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"Looting Hoards beside(s) Vices"

Well, I just returned from Bishop, California, and I should have been sending projects...(not me)
... but had evening downtime, so I fought with the Blogger app to cobble together an entry for this week's Topic Tuesday. (I'm probably the only person who does this, but it's an excellent freewriting exercise for me...)
The random generator gave me "Looting Hoards beside(s) Vices"... I got nuthin'.

...but I have been reading "A World Lit Only By Fire" and the topic suggests one Girolamo Savonarola and his sermons for austerity and against the corruption of the Church's hierarchy.   Although he did [...]

Q -- Quest

Slaught, the high elf has been questing for just shy of a year in the province of Morrowind (350 in-game days; all told, only maybe three or four weeks of that consisted on full days of rest to refresh merchant inventories). In that time, she has waged prolonged war against the forces of Dagoth Ur, ended the Cammona Tong’s hold on the Fighters Guild, uniting said guild with the Thieves Guild, presiding over both as guildmaster, murdered several people for profit in the name of the Morag Tong, freed nearly a hundred slaves, became the Arch-Magister of House Telvanni before [...]

The Raid On The Grand Canyon Horde - A Dragoon Adventure Encounter From The Outlanders Books For Mutant Future Or Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign

Elements of this encounter can be found in this series of blog entries right over

Set up 
This encounter works if the PC's gate into the local area, have relations around the Grand Canyon area or have business around the area. Several of the smaller settlements in the area have not been heard from recently. Important trade routes specializing in post holocaust materials have recently not been heard from for two weeks. Rumors of a new military power operating in the Grand Canyon area are building, residents are fleeing from the surrounding settlements, and the region is [...]


I'm rebuilding a lot of things. In spring there is always an opportunity to start things fresh.

Saturday Spell-Forge Seal

That would do it, with Duke Aurellan’s blood axe and great key on it, the letter would have no trouble penetrating the king’s court. His contact there would recognize it and know what to do.

Duril had trained Percival himself to sense magic, no one else would feel the hidden magic on the seal, but Percival would try harder and knew better. The perfect signal.

So I asked my wife what she’d like to do with magic and she said “forge a seal.” And I thought that fit nicely with Diervale and criminals this week. It’s also a good spell building [...]

Blood & Treasure Basic

Yes, Blood & Treasure Basic. For now - I might change the name.

I took the last week off of work, and in between hiking, grilling ribs and a much needed massage, I found time to write Blood & Treasure Basic, as well as finish up NOD 23 (should publish by Monday).

What is B&T-B?

Ultimately, it's that project I mentioned a post or so back in which I pondered doing different editions of a basic game using different public domain artists. While I thought of that, a couple ideas for simplifying B&T came to mind, so [...]

Priapost's Pink Woodwind

When played correctly, this instrument will cause any male creature who hears the music to fall into a rapturous, calmed state that will last as long as the device is played. Bonuses can be applied for the size of the flute, skill of the musician and during any applicable rutting season.

The magical device does not work on non-male or sexless creatures, but the much rarer instrument known as Sapphora's Sapphire Mouth-Harp, is said to have a similar effect on females. 

Nightmares of Futures Past

We are just a few weeks from the opening of the new X-Men movie Days of Future Past. This is perhaps one of the most popular X-Men story arcs even though it only spanned two issues of the original series. It presented a dark future where all mutants were seen as a threat regardless of their power level or past deeds. Many great heroes were dead, in hiding, or sent to internment camps. It is a frightening premise indeed, and in the late 80s TSR captured the feel of this alternate future with a series of four products that would [...]

Dunnsmouth, Scenic

So, Zzarchov Kowolski wrote a thing and it is epically produced by James Raggi and Jez Gordon (who’s art and production I drool over) for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. This thing is called Scenic Dunnsmouth. It is a moderately low-level classic D&D adventure which is centred around a town (Dunnsmouth) that is randomly generated when you set up the adventure. The random generation makes every instance of Dunnsmouth unique.

So here’s the result of me throwing some dice at a piece of paper and flipping a few cards:

Dunnsmouth, Scenic

Casting Runes 6: A Season for All Things -- Session 7 Recap

This post continues the exploration and implementation of RuneQuest 6th Editionin a sword and sorcery campaign setting. This session was also shorta player, so this recap still focuses on Turged and Gorwyn as they return from their search andrescuemission and the untamed brutality of the Desert of Screams. The recap of session 1 can be … Continue reading →

Pursuit Sequences in HeroQuest 2, Part 2, Running the Chase

  Welcome back to the second article about how I run a chase in HeroQuest 2.   This follows on from my earlier review of the Paizo Chase Cards 2, Hot Pursuit.   The first article dealt with how to set up the chase.   Today I am looking at the process of actually running …

Continue reading »

The Week In TV...

