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Really? Are You Kidding Me?

Not a single one of the dozens of gaming blog has anything to say about the new Star Wars preview? I had to watch the thing a couple-three times. I'll probably watch it another few times before I get on the plane tomorrow morning. But I figured I'd see some comments around this corner of the internet.

Jeez, folks...too busy shopping or something?
; )

Here's a link for those who missed it. My own comments in a couple days...I've got to pack for a looooong trip right now.

No Opinions?

Black Friday OSR Sales Update #7 - 5 Buck Treats at RPGNow and some Frawgs

Apparently the email from OneBookShelf arrived at 1141 this morning - I just read it. You would think they would send an email out to affiliates and reviewers the night before to give folks a heads up on upcoming sales.

Nope.

Anyhow, there is apparently a Black Friday / Cyber Monday promotion going on:


Let me point out my "5 Buck Highlights:

13th Age - Considered by many to be the "true" 5th edition of D&D

The Strange - Numenera set on a strange earth. Tempting at 5 bucks

Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design - the Kobold stuff is usually pretty good. I think I have this from a Bundle of Holding - if not, I'll be [...]

I Can Only Assume You Want to Role-Play with Jimmy Pardo

I feel like I missed a beat somewhere. Never Not Funny‘s Pardcastathon charity auctions include playing a game of FATE with Jimmy Pardo — comedian, podcaster and “America’s Hair Dad” — and Eliot Hochberg, with Mike Olson, designer of Atomic Robo, running the game. This must be Eliot’s doing, as I can’t picture Jimmy having any idea of what a role-playing game is, beyond what he’s been told by Eliot and Garon.

As of this writing, there are six hours left on this auction, which benefits the charity Smile Train, which provides corrective surgery for cleft lips and palates. Bid on [...]

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth Wild Cards Premium Edition

Earlier this year I stumbled upon a suggestion from a fellow gamer to play Persona 3. This suggestion came atthe perfect time, I had just played through multiple Final Fantasy games and needed something different, but turn based. Persona fit that category perfectly. Next came Persona 4, which I am still playing, but when I […]

The Threuseus Inter System Cargo Launch Facility - A Post Apocalypse Mars Adventure Setting Location or For Your Old School Science Fantasy Campaigns

The Threuseus Inter System Cargo Launch SystemOriginally the The Threuseus Inter System Cargo Launch System facility was a five mile deep hole in the Martian surface designed to launch cargoes into space for colonization for the Outer Worlds. After the apocalypse it became a central territory fought over by a number of tribes. This fifteen level mega dungeon extends deep into the Martian soil and hasn't given up all of its secrets yet.
There are a number of super science laboratories and temples that were dedicated to various aspects of space colonization and space exploration as well as storage facilities and [...]

The Ardvoirlich

Scottish Charms and Amulets by Geo Black – 1893

According to the Rev. C. W. King crystal was extensively used among the Romans for the manufacture of drinking-cups and similar vessels, and for personal ornaments. Mr King also quotes two passages from Propertius as evidence that balls of rock-crystal were carried [...]

Far West Fiasco - Infinity Squared - Preorder the PDF for $24.95



Holy Fucking Fucktards Batman!

Far West has proceeded to jump the Sharka.

Yes, you can preprder the PDF of Far West, the Kickstarted RPG that will only be 3 years late in December of 2014. I feel a need to mention a year, because the page for the PDF mentions a December release but no year. That's probably wise, as it's missed three Decembers already. 2015 anyone?

The preorder is $24.95 for the PDF. Just think, if you had backed the Kickstarter three years ago, it would have only cost you $10 to hold the same nothing in your hand.

Now, why anyone would preorder a PDF is beyond me. Why anyone would preorder a PDF of a Kickstarter [...]

Music -- Sunn O))), Alice (AMV)

As a fan of both Sunn O))) and Touhou, thought this was pretty awesome in a hella bizarre way.


