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February, 2015 RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-up

Taking a break from alphabetical dungeon dressings to wrap up this month's Blog Carnival, "How and Where I Write"

I received entries from eight individual bloggers, and Lowell Francis and Terl Ober both contributed multiple entries. Thanks to all for sharing - I really appreciate the responses.

First of all, a common theme seemed to run through most of the entries was not so much 'how' people write, but 'when.'  It's most illustrative of many of our middle-aged lives, full of work, family, other pursuits, and annoying cats.  I've read in other writing essays and guides of the importance [...]

B/XoL: Converting D&D creatures to Barbarians of Lemuria

The Legendary edition of Barbarians of Lemuria doesn’t come with a lot of creatures and most of them are pretty unique and unusual. Though my own goal with B/XoL is not to recreate Basic D&D but to take inspirations from it, Dungeons & Dragons is a great source when it comes to monsters. I think between BECMI and AD&D, there are way over a thousand of them.

Having looked at the creatures from the BoL Legendary Edition and the D&D Basic Set, I’ve come up with a couple of guidelines how to convert creatures from one game to the other:

Attributes: In [...]

Pyramid #3/76 - Dungeon Fantasy IV Review (The Magic Touch)

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise -- it's the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in an I have to put that in my game kind of way.

So, let's delve in . . . but remember you're descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin' Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can't be found. Nope. Nothing to see there. Though you're going to want to lose your lunch after spending time in the horrid living room of your bad guy.

But what's this we see here? A small, harmless-looking guy in a robe? The rube has no business in a dungeon. Or does he?

The Magic Touch (+Matt Riggsby)

This short article presents a set of magic items tuned to the martial artist archetype. Martial Artists usually eschew weapons and armor, and so much of the common loot one finds is inappropriate for them. This article tries to help balance the scales - but many of the items are not unvarnished benefits to the user!

Savage Worlds -- Space 1889 -- Flip Through

I was involved recently in an online conversation where someone pointed out the vast difference in cost between the core …

Continue reading →

Contest Time -- Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places

Sitting here in Barnes and Noble, on the outskirts of the cafe area. There are tables of books all around me. Looking over at some of the titles, I see some interesting titles that have me thinking of gaming themes inspired by the titles.

I see titles like The Forever Girl, this one give me ideas such as a ghost inspired adventure. Zealot makes me think of a spiritual leader and his cult following; I wonder where I could take that line of thinking? A Visit From the Goon Squad has me thinking of either a post apocalyptic situation or even [...]

My Bones II minis are on the way!

So I just got the official email from Reaper Miniatures that my set of Bones II minis from the kickstarter are on the way--estimated arrival this Tuesday.  I can hardly wait for this stupid weekend to be over!!!!  (Er, wait, what am I saying?)

Ex-RPGNet Reviews -- Dragon Magazine Archive

Tagline: A great bargain for a wealth of material, and a wonderful little taste of history.

Allow me to salivate.

The Dragon Magazine Archive collects, on five CD-ROMs, the first two hundred and fifty issues of Dragon Magazine, as well as all seven issues of The Strategic Review (the house organ which Tactical Studies Rules published prior to Dragon). It thus collects more than twenty years worth of material -- thousands and thousands of pages of the finest roleplaying material ever set to paper.

For forty bucks. (Some places are selling it for as much as $70 -- don't let 'em fool you. [...]

Hackmaster 4e & 5e Comparison Part 2

Hackmaster Combat: The Real DifferenceNetherdeep by Erol Otus
4e Combat4e combat is essentially a First and Second edition AD&D system. The outline or flowchart of AD&D combat can be somewhat complex "rules as written". A general outline of 4e Hackmaster combat runs something like this:
  • Encounter distance
  • Surprise resolution
  • Encounter reaction
  • 1d10 initiative
  • Combat rounds
  • Resolve actions in initiative order
  • Roll to hit plus modifiers vs AC modified by character abilities, armor type, weapon speed
  • Roll damage
  • Missile combat the same modified by range
  • Spells resolved as per spell description in initiative order
  • There are details such as armor damage and HP absorption
  • Damage rules details can make combat very dangerous
HM 5e [...]

The Week In Superhero TV...

