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Return to White Googly Mountain!

More googly madness – feel free to just skip these posts, they are a bit silly, but they might explain why whenever someone posts something with googly eyes to google+, invariably one of the gamers in my circles tags me into the conversation.

Water traps with wights in white googly mountain. Not my best work, but the widely spread googly eyes on the fighter make her look a little odd…

(dare I say it? Wight Plume Mountain?)

One of my first Googly-Eyed D&D mods ever, the ghait is a monster from an awesome little book of truly very cool monsters that I picked up through Kickstarter. Two tiny little beady googly eyes and suddenly instead of being scary, he looks like he’s just had a cigar explode in his mouth.

And finally, the googly eyes totally add to the look of surprise on the poor mind flayer now that he’s being consumed by an insect swarm. Man, I love Erol Otus’ art. Doesn’t mean I can’t improve it with googly eyes though!

Random Map Monday 6

I started a Patreon campaign back in June 2014, this was the map for my first offering.  A roadside encounter.  A simple encounter, but the map has a lot of features.  Traveling on the road. 
  • Sparse woods 
  • Boulders/rocks
  • Muddy creek banks 
  • Small creek 
  • Cliff side
  • Small cavern
While it is a simple encounter, local tinker gets kidnapped by a bad guy, the environment helps make it feel a bit larger in scope.  Plus, I like to use different colors in the map to give the map some texture.  I like how it turned out overall.  I would have liked a better cavern and cliff [...]

The NYC Arcade -- A Sheep's Meow Production

The Sheeps Meow
Image Copyright:The Sheep’s Meow LLC

One can only imagine the amount of overlap among participants of table-top gaming and video gaming that exists. With the exception of big-box events like PAX and, well PAX, most cons and events are fairly delineated between analog and digital gaming.

Enter NYC Arcade– the birthchild of three (or two?) local New York game designers operating under their production company The Sheeps Meow (named after one of the founders animal companions: Sheep) .

Predominately a console/installation and generally digital gaming event, NYC Arcade also hosted a few table-top games for its 300+ attendees [...]

Akashic Mysteries: The Vizier

Akashic Mysteries: The Vizier This first installment of the Akashic Mysteries-series clocks in at 31 […]

Jatacenje 2015

This weekend, the 9th Jatacenje gaming conference was held.

And it was bigger and better than ever.

Long time ago, Jatacenje started as preparation Warhammer tournament for ETC.

But now, WFB took less than 25% of tables.

We also played lots of Flames of War and DBA
And lots of board games.
  As special candy, we were able to test prototype of the new Demigods Rising boardgame, which had a very successful kickstarter campaign middle of last year.
Hey, there was even a Subbuteo football!
And what is very important for me, this was the [...]

Mythic Minis: Mythic Martial Arts VI

Mythic Minis: Mythic Martial Arts VI All right, you know the deal – 2 pages […]

More Cyclopean Ruins

I remembered this morning there was a supplement of weird spells. These seem like a pretty good fit for what I'm trying to shoot for here, but not necessarily a good fit for DCC. Obviously this idea is still in its infancy, with no way of knowing in which direction it will develop. Anyway . . .

This is what I'm blathering about.

RQ Solo Adv Log 3 (Gerg gets rich)

This is part 3 of my solo RuneQuest adventure log. Part 1 can be found here.

After a week or two of resting and eating mainly salted fish, Droffats Gerg decides to once again head toward Scorpion Hall.

This time he is away from his boat when the second scorpion hunter finds him.  I don't remember how this battle played out exactly but the hunter was using a large sword and kept missing when he tried to sting with his tail.

Gerg got hit in two or three diffrent areas, largely surviving thanks to his buckler and [...]

Episode 153: Actual Play - Fall In and Fallout

This Episode:  With only some little dust bunnies to sweep under the rug, now is the time to lay low.  Wait, how does the group do that again? Jesse (Game Master), Dave (Ro'Dash), Kelli...

A group of friends who ramble and shamble while dice rumble and tumble. Call us casually-hardcore role players of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.

