let's you aspire to creating grand, modern art by building a series of cube installations made of marbled dice. It is a great gateway game for 2-4 players that's easy to learn and play. The cool dice and neat angle on the theme makes for a memorable experience.

Please like, subscribe, and share with your friends! Want to do a guest review? Shoot me a note.

Team Milestones: The Legion of Monsters

Now that you have last week’s datafiles for many monstrous heroes, these milestones will help you put those characters to work as a a team. Whether you want to run a campaign with the Legion of Monsters, the Midnight Sons, or the new Howling Commandos (as in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon), these goals will enableyour heroes to stake a claim (or a vampire) in the Marvel Heroic landscape.

Filed under: Milestones

Bastion is Full of Lies: A Review of Into The Odd

Into the Odd

The business of roleplaying can be a tough sell to people who have been exposed to the experience previously in an uncontrolled or raw form. Speaking from experience, I have seen people enthused by the prospect turned sour when they saw the size of the average core rule book. The Player Handbook for 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons is not the sort of thing I would happily hand a player – despite the name – for fear of the repercussions.

I have found the beginner games the best way to introduce a novice player, but they often-times become a [...]

Merry Christmas! Have an adventure

Happy Holidays everyone.   Linked below is a PWYW mini-adventure for both Neoclassical Geek Revival as well as OSR games.

The Trail of Tears and Sorrow features art, cartography, and layout by the talented Alex Mayo.

Mistborn Allomancy dice roll up success

A few people got their hands on the 2012 Mistborn Allomancy dice. Created for Crafty Games’ Mistborn RPG, based on Brandon Sanderson’s novel of the same name, the custom dice use symbols from Allomancy. For more details check out the Kickstarter.

[Back this Campaign]

This campaign is going well. Crafty Games are asking for $4,000 and at the time of blogging they’ve got 33 days to raise that. The pledge amount so far is over $10,000 from nearly 400 backers. That’s more than twice the asking price.

A $20 pledge gets you one dice set. That’s for US folk only. $100 [...]

ReCast: 1775 the Boardgame Wargaming Recon #115

Thanks to Daniel Thurot on BoardGameGeek for this photo. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


Hope you enjoy the first of two “Best of” 2014 episodes. This one focuses on the board game 1775: Rebellion. Originally released on June 9, 2014 the episode discussed the game, how to play, and why you should want to play it.

This ReCast sheds further light on why I LOVE 1775 and why you should too. In fact I will be playing this today to celebrate my 33rd birthday! If you’re listening to this on Dec 22nd, I hope you’ll send positive birthday thoughts my way.

Don’t worry! We’ll be back with [...]

Random Map Monday 1

I thought I would start participating in Random Map Mondays.  I draw enough maps.  When I watch Netflix or even while I am gaming, I'll draw an outline of a map or some idea of one.  I'm one of those folks that likes sensory overload so I can focus.  Yeah, I know, sounds like complete bullshit.  Probably is.

Anyway, I usually do three different levels of maps.  I don't tend to do world maps.  My largest map type is above.  A region map.  I always draw those using a hex grid.  I draw the maps on 3" x [...]

Against the Giants: 139

5th Readying, 594 CY

Following the directions given to them by Malachi, the heroes head off to the bank of the White Oyt river, where the gate to the next vault lies. According to Malachi this vault contains theSeal of Water, and the gateway is under the surface of the river. To aid them he gives them each apotion of water breathing.

Sidni is sent to scout: imbued withwater breathing cast by Xellos, and armed with alight coin supplied by Halmary, theinvisiblewoman half-swims and half-wades along the bottom of the river, weighed down by rocks with a rope tied around her waist. [...]

Grupo Martes Dec 9: Machi Koro and Russian Railroads

We had a long game and a quick game this night. The quick game was Machi Koro. Machi is probably from , which means city in Japanese. Yup you are trying to build a city with this dice and card game. We played the simple variant. We turned over cards until we had 10 different types of buildings. This is the draw deck. Everyone starts with a wheat field and a bakery and four cards that you need to build to win: a theme park, a broadcasting tower, a shopping center, and a train station. You start with some money to [...]

Monday Moodsetter 60

"The Lost Temple" by IBreslavRPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

Musical Monday: I Like Chinese...

RPG Round Up

What’s been going on in the world of RPGs and gaming this week. Covers the latest posts from my favourite other rpg related blogs, comics and more

Troy's Crock Pot: Make Those Monsters Legendary, AgainVeteran game masters might fall into the trap of viewing every monster in terms of its hit dice and combat capabilities. It's too easy to just plug in a monster that matches the requisite challenge rating, call for initiative, and play on. Resist that urge. Freshen up those monsters. Every time your [...]Mon, Dec 22, 2014
Source: Gnome StewMore timed board game deals on Amazon todayToday's deals on [...]

