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Doom. Doom. Doom.

During this week's Tribe 8 game we're going to (most likely) be embarking on a proper session zero with some actual play, which I'm both excited and a little anxious about -- mostly because of the learning curve with using Roll20.

I've been wrangling for the past week or so on the concepts of the Doom and Salvation tracks, mostly looking into other games that seem to use them. The Arkham Horror and Runebound boardgames are the only ones I can find that specifically feature them. I've not played either game, but the general idea seems to be about [...]

77016: Rats

Numbers 22, 23, and 24 of 249.

Here is another batch of rats, this time black.

World Builder Artwork 4-16

World Builder artwork by Stephen Garrett.

For this batch we asked for buildings with a Babylonian theme to them. As always he’s done an amazing job.

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The Rambling of Beps

My player’s can’t crack the code. Can you?

y o u r e h a p p y t o k i l l t h e f u t r e a n d b e s i d e s i t s n o w s i n j u n e s o m e ti m e h e l l o c o w s m i l k s o m e t i m e s i s s o u r b u t m i l e s s e p [...]

The Necromancer War: Raven (part 1)

The Necromancer War: Rising Storm Raven

This story begins oneday after the events of The Necromancer War: Rising Storm: Jon Tideldis (part 1/part 2)

Castle Khazar, Vexstigia (Korinth)
2 years after the gate was opened

The body of Jon Teldelis lay on a slab in Castle Khazar. Red runes covered every inch of it and a gaping wound in the chest lay exposed where the boy’s heart had been removed. With great care Razune-Khazar was stitching the wound closed. Nearby Logan and Ungarul lounged, listening as the Necromancer spoke.

“Time is now against us,” he was saying, “we need to send him back before [...]

N is for Necromancer


When I think of iconic villains, they are one of the first to come to mind. In some ways they are some of the most frightening villains. Demons and devils corrupt and torment because it's their nature. Dragons have an innate need to subjugate those around them and amass treasure. Necromancers however are mortals who willing traffic with the dead. The willingly expose themselves to rot, disease, and the antithesis of life itself. That's scary enough, but then you have to deal with their undead servants.

Grab you're holy symbol and prepare your blades and spells, because N is [...]

At The Fleapit: Captain America - The Winter Soldier (2014)

Taking place a year after The Battle Of New York, Captain America (Chris Evans) has been working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but is becoming increasingly disillusioned with their pre-emptive strike techniques. He is, after all, a soldier not a spy. This comes to a head when Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) shows him S.H.I.E.L.D.'s next generation of helicarrier - three automated gunships able to take out

Found - My Original Gaming Dice!

Yep, these are the original dice my parents bought for me to go along with my Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide. The d4 was missing for years before mysteriously reappearing. There was no d10 for any of the young ones asking - the d20 was numbered from 0-9 twice. One side is orange numbers (kinda) the other was usually green. Guess I went with white in my later years ;)

These dice were first used in the summer of 1980. These were followed a year or two later by a set of un-inked gem dice.

Thanks to +parrish warren for giving me the push to find them :)

Shadow Over Alfheim

So, the 3.5e Gestalt campaign seems to be sputtering out, giving me the opportunity to swoop in and run some B/X dungeon crawls. In honor and maybe memorium of the stalled Shadow Over Beryl campaign, I’m calling this Shadow Over Alfheim.

I’ve pretty much just dropped a handful of OSR dungeons in a custom setting loosely based on Morgansfort, which allows me use of some of those dungeons as well as all the others. I’m trying to prepare for anything I can, since I’d like to be able to sandbox it and keep it an ‘open’ campaign, so I’ve written up [...]

Shakespeare Deathmatch: A Post-Mortem

Well, the last post-mortem I did on the MTDAA Kickstarter was my most read post of all time, so we'll see how my full disclosure on all things Shakespeare Deathmatch goes...