Via I thought it would be interesting (for me, anyway) to note down this Easter what scheduled shows I'm watching next week, so that later in the year I could look back and see if my tastes have changed, what I've forgotten and what still stands out. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (1hr, National Geographic) Fargo (1hr, Channel 4) The Crimson Field (1hr, BBC 1) Modern Family (1hr, double bill,

Fate+Fiction: Communication Breakdown

Our second Fate+Fiction anthology, Communication Breakdown, is out today! It contains 5 more short stories from author Gary E. Weller: Chapters, Code of Hammurabi, Communication Breakdown, Dak Kodak, and Five Words. Each is deconstructed, and Situation and Character Aspects, as well as Consequences and Boosts, are pulled out with suggestion on how that can be used in your own Fate RPG game.

Fate+Fiction: Communication Breakdown is available at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. The price is pay-what-you-want, with a suggested donation of $5. All proceeds go toward the No Sleep 'Til Finland fund.

The post Fate+Fiction: Communication Breakdown appeared first on Asparagus Jumpsuit.

Fate+Fiction: Communication Breakdown

Our second Fate+Fiction anthology, Communication Breakdown, is out today! It contains 5 more short stories from author Gary E. Weller: Chapters, Code of Hammurabi, Communication Breakdown, Dak Kodak, and Five Words. Each is deconstructed, and Situation and Character Aspects, as well as Consequences and Boosts, are pulled out with suggestion on how that can be used in your own Fate RPG game.

Fate+Fiction: Communication Breakdown is available at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. The price is pay-what-you-want, with a suggested donation of $5. All proceeds go toward the No Sleep 'Til Finland fund.

The post Fate+Fiction: Communication Breakdown appeared first on Asparagus Jumpsuit.

A Few Quick Notes from the Wilderness

I've spent a great deal of time out in them there woods. You couldn't tell it from my physique, but backpacking/ minimalist camping* is one of my favorite avocations. I haven't made time for it in far too long.
Anyway, for those of you who're less outdoorsy, here a few things to keep in mind when playing or running a wilderness survival scenario.
  • Water is your Savior and your Killer
    • As Savior - So much of survival in the wilderness is centered of finding clean drinking water. Go for a couple days without it (or drink some disease-ridden swamp water), and [...]

The Horrifying Orcs of Hubris and their Alchemically Created Abominations

When I began pondering enemies I wanted in Hubris I knew I wanted to keep some of the “classic” creatures that everyone is familiar with. However I wanted to put a spin on them and make them fresh, new, and/or horrifying. When I was writing the Land of Perpetual Stone and Mire I decided that I wanted orcs to reside there. That they were sending incursions into the “civilized” lands and wreaking havoc. Then I got to thinking about the state of the creature… What did I want to change…? What brought the change…? I decided to link them with [...]

A Call to Arms! - OSWARP is Looking for DMs (East Coast OSR Con in July)

Man, it's almost surreal. My last gaming con was Gen Con 93 - over 20 years ago. Now, in 2014, I'm attending two Old School RPG Cons - North Texas RPG (NTRPG) Con in June and the Old School Wargaming and Role Playing(OSWARP) Con in July. Pretty exciting.
While NTRPG was it roots well set, OSWARP is the new kid on the block, and is technically a "Con within a Con", as it it happening in conjunction with DexCon in Morristown NJ, a fairly large east coast gaming con with a long history.

OSWARP is happening on July 4th and 5th -  a Friday and a Saturday.

I'm loving the idea of an east coast OSR centric con and it will [...]

Adventure Hooks: Quicklings

Quicklings are an evil race of Fey sprites who are very fast, very mischievous, and very dangerous. It's believed that they were once Brownies, but through their own misdeeds were transformed into Quicklings. This might have happened when they tried to master magic beyond their control, or it might have happened when they were punished for stealing a rare magic book from an Arch Fey queen, or some combination of the two tales -- the stories vary depending on who you ask. What's important is that adventurers realize just how dangerous these little buggers are and not to underestimate them.

Throughout [...]

#MtG's #Zendikar plane as a #13thAge setting! - Part 6: Story Hooks

From the moment I read +Philippe-Antoine Menard's article on +Critical Hits titled "13th Age" Musings: Story Hook-Based Adventure Prepping, I knew (and I told him) I would have used this metho for my Zendikar project. And here I am!

I am well aware that half the genius of the ChattyDM's idea was that with this method you can turn those often-forgotten loose threads of adventures into new and exciting side treks, or even new courses for the entire campaign, but since the other half of the geniality is just the simplicity and quickness of the method, I decided to write a [...]

