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Six Shunned Houses in Wermspittle

What I heard in my youth about the shunned house was merely that people died there in alarmingly great numbers. That, I was told, was why the original owners had moved out some twenty years after building the place. It was plainly unhealthy, perhaps because of the dampness and fungous growths in the cellar, the general sickish smell, the drafts of the hallways, or the quality of the well and pump water. These things were bad enough, and these were all that gained belief among the persons whom I knew...
The Shunned House, by H. P. LovecraftSix Shunned Houses
  1. They [...]

Plan B - How to Party Without the Whole Party

You have prepared the maps, the npcs, the monsters, the dungeon, loaded the room with treasure and set the scene with lighting, effects, mood, music, and munchies -- a perfect plan for a perfect gaming session. Then it happens. You waited all week to game and now you are getting a call from a member of the party that cannot make it. You think to yourself "maybe I can save this thing!" optimistically but then as you start to figure out exactly how the party is going to get on without a cleric in the [...]

Skulls and Shackles - Mancatcher Cove pt 1

Last night we used the projector and I did something a little different and used the tokens from Roll20 and some other art that I uploaded instead of monster minis.  The tokens were easy to move around and made the game easy to DM. I enjoyed the effects too. At one time a fireball blasted the party and I used a big red fire explosion that I had pulled from the site.

The party figured out very quickly the trick with the eyes and went into the right one and after spending about an hour picking at the [...]

Happy Birthday HPL

Today, August 20th is H. P. Lovecraft's birthday. Have some ice cream and say a few unspeakable words for the old dead white guy who left us a rich treasure trove of horror stories and opinions that have endured despite all his foibles, faults and failings...

Breaking Hiatus with "The Strange"

I’m finishedmoving, unpacking, and now — I get to resume blogging! And if you thought I’d be carrying on about the latest Dungeons & Dragons — well, maybe later. I have a lot to comment on that but I feel I need to get my thoughts in order on it. In the mean time, I [...]

Let's settle this once and for all, shall we?

So, a bit of history.  Two weeks ago, this conversation happened:

Therefore, I present to you the aforementioned obscure piece of Sisters of Mercy fanart.

Let that be a lesson to you.

(Editor's Note:  I have no idea what lesson I'm being taught.  I never said I didn't believe Von. 

And the fact remains that it IS botched German.  :P  )

USR Galaxy: Sketh Warmaster

This post continues a series looking at USR Galaxy, a space opera setting for USR 2.0. Today we will be looking at Sketh warriors - in particular the fearsome Sketh Warmaster.

On the edge of the Gamma System lies the planet Sorrokana, the homeworld of the dreaded Sketh race. These insectoid beings are the scourge of the New Earth Empire, who are frequently subject to attacks from Sketh bombardments.

These creatures have pain beaten out of them when they are young. Each has a gland under their chin that is filled with an acidic fluid they [...]

Korgaran's Megadungeon-Glaineth's Attic (The Whistling Spires)

Above the Sphere, on the face of Mount Call right at the tree line, is a ravine that was shaped to be Glaineth‘s portion of Korgaran’s Succession. Known by many as Glaineth’s Attic, the Whistling Spires werelong a consider a most holy place by Glaineth worshipers who made pilgrimages there from all over Trethal. Since Korgaran‘s decline, the Whistling Spires have become less visited, due to their unreachability. They are still considered quite sacred, and an order of Ospryte worshipers still occupy its chambers and practice the prescribed rituals there. Since Korgaran‘s decline,Rocs have built nests atop some of [...]

Star Wars Episode VIII director: audiences hit by CGI "critical mass"

It looks like the next Star Wars trilogy is going to be more reminiscent of the originals in terms of special effects, as writer/director Rian Johnson has commented on the practical effects in Episode VII.

The prequels were smothered in horrific CGI effects, and while that was just one issue with those awful films, it's one that audiences really disliked. However, Johnson recently spoke on the Girls in Hoodies podcast about his excitement about a return to classic practical effects.

"They're doing so much practical building for this one. It's awesome," said Johnson. "I think people are [...]

Weird Wednesday (Destiny Derailed): Wereguten Curse

Wereguten Curse CR5 XP1,600 CE persistent haunt(random broadsheets from the fortunetelling press[2% chance]) CasterLevel5th Notice Perception DC 30(to catch the peripheral aura of transmutation magic) hp22; Triggerreading the article about turning into a wereguten; Reset 1week Effect When this haunt is triggered,the reader of the Steamtown Herald broadsheet must make a DC 17 […]

The post Weird Wednesday (Destiny Derailed): Wereguten Curse appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Raiders of the Forgotten Treasure

This mini-dungeon was conceived by a 7 year old Game Master.  An age when things like backstory and adventurer level doesn't come close to the really important things like traps, monsters, and treasure!  Although, the adventure does state that Raiders of the Forgotten Treasure is suitable for 1st - 3rd level characters.