Musical Monday: I LIke Chinese...

GM Advice: 6 Common GMing Mistakes

No GM is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Some mistakes, however, seem to crop up again and again.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Over the past 30 years I've seen GMs make loads of mistakes. Sadly over the last 30 years I've also made all the same mistakes myself. I'm not talking about rules-based mistakes; that would be a crushingly boring subject. Rather, I'm talking about even more basic errors that every GM is guilty of from time to time.

I’ve previously posted about the 5 characteristics of terrible GMs and the 8 characteristics of great GMs, but inmy mind [...]

Troy's Crock Pot: Make Those Monsters Legendary, Again

Veteran game masters might fall into the trap of viewing every monster in terms of its hit dice and combat capabilities. It's too easy to just plug in a monster that matches the requisite challenge rating, call for initiative, and play on.

Resist that urge. Freshen up those monsters.

Every time your group rolls up new player characters or you start a new campaign, you have a chance to make those familiar entries in the Monster Manual new again --- legendary even.

The key is in the set up. A little planning --- and A LOT of foreshadowing ---can pay off.

  • Who rules the [...]

Deadlands - Cardstock Cowboys: Horrors of the Wasted West

From the Packaging:

Dig in to our savory dish of toxic torment! We've carefully blended only the best beasties in Muties, Monsters, and Misfits to add to your gruesome collection of Wasted West woes! We guarantee that it will add zip to your Hell on Earth roleplaying game, or use with our free miniatures rules -- High Noon -- available on our Weird Website (www.deadlands.com).

Hero Datafile: Winter Soldier

It’s the first day of Winter, so what better day to post a highly requested datafile: The Winter Soldier!

This datafile is based on the current “Man on the Wall” version of Bucky, but could be tweaked easily for any other era. Just change up Milestones and Distinctions. As an added bonus, I worked up an item powerset for the Kazurr Sniper Rifle that Bucky (and Daisy Johnson) use as a part of their new mission to guard the Earth against cosmic and extra-dimensional threats.

Filed under: Datafiles

Hill Giant #2 (scratch-build)

How do you like my new hill giant?

I sculpted him over a Reaper Bones ogre. I got it to test the material and I have to say I was less than impressed. I have a bunch of prepaints I've collected over the years mainly to use for parts, and they tend to be much sturdier and with a material that takes paint a better. From sturdiest to most bendy the progression goes Pathfinder > Heroclix > D&D prepaints > Reaper Bones (though I only have 1 pathfinder figure to go by). You could easily put [...]

The 12 Geek Days of Christmas -- Day 11

The 12 Geek Days of Christmas is a 12 part series. Read the rest of it by clicking on a date below. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th This Post 12th   And here we are, at the penultimate day of our song. Kind of hard to think that it will […]

I'm pretty sure this entire video constitutes "incitement to commit a crime"

But hey, you know what the anti-gun cultists say:  1st Amendment good*, 2nd Amendment bad!

And no, just for fun, let's play "Count the Crimes Committed":
  • 0:15 - Burglary (kid entered his mom's bedroom with the intent to commit theft).
  • 0:23 - Robbery AND minor in possession of a firearm AND, depending on the state and the value of the firearm, grand theft.
  • 0:40 - Clearly, the kid has time to think about what he's doing -- it's not a spur of the moment thing -- so there's probably some premeditation going on.
  • 0:46 - Bringing a firearm [...]

Green Gestures

A Change In Venue, A Change In Rules

Going into Friday I had a problem: one of my PCs couldn't make the game. Now, this normally wouldn't be a problem but we'd left off in a huge fight and that PC was a key part of the strength of the party when it came to combat and what was going on in the game. I needed a plan, and luckily for me I had an option available to me.

Using one of the NPCs present in the fight I zapped the PCs into a different realm, one that resided in the minds very similar to the realm [...]

Tales from the Hydian Way: Episode 16 -- The Underside of the Galaxy

This time we look at criminal organizations, how to use them, one of many ways to use law enforcement with them. Even how to use the “Big Galaxy” approach when dealing with planetary Criminal organizations.

Falleen all over himself to be taken seriously.

You can find us on Twitter at @DeuteriumIce and @Xphile101361

You can get in contact with us at TalesfromtheHydianWay@gmail.com

And you can find us as well as many other gaming articles at MadAdventurers.com

The show can be found on iTunes

If you like what we do and would like to support our little podcast, please head over to the Patreon page for the [...]

A New Concept (for 1982)

As a lad, your humble host watched General Hospital.  This was during the 'Ice Princess' storyline with its elements of science fiction and espionage.  The soap opera enjoyed unprecedented popularity and -- understandably -- this popularity carried over into merchandising.  Cardinal Industries obtained the license for GH and published The Game of General Hospital in 1982.

