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Colonial Gothic Adventure Hooks: New England

Are you have trouble coming up with ideas for aColonial Gothic adventure? Here are a collection of a few adventure hooks you can use for inspiration. These are grouped by the colonies found in New England.

  • Witches have played a large role in the colony’s history. Some argue that these witches were not real, and were victims of persecution. Some claim, and do so in hushed tones, the real witches were the ones behind the trials. They were removing those who knew the truth. Though the Mather’s are one of Massachusetts most prominent families, the Mather’s harbor a secret, one of [...]

At The Fleapit: Captain America - The Winter Solider (2014)

Taking place a year after The Battle Of New York, Captain America (Chris Evans) has been working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but is becoming increasingly disillusioned with their pre-emptive strike techniques. He is, after all, a soldier not a spy. This comes to a head when Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) shows him S.H.I.E.L.D.'s next generation of helicarrier - three automated gunships able to take out

Movie Trailer ~ X-Men Days of Future Past

World Building Wednesday-Diervale: City of Refuge

To me, the most interesting part of Alfoli is Diervale, the city of criminals on the border between Alfoli and Reigzen. The city formed on the coast mainly as a shippingcenter toHespen, located at the narrowest point of the channel with a deep water port. It’s formation coincided with the founding of Altiera and Resnith, upriver shipping cities to the North and South. The food, lumber, and minerals shipped through them eventually made those two cities wealthy enough not to need Diervale’s help crossing the channel. Diervale began to lose some of its sea traffic.

Nations formed to the North and [...]

Word of the Day -- Pip

Pips are small but easily countable items. The term is used to describe the dots on dominoes, dice, denote suits, and is the name for the small seeds of some fruits. It could be used as a synonym for dot in most situations, for example morse code.

On dice, pips are small dots on each face of a common six-sided die. These pips are typically arranged in patterns denoting the numbers one through six. The sum of opposing faces traditionally adds up to seven. Pips are commonly colored black on white dice, and white on [...]

We Need a Good Adaptation of Tarzan

Do we really have to drop Acid in Disney land?

Do we really have to drop Acid in Disney land?Ok I admit that's kind of fishing for clicks title, this is not about LSD or Disney, but it will make sense in a minute.
Lately I have been reading a lot of blogs and looking at what other people are doing and I have to admit, by comparison my campaign is bland as oatmeal.
I look at some of the sprawling mega-dudgeons that people have described on the net, the campaigns filled with dark and the nasty, and some downright strangeness, and I wonder am I missing something?I like the [...]

Song of Blades and Heroes - Spaceship Combat

 In agreement with Andrea from Ganesha Games, I can offer you the fan created rules for space combat using Song of Blades and Heroes Engine.

Please note that these are not complete rules. It is just addition for SBH to emulate space combat. You need basic game to play it. You can purchase original Song of Blades and Heroes fantasy rules from here.

Considering scale, these rules are appropriate for fighters dogfights of the Star Wars type.
Of course, larger ships also play big part of equation, while small ships have two major roles: to make [...]

Kajak's Kave Labyrinth Lord Conversion Sheet

Pocket-Sized Encounters from Iron Tavern Press are designed to be easily placed in your existing game to fill an evening's worth of play as a short side-trek. While written to be compatible with the Swords & Wizardry system, they are easy to convert to your fantasy RPG system of choice.

Sometimes though even a relatively easy conversion is too much. Wait no longer Labyrinth Lords! Iron Tavern Press has created a Labyrinth Lord conversion sheet for the first Pocket-Sized Encounter release, Kajak's Kave. This free PDF is a one-page sheet that presents the stat blocks for the encounters in [...]

A student nationals retrospective

First off, it seems that the Leicester university grounds has a bit of a problem with 3G connectivity, and a wifi network for students and staff only. So with that in mind, I am very sorry that there were no updates live from the event.

Although, I would have had very little with which to update you all, as I ended up doing no gaming all weekend. I played a little bit of the Firefly board game with the missus when we were relaxing on our day off together on the Monday, but that’s not really what you were expecting.

Basically, a [...]

