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The Path Not Chosen - Patreon Adventure

The Path Not Chosen is my 12th micro-adventure I have completed for my Patreon campaign.  It is a very simple encounter with a twist.  The adventure is free to the public, but if you like what you see and what to join my patreon that would be very cool.  I'm only $2 short of my next goal.  Sometimes I send out my patrons surprises in the mail. 

Here's what folks get, a PDF of the adventure.  Most of the time it is a single-page, but I do allow myself to blather on more sometimes.  A color, hand drawn map, [...]

RPG Kickstarter Roundup: Week of 9-14-2014

This is the the RPG Kickstarter Roundup! We’re bringing you all the RPG-related Kickstarter projects that recently started or are about to end. The Roundup includes RPGs, miniatures, dice, and anything else that may be RPG-related. In this edition of the Roundup we’re covering new projects for the Weeks of 9-14-2014, and projects ending the […]

How Not to Run D&D for Kids, Tweens, & Teens

In September of 2013 I picked up the reigns for the Teen Intro to Dungeons & Dragons class at my local library. For the past year it’s been a blast introducing kids, tweens, and teens to the hobby, but Dungeon Mastering for kids aged 6 to 16 comes with its own unique set of challenges, especially for someone who is not a parent herself. There are a few pit traps I had to learn to avoid along the way that I hope to point out here. Without further ado, the following is a list of five ways you can fail at hooking the next generation of gamers.

#1. Dumb Things Down

Kids are a lot smarter and cleverer than many adults give them credit for. You can “dumb things down” for young roleplayers and let them run roughshod over towns and NPCs GTA-style for lack of anything better to do, but then they’ll miss out on the most rewarding aspects of role-playing: character development, uncovering mysteries, and progressing through a story.

Sure, they might not be ready for an intricate political intrigue game in the vein of A Game of Thrones, but most RPG campaigns I’ve played in don’t get that sophisticated either. [...]

Buffy and 16 Monsters


 vs   




Sometimes, on a whim, my daughters and I take a break from our normal dungeon-crawling fare and we'll play a one-shot or mini-campaign in a system other than our beloved BECMI  D&D.We've played Marvel Superheroes (Advanced) and Gangbusters (TSR 1982), but a favorite that they ask me to dust off from time to time is Arkham High ...

Yes ... it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer set in a modern day version of H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham Massachusetts!
.I wish that I could claim this idea as my own, but I ripped it off from my buddy, the [...]

Phantom Interlude

I only had 3 players this weekend, so I created a side quest for them.  Since this is Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, I went ahead and made a crawler image in Adobe Illustrator.



Of course I had at least one person ask why I didn't animate it.  Sigh.  MAYBE NEXT TIME I WILL DAMMIT.


For the adventure itself I made myself a Scapple flow.  Scapple is one of my all time favorite programs for this sort of work because it's super-intuitive and I don't have to worry about the program - just what [...]

How Not to Run D&D for Kids, Tweens, and Teens

In September of 2013 I picked up the reigns for the Teen Intro to Dungeons & Dragons class at my local library. For the past year it’s been a blast introducing kids, tweens, and teens to the hobby, but Dungeon Mastering for kids aged 6 to 16 comes with its own unique set of challenges, especially for someone who is not a parent herself. There are a few pit traps I had to learn to avoid along the way that I hope to point out here. Without further ado, the following is a list of five ways you can fail at hooking the next generation of gamers.

#1. Dumb Things Down

Kids are a lot smarter and cleverer than many adults give them credit for. You can “dumb things down” for young roleplayers and let them run roughshod over towns and NPCs GTA-style for lack of anything better to do, but then they’ll miss out on the most rewarding aspects of role-playing: character development, uncovering mysteries, and progressing through a story.

Sure, they might not be ready for an intricate political intrigue game in the vein of A Game of Thrones, but most RPG campaigns I’ve played in don’t get that sophisticated either. [...]

Game Night 21- Mixing it up with the Cult of the Dragon (and other games)

Finally Friday arrived. Some weeks seem interminable and this was one of those. Car troubles (on top of more car troubles) have been a major element of recent poverty, so we were especially thankful that a couple of the players stepped up to supply us with food for the night. Khar brought sandwich fixin’s and I was able to make a mouth-watering “Dagwood” and James brought a pumpkin pie (’tis just about the season) and he even brought my favorite food to go with it – whippped cream. So let that backdrop of deliciousness flavor the [...]

