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The Audacity of Sound

I had a riotously good time making the audio clip for my first Alien Menace session

What audio clip, you ask? You didn't listen the first time? You missed out on Pyramid Magazine editor +Steven Marsh's inspired performance? +Antoni Ten Monrs totally owning the role of the Captain? And +Gerardo Tasistro and me as Jones the Tech and Yi, the videographer, each of whom gave our one or two lines before meeting electric flaming death at the hands of a now-deceased cyberdisc?

Well, shoot. You'd better go listen, then.

I wanted to do this, but was uncertain if I could pull it off. Luckily for me, my Google Fu is strong, and I came across the recommendation to use Audacity.

There may well be better sound editors out there, but this one was free, intuitive, allowed multitrack sound design, and the capture of sounds through your own system. I was able to, within scant hours:
Meld the sounds of an arc welder and the supersonic "zip" of an actual bullet to make my blaster sound effects
Insert, seamlessly, the sound of the hydraulic lift, which made an unmistakable sound of the cargo ramp on a ship going down
Overlay machinegun noises (the Captain's futile efforts to punch through 5d armor with a 3d submachine gun) with screams that interrupted said noises
Put in other partial effects like a few moments of footfalls, samples from a longer clip.
All in all, it took me maybe two hours to make a call for voice [...]


"Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting Dragons!"

I know others who have noted the lack of adventures that end with the locating and slaying of a dragon. In my own campaigns dragon encounters are always remembered. They are rare, but each encounter was unique and challenging. The dragons were played intelligently as the apex predators they are. The PCs many times had to make deals with the Dragons as they were unable to defeat them in combat. Dragons I feel should be epic and never a throw away encounter. It never mattered if it was just a faerie dragon [...]

In Defense of Dungeons & Dragons

 Last month, I wrote a post that gave a hint as to what I've been doing instead of roleplaying these days: I'm working on my burgeoning life as a personal development coach. It's something I've already been doing for most of my life. I've just decided to make it "official." And [...]

British Path posts 85,000 historical newsreels to YouTube

Last week, the newsreel producer and archive British Path announced the release of their entire collection of newsreels and historical film footage on YouTube. It's a monumental collection of historic moments, from the most important events of the century to the most absurd. You don't have to be a history buff to get some use from these clips -- there is sure to be something of interest to gamers of all types.

(full list of helicopter footage: http://britishpathe.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/the-history-of-the-helicopter-early-helicopter-footage/ )

Quick Note - Fantasy and Commission Barking!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up on two excellent gaming artist out there their prices/paetron campaigns!

First up is Mavfire (whose real name and/or google + I don't know). an excellent black and white artist that has been on the cover of & Magazine and produces some quality work that I'd love to put a use to some day.

Mavfire has recently posted his commission prices over at DA and they are pretty decent prices. I suggest going through his gallery, but my favorite is this and his many 3-D maps.

Next up is James Shields (who is [...]

Review: Frankenstein's Bodies

This game was a complete curveball that caught me off guard at the first time I had ever attended Conpulsion (which is this Saturday, don’t you know!). A random invite from two warm and friendly strangers with random body parts scattered around the table, which made me wonder if I was about to be used for some fiendish experiment that would leave me missing a kidney, to try out a game in prototype. Sounds harmless enough, right?Then it was mentioned that this game was inspired bythe world of Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein written by the superb Iain Lowson.

Well, you [...]

Hercules Official Trailer with Dwayne Johnson

I meant to post about this last month but Gary Con was keeping me busy and pics from the con were taking priority for blogging.  Anyway, the new Hercules movie looks like it could be a winner.  Enjoy!


Playing Servants, Part the Third: The Levyman

Levyman Thief Kit OR Fighter Kit Description: The levyman is in actuality a form of farmer; however, for the purposes of this kit, it is assumed that this farmer has actually experienced some combat at the guidance of his lord. Levies are called up from among the common farm folk: freeholders and tenant-holders alike are required to serve in the lord's levy. Levymen may have recieved some

Review: The Typing of The Dead: Overkill

Price: 17.99 on Steam
Developer: Modern Dream
Available Systems: PC
Tested System: PC (Steam)

The Typing of The Dead: Overkill was released right on time for Halloween in 2013. The game serves as an alternate version of The House of the Dead: Overkill which uses the keyboard typing mechanics from the 1999′s The Typing of the Dead instead of the first person shooter gun game mechanics known from The House of the Dead games. A nice fact to know about The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is that the game was close to never being published at all due to [...]