Here's the breakdown (remember that my starting balance was after fees for Amazon Payments and Kickstarter):

Item Cost Balance Starting Balance +1465.93 1465.93 Proof Copies -7.31 1458.62

The big freeze and the devil wear's ice skates

Session 10 Write-up by Jason (jymmijamz) Game – Rogue Trader (Run by) GM -- Chris Altius (Astropath Transcendent) -- Jason (jymmijamz) Victris (Navigator) -- Will Admiral Winter (Lord Captain) – Tanya Gnothics Sexxophin (Explorator Tech Priest) -- NightUlf (Darren) Chapter 10 The landing party squeeze themselves into the confined interior of the Fury Interceptor. At…

Five days left for Warlock's Journal Contest: bricks and mortar

  Time is running out for the latest round of the Warlock’s Journal Contest.   See here for a full list of the Warlock’s Journal Contests.   The Journal has returned to Tales of a GM. The current contest is another look at the Storm & Shield organisation. This is a group who span the …

Continue reading »


So, I got proofs from the printer today. They look real good. Much better printed than lulu. The covers in the picture below will look different because the matte finish has not been applied yet. And the third book does not have a cover yet, but as you can see they would not differ that much (except in the back).

(Pictured, my keys and a shoe for scale. Yes, that’s a crocheded moebius strip on my carabineer)

Now, let me say I’m really happy with Academia Apocrypha. It came out exactly like I wanted, and that’s very rare. But I’m even happier [...]

Minor Setback, But Still Pushing Forward With Fundraising...

As most of you are probably aware by now Rachel and I are taking part in an "all-abilities" sponsored walk to raise funds for The Stroke Association in just over a week's time. A JustGiving page has been set up to collect donations, and thanks to continuing generous donations, we have broke through the 500 barrier and I've - rather optimistically - upped the target to 750 now .

Trap Design

In a tabletop game, "traditional" mechanical traps are awkward to include in a dungeon, and that is a real shame. I commented briefly on the problem of traps in my post on module construction, but now I want to dig into that topic more deeply and propose a new solution (or at least a new tool for addressing the matter; it isn't a single-solution kind of issue).

Up through 3e, traps remain consistent in their general form*: something for the rogue to do. With a few exceptions, the only thing other classes can do is suck up the damage, [...]

Catacombs of Alam [O]

Catacombs Area O

Area O
  1. This area holds several plain sarcophagi, two of which are empty and can be pulled to reveal secret tunnels beneath them. The other two simply hold skeletons with no adornments. A statue of the deity of merciful death watches over them, withjet gemstones for eyes [50 gp].
  2. Down the stairs is a simple altar with a prayer etched into the stone, asking for safe passage to the afterlife. A modest sarcophagus holds a skeleton laid on a bed of glass carved to resemble rose petals, dressed in black silkwrappings [150 gp]. In its hands are a silver [...]

MetAnon Ep57 -- What We Have Learned

In our fifty-seventh regular episode of Metagamers Anonymous, the cast commemorates two full years of RPG podcasting, community involvement, and how it has affected their experiences at the game table. They compare notes about the sum of their experiences, discuss how it has affected them personally, and even delve into a fun bit of trivia regarding content from the first two episodes of the series. Metagamers Anonymous is a weekly podcast dedicated to tabletop roleplaying games and (mostly) related material. Join in the fun by posting comments or questions to our forum, or drop us a line at feedback@prismatictsunami.com.

Hosts: Erik, [...]

Weird Wednesday: Death's Enabler

Death's Enabler CR6 XP2,400 NE haunt (20 ft. by 10 ft. cliff's peak) CasterLevel7th NoticePerception DC 23 (to hear the wails of tortured souls) hp12; Triggerproximity; Reset1 hour EffectWhen this haunt is triggered anyone within its area is compelled to hurl themselves off the cliff if they fail a DC 16 Will save, […]

The post Weird Wednesday: Death’s Enabler appeared first on Adventure-A-Week.

N is for Nu--Chrono Trigger

Climate/Terrain: AnyFrequency: Very RareOrganization: Solitary.Activitiy Cycle: AnyDiet: UnknownIntelligence: Genius (17-18)Treasure: UAlignment: NeutralNo. Appearing: 1Armor Class: 5 [15]Movement:15"Hit Dice: 5Thac0 [To Hit Bonus]: +5No. of Attacks: 1Damage/Attack: See belowSpecial Attacks: See belowSpecial Defenses: +1 or better weapons to hitMagic Resistance: NoneSize: MMorale: Unreliable (2-4)XP Value: 650
"All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu. This is the truth! This is my belief! ...At least for now. --The Mystery of Life, vol. 841, chapter 26
The origins of the race of Nu have been lost to time. According to legend they used to be a [...]

Back to the Dungeon! Again, again...

Wizards of the Coast is going to re-release their classic board-game, this time with some new cover art.

You can pre-order on Amazon.

I am huge fan of Dungeon and have multiple copies, but I am not sure if I'll pick this one up or not yet.
But I am sure I will check it out.

