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YALP Ep. 15 "Attack of the 50 Fiasco: Act I"

What happens when you mix Mad Scientists, a Frankensteinian Monster, the local Mayoral election, and some Family Values Politicking?

We have no idea, but you can find out here.

YALP takes on a nice game of Fiasco set against the backdrop of 1950s B-movie Sci-fi and horror.

And, like all good 50′s Era Sci-Fi, there’s a thinly veiled message in play that may, or may not, have any bearing on the real world.

Won’t that be exciting?

Join us for a tale of Science and Terror!

“Attack of the 50′ Fiasco: Act I”

Featuring the gaming talents of:

Jason Hawver as Mayor Otis Cooper

Bryan Stiltz as Experiment No. [...]

SHTFriday: Hurricane Preparedness part 3

Today's SHTFriday concludes my three-part series on hurricanes, this time talking about what is necessary (i.e. the bare minimum) needed to dig in and ride out a hurricane so that you end up looking like this guy...

... and not this guy:

Because that would be BAD.

(Yes I know those are pictures from the 2011 Mississippi flood, just work with me here)

Ashwood Vale -- Part 6

Almost two months after our last game, we finally continued our campaign today. A basic cave exploration losely based on the Pathfinder adventure “Flight of the Red Raven”. One player was absent today and another could play only for the first hour, so for most of the adventure it was just three characters.

John the Younger: Human male Fighter 2
Kendall: Human male Cleric 2
Isayoki: Half-elf male Priest 2

427, 7th Moon, 4th Sun
In the early morning, Isayoki, the junior priest at the village shrine, was called by the head priest Karras. During the night, someone had broken into the [...]

Wonders of NaeraCull: The Stone Sentinels

The Stone Sentinels of NaeraCull are several immense figures, each standing over 50-feet tall, that appear to be large humanoids carved from the stone of the Stepping Mountain. The mountain itself draws its name from the fact that several of the Sentinels stand with heavy stone vistas hoisted upon their shoulders. These extend behind them […]

The post Wonders of NaeraCull: The Stone Sentinels appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Kicking off #RPGaDay with a Post

The trick will be if I can keep it up for the whole month.In a current period where my G+ feed is awash with people getting very upset over all manner of things, it was delightful to see the concept of #RPGaDay pop up. Started by +Dave Chapman, the notion is quite simple; every day this month, post an answer to the question of the day in the image to the right. So, first up:

1st - First RPG Played
I think I was about 14. I was vaugely aware of role playing though my only real contact had been [...]

Inverse World: My Criticisms Run Deep

I've been very critical of Inverse World, but as an indie publisher myself I find that constructive criticism is invaluable for helping me improve what I do. I also believe that when other indie-publishers crank out overpriced, amateur work supported with hyperbolic reviews it can make it difficult for people to justify risking another purchase.

This is why I show my playbooks and adventures to people ahead of time, and also why I am posting the entire pdf document that I have written so far for Sundered World: I want people to know what they are getting before money [...]

Deep thought Friday

Haven't done one of these in a quite a while now.
The background reading includes two posts from today: Trey's review of Guardians of the Galaxy, and the idea certain aspects suggest Farscape, and a post at Realms of Chirak on 'citogenesis', essentially a lack of care in recording knowledge.
What's the connection? Read this article at the IEET site on the idea of intelligence limiting itself.
The question then. Is intelligence an evolutionary dead end and what role does culture play in this?_
Explore the full Expanse...

Poker, Chess and Breaking the game with Monty Haul

While the later editions suffer from "builds" when players think about characters, the earlier editions are not immune to their share of munchkinism. In fact, if one looks at just the Player's Handbook in 1st edition its easy to break the game, using the Unearthed Arcana it gets even easier. It bears repeating, although its tougher to do with just the PHB in 1st it can be done. Enter the Monty Haul aspects of the game. I don't beleive that Gary intentionally did this, after all I truly believe the game grew organically and fast.  I also [...]

