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B.A.M.s in DW

In an upcoming game I’m going to run for my group they are going to be facing some big ass monsters (BAMs). Now this monster is going to be heavily armored and huge and the players can’t just walk up to it and hit it with their sword. The armor on this creature is too thick for swords to pierceor spell to break throughand the players are going to have to get creative to hurt this monstrosity. Here are some of the moves I wrote up for fights with BAMs.

Seek a Weak Point

When you try to find someway of hurting [...]

D&D 5e: Player's Handbook - Quick Critiques Part 2

In my last critique post, I discussed my issues with the art of the new Player's Handbook. In this article, I'm going to discuss some observations I noted related to character generation.

To be clear, I'm loving 5th Edition... I saw some jokingly refer to it as 2.5, which seems fitting. It "feels" like AD&D 2nd Edition (before Skill and Powers destroyed it)... It feels like what 3rd Edition should have beeninstead of the complex beast 3.x became. This is how Feats should have worked when they were added to AD&D.

Most of my critiques are more minor observations about things that [...]

New Page: Witch Links

There is one thing people keep coming back to my blog for time and time again.


My email says so. My Google Analytics say so. And posts I am tagged in say so.

But there is no way  could (or even should) be the one writing everything there is to say on witches. So to that end I have created a new page, Witch Links, that links out to other blog posts or resources about witches.

I am still in the process of building it, but if you have something you want to share then [...]

Roll20 - First Impressions

I played/started in a game that is using Roll20 and Google Hangouts as the "meeting place" for game. It's a weird feeling. I've been gaming long enough that my only real exposure to "phone in" gaming is a bunch of horrific anecdotes that all end with the same moral: don't ever do it. And yet, I had fun and it was remarkably easy. It is kind of awesome to see that the technology is there where regardless of distance a group of folks can get together and game. That said, it did have some strengths and weaknesses and today I want [...]

Focus on What They *WILL* Do, Not What They *CAN* Do

I've been lurking on various RPG boards and looking through GM advice feeds, and everytime it never fails to impress me just how quick and easy it is to find a post from a GM looking for help with a problem like the following:

My PCs have reached X power level where they can just blow through everything I put in front of them. What do I do to challenge them?

Now this is a natural stumbling block for folks to have as a GM but it isn't really a problem for two reasons.

First, [...]

Shooting Leave: Reflections on the Great Game

I first learned of the Great Game, indirectly, through the John Huston movie The Man Who Would Be King. That film remains today in my top list, and after a year in India and a trip through Kashmir the setting fascinates me more than ever.

The second taste of this electric but little-known episode of modern history came through the pulps, in the form of Robert E. Howard's El Borak stories. Then last year, I found John Ure's book Shooting Leave. What I love about this book is that it gives some [...]

potelbat ep. 61 "Dungeon Whirled"

As we cruise around this old internet of ours, sometimes we stumble upon something that simply blows us away.

Image from user Uruush on RPG.net

No, we’re not talking about the latest cat video or “12 Shocking Things About Pencil Shavings”.

We’re talking about the goodness of gaming and revolutionary thinking about how games are played.

In this case, how a GM should think about the game he or she is running.

And this time it comes to us courtesy of an RPG called Dungeon World. Specifically, from it’s freely available Character Sheet download.

And, within that download, is a page just for the GM, to [...]

Tuesday Magic Item -- Coach Cushion of Comfort

I started in envy at the wealthy trader who sat across from me as the coach bounced and rattled across the the post road. Over the last four days as we traveled across increasing rough and dangerous roads, but my constant companion never seemed troubled. Not by weather, or rough roads, or well, anything.

I finally worked up the nerve to ask about this. “Good sir, how is it that you maintain your equanimity in the face of such difficult travel?”

He smiled. “Long experience of travel. A positive view of the future. But most important,” he patted the padded cloth [...]

Whats going on Eric?

Hey fear not while it's been a while since my last update, work is being done. My article on Clerics is going to be huge!

I have been super busy with family, work and gaming when I can squeeze it in, it's alot.

Ganth is living and going strong. On top of that I have huge inspirations coming from "The Sword" a great retro Metal band you must listen too.

Like I have said, I tend to bite off more than I can chew...and I choke.

ANYWAY have a listen to this and keep dropping in [...]

Rant: Attend games you sign up for

This post grew out of the many posts about Gencon. I mulled over it a lot to keep it both polite, to the point, without completely roasting anyone, and with some type of path or recommendations. Something that's doable and that could help the community as a whole.