So what does this have to do with old school role-playing games?  Admittedly, not much.  However, the game was marketed as "a role playing board game..."  The back of the box reads, "This new concept incorporates the simplicity of a board game [...]

Converting High CR Monsters into PC Races

I’ve done a few conversions now of Monster Manual creatures into PC races, both here and at www.gameschangelives.com and the vast majority of feedback has been great. There have been a few conversations about various abilities or choices I’ve made that have been very insightful, so I wanted to take a moment to talk about the challenges and viewpoints of designing high CR creatures forPC races.

There is one major challenge with designing MM monsters as races; often the reason they aren’t core races. They are far more powerful than normal PC races.

Keeping that in mind, you can approach developing themfrom [...]

D&D 5e Combat -- Initiative

I wrote an article about initiative, strategy and team play. Recently after reading some more, and playing, I am ready to just throw Initiative out the window. I am more in favor of what Robert Schwalb has going with in his new game “Shadow of the Demon Lord.” He uses an Action Economy system and a simplified system that let’s the players go in what ever order they want. I really like that system, but want to use it for D&D 5th edition. So let’s first look at how initiative works in D&D. Theplayers all roll a d20 and perform [...]

5th Edition Thri-Kreen

Along with the aarakocra, the thri-kreen are one of my favorite non-standard races to play. Unique and alien, thri-kreen provide for unusual roleplaying opportunities and unusual flavor at the table. The challenge? Thri-kreen are a powerful PC race (see Behind the Development below). Converting them to a standard PC race while maintaining their flavor and popular, race-specific powers was a challenge and even with this conversion DMs should consider before allowing them in their campaigns. If used, DMs and players should play up the thri-kreen’s social disadvantages as much as possible, including limited communication and insight into humanoid motivations and [...]

Free OSR Download - Phonomicon Ex Cultis From Wedge the Halfling Under the Door! For Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Free Right
 Religions in OD&D and AD&D 1st edition have been something I've specialized in since I was a kid. Clerics have always fascinated me and this is a solid way of coming up with some very fast and on the fly adversaries and allies for use with your old school game campaign. An innovative and interesting take on creating new and quick religions on the fly for your NPC cults and enemy needs. A very well thought out solution to the old deer caught in the headlights problem of coming up with a cult or group during [...]

Wonder & Wickedness released

Demon by Russ Nicholson

Get it here.

Sorcery rules, spells, magical catastrophes, enchanted treasures.

More from Paolo here, including another image sample.

It will only be available in this form until the end of december due to EU regulations. We can’t guarantee anything, but we are working on a solution to keep it available after that point. There may at the least be some period of interruption come 2015.


Ten Candles--The Tragic Horror RPG Kickstarter

“Ten Candles” is the first role-playing game kickstarter from Stephen Dewey and the premise sold me immediately. Everyone dies at the the end of the game. Always. There is no last-minute reprieve or deus ex machina to save everyone. All the PCs will die, but how you face that end is what matters.

A darkness of unknown origin consumes the world and the players represent a tiny story of survival among the doomed millions. Faced with their demise alliances fall, betrayals planned and emotional carnage take a terrible toll in the PCs last hours.

This is a hardcore story RPG with light [...]

A review of Neoclassical Geek Revival

NEOCLASSICAL GEEK REVIVAL, 5th EditionAuthor: ZzarchovDefault Genre: FantasyMinimum number of books needed to play: 1Dice used: d20, d12, d10, d8, d6 and d4. Learning Curve*: MediumAvailable as: PDF, Print of Demand Paperback, and Leatherbound HardbackRetailer: RPGNowSupplements/Modules/Adventures available: Several*Learning Curve is my estimate of how hard it might be to learn the system, assuming you started with D&D, Pathfinder, or one of its clones. Levels include Easy, Medium, Hard and Existential Insane-o.
Stabbed with the silver tongue in the eye

Some of us believe that a magnum opus of a campaign will not have shed a drop of blood, [...]

Montporte Dungeon Maps After 40 Sessions (Part 2)

Here are some Montporte dungeon maps after 40 sessions of play. The maps below only display what has been explored and discovered by the player characters. I have decided for this round of dungeon maps to (a) identify the stairs between levels and (b) break the maps into 2 separate blog posts (this is Part 2, as the casual observer has already noted in the post title...Part 1 is here).

  • RED indicates ascending stairs/ladders; PURPLE indicates descending stairs/ladders
  • The distance noted below indicates the vertical ascent or descent covered by the stairs/ladders.
25 - Elevator pad that ascends an unknown distance to an unknown destination26 - [...]

GMprov -- It's a Set-Up

This week, I’m going to focus on anotherrules of improv:Establish the Scene.

Whenever you're writing a play or a book, you have months to build up the proper setting and mood. You can take your sweet time to refine the language, and use flowery language to establish the mood. Ol' Poe describes his chamber "the bleak December / and Each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor." (Beautiful, ain't it?)

