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A look inside the Ultimum RPG

Ultimum is a tabletop RPG by Paradigm Publishing. A mix of the computer game Borderlands, with Pathfinder and even a spot of Minecraft set on Earth a million years into the future the game has a distinct art style.

Never heard of it? Ultimum isn’t out yet. The Kickstarter isn’t even live but if the teaser below looks good then mid-October should bring us news of campaign launch.

Geek Native also has some Ultimum art to share.

Asaborn Bear Asaborn Wolf Atlansar Arkon Automata Crockodan Human Troller Knoxian
Simian Gorilla Vasayan RFD

It’s early days yet but the site to watch is Ultimum RPG.com. As of yet there’s no clues as [...]

Huge Print Sale

I know, I know, I’ve been mostly been posting about sales lately.There are a few reasons for that, some personal, some professional, but all good. Unfortunately I’ve had to put blogging on the back burner for the mean while, but things will get back on track in time. For now though, another sale! HUGE PRINT […]

Traveller without Aliens?

I am not sure if I already wrote on the blog about it, but I have been playing Traveller for several months now. Initially my GM wanted to run a face-to-face game but we couldn't make it happen. There were just too many scheduling problems, so we eventually decided [...]

Deadlands: Drywater Creek

Cast of Characters:
Alan Trehorn: Half-Apsalooke/Crow scout who might be taken for a greenhorn, but at your own risk.
Etienne DuMont: Texas Ranger. He used to be dead, but he got better.
Kenneth Lake: Professional poker player and reluctant participant in these events.
Dr. Frances Gray: Doctor and a strong believer in science and natural explanations.
Sister Elisabeth: A nun of maybe questionable past, but unquestionable faith.
Eliah Davis: Black cowboy who has seen some weird shit in his life. He spins this tale for you, somewhere at a camp fire on the prairie.
last time

We travelled [...]

Cool Words for Gamers: Baetyl -- Bulse

Once again, it’s time for some odd and archaic word “perfect” for use at the gaming table! (Assuming you want to terrorise or baffle your fellow players!) This week: baetyl – bulse…

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Last week, in the inaugural instalment of this new series of articles I handled the As: Abnormous – Autarchy. This week, I’m hurtling through “B”:

  • Baetyl a sacred meteoric stone. These stones were thought to have life and were sometimes set up underneath holy trees.
  • Bailiwick The area over which a bailiff has jurisdiction
  • Balderdash stupid or illogical talk
  • Baleful harmful, menacing or vindictive
  • Bangstry masterful violence
  • Beek to bask in [...]

Review: Don't Starve Giants Edition (PS Vita)

This was originally written for the Nearly Enough Dice podcast blog.As Liz mentioned towards the end of Episode 147 of the podcast I’ve been playing a lot of Don’t Starve lately, mostly on my way to and from work. When I say playing what I actually mean is running around in a panic trying to survive another night (my first game I made it to all of the 3rd night before dying) or running away from whatever monster I’ve managed to provoke this time.

But wait, playing it on my commute? Yes, for Don’t Starve is now out for the Playstation [...]

I'm Sure This Won't Be As Good As I Want It To Be...

... but I'm still delighted to see Dominion is finally coming to the UK's SyFy Channel. Twenty-five years ago, God disappeared. In his absence, the Archangel Gabriel, who despised man, led an army of lower angels in a war of possession against mankind. Acting alone, the Archangel Michael sided with man against Gabriel, helping humanity fight back against the angels. Out of the ashes of war,

Image Thursday

There are many awesome and inspirational images on the web these days. Here’s a few that were found that you may enjoy and draw ideas from.

Clicking on each image will open it in a new window.




This image feed will show the last 12 images that have been pinned and may change if you return to this post later.