Musical Monday: I'll Be Free (Theme Song From Mythica: A Quest For Heroes)

RPG Round Up

What’s been going on in the world of RPGs and gaming this week. Covers the latest posts from my favourite other rpg related blogs, comics and more

The Grand Duchy: Intrigues from the Current Season at CourtEvery season brings a fresh round of disputes the Imperial Court must entertain. Feel free to use them as scenarios for roleplaying-focused sessions or as seeds for adventures across the Grand Duchy. Here, then, are the petitions large and small brought to our Beloved Imperatrix, Regia Moonthorn Kalthania-Reln van Dorig. Rings to [...]Mon, Jan 26, 2015
Source: Open DesignFrom Steaming Sea to Obari Ocean!Don't miss out [...]

RQ Solo Adv Log 3

This is part 3 of my solo RuneQuest adventure log. Part 1 can be found here.

After a week or two of resting and eating mainly salted fish, Droffats Gerg decides to once again head toward Scorpion Hall.

This time he is away from his boat when the second scorpion hunter finds him.  I don't remember how this battle played out exactly but the hunter was using a large sword and kept missing when he tried to sting with his tail.

Gerg got hit in two or three diffrent areas, largely surviving thanks to his buckler and [...]

My Campaign Bucket List

I’ve been gaming for over 30 years and for much of that time I’ve been the GM. I’ve run countless adventures, killed the “occasional” PC and had tremendous fun. However, some campaign adventures have escaped me (for now).

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


I don't mean I don't own them. Rather, I mean I have not yet run them. Sometimes it’s because of scheduling or the investment in time is too great (either for running it or preparing it) or that we simply wanted to play something else at the time. For example, at the moment, we are on a break from [...]

UD185: The One Ring RPG

To wrap up our Tolkien coverage on this week’s episode we talk about Cubicle 7’s The One Ring rpg.

Dragon #66

SWGMH S07E02: Setting Series II -- Kaiju Part 2

Special guest Sean Bircher returns for the second installment of the Savage Worlds Kaiju Super Fun Time Go!! Savage Worlds GM Hangout.

The post SWGMH S07E02: Setting Series II – Kaiju Part 2 appeared first on Sin City Savages.

1d10 Random High Level Encounters From The Supernatural Ice Storm Table For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

What happens to a world where the demi elemental plane of ice touches the Earth, a nice Ice descends taking the world by surprise. The Supernatural Storm was such an event coating the Earth in a wreath of storms and blanketing the world in an incredible event of cataclysmic proportions. This is a world of winter savagery,sorcery, and super science.Adventurers come from across the planes to pit

A Sundered World: Cambions in Color

About a week ago I posted some art for the cambion race section from A Sundered World.

Whelp, Melissa finished coloring it today:

Whaddya think? I hadn't originally planned on doing A Sundered World in color (or frankly doing any of the art myself), but she likes coloring my art, so if this is something people would want available, I can always offer the book in both B&W and color.

As a quick aside, I know that last time I said that dwarf was next, but since I'm going alphabetically that means that devas are actually next. [...]

Starting A New Game: Character Creation

You've found a group, pitched your game, and settled on a game night. Now it's time to get into the nitty gritty of the game itself, and the best place to start that is with Character Creation. In today's post I'm going to outline three different ways to handle this, along with what you want to have in mind before you start your players off on putting pencil to sheet.

What & How?
We've gone over this before, but it is important to review before character creation. You want to know two things in specific. The first is what [...]

The Inevitable Post WinterCon 2015 Post

It feels like, these days, my gaming calendar has two calendars: con season and holiday season. Seriously, the holiday season is the only time were there's not one convention or another that I attend each month. This past weekend broke the con dearth of the holiday season with the coming of WinterCon. Now, D&D historians out there will recognize the name WinterCon. It's traditionally run by the Metro Detroit Gamers association and way back in the day (as in THE ACTUAL FUCKING DAY, the 70's) this con was some serious shit. I mean, Uncle Gary wrote 'The Lost Caverns of [...]

Part 44: "Knights Talk in Flowery Phrases"

Part 44 of a comparison of Holmes' manuscript with the published Basic Set rulebook. Turn to page 40 of your 'Blue Book' (page 39 for the 1st edition) and follow along... 