The Well In The Desert - The Second Post Apocalyptic Encounter Using The Hyrbid Races From The Outlands Series

Original Image Michael Seljos from San Diego, California, USAAnother in a series of  Post Apocalyptic Encounters inspired by Chris Van Deelen's Deathland/Outerlanders blog entries.

 The first one is right over HERE

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.In the middle of the wasteland stands a series of four dooms surrounded by gardens of unearthly beauty. An oasis of death however greets any who venture too find out it's secrets. Mutants and human tribes alike say the area [...]


Over at The RPG Site, there is a thread about people finding some genres more difficult to run than others (here: THE RPGSITE THREAD). It is an interest subject and I have to admit I find it hard to run science fiction and super hero RPGs. I've managed Doctor Who but never succeeded at Star Trek or Star Wars. Played in tons space opera games, I just do not feel confident running them. I noticed a number of posters had difficulty with horror RPGs, and I do think it is one of the trickier genres to run well, especially over [...]

NO:LA Nightwatch: A Supers Campaign Seed (Part Four)

More pre-campaign bits and pieces I distributed to the players. Some of these elements are reworkings from other sources. IIRC Terror Firma comes from a suggestion in a Heroes Unlimited book; there's another version of that concept which appeared a couple of years after I did this in Squadron UK. You can find the first post and more explanation here. The history of the Second Sunder War is here.
JAPANJapan has a significant split between the two sides of its superhero population. On the one hand it possesses a large and colorful segment of what have been called "Paracelebrities" in the U.S. They [...]

Memorable Moments From Warehouse 13...

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Session 2: Long Arm of the Hutt Pt. 1

In which the Wookiee goes mad…

We dove right into the second session with our Wookiee doctor, Herglic pilot, Chiss slicer, and brand new Gran hired gun, played by Eli. Eli was able to join us this week, so we whipped up a new character for him before the game started.

We barely made it past the first page of the adventure. The characters scrambled as alarms were going off all around their new ship [...]

Webcomic Design: Layout Considerations

I was strongly influenced by the Carl Barks approach to laying out a page for Uncle Scrooge (which I'm sure has been used by many other artists, but which I first learned of through the good duck man) of laying out each page as half-page sections. You consider each page as two units, with an even break exactly halfway down the page.

For the last few months, that has been my approach to the webcomic. Since I have envisioned this as appearing predominantly on a computer screen, this has made sense, seeing as the page appeared pretty clean in [...]

N -- Necromancy

Necromancy is one of the greatest failings as a system of magic and a systematic explanation for things in the world in Dungeons & Dragons. One of the general rules of world creation is that the world must follow a set of rules which, while not necessarily realistic, must be at least internally consistent. And this goes for systems of magic. Indeed, one of the biggest complaints about the Harry Potter setting is lackadaisical way that magic works: it is apparently science enough that it may be taught in schools, but it adheres to no actual consistent system that might [...]

WB2, Session 20: Southland Tales

Session 20: "Southland Tales"
Wednesday 21st, April 1001AC
(destiny token 1)

  • Urist, dwarven cleric of Kagyar (level 3)
  • Rurik, dwarven fighter (level 3)
  • Zao-rin, human monk (level 3), keeping watch at camp
  • Danik, human scholar mage (level 3), focusing on his personal research
  • Serrin, human bounty hunter (level 3)
Lost companions

  • Grom, half-orc druid, went missing during dragon attack.
  • Adran, gnome bard, fell to his death after being dropped by a Drahie.

And so the companions took a long rest in the village after their last encounter. The following morning, after Urist was giving up on his glyph idea, they discussed what [...]

[AFTHOTWTTGS] Closure in Game Development

Closure in Game DevelopmentA couple of weeks ago, I was burbling on about an alternative socio-economic model for how roleplaying games are produced and sold. Now, to look at how we can move toward this alternative model by playing with the idea of 'closure'...
The classic model of making and selling games for a living is one of open streams of income -- a game is made, and as sales flag, a new product is released for it in order to make more sales and continue paying the wages, bills, rents and so on and so forth.  Now imagine a [...]

Steamscapes: Asia Development Log -- Woo-hoo!


I've finished the first draft of the outline for the chapter and sent it off to Four-in-Hand Games for their approval.  I expect some changes will be ordered, but at least I have a lot of the research done and a lot of ideas swimming in my head.  Plus, the process of breaking down the beats of the chapter into a formal outline gave me some really good practice that I can use for The King is Dead; I've always been a very improvisational writer, but this more focused approach should prove really helpful in getting my book [...]