(The Moonshae Islands) Panthras' Procuring

Nearly every patron in the Helm and Cloak sung or wailed the lyrics to Alestorm's final song; always a tavern favorite. "We are here to drink your beer!"It was not long after when the popular Balder's Gate tavern returned to the normal late night rumpus and seaside nightlife. It was Greengrass and all across the Realms it was a celebration of the Wide Earth's transition into the Sowing. Balder's Gate was teeming with individuals looking for employment on the seas or to aid in the burgeoning conflict on Moonshae. It was a time of opportunity.JeritMcCaugh, a visiting mage from Terra, was the first of his group that picked up on the watcher- a stately gentleman sitting alone at a stool that provided a vantage to nearly every seat in the Helm and Cloak. Jerit himself sat at the end of a crescent-shaped corner table facing the stately gentleman. To Jerit's right sat Shar Auvrnydar silent while keeping his origins secret within the cowl of his cloak. Jerit and Shar met only a few years ago but they were fast friends both with similar goals, personal code and magical inclinations.
Across from Jerit and Shar sat Cren Tosh and Harsk also [...]

Robert Ludlum names everything

DC Heroes - Apokolips Sourcebook

From the Back Cover:

Lost Your Thirst for Sunshine? Come to Apokolips where vacation nightmares begin!

Come visit scenic Apokolips, the home world of Darkseid the Destroyer. Feel free to explore this dark, deserted planet on your own. Or if chance provides, you may receive a guided tour from the Dark Lord or one of his minions, complete with, a close-up view of the Tower of Rage and Granny Goodness Happiness Home.

Once you sift your way through the ashes and debris, you'll discover there's a lot more to this planet than meets the eye. Bask in the heat of the Fire-pits, factories, and mines; frolic among the equipment in the power refineries, installations, and orphanages; or voyage through the slum areas and tunnels of the underground.

If you're a people person, hobnob with the locals, the Hunger Dogs, and learn what life on Apokolips is really like. Or, if you're looking for some real excitement, put yourself in the path of some Para-Demons, War Dogs, or Dog Soldiers. But don't forget your running shoes!

Apokolips has something for everyone, and the price is right -- Nothing ... or maybe your life!

Karthun Lands Of Conflict


So, last night I did a G+ interview with Brian F'N Patterson (d20 monkey) and Tracy Barnet (Iron Edda, School Daze) of Exploding Rogue Studios about their new Kickstarter called Karthun: Lands Of Conflict. I'm already a backer of this kickstarter because of the people involved, but also because I love the idea of a setting without asystem in the way they are doing it. Tracy's work on his other games always amazes me and Brian's work on d20Monkey just captivates me every time he updates. The one thing that doing this interview told me (aside from the fact that [...]

1d10 Random Space Junk Hazard Finds Table For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign

Out in the wastes there are millions of weird and strange objects moving across the skies. Some of these are ancient technologies left floating miles above the Earth just waiting to fall to the ruined Earth below. Some are much strange and hold many deadly as well as ancient weird secrets. All it takes is an instant for the hot flames of orbit to release the incredible deadly secrets of the Ancients upon all. 

1d10 Random Space Junk Hazard Finds Table
  1. 1d20 Strange metal cylinders impact upon the Earth, each on bares the ancient horn symbols of [...]

.50 Cent Science Fiction Dreams - Commentary On Open Space #1 Marvel's Hard Science Fiction Anthology By Various Authors

So its 1989, and I'm walking into my comic shop in good old Torrington Ct and I see this weird cover for a hard science fictional comic anthology called Open Space. This was a weird science fiction comic anthology deluxe graphic novel comic, each of the stories were all a part of a shared universe. Shared universe science fiction athologies had been done before but this one was very different in its approach. Right out of the gate the first tale by Joe Clifford Faust was called Handshake and this tale laid the foundation for everything to come. [...]

October Movie Challenge: Vampire Academy (2014)

Well this one was forced on me because my youngest wanted to watch it.  I am calling it horror...cause...well have you seen it?

Oh it is not good.

The plot is basically Vampires and their half-vampire/dhampir body guards all go to highschool together.  So vampires here age.  Ok.

And they go to High School.

Now to be fair this is based on a YA series and I don't think it translated well to the screen.  Sure. Harry Potter did (are there vampires in Harry Potter?) but not everything will.

There are plenty of horror [...]

D&D Encounters: Bored of the Dragon Queen

Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of the D&D Encounters program... but I believe Hoard of the Dragon Queen may not always be the right fit for the in-store play experience... Read on.