The Flash - Crazy For You: Another episode chock full of Easter Eggs for comic book fans from Barry's meeting with Linda Park (Malese Jow), through the foreshadowing of Cisco's future identity as Vibe, to our first glimpse of Gorilla Grodd. When a low-level crook Clay Parker (Micah Parker) disappears from Iron Heights prison, Team Flash discover they're dealing with a metahuman teleporter,

1,001 More Weird and Wacky Adventure Ideas


Some Thoughts on Converting AD&D Monsters to Old School Hack

 Okay, so I'm not quite done with my current design obsession with Old School Hack.  A little while back I posted some ideas for future design projects along this line.  If there's one thing I have little problem doing, it's coming up with new ideas.

Recently I was looking over the D&D classics pdf versions of old modules on DrivethruRPG.  I was pleased to see that they had the old AD&D Desert of Desolation modules.  I ran these for my group using the Chivalry & Sorcery rules back in the day.  We had a lot of fun with them [...]

ChupacabraCon 2015 Panel 13


Zatannurday: Zatanna at Hogwarts!

You might have noticed from my post yesterday that I have been rereading all the Harry Potter books. Yeah they are for kids, but damn are they good. This of course got me thinking about Zatanna and what she would have been like at Hogwarts. Would she have been admired as a student? John Zatarra was well known and certainly his daughter would have been accepted even if she wasn't British.

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup - Tenkar's Tavern, Pyramid of the Lost King, & Empires: Age of Discovery

There are relatively few gaming bloggers as dedicated to their work as Erik Tenkar, the proprietor of the blog Tenkar's Tavern.  He's got a Patreon page set up to help him offset the costs of his phenomenal efforts here.  Join him!

Also, a couple of Kickstarters of note include, first, "Pyramid of the Lost King: Adventures in Basq" by Johua De Santo.  It's a modest adventure for Sword & Wizardry so jump on board here.

Finally, there is still time to get in on the juggernaut that is "Empires: Age of Discovery (Age of Empires III reborn)" [...]

We're Jamming

So by some weird twist of fate I find that I will be spending this weekend preparing a fifth edition spell jamming campaign. The Wednesday night group at the Friendly Local Game Store has been enjoying the clean spare lines of fifth edition by gooping it up with weird gonzo stuff. Unfortunately it is my turn in the DM rotation. One of the stipulations of my time in the chair that characters get to transfer from the old campaign, and yes they get to keep the evil eleven space suits, boltcasters, medium size mecha, and the Death Jammer the space [...]

James Spahn - Hottest Titles 1-4 Over at RPGNow!

I'm excited for +James Spahn and the OSR as a whole (and Swords & Wizardry in particular.)

If you thought, as I did, that James holding positions 1-3 on the RPGNow Hottest Titles list as of this past Monday was a thing beauty, holding the 1st-4th spots on that very list as of Saturday morning brings it to "eleven." (obligatory Spinal Tap reference)

For me, what is even more impressive, is that James' three White Box releases hold positions 1 through 3. I'll bet a week's pay that no one has held the first four spots at the same time.

If you want a chance to grab the White Box "Trilogy" of Barrel Rider Games releases in PDF for free you still have [...]

State of the Mega Delve!

Sometime back in November I figured I would finish off 2014 with a small megadungeon styled map. So I pulled out a post-it note and drew a basic node map for said. In time, that node map would evolve as I added additional maps and subdivided the various nodes (but in the end, the final node map is still recognizably pretty much the same as the post-it)

Node Map (click to enlarge)

All that is needed now is the last two maps to be drawn (The Necropolis and the Harpy Tower) – which we’ll get to in a few weeks. I’m holding off on these last two maps because the first few maps in March will be released under a free commercial license thanks to the awesome funding of my Patreon Campaign patrons, and I don’t want to stick the potential commercial users with partial maps from the MegaDelve. To see how the whole Dyson Mega Delve comes together in a more tangible format than the node map above, here’s a pseudo-isometric blow-apart projection of the 29 maps used so far:

The Whole Mega Delve (click for huge graphic)

This graphic is a bit big and unwieldy (roughly 4000 x 4000 pixels in [...]

v0.202 and Advanced Sheet Tutorial

A new build is available that mostly addresses issues with macros and loading sheets. Build v0.202 is necessary for the sample sheet from the tutorial video.

The video on advanced character sheets can be found on the video tutorials page.

You can also download the sample sheet.

The download links are available in the latest Kickstarter Backer update. If you pre-ordered through BackerKit then you should have received an e-mail with the updated links. If you haven't, please send an e-mail to backerkit@tabletopconnect.com.