Game Night Semptember 12 -- Raiding the Raiders

Langredosa

This week the weather broke and it was quite chilly, so we celebrated with chili. It was good. We also continued our new 5th edition campaign with newly minted second level characters. After protecting the town-folk from the raiders, in the cold light of day it was important to find out where they went and where they were going to attack next.

The characters gathered their mounts together – an elephant, a war camel, a warhorse, a mule, and a riding panther. They met some stragglers from the raiding party and slew them and took their stuff, including shiny [...]

Dwarf Fortress 2014 -- the magnifitude of Landseal

Landseal Dwarf Fortress 2014

This is the story of Landseal, a Dwarf Fortress that overcame extreme conditions not only to survive, but to prevail. In year 125, seven dwarves from a clan known as the Pink Froth decided they would bring civilization to the Mountains of Universal Truth, so they set out with a wagon, a cow, a mule, and a small flock of peacocks to build a fortress to stand the test of time. My dwarves just love peacock eggs.

The area they chose was perfectly situated along the forested slopes of a mountain range, with a wide valley [...]

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Pathfinder Campaign Setting-Technology Guide

Product-Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Technology Guide

Producer- Paizo

Price- ~$20 here http://www.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Campaign-Setting-Technology-Guide/dp/1601256728/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411311976&sr=8-1&keywords=technology+guide

System-Pathfinder

TL; DR- Problems with focus, but great item selection. 90%

 

Basics- Welcome to the world of tomorrow! The Technology guide is the extra setting book that GMs of the Iron Gods will need to handle all the new technology items and some rules presented in that adventure path. This book introduces a number of new archetypes, feats, spells, rules, and skill uses for the base classes as well as a prestige class. Then, the book moves onto introducing several technological items, weapons, armor, drugs, and generators. Finally the book adds new hazards, rules, [...]

The OSR for the Lapsed Gamer - The Timeline

I figure if we are going to present the OSR RPGs in some sort of order, actual release dates should have some sort of influence on that order. Then the question became: "has anyone done such a list?"

The answer is yes. Thanks to +Rob Conley mentioning it on his Bat in the Attic blog a few year back, I found out that +Guy Fullerton had put together an amazingly comprehensive list - with a spreadsheet no less, that offers an OSR timeline until June of 2012. For the sake of our needs, I've filtered the list by system releases.

I'm going to use "full" release dates, not previews and such, so the initial order of the free OSR releases that are being highlighted will be:

Designing Arrows of Indra

Bill and I didn't design Arrows of Indra so I can only talk about our experience publishing the book. The writer and designer was TheRPGPundit who wrote Lords of Olympus and GnomeMurdered. When I first heard about the Pundit's idea for an old school Epic India RPG, it sounded like a great concept to me. I checked out some of his other books and saw he was a skilled writer and talked to Bill about publishing it. We both agreed it was a good idea. 

Bill had been involved in the Old School Renaissance for some time. In fact he was [...]

Game Night 21- Mixing it up with the Cult of the Dragon (and other games)

Finally Friday arrived. Some weeks seem interminable and this was one of those. Car troubles (on top of more car troubles) have been a major element of recent poverty, so we were especially thankful that a couple of the players stepped up to supply us with food for the night. Khar brought sandwich fixin’s and I was able to make a mouth-watering “Dagwood” and James brought a pumpkin pie (’tis just about the season) and he even brought my favorite food to go with it – whippped cream. So let that backdrop of deliciousness flavor the [...]

A quick dungeon Idea "Haver's Harrowing Cube"


What is this?
A story of evil ..yes.. and..
Another adventure seed with an ugly map this time.
As usual I'm not going to stat out anything for any system, that's up to you depending on what you play. Particularly when it comes to "the evil entity" below, I lave that basically undefined so that any one using this document can fill in that blank in a way that suits their game.


Haver's Cube:
Deep under the town of  Worndelve there lies a most astounding construction.

It is said the  mines were started by dwarves many [...]