Lords of Light - The Thundarr the Barbarian Story

Check out this amazing short documentary on one of the great formative cartoons of my childhood.

h/t to +Noah Stevens

Season 6 Episode 7 - Printing in the 3rd Dimension

Welcome to Season 6 Episode 7 of RPG Circus
Episode Topics

  • Gaming Go Bag
  • 3D Printers and Gaming
  • Environments in Gaming


  • Jeff
  • Jay
  • Ben

Show Links

  • CCP Games Halts Development of World of Darkness MMO
  • KS: HeroSheets
  • KS: What O.L.D is N.E.W
  • KS: StoryTeller Cards
  • KS: Marauder Task Force Gaming Figures
  • KS: Major Effect Dice for Cypher System RPGs
  • KS: Dice!! Magic Missile Dice
  • Tyranny of Drangons Panel at PAX-East
  • KS: Sherlock Holmes Museum Playing Cards
  • The Noteboard
  • PrintrBot
  • SketchUp
  • Sketchup PlugIn I used to create STL files for Slic3r that comes


The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen: Chapter V -- Rudolph Erich Raspe

The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen"comes to us courtesy ofProject Gutenbergwhere many free stories may be had and used. We present the third chapter in the book as written by Rudolph Erich Raspe. We will present subsequent chapters over the next few weeks.

It is only because of the absolute faith I have in the Baron’s veracity that I can even bring myself to share this next tale. You see, it contains within it something so unbelievable that it is hard to credit it no matter who tells it. If we had heard it from anyone other than Baron Munchausen himself, [...]


Replacing intelligence and wisdom

A replacement ability score system.

Strength, dexterity, constitution, magic, perception, charisma.

Why this substitution? Because these six scores fit into the tasks that adventurers perform regularly in the game, are useful to all classes, and are less ambiguous. For example, should INT or WIS modify the save versus magic? Why? With this spread, the relevant stat is obviously “magic.” Similarly, d6 search and listen checks are the common traditional perception system, and are used frequently. Having a stat associated with them highlights the centrality of these mechanisms to a certain play style.

3d6 each. Modifiers abbreviated as STR, DEX, CON, MAG, PER, CHA.

Ability Modifier 3 -3 4, [...]

NTRPGCON 2014 Event Registration is Underway

If you've been waiting for the event registration to begin for the North Texas RPG Con 2014, which takes place in June, then you will no longer have to wait.  See more details here!

What Realm Works (and what doesn't)

So the kind folks over at Lone Wolfwere gracious enough to give me access to a review copy of their Realm Works software which is, as it appears, a note-taking aid for GMs. My first hurdle is one I experience all the time: it's only for PCs, which means I had to dig up a copy of VMWare Fusion to install and run it. Ok, fair enough, I'm no stranger to emulation. Hell, I ran a boot camp copy of

On A Board Game of Thrones

So our regular Dungeon Master was out of town this last weekend. We took the opportunity to engage in some board gaming!

We played, Game of Thrones the boardgame.

It's really very good.

It looks long, complicated, and slow. It isn't. It plays fast and interesting.

Play goes as follows.

  • Draw and follow the instructions on a series of 3 cards.
  • Everyone simultaneously places orders for all their lands face down. Feel free to talk, cajole, or convince the other players what you're doing and what they should do. 
  • Everything is flipped up and resolved in order. 

New Monster: Scourge Goblin

 Here is the stat lines of the scourge goblins.  I'm using Swords & Wizardry for the system.  I'm not a fan of alignment or assigning sure on set of stats because I like a range, but in this case I've given you stats for 1HD to 5HD goblins.  Their damage increases by 1 point per HD. 

Scourge Goblins
Hit Dice: 1 to 5 
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Attacks: 2 fists (1d2) and 1 bite (1d3)
Saving Throw: 17 to 12
Special: Immunities
Move: 12
Alignment: Neutral
Number Encountered: 1d4 x 100
Challenge Level/XP: 1/15 to 5/240

Commentary On The Free Science Fiction Classic - The World At Bay (1954.Winston) - Paul Capon For Your Old School Science Fiction Campaign

Grab it Right Over

This is another of the Winston Science Fiction library's efforts. This one seems to be an updated 'War of The Worlds' and pure pulp invasion material with educational lessons dove tailed into the mix.  Its pretty heady stuff with a dedicated mix of pulptastic alien invasion and 'look see' science fictional investigation of a fifties era London professor and crew. 
 Here's the plot according to the inside flap: No one believed Professor Elrick of the London Radar Research Laboratory when he announced in 1977 that Earth was in imminent danger of attack. Ever since his discovery of [...]

Monstrous Workshop: Instincts

Unlike a character's instincts, monster instincts are not for making mundane tests or causing drama. They are simply there to better explain how a creature behaves. This post will (hopefully) provide some insight on how to effectively write them for that purpose. I'm going to begin by quoting the rulebook, a passage which has already (partially) appeared in this series of posts.
"Give every single creature in your adventure a want. Some will want something from the adventurers: their flesh, their souls, their help, etc. Some will want something from the adventure area: a lonely ghost wandering around trying to [...]