Cable Car Chaos (Mickey Mouse Short)

Beta Max Black Hartford Edition Stars Without Number - Mopping Up The Thundarr Fantastic Heroes and Witchery Cross Over Adventure.

You can read about the original Fantastic Heroes and Witchery Thundarr gameHERE After the last cycle of Thundarr inspired Swords and Witchery rpg games with Peter's group, my old Stars Without Number party stayed behind to make sure the last loose ends were wrapped up.The party worked out two weeks ago that group of Brainlashers and rival slavers were at each other's throats was a ploy. The

Tragidore: Gallow's Grove and the Abandoned Ones

325 gp 5 pp(5) 100 gp gems
Masterwork leather armorMasterwork morning starPotion of remove fearArcane scroll of webDivine scroll of cause fear, Divine scroll of murderous commandBrute Gauntlets, Brooch of Stability, and a Ring of Brief Blessing. 
In a masterwork ceremonial velvet lined box, with obvious symbols from the Temple of the Gauntleted Fist and runes for four holy sacraments. Inside the box are 4 objects: a bronze "swords" flagon (50 gp), electrum "knight" cup (75 gp), polished duskwood "squire" flagon (50 gp), and a silver "priest" chalice with the symbol of Torm (250 gp, also functions as a cleric's holy symbol).
(3) Masterwork battle axes(3) Masterwork half-plate and masterwork light steel shields (dating back to the Weeping War)Arcane Scroll of Minor ImageDivine Scroll of Cause fear, Divine Scroll of Delay Poison, Divine Scroll of LightWand of Cure Light Wounds (CL1- 30 ch); Wand of Entropic Shield (CL3- 23 ch); Wand of Magic Missile (CL5- 18 ch); Wand of Acid Splash (CL1- 40 ch)
  • Deadfall Dweller brain (magical beast); 5 HD; abjuration school; Spellcraft DC 10 + SL: Spell Focus (Abjuration) 
  • Deadfall Dweller glands (magical beast); 5 HD; conjuration school; Spellcraft DC 10 + SL: Spell Focus (Conjuration) 
  • Deadfall Dweller heart (magical beast); 5 [...]

Dragon #102

February's Pictoral Phantasamagoria...

For the gamer who has everything...

Depleted uranium dice.

Bringing a whole new meaning to critical rolls.

Friday Night Videos: Sojourn in Hell

Welcome once again to Friday Night Videos! Tonight I want to feature videos from the soundtrack "A Sojourn in Hell". Never heard of it? No one has. It was a collection of MP3s I listened to while I was working on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG and then later when I was writing Ghosts of Albion. Some of this music also fueled my playtests of Buffy with games that became part of The Dragon


Gyrphax is the largest dragon in my brother Robert’s campaign. He did this piece in high school, a few years before his current campaign started, or rather he started it in high school. It is pen and ink in the stipple style, that is, it is all dots. He had the dragon and the slain […]

Pyramid #3/76 - Dungeon Fantasy IV Review (Eidetic Memory - Living Rooms)

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise -- it's the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in a *I have to put that in my game* kind of way.

So, let's delve in . . . but remember you're descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin' Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can't be found. Nope. Nothing to see there.

But what's this we see here? And why does the floor . . . move?

Eidetic Memory -- Living Rooms (+David Pulver )
In this installment of Eidetic Memory, David pulls out all the stops in making delving as awful, gross, and cringe-inducingly squicky as possible. And I mean this in the best possible way. The article covers some of the history of having part of your dungeon be actually alive, as well as what various viscera and giblets can be found within. Living rooms (a phrase I will simply never hear correctly again) as traps, as rooms, as diversions . . . and monsters. It's all here. [...]

A Terrible Thing, Prayed to in Space

Irk'tk'skrilln [Sounds like static and screeching crystalline minerals tearing themselves apart from within]AKA The Irradiant Aurora of Pulsing MadnessAKA The Echoing Frequency Beyond Understanding AKA That Horrible Radioactive Poison That Turned Me Into ThisIrk'tk'skrilln is a semi-intelligent flashing orb of EM spectrum radiation careening through the universe at large, like some drunken quasar in miniature. Followed by slavish and mutated attendants in a ragged fleet of cobbled together ships, it sparks life and mutation less often than horrible death, hallucinatory [...]

Farewell to an Icon

I had intended on wrapping up a post about Thanos and the Thanosi tonight, but fate had other plans. Instead, I'm posting a fond farewell to a man that I didn't personally know, but one that had a profound effect on my life. I don't typically feel anything other than a quick "bummer" at the passing of actors/athletes/celebrities, but there are a few out there that do occasionally affect me.