Succubus Sunday

Just a lazy Sunday...
Succubus by bayardwu

9-18-14 Deeply Flawed feat for Pathfinder

I really love the ideas of flaws and drawbacks for Pathfinder. It’s a nice mechanical way to introduce character to your characters. How about a feat to help build that.

 

Deeply Flawed

You’ve got your own roughcorners, and it shows.

Prerequisite:One flaw

Benefit:Take one additional flaw and gain three more traits.

 

 

Thoughts?


Shakedown Gone Horribly Wrong

I thought shaking down the party was appropriate. At the end of the last adventure, the party killed a Doppelganger Assassin. They dragged the body back to their boat and tied up the body. The cleric resurrected the Doppelganger. The party used various techniques to extract information from the Doppelganger. They considered water-boarding and other methods. Eventually they let the Doppelganger free before they sailed into the port city of Meendinaba.

My notes on the encounter were simple. Groups of street urchins were in league with the city guards. The street urchins would accuse the party of some [...]

X-Men, Miles Morales, Dragon Age, Dr. Droom, iZOMBIE, Big Hero Six, Yakari, etc.

Been awhile since the last publication spurt, so it’s pretty big actually. Roll call :

  • X-MEN. A full profile of Dr. Kavita Rao, genetics genius and member of the X-Men’s scientific kickassery team.
  • ACOLYTES OF MAGNETO. Some rework and expansion, because quality.
    • Joanna Cargill (formerly Frenzy) now has the second article in her multi-part profile. It covers the 1990s, and offers a quick summary of many Magneto-centric events Cargill was involved with.
    • That the Acolytes Screener and Scanner are the same person always felt unconvincing, so we’ve switched to two profiles. The entry for Screener is all-new, and the entry [...]

DCC #3: The Mysterious Tower

From the website:

"In this all-new adventure, the characters come across an ancient wizard's tower. The nearby keep has been reduced to rubble over the ages, but the tower is in perfect condition. It is surrounded by an impenetrable force field that cannot be breached - not even by the ghost of the long-dead wizard, who has been trapped within for centuries. Surely there must be great treasure within this magical abode. But how to get to it?"

Later remade for Castles and Crusades as GG1: The Mysterious Tower

Review: The Gaean Reach

Okay, so I haven't posted in a while.  I have been reading through quite a few RPG books I bought recently and am almost done with my cleric kits for the gods and goddesses for my Neo School Hack setting Anubia.  But that's not important right now.

What I really want to talk about today is The Gaean Reach, from Pelgrane Press, written by Robin D. Laws. The book itself is quite small, just 93 pages of text plus a lot of pages at the back with character sheets, etc.  But it is fully self-contained so you can jump [...]

More Mutant Future -- the Corn Stalk Nightmare

In a previous post, I gave a play report of our very first Mutant Future (MF) session. Since then we’ve had six others and finished up two story arcs I had shamelessly cribbed from Tim Snider’s One year in the Savage Afterworld (scenario 16, the Cult of the Red Band, aka Bowling Pigmen) and the convention module Gimme Shelter. When we last left off, the mutants Jax and Berrus had just made an agreement with their local arms dealer Zabd to raid a bomb shelter to the south, and had just headed out in a pickup truck. On the way [...]

Sunday Funnies - Waldo The Movie Trailer, Dungeons and Donuts, & A History of the Past

Over on the Joule Thief YouTube channel, there is a video from a couple years back humorously heralding a "Waldo The Movie Trailer."  Enjoy.



Dungeons and Donuts is a game store that also has amazing donuts in The Bridge Mill, Lower Dominick Street, Galway City, Ireland.  Read more about it here.


Over on The Wilson Quarterly website, you can check out "A History of the Past: Life Reeked with Joy by Anders Hendricksson" which is a "brief history of Europe as told through the peculiar observations from college students' papers."  See more here.


Sunday [...]

Tales of a Married Gamer -- Spicing Things Up

I write this after having run around Chicagoland meeting with a bunch of business partners for work. When I go to Chicago, I always end up making sure to have a meal at one of the authentic Sichuan style Chinese restaurants. That means, I sit here writing this with a stomach full of hellfire that is somehow painful and pleasant at the same time. At this point you the reader probably thinking “has ToaMG turned into one of the ten million food blogs out there?” No! But just like many of my other articles, I have been thinking about the [...]