So I've started playing in the D&D Adventurers League (D&D Encounters mostly, with an Expeditions adventure when opportunity arises).

If you are not familiar, D&D Encounters is the Friendly Local Game Store-based D&D event that is run weekly. Each season is a different adventure module that runs for several weeks in an episodic format. As a player, you can drop in or out at any time [...]

The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice CLXXXIII -- Reporting From Anime High

Aikiko had dropped off the slave-children in Aden – where they'd been mostly shunted into school – and headed for Yu-Shan. She needed to report to Lytek – and, after that, she had another Guardian to go and visit. Amber thefts to investigate, and some Abyssals to trace back…

A… Night Caste Guardian. She'd known that Lytek had formed a perfect circle of course, but this should be interesting.

Lytek… had taken over another block of offices; with his now-expanding influence he needed some extra space for functionaries – although he was having to handle some objections from the current heirarchy. Of [...]

Shadow, Sword & Spell: Magic -- Thoughts

At the moment there are four drafts I am working on. All are in various stages of completeness, and some are reaching the end of the development phase and will soon be kicked to editing.

One of these drafts isShadow, Sword & Spell: Magic. This book covers what the title says: magic. It is heavy with ideas, and it has a lot of the thoughts I have been putting to paper that deal with magic. Some of the pieces in this book date back to 10 years ago, and thanks to having a rule set that I love, I can put [...]

WNW: More Nerdery

Following up on my initial "I am a huge nerd" post, here's more of the same.

During the pre-game banter of my Saturday night Traveller game, the guys and I got started talking about really cool combat planes.  I think we started withe the A-10 Warthog and moved on to some others, like the A-7 Corsair... 

Anyway, I mentioned that the A-10 is called the Thunderbolt II  because it's the spiritual successor to the original WW2 P-47 Thunderbolt, which is a VERY Russian design -- built like a brick shithouse and carrying no fewer than eight .50 BMGs!   [...]

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Shadow Spells

Product- Shadow Spells

Producer- Catalyst Game Lab

Price- ~$7 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/137717/Shadowrun-Shadow-Spells

System- Shadowrun 5e

TL; DR- Good, but more for your GM. 92%


Basics- Always geek the mage first! Shadow Spells is the first pdf book to be released post Gen Con for Shadowrun. This book builds on larger magic book Street Grimoire by introducing new traditions, new threats and allies in the shadows, and ending with new spells and abilities for mages of all sorts.


Mechanics or Crunch- This book does have some cool stuff in it, but most of the presented crunch is focused on making the GM’s life easier. The book introduces several [...]

Relic Knights: Doctrine Novitiates - Minis with Panties!

When I asked for those models, I expected them to be somewhat Anime-ish. And I was looking forward to them. Then I received the minis...


My wife made comments about "I know why you wanted these minis..." I found them funny and quirky. The green haired girl looks very much like Harley Quinn, and the redhead like Poison Ivy.

Oh yeah! There is a dude too.


Adventure-A-Day Challenge, Day 1: Isle Greendeep

The Pitch: Blaggart’s Cove, the long-established den of adventurers large and small, has been...

Projects and Updates

As you may well imagine if you saw my last post, I've got a lot of packages to get together and weigh and get shipping quotes on. That doesn't mean there's nothing else going on.

For those waiting on the next Ever Expanding Dungeon session, it's coming. I tried [...]

Happy October!

Ok, this is going to be a challenging month.  I'm working on a tight deadline for some stuff for Savage Insider, I need to find some ways to help promote the Steamscapes: Asia Kickstarter, I've got to help out on this thing I'm doing with some other bloggers, and I've got to make some big ol' financial decisions regarding The King is Dead (which could  potentially help the Steamscapes situation).  Plus, I want to get a game going of TKID with my gaming group, Robin has a wine journalism article she needs my help doing research for (somebody has to [...]

Daily Punch 10-01-14 Generalist quality for Shadowrun 5e

If we have a specialist, how about a generalist?



Cost: 15 karma

If you don’t master anything, then be better at everythingthan most! When you use a skill that you are trained in and do not have a specialization in, gain a one bonus die to the die pool.