READ AN RPG BOOK IN PUBLIC WEEK -- 2015 -- March 1 -- 7

As I was working on my daily postings for the next few days, I realized that Read an RPG Book in PublicWeekstarts Sunday. The Escapist has not yet updated the dates for the three weeks throughout the year for 2015. I am not sure how or when I will be able to read an RPG […]

Pyramid #3/76 - Dungeon Fantasy IV Review (Hidden Knowledge)

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise -- it's the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in a *I have to put that in my game* kind of way.

So, let's delve in . . . but remember you're descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin' Jedi can be found.

Hidden Knowledge (+Christopher R. Rice)

Christopher Rice offers up a new take on spells. Not just spells, but secret spells. With cool names. Known for his fondness for Ritual Path Magic, this article nonetheless covers conventional magic, of the type used in bog-standard DF. Of course, the article does touch on RPM, as well as spellbooks, with sections on Secret Spells, Secret Magic, and Knowing Your Letters (grimoires and spellboks).

Style, Writing, Execution [-2 to 2 points]: This article is quite dense, but very readable. It's mostly SJG-official format, since the bulk of it is a list of spells, powers or abilities, or bullet-point lists of choices for the GM to create a secret magic portfolio that works for them. Of particularly high cool-factor is one of [...]

White Box Giveaway - PDF Bundle of White Box Treasures, Companion and Newly Released Bestiary!

I was talking with +James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games earlier today about his newest White Box release - Bestiary - and we both had the same thought: why not do a White Box Bundle Giveaway?

So here it is.

James is giving away a PDF bundle of his three White Box Releases - Treasures, Companion and Bestiary.

Treasures is currently the hottest title on RPGNow and Companion is sitting at third.

What do you need to do to be in the mix? Simply make a comment on this post by 730 PM Eastern Time tomorrow, Saturday, March 28th, 2015.

Yep - 24 hrs to enter, so don't wait ;)

Brawler - A Monk Replacement for AD&D2e

My group has slowly reshaped its home campaign. We started with Lamentations of the Flame Princess, but slowly adopted bits and pieces from everything including class structure from AD&D2e. Some classes have been removed entirely for thematic reasons (No one in our group was big on Druids as treehuggers), and some have been replaced.  I always liked the idea of a monk, but it just doesn't fit the setting we play and has always kind of stuck out as a sore thumb in the D&D milieu. Enter the Brawler.

I picture the brawler as one part greco-roman wrestler, one [...]

YALP Ep. 37 "The Land That Fate Forgot!" Episode 1

The characters are all ready to go. The volcano is warmed up, the dinosaurs are on stand-by, and the strange alien lizardmen are eager to begin. So, what’s the hang-up?

The hang-up is, as easy as Fate is to pick up and learn, if you’ve come from a more traditional style RPG, there are certain complications to wrap your head around. And that takes time and practical experience.

So we start a bit slow and cautiously this time around, but things do pick up as we go along.

You’ll see.

Welcome to

YALP Fate, "The Land that Fate Forgot!" Episode 1

Featuring the gaming talents of:

Brian [...]

Session LXXI: Dragon +1

Current Player Characters:Torion Fulvousmith (Dwarf)Minimus (Cleric)Su (Cleric)Thenus (Ranger)Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf) 
Hirelings and HenchmenLarton - Man-at-Arms
Biggs - Mercenary
Kray Rouis - Magic-user Puma - Mountain Lion
 With the dead body of Edan the Atleantean slain by spider poison, the party loots his body and continues exploring the rooms and tunnels beneath Xlarthen's tower ruins. 

It wasn't long, however, until they ran into a small band of hobgoblins dragging around a prisoner.  A quick battle ensued and the hobgoblins fell to the blades of the party. The rescued prisoner turned out to be a [...]

$20 for so many games - RPC's GM Memorial Fund Charity Bundle

An astonishing number of RPG and tabletop titles are being made available for $20, organised by Aaron Huss of Roleplayers Chronicle to raise money in support of a bereaved family and memory of their, by all accounts, beautiful, 5 year old daughter who died suddenly and tragically.