Goblin Pantheon, The Crunchy Bits

Polyhedral Pantheons Cover

The jhesiri and the hilljacks are a couple groups of teratic goblins in a campaign I am working on. They share a pantheon, and I thought I would use it as an example in my upcoming book Echelon Explorations: Polyhedral Pantheons.

In these articles I will demonstrate how I create and flesh out their pantheon using the guidelines from Polyhedral Pantheons. This article describes the ‘crunchy part’ and covers the game-mechanical stage. The next article will describe the ‘fluffy part’, the world building that happens after.

Creating the Goblin Pantheon

The polyhedral pantheon process can be summarized quite simply.

  1. Choose a polyhedron.
  2. Assign [...]

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A Fractured House

As Talbot is addressing a meeting of the United Nations about the dangers posed by S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Battle of New York, The Avengers and the alien invasion are referenced), a group of Hydra mercenaries - disguised as S.H.I.E.L.D. - attack, using high-tech, victim-dissolving weaponry. In an effort to clear S.H.I.E.L.D.'s name, as political moves are afoot for the establishment of a

What does Dragonmeet 2014 have install?

This is the first year that Modiphius is running Dragonmeet. This means gamers will be filling hotels in London and that big British names will be making announcements.

We know that Modiphius will be talking about their Infinity RPG. This is their biggest launch yet after signing a deal with Corbus Belli to bring the popular wargame and miniatures range to the tabletop world.

Joe Dever will be showing off images from the latest Lone Wolf video game and he’ll be talking about the new Lone Wolf RPG from Cucible 7. We can expect Modiphius to answer questions about DUST Adventures and [...]

Polyhedral Pantheon: Goblin Pantheon, The Crunchy Part

Polyhedral Pantheons Cover

The jhesiri and the hilljacks are a couple groups of teratic goblins in a campaign I am working on. They share a pantheon, and I thought I would use it as an example in my upcoming book Echelon Explorations: Polyhedral Pantheons.

In these articles I will demonstrate how I create and flesh out their pantheon using the guidelines from Polyhedral Pantheons. This article describes the ‘crunchy part’ and covers the game-mechanical stage. The next article will describe the ‘fluffy part’, the world building that happens after.

Creating the Goblin Pantheon

The polyhedral pantheon process can be summarized quite simply.

  1. Choose a polyhedron.
  2. Assign [...]

Two magic items for any roleplaying game

'Tis the season for leftovers. Here's a magic item inspired by a stray comment following a wonderful holiday dinner with friends.


BAG OF MEAT
 This small leather bag cinches shut with a narrow strip of rawhide. When opened, the user can pull out enough roasted meat to feed one person three times per day, or four people once per day. The type of meat is determined randomly by rolling a d6,

Die Roll        Type of Meat
1.                   Beef
2.             [...]

RPG Thinktank -- Alone In Space

The 6d6 RPG team gather together to brainstorm ideas for RPG adventures, monsters, settings and more. This week’s topic is …

*Alone In Space*
The characters are alone in their spaceship as they make a routine trip. What unexpected danger turns it into a nightmare journey?

The 6d6 RPG is available from 6d6RPG.com

Rulebook Ruminations: Dungeons & Dragons Expert


We're five months into our Dungeons & Dragons Basic / Expert campaign, and it has been a blast.  With 92 hours logged so far, we've managed to creep up the experience scale to right about 6th level.  We've enjoyed how simple the game is, but that only lasted so long.  Now, our players are hungry for those forgotten bits of complexity that gives Advanced and later versions their staying power and are beginning to branch out in ways they haven't before.

At 4th level, I allowed the Expert book to be used freely by the players.  It starts out [...]

Gategully Episode 82

Humans come! Trade goods!

Find the playlist here!