Work in Progress: The Scavenger's Tale

Just thought I'd share the page stylesheet I'm using for my current project, The Scavenger's Tale.

The character needs some shading, but this is generally the direction we're heading.

New Monster: Carrion Hound

NE Medium Undead
Init +2; Senses Low-Light Vision; Perception +5
AC 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 (+2 Dex,
+1 Natural)
HP 6 (1d8+2)
Fort -1, Ref +2, Will +4
Immune Undead Traits
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +2 (1d6+3 plus disease)
Str 15, Dex 14, Con -, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +0; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Toughness
Skills Perception +5
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none
Disease (Ex) Filth Fever: Bite - Injury; Save Fort DC 10; Onset 1d3 Days; Frequency 1/day; Effect 1d3 Dex Damage and 1d3 Con Damage; Cure 2 Consecutive [...]

October Movie Challenge: Lost Boys (1987)

Lets start this one off with a modern classic.
Lost Boys

I watched this one with my youngest and he loved it.  There is so much here that pretty much all modern interpretations of vampires have used.  True Blood, Buffy, Vampire$, even on to Underworld.  Though not Twilight.  Hell. There would be no Buffy without the Lost Boys.  Though I am sure there would have been no Lost Boys with out Anne Rice.  And...there is a lot of the Goonies in this, but still this is one classic movie.

I remember seeing this in the theaters [...]

Carnagecast 53: A Fistful of Carnage

In episode 53 of Carnagecast, Carnage staffer Ray joins the conversation on the precipice of the release of A Fistful of Carnage’s convention book. We talk about some of what’s on offer this year at Carnage, particularly in our own areas of expertise, offer some advice on what to expect at the resort, plus suggestions for food and other amenities in the Killington area.

We are, of course, looking forward to seeing everyone have fun pushing lead and flopping cards and chucking dice and everything else we gamers do at the convention this year. And we hope you can be part [...]

Hump-day Hildebrandt: The Return of Octhorror Wednesdays!

It is the first of October.  That means some things.  Firstly, Halloween closes in.  For me that means lots of horror flicks, some Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Type-O-Negative coming out of the speakers and finding a costume for Slick Rick's birthday party.  It used to mean a lot of preparation for something far different, and maybe someday it will again (sorry to be cryptic.  No, I'm not really sorry.)  It also means that U-Con is right around the corner.  For the blog though, it means Hump-day Hildebrandt becomes Octhorror Fest.   Every Wednesday we will see a monster/horror themed [...]

Kickstarter - Time of the Dying Stars: Book One (LL Fiction / Sourcebook)

Yeah, I know I mentioned this already a few weeks ago, but as I'm doing The OSR for the Lapsed Gamer series of posts, I figured I'd point a finger again at +Pete Spahn 's Time of the Dying Stars, which will be both fiction and a sourcebook for his world of Amherth (but could easily be ported elsewhere.)

Now, you don't have to support the project to benefit from it, as Pete's going to release it in a Pay What You Want format at RPGNow. No, you want to support it because your want the cool stuff that comes from supporting the projects, like a printed copy of the book, copies of Small Niche Game's other releases, new Labyrinth Lord classes by Barrel Rider Games [...]

Did I give up on a good thing? (d20 Dark Ages vs. The Word of Stelios)

+Charles Akins over at Dyvers posted his "third quarter blog numbers."

This gave me the idea of doing something similar.

In case you didn't know, d20 Dark Ages was my old gaming blog where I discussed AD&D 2nd Edition, and had regular columns like "Mini Monday," "Growing Up in the d20 Dark Ages," and "Finding the Gems in AD&D 2nd Edition."
On May 5, 2014, I stopped posting there, so I could focus on The Word of Stelios.
Here's a comparison of both websites, by the numbers. The first in d20 Dark Ages, in its last 5 [...]

Pokmon TCG: Battle Arena Decks: Xerneas vs. Yveltal

Pokmon TCG: Battle Arena Decks: Xerneas vs. Yveltal


Pokmon TCG Battle Arena Decks bring you two ready-to-play decks with cards worthy of a champion: new foil promo versions of Xerneas and Yveltal, plus powerful attack-boosting cards to fuel Yveltal's all-out assaults and sharp defensive cards that will keep Xerneas one leap ahead. The premium Battle Arena cards will get players and collectors hungry for these special decks!