I was able to console myself by burning effigies...
Burning gamers at the stake

One thing I never understood is people's acceptance of it's only Sunday morning as an excuse and the annoying tendency to accept that not showing up is acceptable. I personally hold myself accountable to such events. If I say [...]

Far West - So Close, yet So Far - Missing Deadlines Since December 2011 (Wayward Kickstarter)

Far West. Far from Done. These are the voyages of the RPG Far West. It's bold, daring mission. To miss more self imposed deadlines than any other Kickstarter. DaDaaaDaDaDaDaDaaaaaDa!

Lets see, what has happened in the gestation span of Far West:

- consistently missed deadlines dating back to December, 2011. Then November 2013. January 2014. Most recent missed deadlines to release the PDF: June 2014, July 2014, August 2014. I know I missed at least a half dozen in between. Always the release is just over the horizon.

- Cubicle 7 was brought in to distribute the print version in June of 2013. In mid October 2013 we were promised actual copies being printed. As of September 2, 2014, Cubicle 7 cut [...]


I want more stealth and knockouts in my games.

I like Odysseus better than Achilles. Tricksters, spies, and con men are far more interesting than thugs, assassins, and warlords. Of course, what I like even better is when you can mix them together for characters who can choose a path. Slip through quietly if you can, it gets bloody if you are caught; or, go in hard but if you can’t get through, revert to stealth or guile.

I am still working through a stealth/surprise/detection system I like, but in the meantime, I have decided I want to have better knockout mechanics.

My [...]

Demon: Lore of Wilds

Wilderness SenseYou have a full mental map of the plants and animals located in an area equal to Faith in miles across and may make a Wits + Survival roll to scrutinise that mental map for higher minds (i.e. humans and supernaturals).  Success locates their general vicinity (within 50 feet) but only discriminates between type if the animals would be particularly stressed by the supernatural type (i.e. could be used to discriminate between changelings, mages and mortals on the one side and vampires, werewolves and certain claimed on the other, but couldn't discriminate within those groups).  This cannot be used to detect mystical [...]

Get ready for Virtuacon 14

Virtuacon offers the best 3 days in virtual gaming. It’s coordinated via RPG Geek but run via the Virtuacon Google+ community. Games take place in Google Hangouts while programs like DiceStream and Roll20.

If you’re not sure how that works then this video is recorded from actual gameplay from last year. Jacob Wood running a Psi-punk game via Google Hangouts in a psi-punk game.

Player signups begin on September 20th. You’ll need a Google+ account. If you’re new to G+ I’d recommend creating an account and saying hello on the Roleplaying Games community first. If you really want to play a certain [...]

Still Alive

Sorry, been having some health problems lately.

Still interested in blogging, but haven't had the energy or felt well enough to write.

Hopefully, blogging will resume soon.

Thank you for your patience and your continued readership.

Spirit of 77 -- a Funky 1970s Tabletop Role-Playing Game via Kickstarter

Spirit of 77 – a Funky 1970′s Tabletop Role-Playing Game. Monkeyfun Studios zeigen ein Herz fr die Siebzigerjahre, Dungeon World und Kickstarter. Nach eigenen Aussagen geht es um “alternate 1970′s that combines over-the-top action, kung-fu films, glam music and classic sci-fi.” Wow, Funky Colts meets Vincent Baker’s Apocalypse World …

Ich denke jedoch, dass das groartige Cover und der pfiffige Trailer mehr als 1000 Worte sagen.

Spirit of 77 – a Funky 1970′s Tabletop Role-Playing Game (Image: Monkeyfun Studios, LLC)

Wer hat noch Fragen? Okay …

“Richard Nixon has made a deal with aliens, and is still in the White House; [...]

D&D 5e: Royal Bloodline Sorcerous Origin

During the public playtest of D&D Next, I did some fiddling around with the sorcerer class to keep it current-ish with later packets, because several of my players were so intrigued by the original class concept. My efforts weren't great, in part because they highlighted what was wrong in the long-term with WotC's original model for the sorcerer - the pool of sorcery points ballooned into something that felt unmanageable. The good thing that came out of this was that I developed a new bloodline concept for the sorcerer, and now that 5e is actually out and doing its thing, [...]

Handy Stuff for My 5E Game

We just had the release of the 5th EditionPlayer’s Handbookand we won’t be seeing theMonster Manualuntil the end of the month (or the DMG until around November.)But I honestly feel “all set” to enjoy this edition. The freeDungeons & Dragons Basic Rulesis pretty much the “core” I’d ask for anyway; everything else is just extra [...]

Daily Punch 9-1-14 Magic Domain for DnD Next

If we have magic gods in the Forgotten Realms, then there must be a magic domain for clerics. Let’s make this happen!