When you're running an improv scene, the average time you have to establish the scene is roughly 34 pictoseconds. When you're GMing a rambunctious group, you might have about the [...]

In Memoriam

Succubus Sunday - A Very Sophie Christmas

Over the years Reaper Miniatures have released several Christmas variations of their mascot, the Sophie the Succubus.
2001 Christmas Sophie2002 Christmas Sophie2003 Christmas Sophie

2004 Christmas Sophie2006 Christmas Sophie
2005 Christmas SophieChristmas Sophie: A Reaper ChristmasChristmas SophieSophie Christmas Ornament

While I'm Waiting

Keeping busy while Kickstarter attempt to locate Scotland. Starting to sort out some of the extra Creative Commons images that have been rolled into the Alba project.

To the mild amusement of those passing so far, the snowfall on a landscape image on the Image Credits page looks quite good – [...]

An Interview with the Gamma World Online Community Leader!

Recently, Angelic Doctor Games had an exciting opportunity to interview the man responsible for founding the Gamma World Online facebook group. A group dedicated to bringing together the fans of James M. Ward’s popular science fantasy role-playing game which has been influenced and has influenced popular media for decades (The 100, anyone?). I thought you might enjoy reading it!

When did you start your group, and why did you create it?

I started Gamma World Online at the very end of 2013 (December 29, 2013) due to the total absence of any Gamma World Facebook group. There is a single Gamma World [...]

Sunday Inspirational Image: The Kiss

The Kiss
By AbikK

Baghead Bandit, Buy Your Furniture Back

Review #70 -- Free Video Game
Baghead Bandit, Buy Your Furniture Back
Last week, it was cardboard boxes. Now, it's paper bags. In today's platformer adventure you take control of Baghead, a good man that only made a few mistakes. Like selling all his furniture to impress his girlfriend. Hey, I said "good", not "brilliant".
Baghead Bandit has a really simple premise: pick up all the gems in a level and then get to the door. Simple, but no easy. Moving platforms, precision and quick jumping, some enemies, cool secrets and more are all part of this game.
So, while [...]

No Gaming Post Today - Mourning the Loss of Two Fine Officers

It's rare that I step away from gaming over here at The Tavern. This is a roleplaying blog, and the posts obviously reflect that. I make an exception yearly for 9-11. Today is going to be one of those rare exceptions.

Yesterday two officers of the NYPD were executed in their patrol car. We almost lost a third officer last night when a perp put a gun in an officer's face but the firearm was empty of rounds, as the perp had just tried shooting at someone else (the reason the cops responded.)

My mind is far from games and gaming at the moment.

My thoughts and prayers are with officers Liu and Ramos and their families.

My fear [...]

Montporte Dungeon Maps After 40 Sessions (Part 1)

Here are some Montporte dungeon maps after 40 sessions of play. The maps below only display what has been explored and discovered by the player characters. I have decided for this round of dungeon maps to (a) identify the stairs between levels and (b) break the maps into 2 separate blog posts (this is Part 1, as the casual observer has already noted in the post title).

  • RED indicates ascending stairs/ladders; PURPLE indicates descending stairs/ladders
  • The distance noted below indicates the vertical ascent or descent covered by the stairs/ladders.

1 -  Stairs ascending 80' from Level 1 to surface [...]

Dungeons & Dragons Expeditions Defiance in Phlan - The Meeting at Deepnight

I wrapped up my Shadowrun campaign a few weeks ago and have assembled a group for a new D&D 5e campaign. I will be running the Dungeons & Dragons Expeditions adventures for them. Expeditions adventures are meant to be run in a game store or at conventions in 4 hour slots. They are set in the Forgotten Realms and deal with the Tyranny of Dragons storyline.

I am running these at home in an unofficial capacity to get familiar with them in case I need to run them at the store, and also so I can write about [...]

A Fox's Guide to Conlangs (Part 5) - Actually getting to the words

Who would start a language? How would it spread?
There are a few simple answers to these questions, each of which give us ideas about where to start the language (which words might have developed first, and therefore which words would be the simplest terms in the language).
The language might have been developed by religious types, as a means of communicating the glory of the gods with the wider community. I'd imagine such a language to be very conceptual because the ideas it conveys are deliberately spiritual and related to ephemeral things, any symbolic connections to physical items [...]

The Tumult

Patron: Merchant
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: None
Location: Any world experiencing social turmoil

Players’ Information:
The world is undergoing societal problems. The native populace is bitterly torn over social, economic and racial issues to the point that rumors of civil war are flying about. For now, however, the bitterness is confined mostly to increasingly nasty public debates and policy changes, with sporadic mob violence triggered by seemingly minor incidents.

This is the case as the adventurers are conducting their business. Another situation has sparked rioting recently and is still in the news feeds enough to stoke angry confrontations between citizens and [...]

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