Against the Giants: Session 119

Inside the Tower

The battle continues with the remaining zombies and lone gargoyle trying, and largely failing, to wound the heroes of this saga.

The battle actually lasts mere seconds (about 12 maybe) and then it is over. Zombies are chopped up, the gargoyle shattered, gore and fragments of stoney flesh are everywhere. With the battle over they approach the tower, sending theinvisible Sidni in first to peer about the entrance hall: stairs lead up to a balcony, then further up to a windowless room. Everyone heads up to the topmost levels: then Calibos begins to descend, since there is nothing up [...]

"Hiding Nuisances After Gods"

Freewriting topic of the week

"Hiding Nuisances After Gods"

The God-boon wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.

After all, the Great One had walked among the mortals and devout of the town. We had been promised boons.  Crops had been tithed, fatted calves sacrificed (and dark rumors of more... familial... sacrifices, as well).

What we were left with was awkward pregnancies, malformed livestock,and strange crops gibbering in the fields under the moonlight.

We paled when we learned that pilgrims were on their way to walk the countryside trod by the Great [...]

Flash Giveaway - Crawl! #10 in Print Anywhere in the World - Four Hours Only!

In my excitement upon learning of the release of issue #10 of Crawl!, I forgot that I already had an active subscription with +Dak Ultimak .

What to do?


Dak and I have decided to give it away - and Dak will ship it anywhere in the world.

I'm going to open this up for 4 hours only (I'm rounding up - cut off will be 915 PM NYC Time 8/1/14) - comment here, on G+ or the DCC RPG Community over at G+ - and yes, you can enter all 3 ways.

When the 4 hours are up, I'll randomly pull a winner from all that that comment.

If you've been wondering if Crawl! is right for you [...]

Quick Note - The Laundry

I'm not sure what to say about The Laundry. Cubicle Seven has routinely released great games and the product blurb alone had me reading the author list six times because I could swear one of my favorite British author's (Simon R Green) was involved.
From Drive-Thru:
There are things out there, in the weirder reaches of space-time where reality is an optional extra. Horrible things, usually with tentacles. Al-Hazred glimpsed them, John Dee summoned them, HP Lovecraft wrote about them, and Alan Turing mapped the paths from our universe to theirs. The right calculation can call up entities from other, [...]

GenCon Run: A Mule Called Golgotha

All right. I have taken the step of registering my 52 Pages Old School Basic/3E hybrid game run with GenCon. It will be August 15 (Friday) 10AM-2PM in Embassy Suites, Chancellor 1. If you are already logged into Gencon events manager the link is this un. I want to see some of my blog readers in the crazy mix! Here is the splash page for my GM screen.
The scenario is a delve into Castle of the Mad Archmage's Crypt level with 5th level pre-gens using the 52 Pages system (see downloads, right). The mule is what you will be [...]

Ashwood Vale, Part 6

Almost two months after our last game, we finally continued our campaign today. A basic cave exploration losely based on the Pathfinder adventure “Flight of the Red Raven”. One player was absent today and another could play only for the first hour, so for most of the adventure it was just three characters.

John the Younger: Human male Fighter 2
Kendall: Human male Cleric 2
Isayoki: Half-elf male Priest 2

427, 7th Moon, 4th Sun
In the early morning, Isayoki, the junior priest at the village shrine, was called by the head priest Karras. During the night, someone had broken into the [...]

Bujilli: Quick Index to Series Five

Series Five
Bujilli survives a brutal ambush by his maternal uncle during which he loses his tulwar, is defended by the ghost of his mother, meets his father and kills his uncle once and for all...and then wakes up in his bed back in Wermspittle.
For thirty episodes Bujilli and Leeja explore Wermspittle, delving into any number of forbidden secrets, meeting interesting new people, making enemies, avoiding assassination attempts, learning new spells, running errands and getting embroiled in the war that never really left this place...

Quick Index to Series Five
(Episodes 69-99)

Episode 69   [...]