The End of the Podcast....?

NO! Honest! At this moment in time, Liz is STILL WAITING for her lovely internet providers to setup her home. As you can imagine, this is driving her slightly mad.

Liz might be slightly mad about all of this

As soon as we have internet back up and running, the podcasts will be flooding back in! Hopefully before Conpulsion! In the mean time, thanks for checking up on here and we are looking forward to coming back!

Torchbearer Cheat Sheets

Check out these cheat sheets made by lowlyminion on the Torchbearer forums. Follow him/her on twitter @lowlyminion.

The importance of maps

I've gone back and forth with maps. On one hand my free time is limited. Rarely I have the time (or skill) to hand draw an elaborate map for my game. While mining online resources is always an option, it does take some time and usually difficult to get a map that is precisely what would fit your game. So at times I've slipped into giving a locale or backdrop environment a narrative description. While it does cut down my game prep time, just describing something doesn't seem to grasp my PC's interest.

As one deficiency to using a [...]

The Four Goblin Clans of Hubris and My First Piece of Commissioned Art!!

Finally I have moved onto the next phase of heading towards the publication of Hubris… ART!! I am very excited to be working with the awesome and talented David Lewis Johnson(here’s one of his websites- he is currently developing another one). David will be doing most of the artwork for Hubris, as I want to keep the aesthetic similar, although I will have a few other pieces by various artists.


When I developed the goblins, as with orcs- I wanted to keep them familiar, but add my own take on them. The goblins were influenced by horror movies and things like [...]

Contact Light Twitter Account

I’ve created a twitter account for Contact Light, and also joined the RPGBA. The twitter account will serve almost entirely for automatic notices of new posts, but I may also post short announcements there instead of asides here.

(There’s of course still the Contact Light facebook page if you prefer that.)

Everything is better with Pulp

If you’ll allow me to post something completely random:

Found the Pulp-o-Mizer at the Zhodani Base. Pretty cool, just wish it would export at higher resolutions.

Kepler 186f: Earth-sized Planet in Habitable Zone

The Kepler mission has discovered an Earth-sized planet that orbits within its host star’s habitable zone: Kepler 186f. The planet is only 11% bigger than Earth.

The planet orbits closer to its star than Earth does to sun, but this places it right inside the habitable zone. According to Wikipedia, it is the equivalent of Mars’ orbit in our solar system.

Unfortunately not much else is known about it, and it is too far away for our current instruments and space telescopes. Still, more data is good. And here at Contact Light we’ve got a whole sky full of terrestrial worlds to [...]

John Malkovich Is Blackbeard! Need I Say More?

Pirate shows are like buses - none for ages then two come along at the same time. Will Crossbones - featuring the wonderful John Malkovich as Edward Teach aka Blackbeard - be as good as Black Sails? We'll have to wait and see (as usual, there's no indication yet when it will be available in the UK).

One Page Dungeon Contest 2014

The April 30th deadline for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2014 is rapidly approaching! This fantastic “competition” is a great excuse to dust off an old adventure you’re run and distill it to its essence. You can find out lots more about the competition, including the submission rules and guidelines on their site.

The site is also a fine repository of fantastic ideas for adventures if you’re running one in the near future. Nothing quite like being prepared for a game you’re running…

I have put together a one-page version of an adventure we ran at a few Houston gaming conventions [...]

Blog Watch: Inflation, Death, Templates, Falling Damage, Mastermind Models, and Restorationists

Game Design (Delta’s D&D Hotspot) A Model of Archery for D&D — “Conflation between these markedly different situations and success rates has caused much confusion in the past (starting with Chainmail’s use of identical ranges for both, and continuing even up to this year with Len Lakofka’s updated article on archery in &-Magazine #7, which retains the same core system.)”

Gary’s Got Your Back (Dreams in the Lich House) Dungeon Gold and the Nearby Town — “Adventurer’s gold wouldn’t warp the economy of a major city. But how about that frontier village or borderlands castle where a stream of dungeon gold [...]

Screw "If" - "When" The Tavern Podcast Comes Together...

Alright, "The Tavern" will be putting out an OSR podcast. No date yet, but between the vague time frame definitions of SOON!, soonish and "not so soon", I'd put it around midway between soonish and "not so soon" ;)

I'm figuring two steady chairs and a guest each episode - bloggers, writers, artists - basically content creators. Not really big on the idea of doing straight up interviews, as my technique would probably fall along the lines of "interrogation". Instead, the third chair would get to put their input to the topic at hand.

