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Untested GUMSHOE -- Heat Track

The effect of prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures in Trail of Cthulhu is very straight-forward: Investigators are considered to be hurt, resulting in them suffering a +1 difficulty on all tests.

The designers of Eternal Lies had a desire to make exposure to extreme heat more mechanically interesting and they introduced a rudimentary heat track. I found their treatment interesting, but wanted something a little more robust (particularly when it came to treatment and recovery). These mechanics are specifically designed for desert travel.

(They’re also not exactly “untested”, but I don’t have a series of posts called “minimally tested”, so here we [...]

Pattern Seekers -- Episode 15: Boxing Day

It turns out if has been quite some time since the last Pattern Seekers game and this one was sparsely attended, we had:

Mirror, the unstable wizard, Tack, the pirate, and Thea, the adventurous druid, with her lioness Pho available to serve the Pattern (details on the characters can be found here). Summoned by the Shaper, they are tasked with aiding an ally of the Pattern in retrieving a stolen item, an amber box. To aid in such they are given a crystal ball full of some liquid seeded with golden flakes that are attracted to the box and, as it [...]

Movies Queued up so far

Here are some of the movies I am going to tackle in the next week or so.

Some I have seen, others I haven't.

Alucard (2008)
Alucarda (1978)
Billy the Kid vs Dracula (1966)
Black Sabbath (1963)
Blood + Roses (2010)
Count Yorga (1970)
Female Vampire / Erotikill (1973)
Fright Night (2011)
Fright Night 2 New Blood (2013)
Mario Salieri's Dracula (1994)
Return of Count Yorga (1971)
The Deathmaster (1972)
Zoltan Hound of Dracula (1978)

Should be fun!

Old School... something or other

Funny, I was thinking of the topic for this blog post halfway through my vacation.  Then I get back and read Tenkar's Tavern and RPGPundit's blog to find out they're talking about something similar.  But let's not put the horse before the cart, guys.

For a few weeks (this was about three years ago), I was fuzzy on what it meant - not realizing that would be a hallmark of the OSR itself up until the present.  I believe I kept calling it Old School Revolution.  Then, a month or so later I guess someone clued me in [...]

Saved for posterity (Keep on the Borderlands)

I’ve been doing some cleanup and came across this for whomever might be interested. It was my “scratch paper” when I was tallying up the strength for the fighting forces for my Keep on the Borderlands posts(and as such will only make sense in that context).

In the keep:
1. Men at arms (F1/Heavy Inf) 2
2. Heavy Crossbowmen (F1/Heavy Inf w/xBows) 8
Men at arms/Bowmen (F1/Heavy Inf w/LBows) 24
3. Corporal (F2/Heavy Inf) 1
Men at arms (F1/Heavy Inf) 2
4. “Lackeys” (F0/Auxilia) 8
5. none
6. Bailiff (F3/Heavy Inf) 1
Men at arms (F1/Lt. Inf) 6
Men at arms [...]

Archaeology Dungeons

Today on classical archaeology dungeons: the site of Tel Kedesh.Do with it what thou wilt.

A Letter to Humans Regarding Halloween

Dear Humans:

As we understand it, you humans have now changed your Julian calendars to mark the tenth month in your year. Though it is apparent you eagerly anticipate the end of your annual cycle by buying gifts, flocking to mercantile centers, and hanging confusing decorations to acknowledge this passage (e.g. we have yet to understand the point of adorning plastic shrubbery with glass baubles), we do appreciate the fact that you still acknowledge October 31st as All Hallows’ Eve and attempt to celebrate the holiday to varying degrees.


We would now like to take this opportunity to speak about our [...]

Gategully Episode 24

Pits, ponds, trying not to get miners trapped, and finally my Marksdwarves shoot at something.

Find the playlist here!