Continuing with Holmes' advice to new DMs, line by line:

"Once the game begins, try to keep the action moving at a dramatic pace. If the going gets rough, the characters have the option of turning around and going back to the surface. If time runs out the characters can always be left at some appropriate spot within the dismal depths, time suspended, [...]

Part 45: "Roll the Number and See What Happens!"

Part 45 of a comparison of Holmes' manuscript with the published Basic Set rulebook. Turn to page 41 of your 'Blue Book' (page 40 for the 1st edition) and follow along... 

After the Example of Play, Holmes' advice for DMs continues:

This example could be played with maps and pencil and paper. If miniature figures are used, they can be arranged in battle order on the table top and the movement through passages and rooms imagined, the pieces rearranged for combat or other changes of formation. Figures are available for all the character types of Dungeons & Dragons [...]

Hexographer in the News, January 2015

Occasionally (between answering questions here and our support email and working on other projects) I check the web for mentions of Hexographer. Below are links to cool uses, reviews, sample maps, etc., from the past month or so:

  • Breeyark has a Keep on the Borderlands map.
  • Bleach Kitty has a procedurally generated galaxy map.
  • Fantastic Frontier is a new blog that used Hexographer to create its background. They explain what they love about the tool.
  • The D&D Adventures Project is also using Hexographer for a Keep on the Borderlands area map.
  • Toybox has a tutorial on making a Hexographer icosahedral map into a 3d d20-like [...]

Two Weeks until the Sea of Stars Kickstarter ends and let us Help one of our Own

We are entering the final stretch and need more stretch goals for the Sea of Stars Kickstarter, would you like to help out? Please do.

The Philippine Gamer is having a bit of a rough patch with medical problems besetting wife and family, please help out if you can.

Confessions of a newbie Dungeons and Dragons player

The following was submitted and authored by Tanya Logan. Some of you may know her best for the Ugly Christmas beholder sweater which was viral this past December. With the release of 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons there is many new faces around the game table. Times have changed because of social media and our beloved hobby is growing. Thank you Tanya for sharing your perspective with us.

Confessions of a newbie Dungeons and Dragons player

By Tanya Logan

I have only played Dungeons and Dragons a handful of times. In fact I just phonetically spelled [...]

Superpowers in Supervillains

The Amazing Adventures of Holo-Man #1;
1978, Peter Pan Records; Art by Joe Giella
As one might expect from "an exciting game of super human role-playing," player characters have superpowers -- or "Abilities" as the rules refer to them.  A character's Ability is determined by rolling a percentile die and consulting the Ability Chart (sometimes called the Ability Table) and subsequent Ability Descriptions.  There are thirty-three Abilities.  Many of them are standard comic book superhero fare, some are unusual yet not without comic book precedent, and a few are original and...interesting.

There is a one to four percent chance [...]

My Blizzard Reading Collection - Breachworld, Sword of Air and Stoneheart Valley

If I somehow am not held over at work tomorrow, I will either be stuck at work in all likelihood Tuesday thru Wednesday (assuming I can get to work with the blizzard currently being predicted for NYC) or stuck at home. In either case, I'm preparing reading material.

Breachworld - the "not Rifts RPG." Seriously, it's not, even if it does borrow some of the basic tropes. It's built off of the Mini Six system (which in turn is a variation of the Open D6 System which has it's roots in the old WEG's Star Wars D6) we have a chance to see something Rifts-like with a system that work. Heck, I suspect with minimal work one could run a Rifts campaign using these [...]

Starfighter: Research and Development

Growing up in the age of Pong and the original Atari, I have a true appreciation for small byte games. The graphics are simplistic and often require you to use your imagination but the story and quality of many of these games, far exceeded what modern games give us. While poking around on Twitter a few weeks back, I stumbled upon Starfighter: Research and Development. The base concept of this game is that you are a scientist/engineer working for a company that use to be the best in the field of spacecraft development. Now your company has fallen on hard times and it is up to you to create the next new ship that will bring the company back into the forefront of the industry.