X-Men: Days Of Future Past - Latest Trailer...

X-Men: Days Of Future Past opens in the UK on May 22 - and I'm very excited!

Steal This Location: 5-Minute Weather

Growing up, my dad liked to say the phrase, “You don’t like the weather around here? Wait 5 minutes; it’ll change.” He always made it sound like that was only true in this area (central Wisconsin), but apparently it’s said pretty much everywhere. But what do you think it would be like if that were literally true all the time? Well, that’s today’s location to steal.

It’s sounds like fantasy, and it really is, but I even came up with a way to make it ‘feasible’ without magic. It would be an area that is largely surrounded by mountains, [...]

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

There was an interesting thread the other day on theRPGsite, asking Game Masters to describe their worst campaign as a GM. My thoughts immediately went back to a HARP campaign I ran a few years back, where I wasn't happy with my effort, the lack of screening I did with the group, or the missed sessions that ultimately doomed the campaign within the first month. Of course, that's not the only game that I've failed at, but it's probably the most memorable, as everything that could have gone wrong did so.

Whether you're a Game Master new [...]

Blog Watch: Holmes, Strike Force, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Red Box, and Advanced Melee

Dungeon Mastering (Havard’s Blackmoor Blog)Quotes by Arneson, Gygax and Barker –“The worthy GM never purposely kills players’ PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own.”

Dungeon Design (Semper Initiativus Unam)World Building: The Look and Feel –“It’s a Holmes thing I guess – sticking that city under the dungeon is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, an explorable high-level ruined metropolis.”

Rest In Peace(Jeff’s Gameblog) Aaron Allston’s Strike Force — “In short, at the time Strike Force came out Aaron Allston was the most forward thinking mind in the hobby. I [...]

A to Z of Witches. N

N is for Nox 

So almost a year ago exactly I submitted my "Petty God" to the Petty Gods project.
I am not sure where that project is at the moment, but I am sure it will be out eventually.  In the meantime I wanted to share the god I cam up with; Nox.

Nox is an interesting creation.  Back in the day when we all got together to play we would not get started till it was dark outside.  Why? It seemed cooler and it was the 80s after all.  Nox represent that time when it was [...]

Strange New Worlds: Niribae

System Name: Niribae
Sector: 5-7
Star Number & Type: F III
Planet Number & Type: 2 - H, T
Inhabitants: Avians (native name unpronounceable) feathered flying humanoids
The Niribae system is somewhat resource poor, boasting only two rocky planets and a sparse asteroid belt between them. The inner planet is a highly tectonic low gravity world of towering mountains and steep valleys. In addition to it's violent core, the world is perpetually buffeted by high winds in part due to it's slow rotation allowing the star to warm one side of the world, while the other cools in [...]

Do you sell disposable shotguns?

We had food again, which Eddie found himself actually enjoying (even though it was a really poncy kebab with green things in it).

We planned.

We got attacked.

At Trevor's mansion decent-sized house, after catching up with Agatha and the woman we kept safely locked up in an upstairs bathroom and sending the latter on her merry way now that she's feeling better, a brain-sucking creature was going to stick its tentacles in Tilly's head, but luckily, Trevor was there to blow most of the creature away and scare off the other one. He needs to find himself some disposable shotguns because every time he uses one, it blows up thanks to the wrath of God.

At Tommy's there was strange writing on the walls and in his wardrobe, a mysterious hat box. With a big stone egg in it that couldn't be knocked over. It [...]

Campaign Chunk -- Creature -- The Invisible Frogfish of Fairview


The standard Frogfish is a type of angler fish, found in temperate or tropical waters. Unlike the normal frogfish, this creature is more like a piranha, It just happens to resemble a frogfish. The typical size of the fish ranges from 3 inches to 6 inches. It has powerful jaws that can rip a man’s flesh from his bones in under 10 mins. It’s natural colouration is of a mottled orange with streaks of blue running across its scales. The eyes look small emeralds.

The Invisible Frogfish (IF) seems to only live in the ocean near to the city of Fairfair. [...]

Wonder Woman Wednesday...

potelbat Ep. 40 "Sensational"

As human beings, we tend to rely rather heavily on our visual sense. Seeing is believing, after all. We have several others, though.

Sammy and Brian spend a significant amount of time talking about how to involve those other senses when we gather at the table. From better verbal descriptions to a bit of prep work with some props, it’s fairly easy to enhance your game and involve all the senses available to you.

Then we try to answer a listener email that asks us what to do if the sense we rely on most, sight, isn’t working as well as it [...]