5e Musings: The Investigation Skill

Art by Steve PrescottOver on Bat in the Attic, Rob Conley's posted a few thoughts on 5th Edition's Investigation skill and its proper use at the table. Those thoughts inspired some of my own. 
For those of you who haven't read the D&D Basic Rules yet, Chapter 7 presents the following description for the Investigation skill: "Investigation: When you look around for clues and make deductions based on those clues, you make an Intelligence (Investigation) check. You might deduce the location of a hidden object, discern from the appearance of a wound what kind of weapon dealt it, or determine the weakest [...]

Music -- Hawkwind, Master of the Universe

The Lake of Unknown Depths

A few weeks ago in our weekly Greyhawk chats there was a bit of discussion about the Azure Sea and the Flanaess' largest freshwater lake, Nyr Dyv "The Lake of Unknown Depths." This is some follow up research for those interested in esoteric Greyhawk information. As you should already know, Nyr Dyv is centrally located on the map, so obviously much of the game setting revolves around this important lake. Nyr Dyv is a busy waterway connecting many rivers and nations, and it is also known for monsters that lurk in the deeps waiting to prey on ships. But how deep is the Lake of Unknown [...]

Scores of a Science Hero

This is a step between what I have and what I want.

What I want is a mini-game that works similarly to d20 combat, and yet is open-ended enough to add or remove ‘creatures’ from combat — to basically do what the 4e Skill Challenge was intended to do.

To that end, I created six “investigation” scores:
- Question
- Postulate
- Observe
- Explore
- Analyze
- Research

Let’s pretend for a moment that you generate these scores the same way you would in D&D — 3d6, right down the line — and that you assign modifiers in a similar fashion. An [...]

#RPGaDay #1strpgplayed

#RPGaDay #1strpgplayedThe first roleplaying game I played was D&D red box edition. My friend Aaron owned it and invited me over to play. It was the early 1980s and I was in elementary school. I do not remember much of the experience, emotions only, really. I had fun. It was a new experience. I had no idea what I was doing, I am sure. I played it two times, maybe three. The first two times were solo adventures with the dungeon master. The third was with a different dungeon master and my friend as another player. I did not care [...]

Wonders of NaeraCull Brochure #4: The Stone Sentinels

If you'd like to download a copy of thisFREE PDF head on over to the Storepage, butAaWBlog Presents: Wonders of NaeraCull Brochuresare available on RPGNow.com, DriveThruRPG.com, Paizo.com, and d20pfsrd.com as well! We're keeping it short and sweet again today; enjoy your free PDF, and keep an eye out for more AaWBlog Presents in the future! […]

The post Wonders of NaeraCull Brochure #4: The Stone Sentinels appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Ding, second level

Today, we were continuing our AS&SH campaign, starting with our three spellcasters chosing their new spells for 2nd level. Thinking back over my groups of the past years, I made the startling realization that this was the first time I was running a game for a second level party in about 10 years. I was a player in a Pathfinder campaign in which our characters reached 8th level, but all the campaigns and one-shots I’ve ran since school started at 1st level and never made it to 2nd.

The player of the mage had to leave after the first hour, and [...]

Artwork Old and New

I was digging through some old gaming files when I came across a couple of NPC sketches I did for a Vampire:  The Masquerade game I GM'd in the mid 90s.

I don't remember much of the game details except that it was set in Cleveland and the primary plot points rotated around a huge influx of Gangrel from Mexico.  Like I said, I ran this game back in my college years, 1994-1999.  It's ironic that I ended up moving to Cleveland more than a decade later.  If you had asked me then, I never would have [...]

Well, We Had a Good Run, but This May Be It

If the US is stupid enough to bring Ebola patients into the US, the US deserves to die from crapping out all of its organs in a bloody mess. If the top Ebola doctors in the world, wearing full hazmat gear, managed to get Ebola and die from it, what chance does Georgia have?

I feel bad for that old lady dying of Ebola, I really do, but the risks of flying her back to US so far outweigh any rewards, most of which involve sanctimonious good feelies about “doing the right thing”, that this is just mind-boggling that it’s [...]