In each box, you'll find:

-Two 60 Pokmon card decks, including 2 never-before seen foil cards featuring Xerneas and Yveltal

-20 foil cards in all

-2 metallic coins

-2-player playmat and rulesheet

-1 code card to play these decks online

-2 [...]

The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice CLXXXII -- Interviewing the Blitzkrieg

Out in Yu-Shan, the stories were coming to the boiling point. Most of Charles's previous interventions had played to small and secretive audiences. Bringing the Primal Forge up to full power again had, however, been more or less "visible" for hundreds of miles even from ground level – and Yu-Shan had a LOT of aerial traffic. It was probably going to be a good thing that Charles had an entourage now!

Mr Montague was considering destinies, omens, and prophecies… Charles had said… "I'm not allowed to use the BIG forge yet!" – and had likely meant it as a part of [...]


Trick-or-Treat: The Skeleton

Throughout the month of October, Melissa and I will be putting up a random playbook on sale, for a random amount and length of time.

This is similar to the Daily d100 Sale we ran during GenCon, where I'd randomly pick something and then randomly determine the sale percentage, but this time the sales will probably last longer than a day.

Anywho, first up is the The Skeleton!

This is the second playbook I wrote. It started as a joke, but then snowballed into a complete class thanks to Melissa bouncing weird ideas off of me while [...]

Untested GUMSHOE -- Heat Track

The effect of prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures in Trail of Cthulhu is very straight-forward: Investigators are considered to be hurt, resulting in them suffering a +1 difficulty on all tests.

The designers of Eternal Lies had a desire to make exposure to extreme heat more mechanically interesting and they introduced a rudimentary heat track. I found their treatment interesting, but wanted something a little more robust (particularly when it came to treatment and recovery). These mechanics are specifically designed for desert travel.

(They’re also not exactly “untested”, but I don’t have a series of posts called “minimally tested”, so here we [...]

Pattern Seekers -- Episode 15: Boxing Day

It turns out if has been quite some time since the last Pattern Seekers game and this one was sparsely attended, we had:

Mirror, the unstable wizard, Tack, the pirate, and Thea, the adventurous druid, with her lioness Pho available to serve the Pattern (details on the characters can be found here). Summoned by the Shaper, they are tasked with aiding an ally of the Pattern in retrieving a stolen item, an amber box. To aid in such they are given a crystal ball full of some liquid seeded with golden flakes that are attracted to the box and, as it [...]

Movies Queued up so far

Here are some of the movies I am going to tackle in the next week or so.

Some I have seen, others I haven't.

Alucard (2008)
Alucarda (1978)
Billy the Kid vs Dracula (1966)
Black Sabbath (1963)
Blood + Roses (2010)
Count Yorga (1970)
Female Vampire / Erotikill (1973)
Fright Night (2011)
Fright Night 2 New Blood (2013)
Mario Salieri's Dracula (1994)
Return of Count Yorga (1971)
The Deathmaster (1972)
Zoltan Hound of Dracula (1978)

Should be fun!

Old School... something or other

Funny, I was thinking of the topic for this blog post halfway through my vacation.  Then I get back and read Tenkar's Tavern and RPGPundit's blog to find out they're talking about something similar.  But let's not put the horse before the cart, guys.

For a few weeks (this was about three years ago), I was fuzzy on what it meant - not realizing that would be a hallmark of the OSR itself up until the present.  I believe I kept calling it Old School Revolution.  Then, a month or so later I guess someone clued me in [...]

Saved for posterity (Keep on the Borderlands)

I’ve been doing some cleanup and came across this for whomever might be interested. It was my “scratch paper” when I was tallying up the strength for the fighting forces for my Keep on the Borderlands posts(and as such will only make sense in that context).