Being An Awesome Game Master Is Not Something You Stumble Into

Whenever I run a game, I want to make sure it is the best possible game I can run. I want players walking away talking about it and ready for the next session. Maybe 1 in 5 games goes this way, even when I wing it, but it is always rewarding when it all comes together. The other week I was talking to a friend of mine who is getting into GMing. He was lamenting the lack of positive response to his games. We talked about it for a while and I mentioned the concept of "First Drafts Always [...]

Next Steps in the Sandbox: Developing Donnerkonig Heirs

Yesterday I started moving from macro scale to micro scale, outlining a set of possibly-related campaigns. Now I’m digging for some more detail in Donnerkonig Heirs.

I’ll start by working on the graph for the campaign. I know I’ve got Keys of Heraka-at and four adventures to acquire the treasures needed later. I’ll be looking for at least four more adventures to associate with these. I’d like to have about ten adventures available to me, but I’m going to start with a graph of fifteen to give me the option of culling, removing adventures rather than looking for an exact fit.

Donnerkonig [...]

M is for Major Victory

Major Victory was one of several patriotic superheroes to emerge from the studio and comic book packaging operation of Harry "A" Chesler, during a time when Phil Sturm was the lead editor. We here at NUELOW Games think of the Chesler output from 1940 through late 1941/early 1942 as the Golden Age for his Golden Age of Comics activity, and Major Victory is among the last of the characters from that period that we will be bringing to modern readers in one of our titles.

Drawn by Charles Sultan, and written by an unknown writer, Major Victory was featured [...]

Champions -- The Silverhold (Dixie Island, Montreal)

The Silverhold of Aurora Ward occupies a small island in the St. Lawrence River, about two thousand feet off the shore of Montreal proper. Centuries ago the island was supposedly used by Native American shaman to conduct rituals and vision-quests, but during the colonial era it became the private estate of the Merrow family, complete with a small mansion and reasonable well-kept grounds.

With the disappearance of the Merrow family in the early 1800′s it was occupied for a time by their increasingly distant relatives, but the essential inconvenience of a one-household island, the costs of maintenance, and a distinct surplus [...]

L is for Lea-Jan Cobbius

Sorry for the lateness of this post. Nurgle's Rot has well and truly dug its Chaotic claws into me, and as such I am finding myself unable to do near anything... But, the show must go on, so I've decided to bump back this week's posts by two days, and will skip the Sunday breaks, so that I will still finish on schedule.

They say that whoever controls the flow of goods in and out of Marienburg, controls the city itself. Whilst this is certainly true, trade goods aren't worth squat if they're stuck on board a ship, or lashed [...]

Greyhawk Wars As Backdrops

This in depth topic came to mind today. In a fantasy campaign world, be it the World of Greyhawk, Mystara, Dragonlance and so on, does it benefit having a war going on as a backdrop? In my experience it does even if the plot of your adventures never end up engaging in those conflicts directly.

Wars create a palpable tension in every location that heroes travel. Naturally the larger the war, the harder it becomes for characters to cross heavily defended boundaries on personal quests or to avoid being conscripted by one side or the other. Wars also create scarcity for goods, weapons and magic, which [...]

Day 14 N is for NPC

A Non-Player Character (NPC), are all of the people and creatures the players encounter in the world presented by the GM. The GM must portray all of the NPCs. Different GMs do this differently. Some merely portray them by the way the NPC describes things and using a standard vocabulary for a given type of […]

Ship to Ship Combat - Desinging A Mechanic _ Part 3

Friday we talked about the goal of a Ship to Ship combat system and settled on fast, narrative, and engaging all the players. Tuesday we broke that down into the different areas of the ship, what players could do there, and a bit about the Command position. Today I want to pull it all together with the flow of the system and how it works. This is the part that would likely require the most tweaking for any individual game, so please feel free to poke holes, ask questions, and offer your own suggestions.

Generally speaking most Ship to [...]

Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Eclipse

Game- Eclipse


Price- ~$100 !

Set-up/Play/Clean-up- 50min/play (2-6 players)

TL;DR- Some minor issues, but a great game. 90%


Basics- Eclipse is a four X game (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate). Players take the role of different races or group as they explore the galaxy following the fall of the “galactic UN.” Each turn, players use influence disks to dictate which action they will take. These actions range from moving ships, building ships, exploring, researching new technology, upgrading their fleets, or moving influences disks on the main board. When you explore you can also move influence disks to the board and colonize planets. Colonizing planets allows [...]

GM Analysis: Frank!