Undead Slayer- Ranger Archetype for 5e

When I first started playing 2e Dungeons and Dragons one of my favorite kits was in the Complete Elven book, the undead slayer. I thought it would be fun to create this as an archetype for 5e. I really love the kit approach of 5e.

Here are some other 5e goodies I’ve done:

Blood Magic- Sorcerous Origin

Oath of the Fallen- Paladin Sacred Oath

Ranger Archetype: Undead Slayer

 

You have seen firsthand the devastation that the undead can bring: Hordes of zombies, skeletons, and ghouls that march ceaselessly across the landscape killing and consuming the innocent, vampires enslaving whole governments and bending them to their [...]

Smiler


[40K OSR] Dark Communion: the Return of Termite Art

This is where it started, you know. Bill King. John Blanche. Three pages, tucked away at the back of the second edition Wargear book. Four columns and a massive illustration in which Chaos is not explained but exemplified. I want you to hold on to that idea – not explained, but exemplified. I think we […]

Sunday Inspirational Image: Spooky Garden

We're getting to that time of year where summer's heat is giving way to crisp mornings, where pumpkin spice everything is on the shelves, and thoughts turn toward the spooks and goblins of Halloween...


Isn't it amazing how a little fog can change the mood of a place?


Image Source: Voyager for Life

Dark Knight School...

Nereid


Nereids are sea nymphs, the ocean being their usual habitat when they're not in the Elemental Plane of Water, their true home. Much like Dryads, the tree nymphs, are bound to their tree to survive, the Nereid's life is bound to their shawl, a floating material made of surf. Being separated from their shawls for too long results in the death of the Nereid, so stealing one is a certain (if cruel) way to temporarily gain their allegiance.

But the Nereid is a shy creature with a host of defensive abilities. As water faeries from an Elemental Plane, [...]

Retro Computing Rabbit Hole

Inspired by a retro computing podcast to set up the junk in the box in the basement.

Building Mobile Common Lisp on OSX

Expanding on the README with more detail.

Using Static Members on Dynamic Types in C#

You cannot use static members on dynamic types by default. Instead, a little glue code is needed to tie it together.

Khenarthi's Roost Adventure - Part 1 (Sea Vipers)

The PCs have been kidnapped along with the others.  The players must decide how and why they are kidnapped and the GM (or the player - depending on how you choose to run it), assigns two points in two non-combat skills that fit the scenario.  As an example, if the player is a Baandari trader roaming the island who had happened upon the kidnappers by accident, they may likely get +2 Persuasion and +2 Survival to reflect their frequent wanderings and need to convince others to buy their wares.  Even if the GM is going to select these traits (best in a [...]

Designing a Boffer LARP System (Part 12)

Once you been around LARPing circles for a while, you start seeing a lot of the same patterns in various games. Some of those patterns are good, some are frustrating, some are outright dealbreakers. I'm obviously not the only person who has seen a lot of these issues, so it's time to start looking at some other people's responses to the hobby. I don't want this Boffer LARP system to simply be my heartbreaker (when I say this, I mean that I don't want to work alone on it for days/months/years, only to see that it doesn't really address other [...]

100 posts, or, "I'm just going to keep doing worms."

Zowie, made it to 100, which is approximately 80 more than I expected... Much appreciation to my three loyal readers for getting me this far...

Anyway....

As I proselytized before, nature is apparently ahead of our own imaginations when it comes to the weird and potentially dangerous.  After all, she's got a head start of at least 3 billion years...

Speaking of which, within the Burgess Shale in northwestern Canada is a plethora of Cambrian fossils.  The fine-grained sediments allowed for preservation of the lifeforms occupying the ancestral ocean, many of which have no living relatives.  It was [...]

Elemental Specialist Wizards

I've long been a fan of specialist wizards.  Ever since 2nd Edition AD&D introduced them I've used them, and even expanded it to elementalist wizards.  Back then it was easy.  All you had to do was make a new spell list.  All fire spells went into the fire list.  Sometimes you had to reskin a spell.  Mage armor?  Now it's stone armor.  Magic missile fires bolts of air, ect.