Your resources starting out are virtually non-existent. You get an old escape pod with no weapons and you have to use it to defend against an alien attack. Obviously your little ship dies in a fiery explosion rather quickly. The poor pilot goes to a frozen grave but you back in your lab learn from the experience. You get another pod and pilot and crank on a machine gun and send it back into space. That pilot makes it through a few of the enemy but he to dies. You check out your data and see more ways to improve your ship. Mods done, you get another pilot and send him into the fray. This goes on indefinitely and while I am not sure if there is an upper limit to what you can do,

I can tell you that in my first six hours of the game, I was thoroughly entertained. I love this simple game. The concept is sound, the mod system for improving your ship works well, and the game is simply fun. The [...]

Castle Greyhawk: Spell Talk

Welcome back Greyhawk fans! Let's get back to the third chapter of our ongoing Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Check out page-ten and read some illuminating exposition by staff writer Scott Casper. On our site you can also check the archives and follow the entire Castle Greyhawk story from the very beginning.

Artist's Commentary: The eiger battle comes to a close and now we get a moment of levity as the magic-users critique the main spell of the encounter. Sharing spells is kind of a tradition of D&D as they are hard to come by. It may also be why all these "named" NPC wizards have their own personally created spells. Will we ever get to see any? Only [...]

Montporte Dungeon Campaign Session 45 Notes

Peter D (Dungeon Fantastic) had a nice summary of this session in his blog post, 5e D&D - Montporte Megadungeon - 1/19 Summary of Play.

Cast of Characters
Adzeer Mattiu, Hunter of the Second Circle (Half Orc, Hunter): Tim (Gothridge Manor)
Breena Honey-Badger Warrick (Gnome, Barbarian): Joshua (Tales of the Rambling Bumblers)
Dante Rathburn (Human, Warlock): Chris (The Clash of Spear on Shield)
Luven Lightfinger (Human, Rogue): Rob (Bat in the Attic)
Nosphryc Azurecoat (Human, Fighter): Douglas (Gaming Ballistic) [Played this session by Peter D (Dungeon Fantastic)]
Duncan Kern (Gnome, Rogue): Dan
Marcus Aurelius (Magic sword): NPC
Benn (Human): NPC
Lucky (One eyed, three [...]

Cyclopean Ruins

Almost two weeks ago I posted a query concerning Numenera. My interest in that book has cooled somewhat, but not the quote that I shared in that post.

I simply can not shake the image of a small band traversing a flat, windswept landscape. The wind howls, pulling at their cloaks as they clutch them desperately around their bodies. The light is failing, and in its twilight seems somehow thin, washed out. They arrive at a cliff face, not more than 10-12' high, curving away to either side, fading into the wan light.

They quickly negotiate that smooth face, [...]


I've decided to post a master list with links to all the wuxia and martial arts fantasy movies I've reviewed over the past year. It is possible I left something off this list but believe I found every blog entry. These have become popular enough that I will continue posting them in the future. I should have a review up for The Water Margin soon. I'd like to do write some Chen Pei-Pei reviews as well, but as I mentioned I reviewed every one of her films that I have a copy of and some of the others are quite hard to obtain. If I manage to outbid someone for the Jade Raksha or Whiplash (which I haven't been able to do) or find a copy of one of her other movies available for sale, I will do a review. I am going to start doing some newer films as [...]

Big Trouble in Little Phandalin: Continuing our 5th Edition Adventure

When I last posted about this campaign ...

The party's dwarven cleric had just been cursed by the ghost of his master, Sildar Hallwinter, while looting his corpse and the gang found out the hard way that they were unemployed.

What are a pair of down-on-their-luck dwarves, a shy elf, an attack-hobbit and their pet goblin to do?

Head to Phandalin of course!

After alienating a few of the locals, pondering an indecipherable sign, and trying the inevitable "rob the shop" caper, the gang eventually found their way to the Shrine of Luck on [...]

Wizards Announces Elemental Evil

Sorry guys I missed this announcement.

From WotC

Today, Wizards of the Coast announced the latest Dungeons & Dragons storyline, Elemental Evil, which includes new product offerings for both digital and tabletop RPG players.


The Elemental Evil storyline will begin this March and run through mid-summer allowing players to explore the Forgotten Realms and defeat the secret cults that threaten to wipe out the Sword Coast.

Some of the exciting new product offerings tied to the Elemental Evil story line includes:

  • Neverwinter: Elemental Evil, a new module for the MMORPG
  • Princes of the Apocalypse tabletop RPG adventure, including new options and spells for players
  • Player content including [...]