A Quick Glance at a Mythoard Exclusive

If you haven't heard, +Jarrod Shaw has created mythoard, a subscription based service where you will get a box of random RPG products.  December is his initial run and he's limited it to 100 boxes.  The last I heard, he only has 6 remaining.  I was excited when Jarrod asked me to be apart of the first box.  He asked for a random assortment of Manors.  I made the suggestion that I create something original for the mythoard box.  Here is the first peek at the cover for the Stone Fields of Azaroth.  The kick ass art is from +Oxide JCHart (Jeremy [...]

[MegaDelve] Lost River Cave (East)

And we come to the big item, and probably the last major set of caves in the megadungeon – beyond this node most of the other nodes will be primarily “constructed” regions instead of natural caves. But today I begin tackling the “Vietnamese Cavern”, now renamed “Lost River Cave”.

Lost River Cave (East) (with grid)

Like the Mushroom Cavern / Fungus Cave (whatever I ended up calling that node), this one is a small-scale map, with each square representing 20 feet instead of the usual 10. This makes this cavern enormous – and we’re only seeing the first page of it here. Standing in here at night with a torch, a party would likely see very little – even some of the “details” of this map are a few hundred feet across.

However, in the daylight, the marvels of this cave become apparent. The elevated section to the east between the two rivers is directly below a large hole in the forest floor above it. About 180 feet above the highest point in the cave is a hole almost a hundred feet across where the forest floor gave way into the cave, allowing sunlight, birds and even trees into the area.

The Druid’s Abode

Here [...]

Reviews -- D&D 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide -- UPDATED!

Here is an updated list of the reviews as they come in for the D&D 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. If you are not too busy watching the Star Wars trailer, check them out. If you already have your DMG, read that instead.

  • Critical Hits – Read Review
  • Dungeon’s Master – Read Review
  • Examiner.com – Michael Tresca Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
  • Goodreads 4.57/5 Stars – View Reviews
  • ENWorld
    • WotC Drops the Big One! (A Pre-Release Review of the 5th Edition D&D Dungeon Master's Guide) 8.7/10
    • D&D 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide: An Illustrated Early Review For Old & Young Adventurers Alike
    • Overall Rating / [...]

Thanksgiving Gaming





Thanksgiving gaming this year was brought to you by Iron Crown Enterprises "Riddle of the Ring".  I was a huge fan of Tolkien's Middle-Earth and when I saw this game back when I was 12 I knew I had to save up my paper route money for it.  I haven't played it since middle-school or high school so I thought I'd introduce it to my kids.  We had a blast!




Builds: Spirited Charging Pouncer



Spirited Charging Pouncer
Sometimes the most fun thing to do is to make the nastiest monster you can pull off and be the character that rides on it's back. While strictly speaking the summoner is a little better at this the summoner also sort of ends up being the boring half of the duo. You can still be a really cool character in your own right while riding a very cool mount, just like deadpool in this picture except you won't be at all like deadpool.
Build Core: We dip into Primal companion hunter first to establish what [...]

5E DMG: First Impressions

I picked up the new 5th Edition D&D Dungeon Master's Guide today at one of my FLGS's (and scored a 20% discount because it's Black Friday, which was totally unexpected but welcome nonetheless). The regular street date is December 9th, but stores that are part of the Wizards Play Network can sell it as of today.



First overall impression; this is without a doubt a book aimed at new DMs, rather than a reference book or book of options aimed at experienced players. That doesn't mean that there isn't anything of value for more experienced gamers, there is, [...]

The Face of Mystara, Part II (Session 4)

This update is lagging behind.  These Game Session notes were originally from 11.09.2014.

From the Journal of Alexandria Postoak

The group tended to all the bodies on the ships.  Oliver Blessed each of the bodies and we took all items of worth from them before we threw the corpses overboard.


6:08

The group agreed that the newly captured ship would be a great thing to use to begin a new adventuring company.

6:12

Back in town, the group takes the magical items to get them appraised for 1000 gold.  We split up magical items [...]