Spirit of 77: A review of Cruise Ship of the Damned

Cruise Ship of the Damned is described as a free to download pre-written adventure for Spirit of 77. It's more than that. It's actually an introduction for MonkeyFun Studios' Spirit of 77 RPG. Spirit of 77 is due to launch in Kickstarter in September.

What you get with this download is an introduction to the Spirit of 77 rules, pre-genned characters and the pre-written story.

As it happens, Spirit of 77 contains a structure on how to create your Fiction and mange escalations. In the spirit of the action movies and TV series of the seventies the game has the concept of [...]

The Book of Terniel, a Pathfinder RPG Adventure now on Kickstarter

The Book of Terniel Kickstarter has launched!

This adventure is written for 1st-level characters and includes dozens of encounters and exciting adventure locales for your PCs to visit. Expect several sessions to complete the entire module (our playtest group played for over 35 hours before finishing).

Please consider heading over to Kickstarter to and backing our project.


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Frugal GM Review: Maps For Heroes Fundraiser Campaign

This week I'm not reviewing any straight-up product per se, but a fundraising effort that I brought to my reader's attention a little over a month ago. In that "head's-up" post I challenged folks to pony up $8 for a series of RPG maps from eight contributors, figuring a buck a map for a good cause was well worthwhile.

As near as I can tell a couple of folks took me up on that challenge and then some. I think that two folks, myself included, "only" donated $8. By my math the minimum donation level (direct through the site [...]

The Table of Contents for Shadow, Sword & Spell: Gamemaster

Work is nearing the end, and soon Gamemaster will be released. This book is the companion volume toPlayer.Gamemaster is a book I am really proud of, and the reason is due to what is covered.

So what is covered? Let’s take a look at theTable of Contents.

Forward 9

Chapter 1: Psionics 13

Acquiring Psionic Powers 13

New Skill: Psionics 13

Using Psionic Powers 14

Abilities 14

Action 14

Vitality Damage 14

Mass 14

Distance 14

Mental Contact 15

Power Tests 15

Attack Tests 15

Multiple Targets 16

Resistance 16

Maintaining Powers 16

Psionic Power Descriptions 17

Adaptation (Will) 17

Barrier (Will) 18

Body Control (Will) 19

Clairaudience (Will) 20

Clairvoyance (Will) 20

Combat Sense (Wits) 20

Dimension Travel (Will) 21

Domination (Will) 21

Ego Blast (Will) [...]

Hugo Reviews 2014 -- Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Go to Part 1

Today I’m making the leap from the literary categories, starting with what is essentially the television category. It’s interesting to me the way in which this category is systematically dominated by a particular geek show: Twenty years ago it was Babylon 5. Ten years ago it was Buffy. The Retro 1939 Hugo nominations are dominated by Mercury Theater broadcasts. And today it’s basicallya loud huzzah for all things Doctor Who.

7. Doctor Who: “The Name of the Doctor”, written by Steven Moffatt, directed by Saul Metzstein.

I honestly don’t understand how this absolutely dreadful hour of television got nominated. [...]

Why Wuxia?

The other day, my friend Chang posted a video which we linked here providing a literal definition of Wuxia. If you missed it, here is Chang's Explanation of Wuxia along with some links breaking the idea down into possible English explanations. Usually it is translated as something like "honorable Hero", "chivalrous hero" or "martial hero". Chang's definition focuses on the root meanings and connotations in which Wuxia means those who are powerful who protect the powerless with martial arts. Personally I am no scholar, just a fan and an English speaker. So I will leave the details of its precise meaning to others. I [...]

After the Rain ep12 : Houses of the Blooded


After the Rain

Episode Twelve
Part I of II
"There Is No Calm Before"

Houses of the Blooded

"A month."

All of them stare back at the Szaz from across the bars as she informs them that the next Senate hearing is not until a month from today.   She explains how the senate hearings are held on the first new moon and this brings them to their dilemma: the former Countess of Kether has stepped down from her position.  No longer the Countess, her four sons are now the Counts of Kether. [...]