Quick Note - Courageous Chromatic Power Commandos

Last night I was talking to the wife about wanting to do another pay-what-you-want title. She was not all that pleased as she thinks I wasted a lot of potential by making Horus Adrift pwyw (it has nearly a thousand sales, only 30 of which weren't free). I reasoned that it was Horus's status as pwyw that eventually lead to the sales of The Nest which in turn lead to the sales of other 2-page adventures. She bought the argument.

Looking back over everything I've done over the last year I searched for something that could be expanded and [...]

Improvised Chases (System Neutral)

For gamers coming from a D&D background, chase scenes are often overlooked.  Many D&D players simply don't run chases, or when they do they resort to speed comparisons, or counting squares while taking potshots with ranged attacks or spells.  Many powerful control spells will outright end a chase by immobilizing one side or slowing them down.  In other words, when chases do come up they are dry and soulless affairs.

Granted, this might not be everyone's experience, but these are the solutions that make the most obvious use of the rules of the more recent editions of D&D.  I'm [...]

WB2, Session 19: Conversation with Dead People

Session 19: "Conversation with Dead People"
Tuesday 20th, April 1001AC
(destiny token 1)

  • Urist, dwarven cleric of Kagyar (level 3)
  • Rurik, dwarven fighter (level 3)
  • Zao-rin, human monk (level 3)
  • Danik, human scholar mage (level 3)
  • Serrin, human bounty hunter (level 3)

Lost companions
  • Grom, half-orc druid, went missing during dragon attack.
  • Adran, gnome bard, fell to his death after being dropped by a Drahie.

And so the shade of the Drakkin Herald of the Rock Claws, Tranur-Kun, and his son had left the chamber of the Bound and the companions now found themselves in the deep silence of the pyramid underground.
A [...]

Competition: Boost your GM skills with a pack of Storyteller Cards

Storyteller Cards are a deck of 54 playing cards from Jason Tagmire and Campbell Whyte. The cards are designed to let you bring some random inspiration to your gaming. Flip a card over and let it guide you.

How does that work? Each one has 4 unique elements; character, item, action and a location. Each one has icons too; rank, suit, mood, season, letter and colour. There’s even a free to download manual of ideas.

Each pack of Storyteller Cards costs $10 but in this competition you’ve a chance to win one for free.

How to win? Log into this widget [...]

Explore Altais: Age of Ruin

A big project pitch for a new RPG from Parhelia Games. This is a dystopian science fantasy game set in a world nearly destroyed by magic. Here’s the pitch.

[Back this Campaign]

Parhelia are looking for AU $40,000 to fund the full colour book. It’s worth noting the exchange rate. If you work in US dollars then the pledges are cheaper than the numbers suggest, just. I think it’s about AU$ 1 : US$ 0.9. This changes.

If you’re quick and early bird then you’ll pick up a digital copy of Altais: Age of Ruin for US$15. Early bird hard covers [...]

WotC News Roundup

A couple of news items of interest today...

Dead in Thay, the next season of D&D Encounters, is launching on the weekend of May 10-11. Seems to be an old-fashioned dungeon crawl.

There's a revised version of the Dungeon board game coming out in June, with a sticker price under $20. No word on what changes are being made since the 2012 edition.

The usual submission window for Dragon and Dungeon magazines is not open as it would normally be in April. No word on the fate of either of the now-on-hiatus electronic magazines.

Daily Cosplay (Claire Resident Evil)

The List of Classes for Ganth

Another old, old article this one was thoughts I was having on classes. My curse is I always, without fail bite off more than I can chew. Which honestly is heartbreaking. Fixing the desire to have "new" classes in Ganth and not over loading my self with work seems to be A. Choosing a solid rule set to base my Setting on and B. reducing the work load it requires to create a "new" class. This article was later revised, and I worked harder at defining these classes. What may need to happen however, is a re-skinning of classes. Somewhat like I have already discussed as [...]

Scourge of the Sword Coast: Session 9

We kick this season off in Daggerford, a smaller town of the Sword Coast where adventurers are drawn to the possibility of treasure and plunder.

Humanoids of all types have been more active in the area and no one knows why. Recently you have heard rumours of confrontations with the Red Wizards of Thay up by Dragonspear Castle: but that was all that they were...rumours.