5e adds some new challenges, with specialists gaining special abilities.  I've been tweaking and trying to come up with some ideas.  What I have below is more of a [...]

Quick Heads Up For Mike Lenoard Fantasy Artist & The 'Tire Fund'



You can reach Mike via his Deviant Art page right
HERE
 Or his Facebook page right over
HERE
On occasion there are friends of the OSR community that need our help, fantasy artist  Mike Leonard finds himself in real trouble. He's in a bit of some dire straits and needs our help to dust off with some commission work within the next five hours so he can afford tires for his car!  He's got a fifty mile round trip to work and back home.
I know what this sort of journey is like. My dad and [...]

Using Magic in Hari Ragat

I was having a discussion with Marc over converting the Hari Ragat magic system in Vivid to Fate Accelerated Edition, and as we were at it I realized something; it may have been the first time for me to concretely articulate some core premises of magic in Hari Ragat, and how different it is from the baseline assumptions of D&D magic. (You'll be in more familiar territory if you're a Glorantha/HeroQuest player, though.) This got me to thinking of how to help players play magic-working characters in HR, be it the Vivid or FAE editions.

52 Baroque Encounter Starts

Go on then, have another.

This one is not quite so teeming as the previous, more practical, but such is the nature of the rules page it was spawned from. It's divided up into a number of smaller dice tables that still add up to 52 options. I think these eight categories pretty much cover anything you might throw at your players.

Click to enlarge.


red vs the tentacle beast !:D

another sketch of red , the courageous paladin oc of my friend pumpmongerhttp://pumpmonger.deviantart.com/ , she has been thrown into a dungeon to be tormented by a vile tentacle beast. but could the tentacle beast actually be a good creature? his mom was a flumph :w00t:…:D

red the paladin … and the tentacle beast !


Filed under: concept art, fan art, fantasy, role playing game Tagged: character, creature, dungeons and dragons, fantasy, monster, paladin, pathfinder, pumpmonger, red, rpg, tentacle

RPG Mechanics: Don't fight the system

This post has been a long time coming; I first mentioned it back when I interviewed +Kenneth Hite maybe. It's not that important, but it's an idea that has been growing on me for a while, and I think my discussion with Ken crystalized something.

Frankly, it's why I want to play a game of Night's Black Agents, since my mind was jarred like Hawkeye's in the Avengers when Ken told me that your point totals were only peripherally related to your ability with a given skill in Night's Black Agents.

No, what the points measure is how many times you can be awesome in any given scene. They were related to skill, obviously, since if you can be awesome a lot, you're probably good at something.

But ultimately, NBA is about screen time, as in "movie or TV." It's a narrative-based game.

And that's OK.


Don't Fight the System

Each game is going to be tailored to a particular style of play. The games I've been playing lately couldn't really be more different on the cover. +Matt Finch's Swords and Wizardry Complete, GM'd by +Erik Tenkar, and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, by either +Nathan Joy or Emily Smirle. Both of those, by the way, are converted D&D modules.

I have tons of fun in both games, but they're different. Very different. Not "better" or "worse," but very different.

Swords and Wizardry

To me, the thing about S&W (and based on the free version, D&D5 as well) [...]

Dungeon World: Soloing the Cinder Queen

Cast
  • Ivan (human invoker of some god of the ocean)
  • Brana (dwarf warrior hireling)
  • Clotilda (human protector hireling)

SPOILER WARNING: If you are going to be playing this adventure any time soon, I'd stop here.

I got my physical copy of Servants of the Cinder Queen a few days ago (a Kickstarter project on time? GASP!), and since Melissa and I still have no meaningful internet and haven't played a roleplaying proper game in over a month now, I figured I'd run her through it.

Dungeon World isn't exactly conducive to solo play, so I gave her a pair of hirelings that turned out [...]

Planning a Series of OSR Posts for the Lapsed Gamer

I've gotten a number of emails recently from folks "coming back to the hobby" after 20 or 30 years and looking to reignite the fires. Say what you will about 5e, but it is certainly bringing attention back to the hobby of RPGs. I can't say it's going to grow the hobby as a whole (but it should, at least initially), but I have noticed an uptick in lapsed gamers looking to find their old love. 5e might have stirred the spark, but the OSR is where they feel at home.