Come and See- Presenting Monstrosity

I've decided to try and take the October Horror Movie Challenge. In short, it is a challenge to watch 31 horror movies in the month of October. As part of this challenge (although not required), I decided to post something after each one of the movies. Being an RPG blog, I'll probably post lessons from these movies about what to do or what not to do as the horror GM or player. I'll try to keep it as one lesson for movie, and I hope that at least some of them will be applicable outside of the horror-gaming scene. For [...]

Weird Wednesday (Macabre Manses): Starving Soldiers

Haunts are the residual impression of one or more suffering souls. Those of exceptional willpower might survive their own passing and return from beyond the veil of undeath, and the truly foul might flourish as evil fiends on a malevolent plane. Unique among the events that fall under the rubric of “afterlife”, haunts are indicators […]

The post Weird Wednesday (Macabre Manses): Starving Soldiers appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Ares Games acquires the license to publish the "Age of Conan" strategy board game

The Italian game publisher will relaunch the game by publishing an expansion, "Adventures in Hyboria", to be launched on Kickstarter next month

September 2014 -- Ares Games is proud to announce that a deal has been signed with Conan Properties International LLC to re-launch and expand the “Age of Conan” Strategy Board game.

“Conan is a classic property with great stories, and the Hyborian world is a wonderful setting for a board game”, commented Roberto Di Meglio, Director of R&D of Ares Games, and one of the game authors. “We think that Age of Conan will be a great addition to [...]

Warlock's Journal Contest: Storm & Shield, The Inner Council

  It is my turn to host the roving Warlock’s Journal contest once more. I am very pleased to announce the details for the third of the Warlock’s Journal contests held at Tales of a GM. The previous contest, Pirate Places, was hosted by Vicki over at Tabletop Adventures.   See here for a full …

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A Tale of Two Castles

Miniature Building AuthorityWell, two modular castle-building miniature Kickstarters, anyway. Coincidentally, both of these launched on September 30, and both look remarkable similar on the surface. Which shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given what they are, but it is probably unfortunate for both that they just happened to launch on the same day. Ouch.

The first (completely arbitrarily) is by Miniature Building Authority. MBA has been around a while, and has a decent enough reputation in the field to make a credible effort. The smallest reward level that actually gets you something to put on the table is [...]

BrigadeCon 2014 - We need your questions (video)



Panel on breathing life into NPCs

Facebook event - https://www.facebook.com/events/1550514571828416/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

G+ event page - https://plus.google.com/events/c7v36l3mqc6k4tihjidsg0o6h9c?authkey=CP3PxpT1xLyhSQ


John Alan Large from Red Dice Diaries

Tim Kearney from Tabletop Terrors

Mitchell Grubbs aka 'Tenjou Mitchell'

Red Dice Diaries, www.youtube.com/user/MrLARGEJO

Tabletop Terrors, www.youtube.com/user/tabletopterrors

Tenjou Mitchell, https://www.youtube.com/user/HellJumper50173

Creator Attention Deficit

As I believe is true with many prolific creators, I have a bazillion things going on.

Long ago I learned that my audience has a limited attention span — perhaps an attention span to match mine — and gets tired of hearing project announcements when they see little or any progress. Some are dropped without ceremony.

Three of my longest-running projects are the Seven States of Magic, which is admittedly known by many different names as its gobbled up numerous smaller projects over the years, Rumors of War (which is tied into the former), and my largely unsung RPG Remix Project. This [...]

New Episode Tomorrow

Bujilli resumes tomorrow with a new episode, so if anyone has anything to add to the comments on Episode 103...now's a good time to help decide what happens next!

Figure Forge Sampson for Heavy Gear

In this Episode Matt assembles the Sampson APC for Heavy Gear. From Dream Pod 9.





The Sampson is a real work horse in the NuCoal army.

INTERSTELLAR -- Will Most Recent Trailer Set Off SF vs. Skiffy Debate?