DriveThru:http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/145070/The-Game-Masters-Memorial-Fund-Charity-Drive-BUNDLE-Until mid-March 2015.
A very moving tribute / Persephonee's storyhttp://www.caringbridge.org/visit/persephoneebanks/journal/view/id/54ec56f7a589b4c14e96b3d7
I'll be honest and say it's heart warming to know of so many generous, caring gamers and publishers, so willing to donate titles and buy products for causes such as this and at such short notice. Awesomeness. RPGers rule!

Well, fuck...

I have no words...

Rest well Mr. Spock

Today the world lost an icon. Leonard Nimoy will always be remembered as Spock, I know that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name. While that is far from the sum of everything he was, … Continue reading →

Kulikovo Field

Messing around with part of a famous battlefield painting.

Goodbye Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, everyone's favorite VulcanToday is a very sad day. While this news isn't gaming related, I felt like I should mention it here anyway due to the subject matter.

Leonard Nimoy, an icon within the geek community for playing Spock in numerous entries within the Star Trek franchise, passed away this morning in Bel Air, California. The actor was 83 years old and the cause of his death is reported to be chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nimoy's Star Trek cast members, including William Shatner and George Takei, expressed Sadness at his death.

Shatner tweeted, [...]

SHTFriday: Prepping and Magic: the Gathering

In perhaps my geekiest column yet (well -- maybe not here, but definitely over at Blue Collar Prepping), I compare assembling a bug-out bag to building a Magic: the Gathering deck, and it makes a surprising amount of sense.

Phantasy Star

The other day my girlfriend sees me sitting on the couch, sketching on graph paper in a notebook, with several pages torn out and laying about covered in similar sketches. “What are you doing?” “Mapping,” I reply, lifting up half a dozen pages. “This is all one dungeon, so I needed to map it.”

Now, Phantasy Star II isn’t the first RPG that I’ve resorted to mapping for; that honor would go to Sword of Vermilion (which is probably one of the most awesome RPGs I’ve ever played), but it’s the first that I’ve felt that it was utterly necessary to [...]

Snow Day!

Snow = role-playing

At least that was the case for me from about 5th grade until I graduated high school.  School would close, the guys from the neighborhood would gather for sledding in the powerline (the best hill in the area, even if it did end in a creek), and after we were cold and soaked we'd retire to the basement for six hours or so D&D, Star Frontiers, Dark Sun, Marvel Super Heroes, Robotech, Shadowrun, and Gamma World.

Those few years made a deep enough impression that even now, decades later, when school gets called off on account of snow (as it was all last week) my first thought is usually, "Great, we get to game!"

Fortunately I have a small cadre of hobbit gamers who live right under my own roof these days, and so we spent a chunk of time each day last week [...]

R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy (1931 - 2015)

"We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honoured dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these

New Monster - Essence of Evil For Your Old School Campaigns

Drifting in from the 'half worlds' and other whens are the infections and remains that were other alternative Earths and timelines. What they once called populations. Weird finds and strange relics sometimes hold such horrors. They are monsters of incredible malignancy that are actually the twisted remains and demonic slurry that is left over after the forces of Chaos and the Abyss have

Leonard Nimoy Tribute

The Flying Pincushion extends its deepest regrets at the passing of a great man, Leonard Nimoy.  While he was best known for playing Spock in the original Star Trek, the man himself was far more.  A poet, a proponent of science and logic, and a damn good human in general.
Leonard Nimoy influenced generations of young minds for the better, and taught all of us a great deal both through the character of Spock and by simply being himself.  I still remember watching his great show, In Search Of, and of course, Star Trek.  Leonard all at once showed [...]

RIP Leonard Nimoy

I took a break and looked on my G+ feed and sawBenoist Poir doing a Vulcan salute with a mention of a #lastsalute, I knew what it meant. Belowis what came to my mind, and my first few thoughts. RIP Leonard Nimoy. I understood your struggles of being identified with Spock. The development of that […]

Spock is dead, long live Spock!

RIP Leonard Nimoy.  Here's a link to to Leonard singing the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

Terraria Episode 043

Seeing as the Wall of Flesh wasn’t kind enough to drop the PwnHammer, I have to go kill it again. So I prepare my arena with the lessons learned from last time!

Find the playlist here!

Foul Machinations Friday -- Forsaken Frontier II

The best lead to repair the PCs' airship is to follow Sulcera Stonesmile, a strange thief found rooting through the vessel when the party returned to it. She assures the adventurers that her ally Doc Fell can help find the lost engine parts or possibly even help get them back. Ever the wildcard, the curious […]

The post Foul Machinations Friday – Forsaken Frontier II appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

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