Magic Domain

Gods of Magic like Mystra control and are the magical weave that binds the world together. Mortals are sometimes called to protect, maintain, or build the weave and become clerics of this domain. Sometimes these clerics are tasked with preventing misuses of the arcane as well. The mortals who pray to the gods of magic are often wizards, sorcerers, and those that dabble in the arcane, or those asking for protection from it.


Magic Domain Spells

Cleric Level [...]

Writing for the Trades

Not to be confused with collecting comic books together.

I’ve been doing that lately — playing with titles. I do that a lot, actually.

Right, I mentioned last week that I have a preliminary list of Trades. There are twenty-two in total, divided among eight “power groups” and four “social estates.” Does that sound weird? It was weird to type.

The concept of social estates is pretty old. The first three are, anyway — the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The press likes to consider itself “the fourth estate,” but the press does things like that.

I have this radical idea that a [...]

It came from the depths of the web Skyrim edition

Sometimes when I'm fooling around with blogger I look what keywords pop up as leading to my website and see where else they go. This post is based on "pen and paper skyrim". In addition to my wistful musings (I do recommended the revised Skyrimmic Sandbox chart ). I found several other interesting items.  First up off a fairly direct route to the Skyrim Blog a spreadsheet, a good list of what to include but woefully incomplete as rules. Next a link to a  .pdf  from this thread on the Piazza forum. This ones complete enough to try to play, although [...]

Ghostbusters in DW

This year is the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters. Here is a compendium class for all of you paranormal investigators and eliminators that dwell in Dungeon World.


Though most people tell ghost stories, most have never seen one. Not you. You’ve seen ghosts. Hell, you’ve fought ghosts. They are mean, spiteful, sad, pitiful, hurtful, and without mercy, but you’ve spent time fighting and studying these apparitions. You’ve learned the ins and out of ghosts and now you are ready to put them to rest. Using the art of Ectomancy and Artifice, you are equipped to deal with these restless dead.

Once you’ve faced [...]

Kratos: Accuse Dwayna

[class] Wildmage for D&D 3.5e

Thought I should throw in this one, it’s from the archives. I’ve always had a thing for the wildmage. Since I couldn’t find one that suited me, either in sourcebooks or on the web, I went ahead and created my own, maybe some 10 years ago. I make no claims that this is a well […]

Primeval Thule: Guardian of the Nine for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.

Guardian of the Nine 
Area of Expertise (1st level): You have advantage on any ability check pertaining to the Great Old Ones.

Podcast Episode -- The RPG Interview Room: Lone Wolf with Cubicle 7

Cubicle 7 has been for the last few years the flagship of RPG publishing in the UK. Of course that can be argued, but with successful licenses like Dr. Who and The One Ring, it is safe to say they are at the forefront of the RPG publishing business. Now they are back on Kickstarter [...]

The post Podcast Episode – The RPG Interview Room: Lone Wolf with Cubicle 7 appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

[map] Kallmark

Kallmark, a harsh land with long, cold winters and short, cool summers. Mostly stubborn humans and easygoing dwarves inhabit the settlements, with the occasional tiefling and stray hobbit. Kallmark is not the place to live if your hobbies are heraldry and celebrity spotting. On the other hand, if you don’t mind subsisting on taiga onions, […]

[map] Bandit hideout

Every area has one. It had been a particularly fruitful year for Jack deWeez and his gang, robbing travelers along the road through Felltimber woods. But after stripping so many plump merchants of their belongings, word eventually got out among bandits in the neighboring areas. Soon, a sizable gang led by the feared Gary Gutgutter […]

Ironscale -- 5th Edition Monster

For anyone that picked up the board game “Myth” recently, you will be familiar with these critters. Called Arachnids in that game,I’ve opted for a new name since in my mind, they are not spider-like at all. I’m dubbing their D&D version, Ironscales. The minis are too nice not to use in D&D so here’s what I’ll be inflicting on the PCs soon. There are 2 types of these creatures, one has poison sacs on the side of its head while the other does not and has slightly larger claws near its mandibles.

Ironscale, soldier
Medium beast, unaligned

Armor Class 16 (natural [...]

Classroom Activity: Design a Monster

If I cover all the ground I hope to with my middle school games class, not only will each student get to play in an RPG a few times, get to evaluate and design a location-based game setting, and get to GM an RPG scenario for a session or two, but by the time we reach our final unit I'd like them to start thinking about game design and the best way to tell the stories that they have inside of them ...