[Spotlight] Swords & Wizardry Player's Companion

Heute werfe ich einen kurzen Blick auf das Player's Companion fr Swords & Wizardry, ein Supplement von Barrelrider Games.
Das Player's Companion ist eine Sammlung von alternativen Regeln, die hauptschlich an den Spieler gerichtet sind. Zweck des Supplements ist es, Spieleroptionen zu erweitern, indem mehr Informationen zu Attributen, Klassen, Rassen und Ausrstung gegeben werden.
Ich selbst besitze das Swords & Wizardry Complete Regelwerk, welches inzwischen als PDF sogar kostenfrei erhltlich ist. Hier ist der Name Programm, denn die Complete Regeln umfassen etwa 130 Seiten. Etliche Klassen und Rassen, die im Original D&D von 1974 nicht vorhanden waren, sind hier schon [...]

End-of-Week Elmore (11/28/14)

 Hope everyone in the U.S. is having a great Thanksgiving holiday! I'm sure you're all enjoying "picking" at the turkey for leftovers! 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens...

And then this happened today...Perhaps I'm getting a bit gun-shy of blockbuster trailers (it took me three trailers to really get excited about Age Of Ultron, for instance), but when the dude first pops up into shot at the opening of The Force Awakens trailer I honestly thought I'd clicked on a spoof or fan-made trailer. It was only as events progressed (and we were treated to stormtroopers,

Basic Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition and the Basic Fantasy Field Guide in Print

After lots of hard work and community effort, the excellent Basic Fantasy RPG just got a little better! The 3rd Edition of the core rules, as well as a new tome of monsters have hit Amazon/CreateSpace/Lulu (and eventually RPGNow). For today anyway, you can also take advantage of the discount code DTWQ1 for 40% off at lulu, although as always, BFRPG is free to download, so you can take a look first. I did a quick overview of BFRPG a while ago.

 


Frugal GM Review: #30 Cursed Treasures

Some of you may know that I used to work in retail management, and that my wife still does. On several levels I just don't "do" Black Friday. Getting up super early to save a few bucks and fight crowds largely over crap I don't need is something I don't need. Usually the stuff I want is on sale at "close-enough" to the Black Friday prices.

"Close Enough" being that when you compare the savings versus the resources-other-than-cash price it isn't worthwhile to me. I like to consider all resource allocation when determining if something is worthwhile.

Of [...]

Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens Official Teaser Trailer #1

Five for Friday 29: Things I Like About D&D 5e

I decided that when I restarted my Rusty Battle Axe blog, I was not going to do reviews. I will, however, occasionally highlight a product that I like. It turns out that the newest iteration of Dungeons & Dragons has made it to that list. Here are five things that I like about it:

  • Excellent Player's Handbook: The latest edition of the Player's Handbook is at the top of the list, in terms of the rules themselves, organization, clarity of content, etc. The D&D team managed to create a product that serves newbies and RPG veterans equally well. While [...]

Post-Turkey Sketch


How to Build a Medieval Castle

My favourite living history team are back on TV again and this time they're belping to build a 13th Century Castle from scratch.

Secrets of the Castle is a new 5 part show in which Historian Ruth Goodman, and Archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold, learn the skills needed to build a castle and get a taste of life in the 13th Century.

(L to R) Peter Ginn, Tom Pinfold and Ruth GoodmanNot sure if this series is available to international viewers but it's on BBC iPlayer right now.

You can learn more about this ambitious [...]

Black Friday Deals Round-up

We’ve gathered a ton of awesome Horror and Dark Fantasy (and a few other genres too) deals from around the web. So many cool titles to explore, a little something for everyone…

Games:

The 13th Age (Pelgrane Press), Changeling: the Dreaming 2E (White Wolf), The Strange (Monte Cook Games), Ghosts of Albion (Eden Studios), Fantasy Craft 2E (Crafty Games), and Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design (Kobold Press) PDFs are all $4.99 each in PDF format for today only at DriveThruRPG.com!