I'm a big fan of both SF and Skiffy, but truly SFnal films and TV are a rarity. This trailer for INTERSTELLAR seems like an attempt to prove that character focused SF narratives can be as compelling - if not more so - than your typical blockbuster.

I have to say that this looks to be one of the best SF films in a long time. I'm also considering making a brief Savage Worlds campaign based on the film if it lives up to expectations.


There are a lot of different ideas about game design out there. One thing you see people talk about is whether games should be focused or broad (or somewhere in between). This can apply to many different aspects of the game from the genre to the system to the goal of play. Some folks believe that games can only do one thing really well and the more you try to add the more that diminishes the game's quality. I personally do not believe this. I think there is a place for focused design and I think it has value, but [...]


I had no idea it was Inktober.

Actually, up until a couple of hours ago, I had never heard of Inktober.

It's one of those draw-and-post things.  In ink.  I know that I could use a lot of work on my inking techniques, so I'm all in for this one. I'll be reworking  some of my old sketches with ink for practice.  Hopefully something good will come from it.  Other than getting my hands coating in ink, that is.

Below is my first, done with Sakura Pigma Micron, Zebra Calligraphy, and Pentel Pocket Brush ink dispensing [...]

Online RPG Sessions I'm Running: Open Seats & VirtuaCon

THE PITCHI'm running four online sessions the second weekend in October. They're going to be fun. A couple still have room for players. You should come and play.
This is all part of VirtuaCon, the online convention put together by RPG Geek. That's a great community- and one with a strong international representation (hence games scattered across timezones). Most of the pick-up online games I've played have been arranged through their forums. If you're looking to try new things out or find a quick online G+ session, they're a great resource to try out.
Here's the list of [...]

Flip Through Bolt Action Rule Book

In this Episode Matt Flips Through the small rule book for Bolt Action from Warlord Games. Bolt Action is a historical miniatures game by Cavatore and Priestly that is published by Warlord Games and Osprey Publishing. This book is just full of color pictures and high quality images.



I have never really dove into a historical game but I think i’m getting ready to.

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ORGANIZED PLAY FOR THE PATHFINDER ADVENTURE CARD GAME LAUNCHES WORLDWIDE TODAYPathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild Supports In-Store Play of the Wildly Popular Card Game

REDMOND, WA (September 30, 2014) -- Paizo Inc., publisher of the world’s best-selling Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (PACG), is thrilled to announce the Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild, the new Organized Play program for the PACG, launches today for retail stores, conventions, and home-play worldwide.

Season Zero kicks off with "Season of the Shackles", an adventure on the high seas with pirates and plunder, scalawags and sea monsters. Each scenario will bring [...]

RPG Review -- Adventure Quarterly #5

By Endzeitgeist The fifth installment of Adventure Quarterly, Rite Publishing’s spiritual successor to Dungeon magazine, clocks in at 73 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 68 pages of content, so let’s take a look! The editorial by Robert N. [...]

The post RPG Review – Adventure Quarterly #5 appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Video Unboxing -- The Exodus

The Exodus is a game from Korean company Game Sapiens I found at Spiel after a lot of walking and it was such a pleasant experience! I liked the looks of the game and approached the man behind the counter to ask if he'd like to be interviewed for the website. He very politely refused [...]

The post Video Unboxing – The Exodus appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Trick-or-Treat Sale: The Skeleton

Throughout the month of October, Melissa and I will be putting up a random playbook on sale, for a random amount and length of time.

Right now it's The Skeleton!

This is the second playbook I wrote. It started as a joke, but then snowballed into a complete class thanks to Melissa.

I've reformatted it to appear like our more recent playbooks (ie, two documents, one digest and the other letter-sized)

So if you already bought it check it again. If not, give it a look: could be a fun next step after a botched last [...]

Your Right Of Reply...