Unit Four: Game Design
Key Objective: Students will identify a setting or genre that interests them [...]

New Shotguns and Sorcery RPG to Debut at Gen Con 2015

Award-winning author and game designer Matt Forbeck is partnering with Outland Entertainment to produce a tabletop roleplaying game based upon his fantasy noir Shotguns & Sorcery novels, as well as enhanced ebook editions of those popular books. Fans of the series will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world, meet the characters from the books, create their own heroes, and play though brand-new adventures developed exclusively for the game.

“I'd long thought about trying to publish a Shotguns & Sorcery game myself,” Forbeck says, “but I could never manage to find the time. Then Jeremy Mohler came to me [...]

Invasions: Earth! A Microscope Supers World

Here's the real secret of why I love Microscope for building campaign worlds. I set up a session where a bunch of players get together and build me a toy. They create a timeline and then I get the absolute pleasure of puzzling it out: looking for connections, finding interesting hooks, and shaping the pieces. I love doing that. It's one of the most fun GMing exercises ever.
On Saturday I convinced five players from RPGGeek to build me a superhero world (Andrea G, John Campbell, Andy Hauge, Kai S., and Steve Donohue). I've done fantasy, steampunk, [...]

dollhouse ep01 : Orpheus


Episode One


New recruits had just joined the company.  Misha Rusanov (played by Teddy), a 26 year old immigrant had hoped the job would pay well and found himself meeting Wendell Pruce (played by Rocky), a 26 year old gay man who had nearly overdosed on Pigment.  Misha was eager to learn more this new vista that bordered on the supernatural and considered the Orpheus Group his family away from home.  Wendell on the other hand silently fought against an anguish within, as he suffered from the survivor's guilt of recovering from the [...]

Unearthed Errata: The Totem Rager

by Tim Wallace

While Arcana Evolved's totem warrior is a fun class, I decided it would work better as a barbarian archetype in Pathfinder. Since there was already a totem warrior archetype in the Advanced Player's Guide, it seemed right to rename it the "totem rager." I also thought it would be nice to have feline totem ragers, so I included an additional totem animal, the lion.

Totem RagerWhile all barbarians are known for their ferocity in battle, some revere a specific totem animal and take on aspects of that animal while raging. A few truly renowned totem [...]

Degenesis: Rebirth Edition

Degenesis. SIXMOREVODKA planen fr den 10.10.2014 eine neue Ausgabe des apokalyptischen Primal Punk- Rollenspiels Degenesis. Die neue Edition von Christian Gnther undMarko Djurdjevic trgt den Titel Degenesis: Rebirth Edition.

Degenesis: Rebirth Edition – Sonic Boom (Image: SIXMOREVODKA)

Das Rollenspiel soll in drei verschiedenen Ausgaben erscheinen:

  • Premium Edition (Auflage 4000 // 99,- )
    2 Hardcover Bcher in Hardcover-Slipcase
    704 Seiten (2*352 Seiten), Vollfarbe
    7 Kulturen, 13 Kulte, 21 Klans, 8 Feindliche Fraktionen
    Vollstndig berarbeiteter Welthintergrund samt neuem Regelsystem (Hoffen wir das Beste, denn das alte Katharsys war frher nicht so der Knaller.)
    “Primal” und Fokus als neue neue Bestandteil des Spielsystems
    ber 300 Illustrationen [...]

Trap Tuesday (Banlan Backlash!): Dimensional Funnel

Dimensional Funnel CR 11 Type magical; Search/Perception DC 38; Disable Device destroy dimensional tethers (see text) Trigger teleportation spell; Reset none Effect spell effect (plane shift; all creatures and items within 30 ft. of the dimensional tethers are not teleported to their intended destination, instead drawn to a second matching set of dimensional […]

The post Trap Tuesday (Banlan Backlash!): Dimensional Funnel appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.


I've talked quite a lot about scenes in this blog. I talked about types of scenes and how to construct them; I talked about what scenes are going to be remembered and how to invoke emotions using them. What I haven't talked about up until today was how to frame them, i.e. when to start and finish them.Scene-Framing is one of the greatest tools in the GM's arsenal in order to control the pacing of the game and story, and it can also cut a lot of frustration if scenes are cut before they bore the players. So, how can [...]

Episode Five of Mike Attempts to Reclaim a Dwarf Fortress

Winter, 127 in the Fortress of Clodclod the Clod-Clodding Clod of Clods. With the river frozen, work can begin on expanding the cistern system to get even more fresh water into the fortress. Assuming the miners aren’t spending all their time doing random other things…

The Day Before The Day Before

I'm sorry. I'm about halfway through a meandering follow-up post on B/X ability scores but it's tough, really tough, to not get distracted by the beginning of football season.