Seeing as Frank Punch (not his real name) was so enthusiastic to read about my opinions on various GMs, I figured I may as well start with him.  Frank Punch is new to Game Mastery and his previous experience (as far as I understand it) involves occasional game running of munchkins where the GMs revolved their spots between playing and GMing as well as a more recent very casual family games where several parents come along to play while their children play together.

Since I dropped the Flashpoint game, he chose to take up the slot with some Pathfindering [...]

Brainstorming a S&W "Pick-Up" Adventure for North Texas RPG Con

There's been interest in me running a pick up session of Swords & Wizardry while I attend North Texas RPG Con in June with my lovely wife.

So, what do I pull out for inspiration? The Tome of Adventure Design, the D30 Sandbox Companion and the D30 DM Companion. Color me inspired :)

I just need to get back to playing with mapping again - haven't had the time nor the right mental state to map, but I feel the urge returning.

Figure the adventure should be able to be run in about three hours and I'm thinking low to low-mid level (3-5 seems to be a sweet spot).

Of course, this would be my first face to face session [...]

Quick note - Style guides or Why I want a Beer

Reading through +Frog God Games style guide for S&W to familiarize myself with how the professionals do it and just in case I ever get the chance to freelance for them (pipe dreams, I know). All I have to say is that there are a lot of rules to digest... a lot more than I ever thought. Much props and praise to the guys who do this all the time, I envy you lot.

Fantasy Fiction Tuesday: The Hedge Knight (1998)

Originally published as part of Robert Silverberg's Legends anthology, The Hedge Knight is a 160-page novella written by George R. R. Martin, set in the land of Westeros and taking place roughly 90 years before the events of his A Song of Ice and Fire series.

The Hedge Knight relates the adventures of Dunk, a young hedge knight who grew up on the streets of King's Landing. After the death of his mentor, Dunk decides to enter a tourney behind held at Ashford. On the way, meets up with a strange boy known simply as "Egg" who later becomes his squire. [...]

Whisper & Venom goes Hardcore, er... Hardcover

+Zach Glazar , he of Lesser Gnome, sent me the hardcover Whisper & Venom Compendium. It's the boxed set in a convenient book size.

The paper is high quality and the product itself is excellent (I am also a proud owner of the boxed set). If you want an affordable version of the boxed set without the bells and whistles (dice, minis, monster cards, map booklet. amazing regional poster map), this is the way to go - 30 bucks compared to 60 for the boxed set.

Whisper & Venom is written for Labyrinth Lord but converts to the old school rules of your choice without issue (OSR for the win). There is also a Pathfinder version in the works, which I am sure [...]

3DPBMCSHMtm: the hollow hills

Original image by WintersKnight@DeviantArtIn this installment of 3DPBMCSHMtm, we head off to Altorr to talk faerie. The 'Fair Folk' play their inscrutable games of state.  Yet the Courts of...

Click the title if you want to know more...

Slight Delay

Going rather slowly – did my back in chasing down the rest of the Pictish and Stone of Destiny content last week. Interesting for me, as I studied a mountain of ancient stuff years back and reached my conclusion without feeling the need to nail everything down. Instead I felt the need to [...]

Tuesday Magic Item -- Boots of the White-Footed Fox

The raiders were proving to be more than we, the local militia and the Baron’s rangers, could handle. They struck without warning, sneaking into the villages and breaking into the houses to take what they wanted. Fleeing before the militia could turn out and they could be tracked only out to the edge of the fields and a bit beyond, but once the tracks hit the sandy riverbank they vanished.

Even the one who had been grievously wounded by a lucky arrow from Thom, we followed the trail of blood to one of the barns but inside . . . nothing, [...]

M Is for Mystic

mystic: (adj.) having seemingly supernatural qualities or powers

Today’s post strays a bit away from the general theme of monsters and NPCs, but that’s okay. It’s my theme, and I’ll stray from it if I want. Right? I pulled TSR’s Faiths & Avatars off a shelf in order to convert its mystic priest class into a form more amenable to Swords & Wizardry.


Whereas Clerics are warrior-priests and -priestesses in the service of the gods, the Numinous serve Lawful powers in less martial roles, finding and unlocking the traces of the divine that lay hidden in the natural world. Many Numinous travel [...]

Seeking the Truth

Babbling at the Counter #37 -- Pen and Paper
Seeking the Truth
This is an idea for Mystery Investigation that I have been toying with for a while now. It's incomplete, and it may not work, but maybe getting it out there will help develop it.
I remember a blogger (sadly, I don't remember who it was, if I eventually find the original post I'll link to it) saying that the problem with using skills and dice rolls to run a mystery was that a single failed roll would stop everything on it's tracks. He made this [...]
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