I'm afraid I've had to do something I swore I never would: I've turned on the "word verification" and "comment moderation" for HeroPress. This follows an incident yesterday where a miserable spammer hit about 25 articles in succession (in the space of 20 minutes) promoting his dreary business.As HeroPress is in a bit of a death spiral/doldrums at the moment, the comment-led conversations

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #12 Janurary 1976

Sub-Titled *Special Late Edition* (a few days late according to the editorial).  The start of 1976 was an interesting time for me personally.  I am curious to see how the world looked through the eyes of a gaming zine across the ocean.

From now on when ever I am late for a schedule post I will simply relabel it "special late edition".

D&D-wise we start with a note on the front page that Blackmoor is now out. More on that on page 4.  I don't recall much in the way of fan fare when Greyhawk came out, but [...]

Descent 2nd Edition: Journeys in the Dark: Guardians of Deephall Hero & Monster Collection

Descent 2nd Edition: Journeys in the Dark: Guardians of Deephall Hero & Monster Collection


Leap to the defense of Deephall or ensure the city's destruction in the Guardians of Deephall Hero and Monster Collection! In this Hero and Monster Collection for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, players find thirteen plastic figures, previously only available in the first edition of Descent, now reimagined with new figure sculpts and artwork.

In addition to these detailed figures -- which include four heroes, two crypt dragons, three wendigos, and four dark priests -- players discover two brand-new quests chronicling their battles for Deephall.

Box Breaking Nemesis Greek Goddess from Morland Studios

Nemesis Greek Goddess is an exquisite mini from Morland Studios. Being a fan of Greek mythology I was very happy to do this video. There’s something about the Morland miniatures that sets them a part and makes them different. I can’t quite put the right words on what they capture but they grab it very well.



I look forward to painting Nemesis up. I just hope my brush strokes are kind to to her.

Too Early to be Talking About a Sequel?

Especially since no one has bought the first one yet?* Maybe, but I’ll talk about it anyway. I’m trying something a bit different this time. One of the points some folks made about City was that the nodes were a bit long, especially compared with typical 80s CYOAs, and there weren’t as many choices as they would’ve like to have seen.

Well, I’m hoping to remedy this in the followup. This second book will have a good bit more player/reader agency to it, I hope. I’m avoiding overly long nodes, while trying not to sacrifice setting too much. I’m drawing heavily [...]

Assault of Cragmaw - Part II

Current Adventure - The Lost Mines of Phandelver

Rolen Moonshadow (Remy) - wood elf ranger of the Emerald Enclave
Mojo ar Meisce (David) - human monk
Saarkson (Paul) - tiefling warlock and new Zhent agent
Rogar Lighttalon (Adam) - dwarf cleric and member of the Order of the Gauntlet

Droop - goblin henchmen
Gundren - dwarf patron

Warning Adventure Spoilers (especially if you're in my group)

After defeating the goblin priest, the party continued to journey further into Castle Cragmaw, searching for Gundren.

They encountered a group of group of hobgoblins (next [...]

Revisiting The Pay What You Want OSR Space Fantasy Source Book - Bandits And Battle Cruisers For Your Old School Campaign

Grab It Right Over HERE

I stumbled across the fact that Bandits and Battle Cruisers an old school pulp and comic based inspired space opera add on and cap system for your old school retroclone or OD&D system had gone to 'Pay What You Want Status'. This makes some of the comments about the original price tag of 10.00 originally pointless. 
Bandits And Battle Cruisers is from the same author who does the Underworld Kingdom blog and the highly successful free OSR 'space opera' retroclone OD&D add on Terminal Space. Terminal Space was partially inspired by Lovecraftian horror and [...]

[Spieltest] Jugenddetektive mit USR & Perilous Intersections (Teil 1)

Im Solo-Bereich tut sich derzeit einiges. Krzlich erschien (kostenlos) die Version 1 von Perilous Intersections, einem Solo-System von Rory Bracebuckle. Da will ich es mir nicht nehmen lassen, einen Testlauf zu starten. Als Rollenspielsystem nehme ich das absolut simple USR, welches ebenfalls kostenfrei erhltlich ist.