In the keep:
1. Men at arms (F1/Heavy Inf) 2
2. Heavy Crossbowmen (F1/Heavy Inf w/xBows) 8
Men at arms/Bowmen (F1/Heavy Inf w/LBows) 24
3. Corporal (F2/Heavy Inf) 1
Men at arms (F1/Heavy Inf) 2
4. “Lackeys” (F0/Auxilia) 8
5. none
6. Bailiff (F3/Heavy Inf) 1
Men at arms (F1/Lt. Inf) 6
Men at arms [...]

Archaeology Dungeons

Today on classical archaeology dungeons: the site of Tel Kedesh.Do with it what thou wilt.

A Letter to Humans Regarding Halloween

Dear Humans:

As we understand it, you humans have now changed your Julian calendars to mark the tenth month in your year. Though it is apparent you eagerly anticipate the end of your annual cycle by buying gifts, flocking to mercantile centers, and hanging confusing decorations to acknowledge this passage (e.g. we have yet to understand the point of adorning plastic shrubbery with glass baubles), we do appreciate the fact that you still acknowledge October 31st as All Hallows’ Eve and attempt to celebrate the holiday to varying degrees.


We would now like to take this opportunity to speak about our [...]

Gategully Episode 24

Pits, ponds, trying not to get miners trapped, and finally my Marksdwarves shoot at something.

Find the playlist here!

Come and See- Presenting Monstrosity

I've decided to try and take the October Horror Movie Challenge. In short, it is a challenge to watch 31 horror movies in the month of October. As part of this challenge (although not required), I decided to post something after each one of the movies. Being an RPG blog, I'll probably post lessons from these movies about what to do or what not to do as the horror GM or player. I'll try to keep it as one lesson for movie, and I hope that at least some of them will be applicable outside of the horror-gaming scene. For [...]

Weird Wednesday (Macabre Manses): Starving Soldiers

Haunts are the residual impression of one or more suffering souls. Those of exceptional willpower might survive their own passing and return from beyond the veil of undeath, and the truly foul might flourish as evil fiends on a malevolent plane. Unique among the events that fall under the rubric of “afterlife”, haunts are indicators […]

The post Weird Wednesday (Macabre Manses): Starving Soldiers appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Ares Games acquires the license to publish the "Age of Conan" strategy board game

The Italian game publisher will relaunch the game by publishing an expansion, "Adventures in Hyboria", to be launched on Kickstarter next month

September 2014 -- Ares Games is proud to announce that a deal has been signed with Conan Properties International LLC to re-launch and expand the “Age of Conan” Strategy Board game.

“Conan is a classic property with great stories, and the Hyborian world is a wonderful setting for a board game”, commented Roberto Di Meglio, Director of R&D of Ares Games, and one of the game authors. “We think that Age of Conan will be a great addition to [...]

Warlock's Journal Contest: Storm & Shield, The Inner Council

  It is my turn to host the roving Warlock’s Journal contest once more. I am very pleased to announce the details for the third of the Warlock’s Journal contests held at Tales of a GM. The previous contest, Pirate Places, was hosted by Vicki over at Tabletop Adventures.   See here for a full …

Continue reading »

A Tale of Two Castles

Miniature Building AuthorityWell, two modular castle-building miniature Kickstarters, anyway. Coincidentally, both of these launched on September 30, and both look remarkable similar on the surface. Which shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given what they are, but it is probably unfortunate for both that they just happened to launch on the same day. Ouch.

The first (completely arbitrarily) is by Miniature Building Authority. MBA has been around a while, and has a decent enough reputation in the field to make a credible effort. The smallest reward level that actually gets you something to put on the table is [...]

BrigadeCon 2014 - We need your questions (video)



Panel on breathing life into NPCs

Facebook event - https://www.facebook.com/events/1550514571828416/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

G+ event page - https://plus.google.com/events/c7v36l3mqc6k4tihjidsg0o6h9c?authkey=CP3PxpT1xLyhSQ


John Alan Large from Red Dice Diaries

Tim Kearney from Tabletop Terrors

Mitchell Grubbs aka 'Tenjou Mitchell'

Red Dice Diaries, www.youtube.com/user/MrLARGEJO

Tabletop Terrors, www.youtube.com/user/tabletopterrors

Tenjou Mitchell, https://www.youtube.com/user/HellJumper50173

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