The problem with the OSR is the sheer number of choices and flavors one can find. Heck, it's not just systems themselves, but subsystems, as both Labyrinth Lord and Swords & Wizardry both [...]

Review -- Street Grimoire (for Shadowrun)

Shadowrun: Street Grimoire is all about magic in the Sixth World, from both from a roleplaying and mechanic side. It is a useful book, almost required if you intend to highlight the magical side of a Shadowrun campaign, but it could be more tightly organized and better edited, a few parts being confusing to read. That being said, it does have a lot of useful material allowing for magic to be used in much more interesting ways and it should spark a host of ideas for any Shadowrun GM even though it lacks any explicit GM direction in the book.

Shadowrun: [...]

Chop! Turn to Stone

[continuation from long post here]

Turning someone to stone just by looking at 'em is a rare gift indeed. So rare that, prior to the advent of Dungeons & Dragons, I know of only one creature in mythology or folklore that had petrification as a natural ability: the three gorgon sisters, of which Medusa was one.

No, basilisks do not turn people to stone, unless you mean in the Old English sense of "dead as stones." The cockatrice doesn't either, despite its Wikipedia entry (it cites page 186 of a poorly reviewed eBook fantasy novel as its "source" [...]

Arcana Talents (All Eight Arcane Schools)

I admit, I’m procrastinating a little on theEchelon Reference Series today. I let myself get distracted by thearcana talents I started working on yesterday in converting arcane schools to common talents. I wanted to see what the rest looked like, so I took some time today to finish the first pass.

The conversion is pretty mechanical and notdifficult, but it is evident to me that the resource management strategy needs to change. I really don’t like “3/day” features, and it’s worsewhen they scale with level, especially when they are adjusted by ability scores — I don’t evenhave ability scores right now. I reallyneed to look into the token mechanism again, or using magic points, or something.

The token mechanism might be what brings back ability scores, to be honest, though I suspect the scores will be derived from talents rather than rolled or chosen (point buy or array). I can see them replacing saving throws and being expanded slightly… but I digress, and I don’t need that on top of a procrastination.

I think replacing the resourcemanagement mechanism used here willsolve most of my issues with the talent descriptions. Standardizing the resource cost of each ability will simplify the talent summary tables.

Later, later. [...]

I Like Kobolds

Just take a look at those ridiculous little lizard dogs. You just know their language is full of yelps and snarls. They sort of seem like slapstick incarnate, and in some ways I guess they kind of are. They yelp and run and essentially throw marbles and banana peels in your way. They're weak and cowardly but, by necessity, clever.

For instance, their traps take on some damn interesting, innovative, and ill conceived components from time to time. Those are the ones that get remembered (these faulty, Rube-Goldbergian machinations), because somebody walked away from them. Just as often kobold [...]

Fantasy fuel / The power of 5th edition.

Fantasy fuel:
The  ancient fortress of the  dwarfs lies deep under Flokirst-Summit. Lost to the fore fathers, half flooded, and partially collapsed, the ancient dwarf-holme stands silent. Guarding it's secrets fiercely, and  holds it's treasures in a grasp of stone. The Lurker watches all.

Drawn quickly on cheap paper with an even cheaper ball point pen, while watching the Chicago Bulls vs the Lakers in the  1991 NBA playoffs.
 The Power of  D&D 5th ed:Love it or not  here's something that I think only AD&D 5th edition could have made possible.
I was in a local art supply store [...]

Gategully Episode 13

Migrants, an overview of the Fortress, and a desperate attempt to find out what the everloving hell that possessed clothier wants.

Playlist here!

Sidequest Saturday (Banlan Backlash!): Nyamo's Sunken Grotto

The ongoing smuggling operations conducted by the Banlan Brotherhood has left the Order of the Staff with an air of disdain. Weary of these brigands, the Order has hired the PCs---at a high price in apology for their duplicitous gift the week before---to lead an investigation into the secretive catacombs beneath the city and to […]

The post Sidequest Saturday (Banlan Backlash!): Nyamo’s Sunken Grotto appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

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