Complete with printable paper miniatures and dungeon tiles, this Swords & Wizardry (or any OSR rule-set) appetizer gets you right into the action with a 6-armed goblin, vampire beetles (don't get bit and if you do get bit, for the love of god, make your save!), [...]

13th Age in Glorantha & King of Dragon Pass

13th Age in Glorantha. Fire Opal Media (13th Age), Moon Design Publications (Heroquest RPG) und Pelgrane Press (Trail of Cthulhu) machen gemeinsame Sache, um das Rollenspiel 13th Age nach Glorantha zu bringen.

Rob Heinsoo (D&D 4th Editon), Jeff Richard, Jonathan Tweet (D&D 3rd Editon), Ash Law und Greg Stafford (Pendragon, Runequest) nehmen sich ihrer alten Liebe Glorantha an.

“13th Age in Glorantha is a supplement for 13th Age. The classes, monsters, and rules appearing in the book will be compatible with existing 13th Age campaigns while being focused on the myth-centered world of Glorantha created by Greg Stafford.


As a supplement, 13th Age [...]

Not Quite the Inevitable Post GenCon Post

The lovely +Kathryn Muszkiewicz and I got back from GenCon on Sunday around 9-something pm.

The preceeding six days (yes, six; we don't do half measures in Kickassistan) were intensely difficult to say goodbye to, to relinquish to history.

The following day I spent at home because my hoarse throat made it difficult to talk for very long, which is what I do for a living.

Miscreants, allBut everything between Tuesday and Sunday was fantastic. Doubtless, you'll be hearing tales of this GenCon for months to come. Doubtless, folks who weren't there will feel the flames of their envy [...]

Tiefling Sub races for 5E

So owning Pathfinder Blood and Fiends* (and loving it) means i’m a bit under whelmed with the options for Tieflings in the 5E PHB (as in none). So i present a set of sub race options. Essentially the main bits are the same but they all have different spells (replacing the standard 3) and Attribute […]

Gen Con Is Over, Long Live Gen Con

Gen Conis come and gone. It was a fun four days, but for me it was also incredibly busy. There were so many great new games that I saw (and many more that I never got to see, but only heard about). There were more great people that I got to meet for the first time after interacting with them online for years...or just who I got to meet for the first time period. Most of my time at the

Dungeon & Dragons Background -- Zealot

It’s time for another background for 5th Edition D&D. I give you, the Zealot.




There are believers and then there are zealots. Utterly devoted followers of their god, a zealot's driving force is his belief in the rightness of his deity.

Skill Proficiency: Religion and Persuasion

Tool Proficiency: Choose one of Calligrapher's supplies or one musical instrument.

Equipment: Common clothes, a vial of Holy water, 2 blocks of incense, book of your deity's lore, holy symbol

Feature: Evangelist

Your aggressive approach to conversion can be a hindrance at times. Once you start spreading the word, if your audience is of other faiths, people disperse to avoid [...]

Mike Mearls Interview at ENWorld

Hey Greyhawk fans, GenCon is nearly a week old already. Time flies, but the news and recaps keep rolling in from that wonderful convention. One that I nearly missed is an interview of Wizards head-honcho Mike Mearls by Christopher Hackler over at ENWorld. Check it out because Christopher asks some good questions about the future of D&D I haven't seen elsewhere and Mearls' opinions carry a lot of weight obviously. Here is some pertinent parts:

"...Are the plans for either Dragon or Dungeon Magazines?"
"Right now, we don't have anything to announce. Part of the reason we moved the [...]

Dungeon Defenses

It is the most common puzzle found in a dungeon. It is also the most common obstacle, and a source of great frustration. What is it?

Answer: A door.

Is it locked? Is it trapped? What’s on the other side? Is it real?

I made a hypothetical “dungeon character sheet” to advance my dungeon design cause. I took my character sheet — posted a few weeks ago — stripped it of stuff that only characters can do, and filled it in with my notes and gobbledygook.

Then I started asking myself questions. That’s how it starts.

I left room for defenses. On a character, they’re [...]

Post GenCon Round Up - Part 1

First, I apologize for this post being so late. Between the drive back, unpacking (as much as I have so far) and just getting back into the swing of my life..well, it's been a bit more tiring and exciting than I thought. But that doesn't matter. What does matter is the experience I had at GenCon, both as a first timer and just in general. So let's get into that, shall we?

The General Experience
The general experience I had with GenCon was a good one. I had a lot of fun, got to interact with cool people, and [...]

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


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

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

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).


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...

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 [...]
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