Inspiriert von Veronica Mars
2014, die reale Welt, jugendliche Detektive, die Flle lsen

Das Abenteuer spielt in Flessen, einer fiktiven Stadt am Rande des Ruhrgebiets. Die Helden sind Schler der Oberstufe.


USR Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying System und Perilous Intersections mit Rory's Story Cubes als Solo-System-Overlay
dazu noch ab und an eine Frage mit den Tiny Solitary Soldiers

Charaktere David "Sumo" [...]

My 5e Morale System

There are plenty of Morale systems, whilst I like the simplicity of the OD&D d6 roll I want something thats more cohesive with the 5e rules. That means I want a d20 roll, no modifiers and something that's easy to remember.

Fortunately we have a static DC scale that I can use all the way to level 20, i'll use that to determine a combatants 'flee' threshold, or quality of their morale.

DC5   = Virtually unbreakable
DC10 = Resolute in the face of danger
DC15 = Strong willed
DC20 = Weak willed
DC25 = Craven
DC30 = [...]

Lost Mine Near Old Phandelver -- Regional Map

Something that's bugged me about the Lost Mine of Phandelver (the adventure from the 5e D&D Starter box) is the LMoP shortening. So I've renamed mine "the Lost Mine Near Old Phandelver" which is much so much more pleasing with the short form of LMNOP.

Anyways, I'm running my second session of Phandelver on Sunday. And I wanted to switch it up a bit from classic D&D-isms. The adventure feels VERY traditionally "Forgotten Realms" D&D. It's not bad, but that's not the style of my most recent games, so I wanted to switch things up a bit.

So I've changed it from being near Neverwinter to being in "The Land of Spires / Needles".

And as I was tidying up the other day, I came across a piece of cardboard (about 8 inches wide by 5.5 tall) and decided to redraw the regional map on the cardboard for the players.

Lost Mines Near Old Phandelver

The replacement for the main city (upper left hand side of the map, where Neverwinter would be on the standard map) is the base of an ancient space elevator. Around the region are a bunch of angled spires, some still with “spires” or “needles” rising unseen distances into the sky [...]

Events & Play Wednesday - Upcoming Conventions, Gamedays. and Misc Gaming, October & Onward

Well, it's October and the gaming events are still aplenty this month and next.  Do yourself a favor and get away from your regularly scheduled life, and get out to a gameday or even a small convention.  If it includes a drive up into Wisconsin, the Fall colors will be an added bonus.

Let me mention right up front that this Saturday there is a gameday at Lake Geneva Games.  There will be a bit of everything including some RPGing in Next and 1E AD&D, some wargaming in the form of 40K, and plenty of boardgaming.  Don't let [...]

October Music

Cooler weather got you down?  Not me (October is actually my favorite month of the year, and Halloween my favorite holiday.  But my wife hates it when summer ends.

Here's something.  Check out some Halloween music, and use it as background music while playing your RPG games!  The two outfits that seem to be the most well known in this particular ouvre are Midnight Syndicate and Nox Arcana.


There; that's the entire first CD by Nox Arcana, Darklore Manor that someone made as a youtube playlist.  Their other CD Blood of the Dragon, with its more [...]

Figure Forge Dragonfly Hopper for Heavy Gear

In this Figure Forge Matt assembles the Hooper for Heavy Gear Blitz. The Dragonfly is one of the new VTOL’s for the Heavy Gear Blitz game from Dream Pod 9. The model is smooth, no eloquent and assembles quickly.



I only need like ten more of these!

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Kratos: Examine Purpose

It took forty minutes to upload today’s comic.


I’m looking for a new web host. GoDaddy is terrible.