Margaret Weis Productions is running a 20% Off sale on the Firefly and Leverage RPGs, plus the Cortex Hacker’s Guide print editions [...]

THE FORCE AWAKENS

Chickensaurus

Link!Chickensauruses are giant, unstoppable vegetarian predators that can be found close to civilized regions. They have been known to ravage entire villages in their unending and devastating search for corn and other crops on which to feast. 
If defeated however, they are said to be delicious. 
ChickensaurusMSG: 8.4.6Traits-GiantDamagePeek +8Kick +10Wing Buffet +5ArmourFeathers -8

The Threuseus Inter System Cargo Launch System Facility - A Post Apocalypse Mars Adventure Setting Location or For Your Old School Science Fantasy Campaigns

The Threuseus Inter System Cargo Launch System

Originally the The Threuseus Inter System Cargo Launch System facility was a five mile deep hole in the Martian surface designed to launch cargoes into space for colonization for the Outer Worlds. After the apocalypse it became a central territory fought over by a number of tribes. This fifteen level mega dungeon extends deep into the Martian soil and hasn't given up all of its secrets yet.
There are a number of super science laboratories and temples that were dedicated to various aspects of space colonization and space exploration as well as storage [...]

GUNDALF, THE POWDER GRAY WIZARD

Gundalf, the Powder Gray Wizard

LIFE IS HARD

Beyonder as far as I've gotten


Been meaning to write this review for awhile. Beyonder from Flying Nightbear games is not your usual fantasy heart breaker having a number of unique and different approaches. It has six primary attributes but not the standard instead we get emotion; mental; body; physic; spirit; and shadow. It also has two secondary attributes Stillness and Wyrd. It has ten races but only humans and dwarves are the stock ones. Character classes are linked to the primary attributes, but are not standard either. For example there are no fighters but the body channeling Soman are pretty close. I have been working [...]

OF HASRI AND PRONOUNS

In Sertorius there is a Race called the Hasri. Hasri do not reproduce through sex and have no gender. When a Hasri wants to have offspring this is achieved by making an offering to Sarilla. As you can probably tell from the previous sentence, this presents some issues when describing the Hasri because pronouns are difficult. We've developed some informal conventions in our own group. 

One easy way around the problem would be to use 'it', but that feels a bit off since it is used mainly for objects. Another solution is to use 'they' but while that can work when talking about Hasri in general it sounds very unusual if you are talking about a particular Hasri (i.e. "Vaela was born in Caelum and at age 18 they went to Cael to work in a Scriptorium"). One player pointed out that since all Hasri can lay eggs if they make an offering [...]

The Friday Grab Bag - Lloyd Metcalf, Eric Lofgren, & Claudio Pozas Artwork, Plus CMG Offerings

Lloyd Metcalf discusses "Black Friday RPG Shopping" and makes an appeal for supporting the independent artist on this holiday.  Find out more here.


Also, over on the Society6.com storefront, you get a holiday discount and free worldwide shipping with the right code below on Eric Lofgren's prints here and Claudio Pozas's artwork here.


Finally, please do check out if one of the 25% off Thanksgiving CMG offerings is something you can use in your gaming here.



The Friday Grab Bag on CreativeMountainGames.com Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics not covered
elsewhere or needing a particular focus.Please Like, Share, [...]

Oh Frabjous Joy

Above is a photo of our dining room table right before we kicked-off our new game set in Wermspittle...or at least it begins in the vicinity of there. On the upper-left you can see the raw 'mark-up-at-will' copy of the map of the surrounding countryside. The more finished version was posted previously. Toward the middle along the top of the photo you can see most of the raw outline-map of the Cave where Joy went exploring for her very first adventure. We used one of the cave-maps I scribbled into a smaller Moleskine sketchbook a while back as part of [...]