Free Sampler of The Knight Who Saved England by Richard Brooks from Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publishing is sharing a free PDF sampler of The Knight Who Saved England by Richard Brooks.  The book is described as -
"In 1217 England was facing her darkest hour, with foreign troops pillaging the country and defeat close at hand. But, at the battle of Lincoln, the seventy-year-old William Marshal led his men to a victory that would secure the future of his nation. Earl of Pembroke, right-hand man to three kings and regent for a fourth, Marshal was one of the most celebrated men in Europe, yet is virtually unknown today, his impact and influence largely forgotten. [...]

Neck Stretch

Adventure Seed: Burning Faith (Part 1)

Burning Faith is an adventure set in and around the Fallen Mountains and is deliberately designed to present PCs with a situation with no clear course of actions. The adventure was originally written for a group of Unicorn PCs and works best when at least one of the members is from that Clan, for reasons that will become apparent.


Kyufoki no Shinden, the Thunder Monastery, has been burnt to the ground. Coming across the still smouldering ruins the PCs must find and confront the perpetrator before navigating the political ramifications and determining the truth of what has occurred. The adventure can [...]

A to Z of Witches. Q

Q is for Queen of Witches

I have talked about and around the Queen of Witches many times here.  It is one concept that you will see in almost all my games.  I have talked about it for Basic D&D, Ghosts of Albion/Buffy and even 3rd Ed/Pathfinder.  I even began this challenge with Aradia, the first Queen of Witches.

But what is a Witch Queen or a Queen of Witches?

In my games the Witch Queen is the most powerful witch of any given tradition. She would control many covens and their leaders, the high priestesses, report [...]

Strange New Worlds: Qualor

System Name: Qualor
Sector: 5-8
Star Number & Type: 1 - M VII
Planet Number & Type: 4 - F, S, W, M
Inhabitants: Sil-lics
This small ember of a star manages to boast 4 worlds, including a super-massive gas giant that it captured eons ago that orbits nearly 150 AU from the star. Much closer in are the 3 natural worlds of the Qualor system, a barely habitable desert world that never developed life beyond simple alge, a high pressure superearth currently being terraformed into a habitat conducive for silicone based life, and a dusty rock closer to [...]

Q Is for Querulous

querulous: (adj.) complaining in a petulant or whining manner

Nota Bene: Again a move away from Swords & Wizardry and Stars Without Number to focus briefly on a genuine Old School game. I’m back with Chaosium today for that esteemed company’s greatest game, Call of Cthulhu, using my 3rd edition hardback from 1986 for the first time in too long. The day after tomorrow I’m going to go way back again to TSR’s Top Secret.

Black-eyed children appear as preadolescents, but their eyes are solid black with no differentiation between sclera, pupil, or iris. Often, Black-eyed children can be seen playing games [...]

Cowboy Creed...

Cowboy Creed from Runic Films on Vimeo. A Western short featuring my friend John Carrigan. Cowboy Creed: A Day on Set Featurette from Runic Films on Vimeo.

A Quick Overview of The Keys of Heraka-at

The Keys of Heraka-at is an adventure that allows the PCs to learn the truth of the fall of the Donnerkonig, and to potentially become the new Donnerkonig.

This adventure takes place in and around a large stone outcrop near Heraka-at, the capital of Sturmhame. The adventure site as a whole is intended to guide the Donnerkonig heirs to their immediate tasks

Locations on the Map

Here I describe the major areas in this adventure location. Each is to be a significant area of interest and might be a ‘single room’ or ‘group of rooms’. I won’t fully flesh these out yet, I [...]

Weekend R&R: X-Wing Miniatures

X-Wing Miniatures is hardly a game that needs much introduction or even a review.  However some gamers who may be interested may not have given it a shot yet so I thought I'd share how I came into the game, my gaming experiences, and my general thoughts.

In short, X-Wing miniatures is an excellent and well thought out game which has already won a variety of awards since it was introduced a bit less than two years ago.  Produced by Fantasy Flight games, components are of a decent, durable quality but the love of all things tokens [...]

Spells Between the Covers

Thank Geshtai It's Friday! I don't have much new to offer this weekend, so let's look at one of my old Greylore comics from a few years ago. Delleb and Fharlanghn present a series of forgotten Greyhawkian tomes from Bruce Heard's article, Spells Between the Covers from Dragon #82. You'll surely learn something new about Greyhawk if you check out this alliterative lecture. Enjoy!