Meet 71, Adv 4, 1/10/15

Talking undead.

Whenever it happens, no matter the group, it always freaks the group out. Mindless undead, snapping teeth, rotting bodies - they can take - but put a voice to that and it raises the "what the fuck is that" level to those that face it.

I have had ghouls talk and spectres merely moan. Whatever the situation, it always manages to drive the party to distraction.

Write up follows:

The group had discussed leaving getting to a split decision on pressing on "one more room" and cutting now, with a few more votes landing [...]

Frost Fir

The faint scent of pine sap accompanies this vaguely tree-shaped creature, which stands on two towering trunklike legs. Its arms resemble the branches of a snow-laden conifer.

Source: Pathfinder Adventure Path 67: Snows of Summer
     Frost Firs are evil tree creatures who are rumored to have descended from Treants. These stoic creatures are reclusive and keep to their groves hidden away in the coldest forest of the north. They have grown to hate those who defile their homelands. Tales from the north tell of entire caravans disappearing as they travel through a Frost Fir domain. [...]

Circle of Hands Clash System Shout Out

CIrcle of Hands by Ron Edward

I finished reading Circle of Hands by Ron Edwards. Thecombat/clash system is sticking in my brain.

A brief rundown:

  • Everyone states their intentions
  • Line everyone up in order of quickness (faster characters will go first)
  • Anyone can pay (in resolve/might) to jump to the head of the line...at any time
  • Actions are taken...and can pull other characters to the head of the line

It appears to be an engine that leverages chaos, imperfect information, and resource management to move combat from the poor analogue of the battle mat to a procedure fornegotiating a charged moment of fiction.

It reminds me of Diaspora‘s [...]

A "new" character creation method

I am not sure where have I seen this character creation method, possibly in Talislanta or some D&D E6 rules, but it really grabbed my imagination, and I do think it is awesome, so I will share it here, passing the word. It is a good way for players to choose their ability scores, while having both a random element, and a maintaining fairness. Behold!

So the method is the following. You create a 6 by 6 table, and start rolling the dice, filling the little brackets as you go [...]

The Role of Character Part 3 Races

The Role of Character Part 3

Last week I wrote about the importance of your ability scores, and the week before the introduction on the Role of Character. This week we are going to take a look at races and apply what I feel are some nuances that are often overlooked. Plus I hope to add some ideas that help you look at an approach to a race differently, without changing your concept of what that race is.

Below I’ll kind of define the different races; Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, and Halfling. My descriptions are going to be based off [...]

Musings Upon a Missed SHTFriday

I had a truly awful headache on Friday that culminated in me crawling into bed for 6 hours until the pain went away. Naturally, this left me unable to write my scheduled Blue Collar Prepping article.

Fortunately, I was prepared for such an emergency, and called up a guest post. Titled "A Prepping Guide for Beginners," it lists 4 easy things you can start doing right now to get prepared for emergencies and disasters, and I encourage everyone to go read it.

Entry is always the hardest part of a hobby-lifestyle, and a lot of folks are overwhelmed at [...]

Grimm Fandango

(Yeah, I stole the title from that old Lucasarts game. Sue me.)

I had planned on posting this a month or so ago, but work and rewrites got crazy (see below) and my original intention to post mkore often has fallen by the wayside. That said, here’s an interesting tale of my brush with Hollywood greatness and experiences working with one of the coolest shows on network TV right now.

I’ve noticed an interesting surge in urban fantasy shows on TV, with shows likeTrue Blood, Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time, Constantineand others rising to prominence. I think that’s a healthy trend [...]

RQ Solo Adv Log 2 (Gerg)

The first post can be found here

My next character is a barbarian fishermen named Droffats Gerg. Gerg began play with a boat and about 140 cp worth of salted fish. He also had a bunch of rope and other bulky items.

So I decided maybe he could sail down a stream to get within a couple hours walk of Scorpion Hall.

The first scorpion hunter spoted him still on his boat. Gerg decides to drift closer while he casts Strength to increase his damage.

Laying flat to use the boats sides for cover he drifts [...]