There's a whole section of what makes the OSR so important that I haven't seen tackled elsewhere so I'll give it a ranting shoot in here. When I started to play (Holmes D&D), I was but a kid, and a very small one, and for kids, man, the road to D&D was a harsh uncompromising one.

Because the rules, the system and the people all expected that playing D&D was like following a progression curve that would eventually lead you to design D&D. You started a player, then took a big step forward and became a Dungeon Master, then [...]

Rules - Then and Now - A Personal Perspective

+Vincent Florio was kind enough to plant this seed in my head earlier this morning and I find it beginning to take root.'

I was brought into the world or RPGs with AD&D 1e, so I was brought in with a fairly structured and rules heavy set of rules. We were high on the words of Gygax, so little meddling was done (although we ignored that which we did not fully understand - weapon speed was the first to go - we just used to it resolve ties with initiative). The only class we used that was "unofficial" was the Bard from Dragon #56. Unearthed Arcana was an offering to us from the Gygax himself - more official rules which meant more complications and [...]

Frightful Fridays! Infamous Leaping Ooze of County Cavas-Cowan

Hello, and welcome back to a brand new installment of Frightful Fridays! Continuing with an evident amphibian trend (apart from last week's delightful kitten), I wanted an ooze that used a little shock and awe in its attacks. So, enter an insane wizard who hates halflings and wants something other than the ponderously slow ooze. Graft some frog DNA into the ooze, and it suddenly makes amazing leaps and engulfs those little bastards.

Hopefully, you have a lunatic wizard in your campaign who would dare to tamper with nature and create this thing, which will then surprise your players when it [...]

#RPGaDAY 1: First RPG Played

The #RPGaDAY prompt was concocted by Dave Chapman of Autocratik. Grab the list and join in!

The first RPG I ever played was the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. I was home from college and not having many friends in town during the summer, went looking online for local players to learn more about the tabletop game hobby that had grabbed my interest from a chance encounter with a stack of games in a student lounge at school.

Thanks to the Access Denied player database — retired as of February 2014! — I found some folks out in Essex. We met [...]

Fleamarket Friday: Space Station 76...

Welcome to a 1970s' version of the future, where the pants are wide, the music is groovy, and the new frontier is interplanetary. When a new assistant captain arrives on the Omega 76, tensions spark, and more than asteroids collide. Find out more on the official Facebook page for Space Station 76.

The Golden Familiar

The battle raged mercilessly along the ramparts and amidst the ruins of Kulmer's Gate. The brave band of stalwarts had fought their way up the winding road against grievous odds, overwhelming the guards and driving them back, gate after gate. Sometimes they fought with guile, at other times brute force. Two of their comrades lay behind them, coiled in death, wrapped in the horror of their own blood stained last moments amidst the dirt and stone of ruined Castle Aucherwitch. But Ielda and his band plunged on, determined to deliver the golden familiar to the ancient temple. Thirteen gates lay [...]

Daily Cosplay

Imaginariium ~ Upon the Stones

Conclave of Gamers Wrapup

This past weekend I attended the Conclave of Gamers. This was my first gaming convention as both an attendee and a vendor, representing Adventureaweek.com and AAW Games. Here are some details about how the whole thing went.   Con registration opened at 10 AM Friday morning, but vendors were allowed in as early as 8:30 […]

The post Conclave of Gamers Wrapup appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Hobbit Hotel

Montana Magica Lodge in Chile.

Steve is playing

He kept my records. How nice of him. I wish he kept my record player. We often played this while gaming back in the day.


Day 1 - First RPG Played

Like many of my peers, I cut my teeth on Dungeons and Dragons. The first edition I played was 2nd, though we used a lot of Basic stuff too (especially monsters).

Twenty or so years later, I'm still playing D&D. I've played every edition, many retro clones, and variations. I don't care if the cover says Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Pathfinder, or Swords & Wizardry... It's all D&D to me.