Day 17 Q is For Quills

Quills, short for quils pen, are ink pens made from the feathers of a bird in our world. In the world of fantasy RPGs like D&D, a magic quill is needed for making scrolls that have magic spells. Quills for inscribing these come from magical creatures, like gryphons or pegasi. Some such quills might be […]

Cosmo-Joe's Magic Missile Dice

I have a soft spot in my heart for strange dice. I think its the inherent collector inside me, wanting to find new and unusual dice to add to my collection. These definitely fit that bill perfectly. Andy "Cosmo-Joe" Watkins has started a kickstarter to fund the creation of special "magic missile" dice. These dice look like your average d4, but the results already include the initial +1 bonus granted by magic missile
While adding the relatively small bonuses associated with magic missile has never really been that much of a hassle, these would be fun to use at the [...]

Probably Questionable -- Ep 85 -- Arbitrary Bracketology

Host: Joe Special Guest(s): N/A It’s time for the first ever edition of PQ’s April Atrocity. We made a bracket, filled it with Marvel & DC comic characters, and pit them against each other in the ultimate battle of popularity. In Episode 85, we break down the first round. - Intro/What’s New? - Daddy Soda [...]

Point Buy Calculator for D&D Next (5e)

Figure out the point buy value of your character for the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition role playing game with this calculator.

STR 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 0   Points 0 DEX 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 0 CON [...]

O is for the Orphanage of Saint Rutha

The Old World is harsh indeed, and even in the metropolitan, and highly civilised Marienburg, many young people still lose their lives way to early. As a result the city, like all others, is teaming with orphans - ejected due to ailing or deceased parents, or because they were chosen as the strongest of the children, and the most capable of fending for themselves during hard times.

Whatever the reason, the children have few places to go. The tenants of Haendryk preach that economic success is a sign of divine favour, and poverty is the affliction given to sinners. As [...]

Skill Monkey -- Hai Karate!

The Skill Monkey has been watching some of his favorite Martial Arts movies.

So naturally it occurs to him to come up with his own school of martial arts and then share that info with you.

But how? Nothing in the book is labelled Martial Arts.

I guess you’ll just have ot listen and find out.

Skill Monkey episodes can be found atwww.madadventurers.com.

Fiddleback can be found on Twitter@Fiddleback

For iTunes, subscribe, rate, and review Skill Monkey athttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mad-adventurers-society-skill/id735255014?mt=2

Direct Download:http://archive.org/download/SkillMonkey25/Skill%20Monkey%2025.mp3


[Cryptworld] New Thing: Tarantulord

A Giant Arachnid Thing for Cryptworld


STR: 6 (90) --- WPR: 3 (45)
AGL: 6 (90) --- PCN: 6 (90)
STA: 5 (75) --- PWR: 90
ATT: 2/90% --- WND: 15
MV: L 200 (100 if on a vertical surface)

Experience: 800

A Tarantulord is a mutated gargantuan arachnid. A Tarantulord is about the size of a horse, standing nearly 6 feet tall with a leg-span of  10 feet, and weighing about 1,000 pounds. Tarantulords can be nearly any species of arachnids, as monstrous trapdoor spiders, black widows, brown recluses, and -- yes [...]

Legacies to allow Crafting! Item crafting rules for review

I have been talking about this for years now. I know years. From the start, it was my intention to allow crafting into the Legacies campaign. The problem was always to maintain game balance. So that crafters could benefit from their choice but not overpower the game.

Game balance and crafting was always twice as important to keep in mind because one of the setting's most iconic class, the machinesmith, is greatly based on crafting. However, overfocus on game balance can kill interest in crafting.

So, how do you maintain both?

So we discussed and listened to our players [...]

Kickstarter - METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA Deluxe Hardcover Collector's Edition (Goodman Games)

There are a few points in the very early history of the RPG hobby that stick out as events that have left an indelible mark. I like to add such treasures to my collection as best I can when I can find them.

Original Dungeons & Dragons (I own the OCE)

Empire of the Petal Throne (I own a copy of the boxed set - still in it's wrap when I got it - opened now)

Tunnels & Trolls (I own Ken's personal copy of the 2nd edition of the rules)

Metamorphosis Alpha - never owned and damn near impossible to find on the secondary market

Not so surprisingly, all of the above games have gone thru a [...]

Did More Game Stuff Too

But I ain’t showing it all None of these are colour corrected yet, but they’re not way off.

Science Node (10 point Computer)

A Science Node is a computer and a lab full of apparatus, all devoted to a particular field of science. While the exact list of sciences and the functions of the Synthesis System will vary depending on what the system is dedicated to, the general build is always the same. This example is devoted to the Biological Sciences, although it does cover some related fields for when it’s analyzing things with the multiscanner systems.