Talking megadungeons? Grab +Joseph Bloch for the third seat. Talking Swords & Wizardry? Strong arm +Matt Finch . ACKS? +Tavis Allison .  Mapping techniques? +Dyson Logos and +matt jackson . Successful and on time RPG Kickstarters? Maybe +Kevin Crawford or +Zach [...]

S is for Suiddock

For the past 18 posts of the A-to-Z challenge I've variously mentioned the great Ward of Suiddock. Well, it is finally time to explain that reference.

Whilst the first thing anyone sees when entering Marienburg by boat is, undoubtedly Rijker's Isle, the first place any visitor, coming by boat or carriage, is Suiddock. Sitting in the dead centre of the city, and run through by the Bruynwater Canal, the largest and deepest canal which allows even sea-going ships, Suiddock is often considered the true heart of Marienburg.

Normally I don't add pictures to my A-to-Z posts.
But I freakin' [...]

Pirates & Dragons Ahoy!

Pirates like gold. Dragons like gold. When the terrors of the sea meet the terrors of the sky, there's bound to be trouble! They came from Albion, from Gaule and Esbania and Batavia, in search of the treasures of the New World. They found a menace older than mankind -- dragons! In their mountain lairs [...]

The post Pirates & Dragons Ahoy! appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Technical Issues

Due to technical issues with the hosting server for our podcast, this week's session will be posted hopefully later on in the day.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Marc.If you like this article, head over to the site for more great articles, or just keep reading the feed. Cheers Alton

Why Incomplete Games Are Sometimes the Best

We've all played poorly designed games, whether they are badly run RPG campaigns or poorly thought out board games. You know the ones I'm talking about - Games with random winners, Games with so many rules it takes 3 hours to set up and learn the first time, games with terrible game-play, or that obscure puzzle the GM throws at you where you need to remember a tiny insignificant detail from 2

Strange New Worlds: Timea

System Name: Timea
Sector: 13-8
Star Number & Type: 1 - O I
Planet Number & Type: 5/6 - D, J, P (V), K, T
Inhabitants: None
This super giant blue star burns extremely brightly even on the farthest ice ball in it's oort cloud. Closest to the star is a rocky world with a thick atmosphere that's caused a rampant greenhouse effect. Next is a roiling gas giant, a rocky world that's never cooled down so that it's crust is constantly bursting with volcanic explosions, a teal gas giant, and beyond that a sparkling ice encrusted orb.

A to Z of Witches. T

T is for Tarot

Maybe it is when I grew up and was thinking about all this stuff (the late 70s early 80s) I associate witches and tarot cards.

There is no really overt connection, but they seem to go well together if you ask me.
I have used Tarot cards in my games and even made a suggestion on how to use them instead of dice while playing Ghosts of Albion.  Tarot decks work rather well for Unisystem since the dice mechanic is a straight d10 (1 to 10 roll).

I have a couple of [...]

Behind the DM Screen (March 2014)

Sam, Jeff and Mike continue talking about their games. Sam has a city of orcs on a pillar, Jeff has Returned to the Temple of Elemental Evil...and Mike plays too many games. Enjoy!

Support the show, shop below...
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Noble Knight Pick - Tomb of Horrors

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Campaign Chunk -- Item -- Inferno Noodles

A noodle is common food found in many regions and country. It is cut into a variety of shapes, from flat thin strips to tubes, strings shells. Then can be pan or deep-fried and served with a sauce or soup. It is often this sauce that gives the noodle its flavor.

One region in particular is famous for it’s incredibly hot noodle soup, called Inferno Noodles. traditionally, the noodles are served in a watery , reddish soup, with a small bread roll to soak up the remains of the soup. It is this soup that gives the noodles it flavour. [...]

Wonder Woman Wednesday...

Awesomeness Overload

Danger is part of the kitsch and mystique of the adventure game, as I explained previously. So is antiquity. But one thing that's medieval and dangerous but doesn't make people think "WHOA ADVENTURE" is ...dying of disease from a rat bite or plate of bad beans in a pest-hive medieval city.

Not the DMG's finest moment.That's because disease is low, squalid, and lacks awesomeness. It's not a soul-drinking sword, a city full of dark elves, a beholder or a Tyrannosaurus or a laser gun or a rocket ship. All these awesome elements make the final piece of dungeon kitsch, [...]