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir is a science fiction novel set in the not-too-distant future. The book's protagonist, Mark Watney, is a botanist and mechanical engineer who is extremely intelligent and always wisecracking. In other words, he's the kind of guy I'm pretty sure I could hang out with if he was a real person... except for the pesky little issue of me being here and Mark being stranded on

Setup for Success: DM and Campaign -- Still a better love story

Writers tend to be a very specific breed. We have certain things we really like, things we are comfortable and familiar with, and we like to stick to them. When we write, we aren’t just spewing words onto a bit of paper; we’re creating. Ours is a labor of love, and sometimes that can blind us. Sometimes we get caught in a loop and write the same thing, or we go out of our way to write differently and it sounds disjointed. Today we are talking about the story, the campaign, and the mind directing it all.

Don’t mind him, he’s [...]

Black Friday OSR Sales Update #6 - Troll Lords and Goodman Games



Troll Lords Games - Castles & CrusadesBlack Friday brings you 40-70% OFF All Titles! Winter has crowned the northern hemisphere like a frost giant's rage! The snow is falling thick and fast and the wind blowing cold. Time to light a fire, hunker down and plunge into the worm hole with Castles & Crusades with these Black Friday sales! To help you do it, we're kicking the doors to the Troll Dens wide open. From now until the 5th of December all DIGITAL titles are marked down from 40-70%! RPGNow! Drivethru RPG! Deep Discounts to help you through the winter! Black Friday brings you 40-70% OFF All Titles!Goodman Games Holiday Sale!
Greetings, minions. Now that you have glutted yourselves on the dead flesh of meleagris gallopavo, and [...]

Review: Dungeon Master's Guide (5e D&D)

It's finally here: the third and final core book for 5e D&D -- the Dungeon Master's Guide. Let me tell you it was worth the wait. This books if fantastic. It is 320 pages of everything I was expecting from the 5e DMG. If you're planning to stick with 5e then there's no question, you'll want this book.

I'm going to go through the highs and lows of each chapter. The DMG is massive and there is a lot of great material here. I can't possibly do it all justice so I'm going to really try and focus on the things [...]

Web of Ly's

Hi. I wanted to take an out of cycle moment to send out a hearty congratulations to my friend Lawdon (check out his website here) for the self-publishing of his first science fiction novel, Web of Ly’s (check it out at Amazon here). It is the first book of the series. The series looks like it will be a fun, fast-paced sci-fi romp with an alien lizardman protaganist. And someday, I might even have time to read it.

It takes a huge amount of effort to write a novel and get it ready to be published, and so I offer [...]

Dungeon Master's Guide Quick Review

So life, family, and friends have been keeping me busy, but I have managed to skim though the DMG, and I wanted to go over a few things that caught my eye.

First off, the overall impression that I get from this tome is of a tinker's tool box. There is a clear understanding that there is a zero chance that DMs will run their games as written. House rules, often based on table rulings inevitably and quickly creep in, and no two DMs are going to make all the same decisions. The DMG seems to embrace that idea [...]

Three New Enchantments

It’s been a while since I’d updated my little site here. I’d went from 17 August all the way through 23 November without a single post. That might be a personal best for website neglect. So, to try to make up for my shocking lack of concern for the Internet, here’s my fifth post since and including Monday. Today, I revisit Christopher Pound’s wonderful random Vancian spell names for three new spells, one each for three different game systems.

Pieritz’s Aqueous Apprehension for Barbarians of Lemuria

Pieritz, Grand Sorcerer and Dread Suzerain, grew tired of those who objected to his heavy hand [...]

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deal

It appears to have rolled around to that time of year again, when everyone is looking for a great deal on their favourite products. And seeing as how I usually run a sale of some description myself, I though that I would offer something a little different this year...

So, if you're looking for a bunch of maps to help get a new campaign started, then I've bundled a whole host of different map-packs together for this black-friday/cyber-monday special...


In this bundle you'll get a large campaign map, two fortress maps, a huge dungeon level, five city [...]
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