RPT#623: Happy House Ruling -- How to Use Game Design to Create New Gameplay Experiences

In This Issue Happy House Ruling How to Avoid Herding Happy House Ruling – How to Use Game Design to Create New Gameplay Experiences Johnn Four Introduce constraints through house rules and game design to offer unique gaming experiences and encourage creativity. A couple of old school AD&D modules come to mind.EX1: DungeonlandandEX2: Land Beyond […]

The post RPT#623: Happy House Ruling – How to Use Game Design to Create New Gameplay Experiences appeared first on Roleplaying Tips.

[class] Innrider for D&D 3.5e

This one is from the archives, written up by me maybe 10 years ago. What’s up with the Innrider? Let me answer that with a question: In your game, has there ever been a situation where a halfling or gnome got up on the shoulders of another large and strong PC and “rode” around for […]

Dixit: Daydreams from Asmodee

Dixit: Daydreams



In Dixit, each round one player takes on the role of Storyteller, choosing one card from his hand, then telling a story, singing a ditty, or otherwise doing something that in his opinion is associated with the played card. Each other player then chooses one card in her own hand and gives it to the Storyteller in secret. These cards are shuffled and revealed, then players vote on which card was played by the Storyteller. If either no one or everyone votes for the Storyteller, then he receives no points; if he received some votes but not all [...]

Review: Don't Starve Giant's Edition (PS Vita)

As Liz mentioned towards the end of Episode 147 of the podcast I’ve been playing a lot of Don’t Starve lately, mostly on my way to and from work. When I say playing what I actually mean is running around in a panic trying to survive another night (my first game I made it to all of the 3rd night before dying) or running away from whatever monster I’ve managed to provoke this time.

But wait, playing it on my commute? Yes, for Don’t Starve is now out for the Playstation Vita!

The Game

For those who may not be familiar with Don’t [...]

How to Play Dark Gothic

Dark Gothic is card game based on American Gothic Horror from Flying Frog Productions. This game uses resource management in a unique that also incorporates deck building and management.


After getting use to the concept of building and thinning your deck during game play I found Dark Gothic to be very entertaining.

Creating a character for Labyrinth Lord

In my old blog Cradle of Rabies I created some characters, labeled 1000 and 1 characters. I begin it in here, now. I remember when I was younger player I enjoyed to create characters. Character creation was like solo-gaming, or a mini-game of the roleplaying game. Also creating characters taught me how characters work and what are disadvantages and advantages of different stats. Basically how game worked in player's point of view. I think it is also good practice to create a character or two for a game you are about to run to make character creation run smooth. At [...]

Fixing Mutant Future low melee damage

Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord (well, basic era games in general) have similar melee weapon damages but there's a big difference; the HP.

In Labyrinth Lord you roll one die per level so your first level adventurer has enough hit points to survive a blow or three. In Mutant Future you roll dice equal to your Constitution score (16 dice for CON 16 dude) making him around ten timed -or more- resilient than his poor fantasy cousins.

Firearms and lasers do more damage, but aren't melee weapons lethal too instead of just being annoying? And in default Mutant Future [...]

[Review] The Undercroft zine #2

Hear me out. If you like weird fantasy, horror and/or Lamentations of the Flame Princess you should not waste your time here reading this review. The time you spend reading this review you could spend reading The Undercroft issue 2. You'll get it from HERE in print and PDF. Now go.
You are still here? Alright. Either I was not convincing or you really want to hear what I have to say.
For first, look at the cover to the left. It is fucking sweet! +Cdric Plante is a guy I found in G+ and have been following him. He is a [...]

Daily Cosplay

The Elves of Fontenouq

The lands of Fontenouq are wild, inhospitable places, consisting of rocky outcrops atop steep hills, whose slopes follow wild descents into ever darkening woods. In the valleys the trees and bramble grow close. They are fed by many small streams, pools and ponds. There are no roads here, only trails, and these seem to crisscross the country in no particular pattern. A plentiful amount of game is available for the wary hunter, but there are many predators, both magical and mundane.

The spired castles of the Fontenouq Elves dot the countryside. Though some went to great lengths to [...]
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