The characters will travel almost anyplace, such as cities nearby such as Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate (oh no! Not Baldur's Gate again.)

Join Derek, Craig and I on this [...]

So, what does that stat do again / Coming back to World of Darkness

I've been running Night's Black Agents, a Gumshoe game, for nearly a year now, and other Gumshoe games (Fear Itself, TimeWatch, Trail of Cthulhu) for longer. I've become familiar with  the system, how it works and how to make stuff up on the fly. It's now my 'go to' system. It used to be World of Darkness, though. I learnt to GM by running Vampire: the Masquerade. The first game I ran to an actual conclusion was a Hunter: the Reckoning/Mage: the Ascension mash up. I loved the games and the Storyteller/telling systems. I still have a great fondness for them, and hold them [...]

M is for Mask

While I've trying to prep my posts in advance, occasionally I've been typing them the day of. That was what I was planning no doing with M. Unfortunately my grandmother has been very ill and I had to take the day off of work yesterday to go visit her before she passed. Therefore there will be two posts today, one of M and one for N. This is basically a repeat post, but it was a post that I liked originally that really didn't get a attention, so here it is again.

The mask of Satan (aka Black Sunday) [...]

Of the First Light

When the first lights of Mailahm fell upon the ground Moridus' purpose blossomed and strange plants and grasses grew, spreading across the land, drinking the silvery light of the moon. And these are accounted the first living things that came to the world apart from Erde, and they are called the Fael Mur, though they are not accounted of the order of the Val-Austlich. For an age the world blossomed in the light of Mailahm and she rode the heavens and the grasses caught the curtained light of her first form and ever after reflected that light.

But it [...]


The Blood Moon

For those of us who missed it, like me....here's some video.

Adventure Hooks: Necromancy

Necromancers are known for their power over the dead and undead. In D&D, Wizards who specialize in necromancy often have evil in their heart and an overwhelming desire for power at all costs -- especially the power over life and death. Necromancers are often corrupted by the dark magic they seek to control making them the epitome of evil and perfect villains for any campaign.

Throughout April Dungeon's Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That's 26 articles over the course of the [...]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 -- Campaign -- 6th Session: These Are the Voyages...


In Attendance:

  • Player 1/Queltrosa the Human Warmage
  • Player 6/Aerina the Human Bard-Fighter
  • Player 10/Bub the Half-Orc Fighter
  • Player 11/Senex the Halfling Rogue-Swashbuckler
  • Player 2/Bradley the Elf Bard
  • Player 7/Raul the Elf Bard

Session Writeup:

Keehar gives them a day to prepare for the mission in to the ship. They suffer horrible nightmares again and Bub wakes up to find the idols sitting on his chest. He throws them across his room. He accuses Queltrosa of doing it but she quickly absolves herself of the suspicion. Senex pries up a floorboard in Aerina’s house and hides some wealth within. They go out to breakfast to discuss [...]

Colonial Gothic Adventure Hooks: New England

Are you have trouble coming up with ideas for aColonial Gothic adventure? Here are a collection of a few adventure hooks you can use for inspiration. These are grouped by the colonies found in New England.

  • Witches have played a large role in the colony’s history. Some argue that these witches were not real, and were victims of persecution. Some claim, and do so in hushed tones, the real witches were the ones behind the trials. They were removing those who knew the truth. Though the Mather’s are one of Massachusetts most prominent families, the Mather’s harbor a secret, one of [...]

At The Fleapit: Captain America - The Winter Solider (2014)

Taking place a year after The Battle Of New York, Captain America (Chris Evans) has been working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but is becoming increasingly disillusioned with their pre-emptive strike techniques. He is, after all, a soldier not a spy. This comes to a head when Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) shows him S.H.I.E.L.D.'s next generation of helicarrier - three automated gunships able to take out

Movie Trailer ~ X-Men Days of Future Past

World Building Wednesday-Diervale: City of Refuge

To me, the most interesting part of Alfoli is Diervale, the city of criminals on the border between Alfoli and Reigzen. The city formed on the coast mainly as a shippingcenter toHespen, located at the narrowest point of the channel with a deep water port. It’s formation coincided with the founding of Altiera and Resnith, upriver shipping cities to the North and South. The food, lumber, and minerals shipped through them eventually made those two cities wealthy enough not to need Diervale’s help crossing the channel. Diervale began to lose some of its sea traffic.

Nations formed to the North and [...]

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