Gencon 2015 Hotel Registration--The Housing Hunger Games

Every year my cohorts and I stand by, waiting for the nanosecond that the Gencon reservation system allows us to book rooms. We all press the button and surge forth to fight off the hordes of gamers trying to get in the system first and score prime hotels. Every year, we do really well and get our first choice. We are patient, organized and highly motivated, so the surge of people does not cause us an issue.

So in 2015 Gencon changed the system to make it “fair.” Rather than rewarding those with a quick Internet connection and button pushing skills, [...]

WoTR: Convincing the Churches, part 4

Pharasmins embrace old age as a vital stage of life.CHURCH OF PHARASMA

The church of Pharasma sits at the entrance to one of the great graveyards of Absalom. An elderly half-elven woman known as High Priestess Khallease wears a hooded, robe-like dress, and has a surpassingly youthful voice. She is rumoured to be a beautiful and young woman, perhaps an everlasting beauty, but who covers up her appearance so that she would not be distracted by seducers. She is concerned about the Worldwound as it is renowned for waylaying souls -- as are the succubi -- [...]

Computer Wizards of the Present-Future

Credit where credit is due for the form of the phrase.

I was thinking more on the trouble I have with psionics in science-fiction games, and realized the solution was staring me in the face.  In science fiction, the role of magic in fantasy is best filled by gear, equipment, applied technology.  By analogy, the wizard-equivalent character ought to be the technologist who works magic.

I nominate the hacker.

The hacker-wizard is very much a live hypothesis (to use Peircian language), a live symbol, in current media.  For the hacker to 'work magic' feels much more [...]

Looking To Change Up The Tavern's Blog Header - With a Semi-Regular Rotation of Artists

I've been using +Scott Ackerman 's amazing blog header over 2 years and it still entertains me to no end. I do, however, feel there should be more.

And not more in the way of the old blog headers, which served their purpose but lacked that certain magic that Scott brought to The Tavern.

I'd like to have a stable of blog headers, rotating weekly or so and showcasing new and emerging artists in our hobby (or even established ones, if they are so interested ;) I'm really excited to see different takes on The Tavern's header.

Here's what I'm thinking.

Open call for Headers for Tenkar's Tavern Blog.

I'll pay $20 for each header that I use [...]


Leskylor are among the natural fauna of the Blessed Fields of Elysium, making their homes in the caves nestled in wind-shorn peaks. Leskylor are prone to a particular type of mutation, that of multiple heads. Up to three-headed Leskylor have been spotted by dimensional travellers in Elysium. Which of course makes them all the more dangerous, as even a one-headed Leskylor is able to breathe out cones of bitter cold. These blue winged tigers are as independent as their ordinary mortal cousins, but vastly more intelligent and a useful ally against the forces of evil. [...]

D&D Adventurers League Elemental Evil Schedule Announced -- Available March 2015

Starting March 2015, The D&D Adventurer’s League Organized Play program will be releasing a number of in-store exclusive adventures that tie into theElemental Evil storyline, including 16 brand new adventurers. As with Tyranny of Dragons, these adventures will be exclusive to the D&D Adventurer’s League program in game stores, and earlier at conventions. Organized Play...

D&D Adventurers League Elemental Evil Schedule Announced -- Available March 2015

Starting March 2015, The D&D Adventurer’s League Organized Play program will be releasing a number of in-store exclusive adventures that tie into theElemental Evil storyline, including 16 brand new adventurers. As with Tyranny of Dragons, these adventures will be exclusive to the D&D Adventurer’s League program in game stores, and earlier at conventions. Organized Play...

FiNCK, Fire Nuclear Crocodile Killer

Review #74 -- Free Video Game
FiNCK, Fire Nuclear Crocodile Killer
Yeah, the title doesn't make any sense, so don't worry too much about it.
FiNCK is a platformer in the same style as Lyle in Cube Sector and Alex'sAdventure, and one of the best I've seen, I might add. Why? Because it's so darn simple.
After a short tutorial, you familiarize yourself with all the commands: moving, jumping, and using boxes. Listo. After that, the game consists in figuring out a complex and labyrinthine world, and interacting with a few special "boxes" that can have unique properties or [...]
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