Keeping Interest During a Busy Spell

Lately I've been a little busy at work. You see, I don't have full time employment. Instead I work a handful of part time jobs. A few weeks ago one of my coworkers had an emergency and I had to pick up as much extra work to cover their shifts as possible. I managed to cut back at a few other jobs and add hours where they were needed, but my schedule was very tight. Then a coworker at another job moved on to a better opportunity, leaving me to teach 5 classes. (To be fair it's 5 sections of [...]

Terra Mystica

Hey all, time for a board game review.

The game in question is Terra Mystica. This game is built for 2-5 players and sits on the longer end of things at about 30-40 min per player.

The object of the game is to build a great civilization much like Settlers of Catan. You can build towns and cities and need to manage resources. The differences though are vast. The resources you gain is based on your towns. If you have a huge town on the board then you are producing a lot of resources. If you squander your resources and fail to [...]

Tales of the Donnerkonig

The other day I described the Hall of the Faded Kings as — or rather, updated the description to –

This great hall is lined with mosaics showing great acts of the Donnerkonig over the centuries they ruled, from the mighty acts that established their powers, through acts during their reign, and even the diminishing acts during their decline. [...] the central area, where the floor has a large mosaic of the sign of the Donnerkonig [...]. From this central chamber are four others, each with mosaics alluding to stories of one of the Donnerkonig treasures.

It might be sufficient to leave [...]

[Fate Accelerated Edition] Dr. Steve Armstrong, aka Megavolt

I’m still on my extremely slow learning curve on FATE, and I’ve decided to pick up from the FATE Accelerated Edition side first. The promise of a very rules lite game is appealing to me mostly due to the sheer amount of real life obligations that I have to address these days, so having something quick that I can run with little need of prior memorization is going to be a godsend.

So for the sake of this particular experiment, let’s go with an old HERO character of mine: Dr. Steve Armstrong, aka Megavolt, a power suit character based roughly on [...]

Ehdrigohr Traditions: Society of Crows

Welcome to the first monthly Ehdrigohr Traditions article. What these Traditions articles will aim to do is give you particular info over different traditions in the world and how they use the Mysteries. The info will also expand on rules already in the book and offer stunts and techniques that can be used elsewhere. Though […]

Prepping and Running a One-Shot RPG Session

Welcome to the 27th episode of the Play On Target podcast (PLOT for short). This episode features a discussion about what to do when prepping to run a one-shot RPG session. We also discuss some RPGs that make for good one-shot sessions for running at conventions or game stores. We hope you enjoy listening to the discussion. Did we get anything wrong? Let us know in the comments or start a discussion onRPG Geek.


You can contact us at Hosts@PlayOnTarget.com or you can send us a private geekmail on the RPGGeek website; our usernames arelorddillon(Sam),Vaklam(Brian),edige23(Lowell), andMasterGeek(Andrew). You can also follow us [...]

Commenarty On The Free Science Fiction Classic - The Lost Planet (1956.Winston) - Paul Dallas For Your Old School Space Opera Campaign

Grab It Right Over 
Another offering in the Winston Science Fiction collection with a cover by Alex Strumberg, this is a pretty strong offering in Winston collections. Even though its another juvenile science fiction offering there is plenty here that can be used with your old school science fiction retroclone games. 

 From the Inside flap of The Lost Planet: 
With a shout of "Rockets a-a-away!" three young Earthmen send the untested XL-35 rocket ship screaming into space toward the lost planet of Poseida. Space doctor Bill Hudson and two friends have courageously taken off on a [...]

Champions -- Dreamweaver of the Vanguard

The Low Astral simply reflects the physical world – and interacts with it. The High Astral includes the various Imaginal Realms, and the foothills of what lies beyond. On the border, where the Low Astral yields to the High Astral, is the Realm of Dreams – the borderlands between the spirit realms and the physical world. Through that borderland pass summonings, travelers, and spirits of a thousand types. A few – the Dreamspawn – are native to that realm.

And there a few spirits linger as Guardians or Vacationers or Nightmare Lords. Death has no objections. Over the ages even the [...]

Wild Elves

The mercenary knew his chances were slim when fled the losing battle, blindly charging from the circle into the trees...into their trees.  He could hear the sounds of death behind him, the horrible whistling sound of their blades soon followed by a the gurgling rasp of another dying soldier. The mercenary's plan was simple, run until he came across the Sea's Tears, dive into the raging river waters and allow the river to take him away from this ill fated battle.  A rough, quick jerk, a tightening around his neck, the invisible noose grew taught, jerking the fleeing warrior from his running charge, his momentum hurling him backwards from the taught rope of vine, snapping his neck and killing the mercenary instantly.  