In Paraguay (where I currently reside) no one gives 200 guaranii for the NFL (current exchange rate in Paraguay? 4300 guaranii to the dollar). But soccer...oh boy, I've got 12 sports channels on the cable network and (literally) eight of them are playing soccer games or having talk shows discussing soccer as I write this (the others? racing, tennis, cycling, and the UFC channel which only shows fights). There is [...]

DragonCon 2014 Loot

Last year, I went crazy buying stuff in the vendor halls, but this year, I am happy to say, I stuck to my budget (I came in under even!) and my shopping list, for the most part.

The Bounty
So what did I get?

First I got [...]

Quick Play Report: Murderhobos

Yesterday my home group managed to squeeze in an hour or so of Murderhobos. I'm not writing this with the rules in front of me so some of the names for stuff, er shit, might be off.

Everyone liked the rules, or at least reading the rules. Before I GM'd the players I also created two Murderhobos. I let everyone have 200 GP of weapons and the results were....interesting. I didn't allow the players to name their PCs, so any references are to class.

Our small group had three Murderhobos: a Brutal Fighter, a Sneaky Bastard, and an [...]

Consistency is key -- Part 2

Last week I posted part one of my thoughts on this thread from Reality Refracted on avoiding rules and dice when the outcome of a situation is presumed. I didn’t want to spin the discussion by posting my solution to … Continue reading →

Indy Activism

The spin-off into Scottish history and activism has been – exhausting. However, as the vote approaches it’s maybe time to ask to what extent peaceful community activism can actually deliver. Put simply – do meetings, cakes, coffee mornings, concerts, games, forums, leafleting, designing posters, declarations and so much more . . . make [...]

A Double Portion of Awesome; Hold the Controversy

My draft for this week’s column was over a thousand words on what was wrong with the Appendix N book I’d chosen to review. Late Saturday night, I threw it all out when I realized that was the last thing anyone needed. I started over and attempted to focus entirely on what made the book awesome with only one paragraph mentioning the problems for completeness. Man, was that ever the right move. Gaming discussion has been overtaken by one controversy too many and I think it’s time to put the focus back on what brought us all here in the [...]

Treasuring the Dungeon: Basic Dungeons and Dragons Revisited

With over 40 years of development, including six different versions of the rules and a multitude of settings, there is a lot of information within the Dungeons and Dragons franchise for the gamer to digest. Although the current numbering of D&D runs from the AD&D line, with the latest version known as Dungeons and Dragons […]

The post Treasuring the Dungeon: Basic Dungeons and Dragons Revisited appeared first on Roleplaying Tips.

Accuse Shape Shifter

Dungeon Monthly (Sept 2014)

I think it's going to be a busy month ...so I'm getting this one in early:

...and, as always, you can get unlabelled versions for all of these 'dungeon-monthly' maps in the following G+ albums:

50 pixel per grid square album
70 pixel per grid square album

Oh ...and here's a quick look at how you can piece all of this year's maps together (though it's worth noting that they can be put together in lots of different ways, and that they are compatible will all the geomorph-style maps that I've been posting here over the [...]

Quick Note - Returning to the blood filled, romance drenched world of Ferelden

In honor of my copy of Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition finally working! Let us all celebrate with ale and tales of the beasts of the deep roads!

And oh man, 75 hours played and only 35% through the game ... gulp.Winter WraithWinter Wraiths are powerful Shades that have crossed over from the Fade. A Winter Wraith forms a body for itself out of ice and snow, however, that body is merely a construct and can created and destroyed at will.

Abilities (Focuses)-4 -- Communication 0 -- Constitution 6 -- Dexterity (Draining Touch, Stealth, Winter's Grasp)1 -- Cunning 4 [...]

To Grid or Not to Grid


‘Tactics’ has meant different things over the years in the context of fantasy RPG’s. In first and second edition Dungeons and Dragons, tactics meant techniques and abilities, and were fairly rudimentary, getting a few bumps from various splatbooks and later with the Skills & Powers books. In versions 3.0 to Pathfinder, however, tactics became more closely associated with tactical movement, movement on a grid, and it became fairly critical: flanking, five-foot-steps, attacks of opportunity, and templated spell effect areas could all mean the difference between life and death on the battlefield.

I remember starting to play 3.0 many years ago now [...]

Dice Shaming: This One's for Stetson

Not sure how I feel about the whole dice shaming phenomenon. I guess you could say that I find it equally funny and stupid... which I guess is okay after all.
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