Computer: 0 Dexterity (-30P), 23 Intelligence (13P), 1 Speed (0P).

(4P) Multiscanner Multipower (20-pt reserve); Extra Time: 5 min., -2; OAF: -1; Focus Mobility: Bulky, -

  • u-1 Psionic Analysis [...]

Divine Artifact-Fauxlight Stone

“What’s that there?” the Rubble muttered as the sound of a clattering stone approached through the dark and his mean drew clubs and swords.

Suddenly, a blaring light filled the tunnel they walked. It came from the stone, now at rest. “We’re lit up,” Bergs cried and they all went for cover.

Nothing happened.

“Who goes there,” Rubble began to question, but collapsed, his throat cut, before he could finish.

“Invisible?” Bergs asked as others fell, dying as he swung at empty air. Soon they were all down.

Lathe picked up the stone and darkness descended again. Fauxlight stones were fairly common in Diervale, but [...]

What makes The Old Ones so incomprehensible?

Have you ever struggled with explaining why just a glimpse of Eldrich monstrosities shatters the mind of a player character? How a giant squid-dragon makes your mind switch off? Well, until today, so did I. Just minutes ago, I found a great resource, that will help you describe this madness, in Reddit of all places (coincidence?).

User mikekozar_work does a great job in describing why human mind just can't handle the sight of a great old one. I am coping it over here for your delectation, but make sure to check out the whole thread for more info. It is [...]

The Arboreal Library -- the Tree of Knowledge

The Arboreal Library is one of the greatest collections of mystical, and mystically-related, works in existence – containing tens of thousands of tomes, many of them unique. At least as importantly, the enchantments of the library will bring you books on any topic it has available on request – although delving into it’s depths for an hour or two is even better. As handy bonuses, the library contains a ritual room equipped to back personal magics with ambient magic and an enchanted mirror that reveals magical threats to the earth – as well as being a wifi hot spot.

Unfortunately, the [...]

Mortality in RPG's

I have recently started following a gentleman that I gamed with (Zounds! game) called +hurdygurdymanna (John) and today he came out with a blog that prompted a little bit of thought from me.  You see, he is embarking on his first game as a DM soon and he was thinking about how he would handle death in game of characters.  He found the "glossing" over of a character death a little underwhelming and wanted to incorporate some role playing around the event (gasp!).  Now, this is not the first mortality post that I have read recently as I also read a blog [...]

P Is for Pithikosophobic

pithikosophobic: (adj.) abnormally or persistently afraid of monkeys

Mugatos are large, intimidating animals that can reach a height of six and one-half feet (not counting their cranial horn). Covered by a thick pelt of white fur all over their bodies with the exception of their faces and hands, they are similar to the great apes of Earth in their physical proportions and prehensile hands and feet. All of their teeth are sharp and serrated, and their fangs contained a strong venom that can be fatal within a matter of hours. Mugatos have large, thick horns projecting from the tops of their [...]

Vote for your favourite version of Dunnsmouth!



SHTFriday: Steel Choices for a Bug-Out Blade

The first in a series of guest posts as I prepare for a week's vacation  (and oh god, do I ever need a vacation from my family) that begins on Monday and culminates at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.

I will try to write a post this weekend for Monday so that you, my dearest and faithful readers, will have three days of content until I get back.  However, I cannot make guarantees.

Until then, enjoy this fine hand-crafted post on "What steel should I choose if I can have only one knife in my doomsday kit?"

Good Friday

It has indeed been a Good Friday. With some messing around in Photoshop along the way.

P is for Penny Parker

Penny Parker is a child of wealth and privilege whom readers are introduced to when she rebels against her parents insistence that she honor the traditions of her social class by taking part in a debutante ball. The sixteen year-old girl gives in, but decides to show everyone up by bringing her rough-edged boxing instructor to the ball as her escort. In the process, she ends up stopping a jewel heist. Fueled by her success as a detective, and rebellious teenage impulses, Penny sets herself up in her own detective agency and starts solving crime among the upper classes. [...]

P -- Paptimus Scirocco & the PMX-003 "The O"

There were several villains at the head of several factions in Zeta Gundam, but one of the most impressive was the dashing Paptimus Scirocco. While the Jupiter Fleet was a relatively small faction during the Gryps War and the conflict for supremacy over the Earthsphere and Space, they had a number of huge advantages which made them a deciding factor in the outcome of the various arcs that came together at the end of Zeta.

“Ladies, have I mentioned I will let you use my experimental prototype mobile armors?”

The Jupiter Fleet had been absent, on their mission to mine Jupiter gas, [...]

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