Silently scurrying from the tree, the childling elf was torn between mortification and awe at the performance of his noose trap.  Several of the dragon's warriors had been slain by his death slings. Kareb knew his father would be proud, however the young elf, a genius engineer, had not thought his traps would be so lethal and knew that his mother would hold her warlord husband responsible.   

Fairagel stayed hidden above [...]

Daily Punch 5-22-14 Evils Spine Magic Item for DnD Next

How about a nice magic item for DnD Next?



Evil’s Spine

Rare magic weapon (staff)

This staff is made from a spine of a single creature. The end of the spine is topped with a human skull. It has been cleaned, and bleached white. No visible factors hold the spine together except for sheer power. Increase the DC of all your spells cast. Also, three times per day when you cast a necromany spell, impose disadvantage on the saving throw for that spell or gain advantage on any check needed for that spell.




Day 20 T is for Treasure

Treasure, gold, silver, gems, jewels, and magic are the goal of the hearty adventurers who dare risk entering a dungeon or other place rumored to have treasure. One can even find treasure maps in the treasure hoards one finds. These maps lead the way to further adventure. Treasure can be just a few coins off […]

[Let's study Mage: the Ascension] Part 5: Opposition & Challenges

The funny thing about Mage is that everything could be your enemy. Tradition mages, the technocracy, other supernaturals, ghosts, other-dimensional threats, unexplained phenomena, they’re all there.

The trick to Mage is understanding that no matter what happens, a Mage cannot simply “unsee” what they’ve encountered. Their ability with the Spheres leaves them susceptible to seeing exactly where all the cracks of this broken world are, and that propels them with morbid curiousity to see what makes it such.

As such I’d recommend structuring a Mage campaign that doesn’t think in terms of opposition, as much as situations that they have to unravel. [...]

Create-A-Character Challenge: Chohoqua the Beast-Mistress

A character for Beasthunters. See the Character Creation Process here. Name:...

Create-A-Character Challenge: Beasthunters

Read the SRD or Purchase the Game From the creator's website: You are an elite warrior who stalks...

Review: Chronicles of Amherth

Chronicles of Amherth is an original campaign setting for Labyrinth Lord written by Peter C. Spahn* and published by Small Niche Games. I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical when I first laid eyes on it. The book is pretty unassuming. The cover is black and white. The layout is simple. The interior art is black and white and there's not a whole lot of it. Still, there weren't many original campaign settings for Labyrinth Lord, so I grabbed the PDF on a whim and let it sit on the digital back shelf.

When I finally [...]

A to Z Challenge: S is for Shemmy's Social Club

Shemmy's Social Club is located on Lowe Street in Elder, right around the corner from the 9th Precinct of the Watch.  The club was named after Shembley Plempton, the third Guildmaster of Thieves in Jarlsburg.  Its current location is it's third, but it has always been in Elder.

The current Grand Pooba is Adder Vitriol, a twenty year veteran of the Guild who is respected and feared in equal parts.  While the Guild has many applicants, there are currently only 100 full members of the club, a decision ratified fifteen years ago after a violent schism between Castor Yeates [...]

T is for T.N.T.

When the United States government was recruiting scientists to work on the Manhattan Project, they overlooked one of the most brilliant nuclear scientists to ever live. Not only did Treve N. Thorndyke manage to split the atom in his personal workshop (while avoiding killing himself in the process), he also managed to invent an "atom gun" that was far more surgical in its killing capacity than any other atomic weapon devised by humanity. Thankfully, Thornedyke chose to use his invention for good rather than evil, putting on a mask and cape and joining the superhero set as T.N.T.

CSIO Kickstarter

Well, I did it. I joined the CSIO Kickstarter. There’s a few others I want to join, but not enough money to go around. I wish it didn’t take $80 to get the Metamorphosis Alpha book…. Not that I’d get to play MA, but nostalgia….

5-Star Review for Fate+Fiction: Semper Fidelis

star"This is extremely thought provoking… and what really makes you think is not the overt concept of a piece of fiction and the role-playing snippets you can extract from it, but the underlying thought-processes of how to look at something you read and glean it clean for role-playing ideas." Thanks Megan! You can read the whole review and download Fate+Fiction: Semper Fidelis at this link!

The post 5-Star Review for Fate+Fiction: Semper Fidelis appeared first on Asparagus Jumpsuit.

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