Corterz and game theory

Cortez was good at game theory. So I was reading up on some game theory recently and came across an article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy called Game theory. The opening is awesome as there was this,
Consider a soldier at the front, waiting with his comrades to repulse an enemy attack. It may occur to him that if the defense is likely to be successful, then it isn't very probable that his own personal contribution will be essential. But if he stays, he runs the risk of being killed or wounded---apparently for no point. On the other hand, [...]

Movie Round Up ~ Into the Woods, Birdman, India Dead 2

Lots of cool movie previews this week, the Hobbit, Gotham, Mad Max. All viewable in earlier postings I'm too lazy too link here.

But here are a smattering of new ones . . . well new to me.

Into the Woods. I'm a sucker for a good faery tale.

Official Trailer for Birdman

Mudbloods . . . this looks interesting.
Zombies arrive in India. Sweetness!

Assassin's Creed!

How I run Monks in Fantasy Settings, or "I punch the Dragon in the Face!"

Why wouldn't you want this guy in your game?
Fei Long of Street FighterAh, the overpowered, out of genre, anachronistic monk. I have no idea how 5th edition (or even 4th edition, for that matter), has treated you, but I assume you are still punching dragons in the face. Monks certainly did in 3rd Ed.

Monks for me present an interesting challenge. They are, for one, a bit "out-of-place" if I am playing in a stricting European idea of fantasy, so including monks require me to include either Orenital analogs of some kind in my worlds, or elsewise [...]

Zine-O-Morph Issue 1

My fanzine's first issue is about 75% complete. I've done the intro, the new monster, and the adventure. Now I need to write up some cool new items (magic and/or mundane), and do a short fiction related to the theme of "low level underdark" and all of the text will be finished. From there I need to put together a couple of pieces of artwork, including something that works as a color cover, and then edit it all together.

As always, artwork is my one stumbling block. I know I can probably do it myself, [...]

Retroactive GURPS-Day Post: Setups and Feints

Over on the SJG Forums, a poster going by Varyon dropped in and threw down some concepts for how to do an actual Feint out of a setup.

One of the conceits of the setup attack is that, well, it's the same as a Deceptive Attack, but defers the bonus to a later time. There are some details that make this not suck, but it basically is a real attack, that requires a real defense, or you get stabbed or slash. It also has the benefit that it does eat up a parry, it enables retreats by the defender for positioning (allowing one of the natural consequences of being Feinted - backing the heck up) and a bunch of other stuff.

Honestly, Setup Attacks (Pyramid #3/52) might be my most instantly usable work.

Still, the Setup is pretty cool. Take two Sword-16 fighters (quite good for low fantasy, borderline not-so-good for Dungeon Fantasy). Our aggressor can strike with a -2 setup, and achieve a possible hit 75% of the time on his Setup Attack. This turn, assuming no DB or Combat Reflexes, but yes on a retreat, the defender is looking at Parry of 3 + 16/2 + 1 or 12.

On the average, then, the defender will make his roll by 2, enough to both parry (you get that by simply rolling under), and negate the setup. So pretty even. If the attacker manages to score - he does full damage, and his setup attack will still [...]

Shoes, glass and smuggled salt

What do these have in common? The town of Fougeres of course. Why, who would not have guessed such. It is famous for the Chateau de Fougeres as well.

So Fougeres is in Brittany and wars and such blah blah. It was also a shoe making and glass making center for some time. Oddly "Fougres was made a stronghold for "salt smugglers," who would creep along the wall of the city with confiscated salt, to sell in other regions." (from Wikipedia)

So there is an adventure right there! 

Google some images its really a cool [...]

Kratos: Shout Help

End-of-Week...Elmore? (8/1/14)

Welcome to August, fellow gamers! Ah, the Internet. It holds such potential, and such treasures! And yet, our fickle virtual collective consciousness often spits up some deception, does it not? Case in point: on my weekly search for End-of-Week Elmore fodder, I was given the image above as part of [...]
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